Course specification and structure
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UDTRASTU - BA Translation

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education
Total credits for course 360
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 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS  
Course leader  

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

The learning and teaching strategies that underpin the BA Translation course are distinguished by their very diverse and comprehensive nature; as our aim is not only to enable but also to maximise the students’ experience of Higher Education both at subject-specific level and at the more general educational level. The BA Translation course focuses on two aspects: education and training.
A mix of theoretical and practical modules ensure that all students, irrespective of their age, gender, educational background, race, learning style, are stimulated and offered the opportunities of acquiring knowledge and skills in preparation for the translation industry demands and requirements in terms of employability.
Theoretical modules inform our students, the future professional translators as to what choices of translation methods and procedures as well as transferable skills are available to be put into practice in real work situations.
The theoretical knowledge acquired is put into practice in students’ language-specific modules when they are offered ample opportunities to develop specific competencies through varied translation activities that they partake in individually, in pairs and in groups. These practical translation activities are undertaken in a low anxiety atmosphere and in an informal manner, conducive to positive and efficient learning. Students are encouraged to participate in discussions and sessions are student-centred while the feedback is given both by student peers and tutors.
Practical translation work is done at regular intervals in-class and also set as homework and followed by peer and tutor feedback given either orally or in writing, as appropriate. Translation activities and best practice are discussed face-to-face and also via WebLearn’s discussion tool in a number of modules.
The curriculum of this vocational course is delivered via interactive lectures, small group seminar sessions, workshops, individual and group tutorials, supervision sessions and online synchronous tutorial sessions.
The BA Translation course achieves cohesiveness thanks to a series of core modules that allow building on previous knowledge, experience and skills acquired by students as they progress from level 4 to level 6 in their university studies. This cohesiveness is across modules as well as across levels of study. Students’ acquisition and consolidation of knowledge and skills is also achieved via independent, autonomous study (both self-directed and tutor-directed) from the onset at level 4 and all the way through to level 6. Various problem-solving activities are made accessible to students in all modules via WebLearn, thus forming an integral part of their learning process.
The course is now introducing a larger number of optional modules that can be taken from our OLP module provision by students who have reached their exit level in their 1st foreign language, i.e. native or near-native level of language competence. These optional OLP modules can be a further foreign language at the appropriate level. Language testing is carried out prior to registering for such a choice module and appropriate advice will be given to students by a member of staff.
Blended learning forms the basis of all the course’s modules, irrespective of their nature or at which level they are taught.

Students’ learning is supported by a well-resourced section of the language and translation sections of the library. An ever growing number of electronic copies of essential works are being made accessible to our students, although hard copy publications are also widely available.
In addition, students have convenient access to IT labs on site where they can use electronic translation and subtitling software.

Members of the BA Translation teaching team are in regular contact with their tutees. Academic Tutors have at the very least three face-to-face appointments with their allocated tutees to make sure students set clear and achievable study goals at the beginning of every semester. This is followed up by monitoring their academic progress during the semester with appropriate interventions when necessary to give students academic support, guidance and any assistance they might need to achieve those goals. We also refer our tutees as and when necessary to any other university service (DDS, careers, student hub, income office, visa compliance, counselling, etc).

In addition to this support, the BA Translation course also runs a peer support (PASS) scheme featuring two Success Coaches (successful level 5 or 6 students) who help mainly but not exclusively our first year students by organising one-to-one as well as group sessions, regularly through the year for modules TR4001, TR4002, TR4003 and TR5051.

The BA Translation course also organises various activities such as a yearly visit to the European Union’s Directorate General of Translation, visits from careers advisers and guest speakers from industry and professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, to name but a few. Such opportunities to rub shoulders with professional translators are highly appreciated by our students as they help foster a strong sense of belonging and identity in relation to the discipline of the course. At these activities and events, students also learn to network, which will boost their confidence and open up employment opportunities.

