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Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics

Linguística Forense

The Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics is a 2-semester, 60 ECTS credit training course (not conferring a degree) aimed for practitioners working in police forces and in forensic sciences, as well as for all participants (students, researchers, ...) interested in gaining knowledge or working in this field in the future. Given the interdisciplinary nature of Forensic Linguistics, and specifically the underlying interaction between Language and the Law, the trainees will gain basic knowledge in each of these areas, which will then allow them to work in the field of Forensic Linguistics. This course includes compulsory and optional curricular units.

The Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics is taught in b-learning mode: all curricular units, with the exception of the Forensic Linguistics Training Course, are distance learning subjects. Therefore, the theoretical sessions, tutorials, interactive seminars, presentations, group work, individual research and monitored practical work will be taught and assessed online in both semesters. The 'Forensic Linguistics Training School' course unit will take place in person, at the end of the second semester.

The Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics is an inter- and multi-disciplinary course that promotes scientific knowledge, built upon strongly research-based higher education and training activities, in the innovative field of forensic linguistics.

The course syllabus (information for candidates) is available here.

Course presentation video.


The Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics offers a specialized, interdisciplinary training in Forensic Linguistics. It is aimed at those who are interested in pursuing a professional or research career in the field. The course has the following general objectives:
  • Offer a specialization to students in the field of Forensic Linguistics, by providing them with appropriate professional competences by means of a solid training. It thus ensures a training of excellence required by a professional activity built upon the  capacity to collect, process, analyse and report on linguistic data, regardless of their format, means or media, in forensic contexts.
  • Offer a high-quality professional training with solid competences in the field of Forensic Linguistics, thus enabling: problemsolving based on language communication and acting in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary contexts; working in teams and enabling cooperation between the fields of Language and the Law, by applying the specific competences gained; communicating efficiently with specialized audiences, as well as with the general, lay audience; applying knowledge in Forensic Linguistics, in compliance with the deontological, ethical and social responsibility patterns underlying forensic sciences, in general, and forensic linguistics, in particular;
  • Train the students for employability, promoting or providing the training required to conduct the professional activity of Forensic Linguistics in public and private organizations and institutions, as well as independent expert, by creating close relationships with potential employers, via practical exercises, projects, and other forms of cooperation.

Fields of Specialization

The specialization course builds upon the assumption that Forensic Linguistics is an inter- and multi-disciplinary application of Linguistics. Therefore, trainees are encouraged to improve their knowledge of written and spoken language analysis as it relates to Law, Criminology and the judicial process. In addition to the Linguistics modules, the course includes modules on Fundamentals of Law, Language and Law, as well as modules on language analysis as research and as evidence in various forensic contexts.

Professional Abilities

By the end of the specialization course, the trainees should be able to:
  • apply key language skills in forensic contexts;
  • perform linguistic consultancy work;
  • apply linguistic analytical methods and techniques in police investigation, court cases, and ethics committees;
  • identify speakers on the basis of a particular language variety, idiomatic style or register, and establish linguistic profiles;
  • analyse texts that are suspect of imitation in criminal contexts;
  • analyse the authorship of texts and detect cases of plagiarism;
  • interpret and critically analyse legal texts;
  • analyse legal discourse(s);
  • analyse forensic texts in multilingual contexts.

Employment Prospects

Trainees who successfully complete the specialization course in Forensic Linguistics can pursue a professional or research career in forensic linguistics. They will therefore be able to:
  • Act as consultants and/or independent experts/expert witnesses;
  • Act as consultants for legal firms; 
  • Work for or cooperate with police; 
  • Work for or ooperate with legal institutions;
  • Provide support to humanitarian organisations; 
  • Conduct scientific research;
  • Conduct teaching and/or training activities.


  • Target Group
    • Linguistics/Language Sciences students interested in a professional career in Forensic Linguistics; 
    • Law and Criminology/Legal sciences students;
    • Lawyers and legal practitioners; 
    • Police officers and investigators; 
    • Court officers and officers from public, private and non-governmental organisations interested in furthering their knowledge of Linguistics.
  • Conditions of admission:
    • Holders of a bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of Linguistics, Law, Criminology, Forensic Sciences or similar areas.   
    • Holders of a bachelor's or master's degree whose curriculum demonstrates an adequate basic preparation and on which the Scientific Committee of the Specialization Course gives a favorable opinion;
    • Holders of equivalent foreign university degrees, whose curriculum shows adequate basic preparation and on which the Scientific Committee of the Specialization course gives a favorable opinion;
    • Holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum of recognized merit, which attests to the ability to carry out this Specialization Course.
  • Course load: 1620 hours, from which 420 hours are contact hours (42 hours in-person)-
  • Calendar: 3rd October, 2022 to 31st July, 2023
  • Fee: 1.250¤ (in 10 instalments) + 2¤ (school insurance)
  • Vacacies, admission criteria: here.

Information about fees

APPLICATION: 3rd August to 15th September, 2022
All information about the APPLICATION

20th to 22nd September, 2022
All steps to complete the REGISTRATION


By applying for this course, I declare that I have become aware of FLUP's Internal Procedures for Continuing Education

For further information, please contact the course diretor:


Unidade de Educação Contínua (Serviço de Gestão Académica)
Email: uec@letras.up.pt
Office hours: 
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10h00 to 13h00;
Tuesday and Thursday, from 14h00 to 16h30.

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General information

Official Code: E171
Teacher Responsible: Rui Sousa Silva
Acronym: ELF
Type of course/cycle of studies: Specialization
Start: 2017/2018
Duration: 2 Semesters

Study Plan


  • Specialization Course in Forensic Linguistics (60 ECTS credits)

Main Scientific Areas

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