Head of Division


Division: Speech and Hearing Sciences

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Professor Janet Beck (BSc Hons, DipCST, PhD) is the Head of the Speech and Hearing Sciences Division. She is also an associate member of the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

Professor Janet Beck qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist after completing a first degree in Biological Science (Genetics) from the University in Edinburgh. Employment on two major MRC-funded projects developing new perceptual and acoustic analysis tools for clinical assessment of voice quality led to a PhD dissertation on “Organic Variation and Voice Quality”

Janet moved to Queen Margaret University in 1990, since when she has divided her time between the education of speech and language therapists, research and professional/clinical activity. She was awarded a fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2008, in recognition of research into the clinical assessment of voice quality and her work in developing the education of speech and language therapists, in the UK and overseas. She has participated in a number of initiatives aimed at developing guidelines for speech and language therapy (SLT) education in the UK, Europe, and in 2009-10 was contracted to co-edit and manage the development of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Curriculum Guidelines. She has also has a strong interest in development of SLT programmes/services for developing countries and has been actively involved in the development and delivery of a new SLT programme in Uganda, as well as guiding collaborative Logopaedics programmes in Greece.

Since 2010 she has been Head of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, leading the teams responsible for teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange in the areas of Audiology and Speech and Language Therapy.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Registered member of Health and Social Care Professions Council
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Member of the International Phonetics Association

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre - Associate

Janet Beck’s main research interests are:

Voice quality in normal communication and voice disorder. She has extensive experience in the development and application of phonetic techniques for voice analysis, for clinical and research applications.

Research aimed at understanding how individual variations in anatomy and physiology (e.g. facial structure, detailed structure of the vocal folds larynx) can affect voice quality. She is also interested in exploring how such voice quality variation can affect social interaction and acceptability.

She is currently involved in the commercial development of a smart-phone facilitated voice-care service for occupational voice users (e.g. teachers, call centre workers). 

Active Research Interests:

  • Voice monitoring

Research Methods:

  • Quantitative and mixed methods research


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Research Incentive Grant, Mobile voice monitoring for occupational voice users (Ref 70230). Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 09/2015-08/2016 (PI = Felix Schaeffler)

My teaching is predominantly in the areas of phonetics and voice. My phonetics teaching is designed to encourage a creative approach to application of phonetic skills and understanding within clinical contexts. I have provided MRI and ultrasound speech samples to underpin “Seeing Speech”, an audiovisual website that supports phonetic learning by showing movements of the tongue and related structures during speech production: www.seeingspeech.ac.uk

My voice modules cover both typical and atypical voice quality, encouraging awareness of the impact of voice on communication and social interaction alongside development of the knowledge and skills needed for clinical assessment and management of voice disorder. I also offer workshops in the phonetic analysis of voice quality (Vocal Profile Analysis) for voice specialists and researchers.


  • UG, S1176, Linguistics for Speech and Language Therapy
  • UG, S2167, Phonetic Sciences
  • UG, S3259, Acquired speech impairment and voice disorder
  • UG, S4154, Professional Practice in Specialist Areas
  • PG, S4164, Linguistics 1: Introduction to Linguistics
  • PG, SM022, Biological and Behavioural Science for SLT1: Typical Processes
  • PG, SM029, Linguistics 2: Clinical Linguistics
  • PG, SM032, Professional Practice for SLT2
  • PG, SM055, Motor Speech Disorder, Voice Disorder, Cleft Lip and Palate
  • PG, S4163: Foundations for Speech and Language Therapy