Course aims

The BA Translation course aims at providing students with the complete set of hard and soft skills necessary for a successful career as an in-house translator, a freelance translator or a translation project manager. The course provides a sound basis for students to acquire all the necessary knowledge and transferable skills required by language service providers such as translation agencies, multinational companies and various other institutions including the EU.
The course offers students the opportunity to raise their language and cultural awareness, to acquire practical skills in anticipating, identifying, describing translation problems of various kinds and finding appropriate solutions to these in their specific language pair and in various text types and domains. This vocational focus of the course means that students are in effect treated as translation trainees.
The students are trained to work with generalist texts as well as semi-specialist texts pertaining to technical fields such as IT, medicine, law, business, media and also multimedia fields such as comics, subtitling, children’s literature, prose. The course tackles translation of both technical and literary texts of various genres, focussing on their characteristics as well as the strategies available to solve potential translation problems encountered.
All key aspects of translation-related work are addressed in the curriculum, include various theories and approaches used in translation studies, informed and supported by up-to-date research in language area studies, practical translation activities, the translator’s professional environment, ethics in translation, employability issues and how they are managed, use of translation software, code of conduct and also an introduction to interpreting skills.
Throughout the course, students are given the opportunity to solve various problems and practise skills directly related to the translation subject area, including time management and organisational skills, autonomous learning, interpersonal skills, editing and proof-reading skills, self-evaluation, personal responsibility, decision making and many more. These skills ensure that on successful completion of their studies, our students become fully fledged professional translators, ready to embrace the world of work in the translation industry.
This course also enables our students to continue with postgraduate studies in translation, in interpreting or any other language related discipline, if they obtain a high enough award.

Course learning outcomes

The following set of learning outcomes constitute the BA Translation course’s key aspects of both knowledge and skills.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. demonstrate accurate understanding and use of established techniques of analysis and enquiry within the Translation discipline;

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Translation studies;

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, in the area of Translation, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Translation subject);

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in relatively complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

NB: Careful mapping of level 6 BA Translation learning outcomes has been undertaken to verify that they match the subject specific (Languages, Cultures and Societies) knowledge and skills of the QAA
subject benchmark.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

TR4001
TR4002
TR4003
TR5001
TR5002
TR5050
TR5051
TR6W01
TR6002
TR6P03
TR6051
TR6K50

Learning Outcomes cover LO1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

“In an increasingly interdependent world, it is essential to be able to work with other languages, cultures and societies. Programmes and modules in this area equip students to thrive in a variety of environments, from the local to the global. They offer a fascinating variety of things to study, and give better career and employment prospects to the next generation of transnational graduates, internationally mobile graduates who can work across cultures.” Subject Benchmark Statement UK Quality Code for Higher Education Part A: Setting and maintaining academic standards. Languages, Cultures
and Societies September 2015.

Assessment strategy

Teaching and learning strategies are underpinned by a wide variety of learning ways involving discussions, seminars, workshops, individual and group presentations, lectures, short exercises involving linguistic and textual analysis, open and resource-based learning, autonomous learning, scheduled independent learning, planning, researching, executing of and reflecting on translations of varying complexity and from different specialised fields including an extended translation with analytical commentary.

Assessment tools include essays, individual presentations, group presentations, translations, written commentaries, translation portfolios, reflective journals, class tests, role plays.

Assessment practices, the assessment cycle, internal marking, the grading system, external moderation and various other assessment related matters will be clearly explained to and discussed with students so they are familiarised with concepts such as formative and summative assessments.

As this degree course is both academic (subject-specific scholarly discipline) and practical (led by the ever changing nature of expectations from the translation industry’s employers), our assessment features a varied and well balanced assembly of assessment instruments allowing students to engage and perform both cognitively and practically.

Students are made aware of the crucial importance of focusing meaningfully on the feedback that they receive in order to allow them to feed forward in an effective manner throughout their studies.

