Course specification and structure
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PMTRANSM - MA Translation

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Subject Area Professional Courses
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The teaching, learning and assessment strategy of the MA Translation is informed by the University Project for Improving Student Outcomes (PISO) and draws on its principles and guidelines regarding teaching and delivery, student learning and achievement and academic improvement.

The course’s learning and teaching strategy is
• first and foremost, student-centred and aims to encourage students to fully take part in their own learning experience;

• informed by feedback from all stakeholders: students, staff, external examiners, employers in the translation industry and accrediting bodies;
• inclusive in its design and delivery, ensuring that it addresses student diversity in terms of learning styles and assessment performance but also by promoting and encouraging student engagement in learning from assessment and feedback and contributing as stakeholders in designing, delivering and improving their learning experience;
• diverse and flexible to accommodate students learning abilities and needs;
• employability driven through its work placement and strong links with employers and the translation industry at large;
• committed to fostering reflective, analytical and critical skills;
• dedicated to equipping students with transferable and soft skills.

Course aims

The main aim of the course is to educate and train well rounded translators and to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills that enable them to compete effectively in the translation market. To that end, the course aims to:

1. Provide students with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the translation process and fundamental concepts in translation;

2. Develop and nurture learners’ translation practical skills and foster their ability to translate various types of documents in a wide range of fields of specialisation as well as understand the reasons behind decisions and choices made;

3. Cultivate students’ awareness and understanding of key theoretical and methodological issues in the discipline and how they apply to practice;

4. Familiarise learners with translation tools and software used in the industry and their context of use and hone their ability to appraise and evaluate the appropriateness and reliability of such tools;

5. Provide students with learning opportunities that develop an understanding of the translator’s professional environment and the industry requirements and offer them opportunities to acquire real life professional experience;

6. Develop learners’ research abilities and hone their reflective and analytical skills to enable them to undertake substantial scholarly investigations in relevant areas of translation theory and practice.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will

1. Have sound understanding of the nature of translation and its main concepts and deal with the complexity of the translation process by researching and drawing on perspectives from Translation Studies and related disciplines;

2. Translate documents of different levels of complexity and from various fields of specialisation and explain and justify decisions and choices made during the translational act;

3. Have good grasp of theoretical and methodological issues in translation and use such knowledge effectively to determine their impact on practice;

4. Choose and effectively use relevant translation tools and software to research and undertake translation work and execute it to the best required standards;

5. Be ready to work effectively in the translation market environment and have a wide and critical understanding of the translation industry, including awareness of various stakeholders operating in it and their respective roles and impact;

6. Undertake relevant research in Translation Studies according to the required academic standards and effectively communicate its implication in the field.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code


The Translator and the Translation Process TR7085
Characteristics of Specialised Texts TR7086

Translation tools and the Translators TR7042
The Translator and the Specialised Text TR7087
Translating for international Organisations TR7084
Subtitling TR7057
Website and Weblearn Localisation TR7089
Work Placement TR7088
Independent Translation Project TR7P78
Independent Research Project TR7P79

Learning Outcomes LO1 - LO6

Principle QAA benchmark statements

• Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Part A and B
• London Metropolitan University’s Postgraduate Framework
• Subject Benchmark Statement: Languages Cultures and Society

Assessment strategy

The MA Translation assessment strategy is informed by the University’s guidelines, staff expertise, feedback received from external examiners and from employers. The aim of assessment is firstly to monitor student learning and to enable students to learn from constructive feedback, address areas of improvement and consolidate the learning acquired on the course. To achieve these aims the course team ensure that the following principles are embedded in designing and running assessment across modules.

• Students are assessed with a balanced diet of formative and summative methods and various assessment forms;
• Assessment in each module is aligned with module outcomes and learning strategy;

• Assessment tasks are set to evaluate relevant skills be they academic, professional, practical and theoretical;
• Feedback is comprehensive and constructive and provides opportunities for students to consolidate their learning;
• Assessment is appropriately scheduled so that it is manageable for students while being timely;
• Assessment is varied to address student diversity in terms of learning styles, abilities (essay
practical translation tasks, commentaries and annotations on translation work, report on work
placement, translation projects and MA dissertation).

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes a compulsory work placement for a minimum period of 100 hours with various translation service providers: NGOs, translation agencies, freelance translators, news corporations, governmental bodies, business and, whenever possible, international organisations (UN and EU).

