Dr Madison Hunter 

PhD student, Forensic Linguistics (2019-2022), Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics.

Driven by her longstanding ambition to become a lecturer and researcher, Madi found her love for linguistics along the way.  


Aston University’s distinct advantage 

During her PhD, Madi examined the relationship between the linguistic choices used to express feelings about themselves, others, and their world and underlying psychological traits in three types of violent offenders and nonviolent counterparts. 

Aston University is arguably the best place to do postgraduate work in Forensic Linguistics within the English-speaking world. It is such a niche field so not many universities have programmes in it or supervisors that would be qualified to supervise projects.

A supportive network 

Madi praises the supportive ecosystem, emphasising her supervisor's constant availability and the rich academic environment facilitated by Aston Graduate School and the Institute for Forensic Linguistics through seminars and symposia. 

Active involvement with the Aston Postgraduate Research Society (APRS) greatly enriched Madi's postgraduate research (PGR) journey: 

The APRS was a big part of my experience. They liaise between the PGR community and the University to make sure all concerns are raised and addressed. They also provide a lot of opportunities for both socialising and networking through their wide range of events.

Madi’s advice for those considering a research degree 

I would say that before deciding to apply, it is a good idea to look at the staff in your chosen department to see what their research interests are. This way, you know who would be most suitable for your project. Also, if you are unsure (and honestly even if you aren’t), I would recommend reaching out to them to get their thoughts on your idea for your project. It can be helpful for figuring out whether that university, department (and supervisor) would be a good fit for you.