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Research in forensic speech science



Knowledge and skills acquired in terms 1 and 2 are applied to the forensic domain, with a particular focus on the practices and problems of speaker comparison.

Further techniques for forensic speech analysis are introduced. Lectures and seminars take a largely case-based approach, drawing on authentic materials in order to illustrate professional practice.

The module will also survey current research in the field to provide specific grounding for dissertations.



Contact hours

4 contact hours per week: 2 lectures, 2 labs.

Teaching programme

Topics to be covered include:

  • speaker comparison
  • speaker profiling
  • analysing disputed utterances
  • automatic systems
  • likelihood ratios
  • legal precedents and legal practice with respect to speech and language evidence
  • report writing and delivery of evidence in court.

Outcomes should include:

  • an understanding of the practical methods used in forensic speech analysis, particularly in speaker comparison, and their associated problems;
  • an understanding of the key research issues in forensic phonetics and acoustics;
  • an understanding of how to design research projects in the forensic domain;
  • practical experience of speaker comparison and other applications of phonetics and acoustics in the forensic domain.

Teaching materials

Essential readings will be identified each week. Key readings are available in a course pack or on-line.



Two case reports:

  • The first is 2,000 words
    • Weight: 40%
  • The second is 3,000 words
    • Weight: 60%

About this module

  • Module name
    Research in forensic speech science
  • Course code
    L32M (LAN00032M)
  • Teacher 
    Paul Foulkes
  • Term(s) taught
  • Credits