Modules required for interim awards

1) To gain the highest level of award (MA Translation), students must take and pass the following modules:

TR7085: The Translator and the Translation Process
TR7086: Characteristics of Specialised Texts
TR7042: Translation Tools and the Translator
TR7087: The Translator and the Specialised Text
TR7088: Work placement
TR7P78: Independent Translation Project
TR7P79: Independent Research Project
And one of the 3 designate modules:
- TR7084 Translating for International Organisations or
- TR7089 Webpage and Software Localisation or
- TR7057: Subtitling

2) To gain the PG Diploma in Translation students must take and pass the following modules

TR7085: The Translator and the Translation Process
TR7086: Characteristics of Specialised Texts
TR7042: Translation Tools and the Translator
TR7087: The Translator and the Specialised Text
TR7088: Work placement
And one of the 3 designate modules:
- TR7084 Translating for International Organisations or
- TR7089 Webpage and Software Localisation or
- TR7057: Subtitling

3) To gain the PG certificate in Translation students must take and pass 3 X 20 credits modules from the following list modules

TR7085: The Translator and the Translation Process
TR7086: Characteristics of Specialised Texts
TR7042: Translation Tools and the Translator
TR7087: The Translator and the Specialised Text
TR7088: Work placement
One of the 3 designate modules:
- TR7084 Translating for International Organisations or
- TR7089 Webpage and Software Localisation or
- TR7057: Subtitling

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflective learning runs through the course and is part and parcel of each module. It is included in various activities performed in class and on Weblearn and is tested in each piece of assessment, be it formative or summative. Students are indeed offered opportunities and encouraged to reflect on their learning when performing practical translations activities and when discussing translation performance in class or during supervisory meetings. Reflective skills are also developed through writing annotations and extended commentaries on translations and equally fostered during the work placement when students are required to reflect and comment on their work experience in an analytical and critical report.

Finally, the course offers students an opportunity to further hone their reflective and critical abilities through work done on the Independent Research Project (TR7P79) and feedback received from supervisors. A Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) is integrated into the research project and comprises five pieces of formative/diagnostic assignments (annotated bibliography, research proposal document and four supervision reports). Formative feedback is given on the first two pieces of work, which are submitted in February and March respectively. This timing allows for the staged development of the Portfolio and of the research project itself.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

• The Conférence Internationale des Universités et Instituts de Traduction et Interprétation standards and guidelines

• Chartered Institute of Linguists Code of Practice
• Institute for Translation and Interpreting Code of Practice

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Traditionally MA Translation graduates work as freelance or in-house translators in translation agencies, NGOs, news corporations, governmental institutions and international and EU organisations such as the UN and the European Commission and its agencies.

Career opportunities

This course will prepare you for roles in translation agencies, EU and international institutions, multinational companies, news corporations or government bodies.

Graduates of this course have become freelance translators or language teachers at secondary school level. Some graduates also go on to further advanced study with a PhD.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a first degree at 2:1 or above in translation, interpreting, modern languages or a related field (applications from candidates with a second class degree or from non-language-based disciplines will be considered but an entry test may be required, applicants with substantial work experience in translation but no first degree will also be considered)
  • native knowledge of a mother language
  • near-native proficiency in the first foreign language
  • good command of the second foreign language (if applicable)

The following documents are also required to support the application:

  • two references, one of which must be an academic reference
  • a first degree certificate and mark transcript

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes Q910 (Translation Studies): 100%
Route code TRANSM

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR7042 Translation Tools and the Translator Core 20 NORTH AUT MON PM
          NORTH SPR WED EV
TR7085 The Translator and the Translation Process Core 20 NORTH AUT MON EV
          NORTH AUT MON PM
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
          NORTH AUT WED PM
TR7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
          NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH SPR MON EV
TR7088 Work Placement Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE EV
          NORTH SPR TUE EV
TR7P78 Independent Translation Project Core 30 NORTH AUT MON EV
          NORTH SPR WED PM
TR7P79 Independent Research Project Core 30 NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH AUT TUE PM
          NORTH AUT TUE EV
          NORTH SUM NA  
TR7057 Subtitling Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
TR7089 Website and Software Localisation Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR7042 Translation Tools and the Translator Core 20        
TR7085 The Translator and the Translation Process Core 20        
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts Core 20        
TR7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text Core 20        
TR7088 Work Placement Core 20        
TR7P78 Independent Translation Project Core 30        
TR7P79 Independent Research Project Core 30        
TR7057 Subtitling Option 20        
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option 20        
TR7089 Website and Software Localisation Option 20