A young girl using the speech and language therapy equipment with a woman

Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre (CASL)

Exploring speech, language, hearing, signing and swallowing by undertaking empirical and theoretical research into the rich and complex patterns of social, physiological and clinical variation. Developing new assessments, techniques and treatments. Highlighting the role communication plays in society.

In the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre (CASL) we explore speech, language, hearing, signing and swallowing by undertaking empirical and theoretical research into the rich and complex patterns of social, physiological and developmental variation in typical and clinical populations. 

We develop new assessments, techniques and treatments for the Speech and Language Therapists and Audiologists of the future.

We also highlight the important role all forms of communication play in society.  

Ultimately, the multidisciplinary work of the CASL aims to improve the lives of both children and adults locally, nationally and internationally.

CASL Strategy

Our core remit is the study of clinical communication disorders, yet our research strategy crucially draws on and contributes to a far wider range of topics.

Our research is multidisciplinary in order to explore all aspects of communication and ranges from applied to blue-skies.

We disseminate outcomes and findings from our research in high-quality publications and through public engagement.

We regularly attract substantial support from public funding bodies and charities in order to conduct world-leading innovative research.

Our methodological research focuses on the development of new and enhanced instrumentation, analytic techniques and experimental methods for the collection, measurement and analysis of speech and swallowing.

Our applied research focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and modelling of speech, language, hearing and swallowing disorders. We are particularly interested in the effective use of visual biofeedback in therapy and the role of genetic, social and educational factors in linguistic deficits.

Our theoretical research covers work on speech production processes, speech disorders, child language acquisition, sociolinguistics, intra- and inter-individual variation, psycholinguistics, and phonology.

CASL Research Projects and Groups

Current Research and KE Groups:


Completed projects:

CASL Impact

Our research is intended to be useful and relevant to those who can benefit from it.

For example:

  • people with a variety of clinical communication disorders and needs
  • people with a variety of related physiological and neurological disorders and needs 
  • speech and language therapists and audiologists
  • policymakers concerned with the role of communication for wellbeing, participation and education
  • academics and students across the world
  • members of the public interested in speech and language variation

In order for our research to have a positive impact on these groups, we pursue collaborations, training and joint projects in partnership with NHS, third-sector and industry colleagues.

To help educate the next generation of therapists, we have taken a key role in developing teaching websites featuring extensive collections of instrumental and acoustic recordings of speech (Seeing Speech and Dynamic Dialects). Clinical data from our research projects on articulation and swallowing provide a unique resource for student and clinician training.

CASL PhD Students

Our CASL PhD students make a vital contribution to the Centre's work and research culture.

Regular group mentoring sessions with the CASL directors and other QMU researchers (the PhD CASL Culture Club) reflect our desire to nourish a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to research at all levels.

More recently, CASL PhD students working on speech-related topics have taken peer-mentoring to the next level and founded PhDnetics, a Scottish-wide network of doctoral and early career researchers in phonetics.

Current PhD students:

  • Danah Alqattan
  • Irina Brodskaya
  • Gemma Cartney
  • Janet Coulson
  • Stephen Jannetts
  • Victoria Johnstone-Cooke
  • Susie Lloyd
  • AnneMarie MacRae
  • Gaby Quezada

Former PhD students:

Useful Links:

Graduate School for doctoral research

eTHESES for recent PhD and Professional Doctorate dissertations

Postgraduate taught study & clinical qualifications

eTHESES for recent MSc dissertations in Speech & Language Therapy and Audiology.

CASL Collaborations

Collaborative projects:


Current research visitors:

  • Dr Sonja Dahlgren (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Dr Malin Svensson Lundmark (University of Lund, Sweden)

Previous research visitors and funded postdocs:

  • Dr Maria Paola Bissiri
  • Dr Eleanor Lawson
  • Dr Marko Liker
  • Dr Mai Ohkubo
  • Dr Patrycja Strycharczuk

CASL Commercialisation and Spin-Outs

CASL has a positive commercial impact, both within the UK and internationally, through its partnership with Articulate Instruments Ltd.

The company, led by Professor Alan Wrench, supports CASL’s research vision by inventing speech instruments, and developing and supporting software for speech analysis and visual biofeedback therapy. Their world-leading products are used in over 150 phonetics laboratories for research. 

Other notable commercialisation activities have focussed on the analysis and treatment of the voice, another longstanding area of research excellence at CASL.

Fitvoice CIC offers a technology-enabled, smartphone-assisted voice care service for occupational voice users who rely on their voice for their work, e.g. teachers, lecturers, actors or fitness instructors.

The Voice Distillery provides services for voiceover artists and the industries who commission their work. 

Voicebuddy is a clinically informed web app dedicated to improving voice health. 

Professor James M. Scobbie

Centre Director
Tel: 0131 474 0000