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Dr Nicola Macleod

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Dr Nicci MacLeod is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics. Prior to joining Northumbria in September 2018 she was employed as a Research Associate at what is now the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL), working on various projects focussing on authorship analysis, native language identification, and assuming identities online in the context of undercover investigations against child sex offenders. She is co-author with Professor Tim Grant of Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Internet Sexual Crime (CUP).

She is Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) in English Language Studies, and teaches EL4012 Introduction to Discourse Analysis and EL6052 Forensic Linguistics.

She is Executive Secretary of the International Association of Forensic and Legal Linguistics (IAFLL).

Dr MacLeod's office hours for Semester 1 2021/22 are Thursdays 11-1.


Nicola Macleod

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr MacLeod's current research interests lie in discursive patterns of representation and negotiation, particularly in legal and investigative contexts, and the language of policing.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Assuming identities online: How linguistics is helping the policing of online grooming and the distribution of abusive images, MacLeod, N., Grant, T. 2021, Rethinking Cybercrime, Cham, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Assuming identities online: Authorship synthesis in undercover investigations, MacLeod, N. 25 Nov 2020, The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics, London, Routledge
  • Forensic Linguistics, MacLeod, N., Wright, D. 1 Mar 2020, The Routledge Handbook of English Language and the Digital Humanities, Routledge
  • Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Internet Sexual Crime, Grant, T., MacLeod, N. Jan 2020
  • Recursos e Restrições na Manutenção de Identidades Linguísticas: uma Teoria de Autoria, Grant, T., MacLeod, N. 2020, Perspectivas em Linguística Forense, Sao Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • “Tell Me in Your Own Words…”: Reconciling Institutional Salience and Witness-Compatible Language in Police Interviews with Women Reporting Rape, MacLeod, N. Apr 2020, The Discourse of Police Interviews, Chicago, University of Chicago Press
  • The discourse of (re)exploitation: female victims in the legal system, MacLeod, N. 2020, Innovations and challenges in language and gender: women and sexism, Routledge
  • Resources and constraints in linguistic identity performance – a theory of authorship, Grant, T., MacLeod, N. 1 Jul 2018, In: Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito
  • Discursive Constructions of Consent in the Legal Process. S. Ehrlich, D. Eades and J. Ainsworth (eds), MacLeod, N. 2017, In: Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito
  • ‘go on cam but dnt be dirty’: linguistic levels of identity assumption in undercover online operations against child sex abusers, MacLeod, N., Grant, T. 18 Dec 2017, In: Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito


  • Linguistics PhD July 01 2010
  • Linguistics MA September 01 2004
  • English Language BA (Hons) July 01 2003
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FHEA 2018
  • Graduate Diploma in Law GDipLaw 2016

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