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

The course has a compulsory work placement element. Students are expected to find their own translation service provider, with the support and guidance of the placement co-ordinator.
They will be expected to carry out a minimum of two months work for in-house placement or a minimum of 180 hours for project placement, which can be flexibly arranged in consultation with the employer, and a further estimated 108 hours working on their intermediate report (formative), log book and final report (summative), all assessment components of “Working in the Professional Environment” module TR6W01.
Advice is offered to overseas students to ensure compliance of the work placement with their visa requirement.

Modules required for interim awards

The following modules are core-compulsory:

1. TR4001 - Language, Communication and Culture.
2. TR4002 - The Translator and Language.
3. TR4003 - Practical Resources for Translators.
4. TR5001 - Translation Process and Procedures.
5. TR5002 - Translating Text and Culture.
6. TR5050 - Managing Translation.
7. TR5051 - Electronic Tools for Translation.
8. TR6W01 - Working in the Professional Environment.
9. TR6002 - Specialist Translation Domains.
10. TR6P03 - Translation Project.
11. TR6051 - Theoretical Aspects of Translation.

In addition, students who have not reached exit level in their first foreign language cannot graduate until they do so.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

From the onset of their studies, students are explicitly requested to engage meaningfully and regularly with their learning process, to critically reflect on it and use appropriate remedial strategies to solve any individual study skill or/and subject-specific problem that may arise in the course of their university studies. Personal development planning is a regular activity that students are expected to engage with in order to progress successfully and overcome the challenges posed by learning at university level, thus enabling themselves to achieve their full potential.
During course induction and over the first few months at university, students are asked to critically reflect on university studies, how they must set up individual goals for each module, identify areas of weakness and strength and act upon those weaker areas, using various strategies discussed in class, with their peers and tutors. They are given opportunities of familiarising themselves with various learning styles and investigate what works best for them. This is done as part of the curriculum in a number of modules such as TR4001, TR5002, TR5050, TR6W01, TR6K50 and TR6P03 where students have to write reflective statements and reports in relation to their personal development plan. The following modules comprise PDP assessment components that are both formative and summative:
• Language, Communication and Culture (TR4001)
• Translating Text and Culture (TR5002)
• Managing Translation (TR5050)
• Working in the Professional Environment (TR6W01)
• Translation Project (TR6P03)
• Interpreting Skills (TR6K50)

All modules in this course allow for reflective learning, with a focus on personal development and enhancement of personal attributes.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

1.EU Translators’ profiles:
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation/workwithus/staff/profile/index_en.htm
2. Chartered Institute of Linguists

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Many translators work on a freelance basis or within translation agencies, organisations and businesses employing translators. A number of our students are offered their first employment in the agency where they did their work placement.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

The Translation BA degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and the Institute of Language Educational Trust (IoLET), an internationally recognised professional body that awards exemptions from Unit 1 (Written Translation of a General Text) of the Level 7 Diploma in Translation.

We are also a full member of the CIUTI (Conférence Internationale Permanente d’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes), Routes into Languages/Capital L and the National Network for Translation.

Career opportunities

This degree prepares you for career opportunities in translation agencies, national and international governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the European Union, the United Nations, banks and multinational corporations as well as language service providers in general. Many of our graduates work as freelance translators or in an academic setting teaching foreign languages.

The course programme also provides excellent preparation for postgraduate study in specialised translation, interpreting or any other language related area.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum grade C in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic subjects (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma)
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent) or
  • an appropriate Access certificate

We welcome applications from mature candidates without formal qualifications who have relevant experience and can show an ability to study at this level.

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 TRASTU

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
OL0001 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Core 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
OL0002 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Core 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
TR4001 Language, Communication and Culture Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
TR4002 The Translator and Language Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
TR4003 Practical Resources for Translators Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR5001 Translation Process and Procedures Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
TR5002 Translating Text and Culture Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
TR5050 Managing Translation Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
TR5051 Electronic Tools for Translation Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR6002 Specialist Translation Domains Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU EV
TR6051 Theoretical Aspects of Translation Core 15 NORTH AUT WED EV
TR6P03 Translation Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE EV
TR6W01 Working in the Professional Environment Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE EV
          NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
          NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
TR6K50 Interpreting Skills Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT