Course specification and structure
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PCSPCTRA - PG Certificate Specialised Translation

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Postgraduate Certificate Level Masters
Possible interim awards
Total credits for course 60
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 2 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 4 YEARS
Course leader  

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

The Postgraduate Certificate in Specialised Translation is a vocational programme open to professional translators and suitably qualified graduates who are seeking further qualification and specialised training to enhance their career development and increase their employability. The course aims to equip the students with the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills that would enable them to translate documents produced in specialised domains, with a focus on such fields as advertising, business, IT, law, medicine, politics and institutional documents (international organisations ).
Learning will be delivered in four interrelated and complementary strands: theoretical and specialised knowledge of specialised translation, practical skills and translation competence, experiential learning, and research skills. Running in parallel to the above- mentioned learning processes are language- specific translation seminars, workshops, and individual supervision where the acquired knowledge, competences and skills are applied and reinforced. Training is offered in a range of language combined with English: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch , French , German , Greek , Italian , Japanese, Polish , Portuguese , Spanish and Russian . Specialist/ thematic knowledge is very much at the heart of the training received on the programme and is delivered in lectures and practical seminars which introduce the students to and provide practice opportunities in, such fields as Advertising, Business, IT, Law, Medicine and Politics. Module Translating for International Organisations offers a unique opportunity for students to be trained in the translation of institutional documents produced in the EU and UN contexts.

Digital learning plays a crucial role in the delivery of the programme. In addition to the use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment platform and blended learning, students also learn to use social media and other online tools both for communication purpose and to perform translation work. Such skills help students negotiate their learning experience more efficiently while in training and provide them with tools that enhance their employability and enable them to adapt to various situations in their future career in the translation industry. Moreover, students will have easy access to a well - resourced translation section of the library with resources available to them in hard copy and on-line in electronic form.

The aim of the course is to educate and train well rounded graduates who are inclusive in their outlook, confident, resilient, and socially responsible. These attributes are developed and reinforced through fostering creativity, an essential attribute in translation work, independent and critical thinking through confidence - boosting learning activities and experiential learning.
The course adopts a student- centred and inclusive approach to learning and teaching thanks to its varied and multidisciplinary curriculum, its student - centred teaching and assessment strategies and the flexibility of its delivery (blended learning and full- time and part- time mode). Students are encouraged to play an active role as partners in co - designing, shaping and negotiating their own learning experience, through in- class and in independent study activities that cater for different learning styles such as peer work and peer feedback, individual reflective work etc.

Course aims

The course aims to

• provide students with an opportunity to study, at postgraduate level, practical and theoretical aspects of specialised translation, and in particular to introduce students to the principles of specialised language, characteristics of specialised translation and language characteristics of seven specialised fields and their implications for translation
• develop students’ skills of text analysis in relation to the specialised fields, especially with relation to content, linguistic and cultural differences, text function, syntactic patters, register, style, readership, terminology
• introduce students to the main translation strategies applied to specialised texts and increase students’ awareness of typical translation problems and procedures used to solve them
• provide students with the opportunity to examine critically key methodological issues in the translation of specialised texts and develop their ability to reflect on translations and assess available translation solutions
• provide tuition and training which will allow students to compete as translators/communicators in today’s commercial and industrial world
• promote methods of learning and assessment which provide students with the opportunity to develop self-confidence and the ability to work both independently and co-operatively with others.

The programme was devised with reference to the FHEQ guidelines , the QAA Characteristics Statement for Master’s Degree , QAA subject benchmark statements for Languages, Cultures and Societies and translator training -specific criteria and guidelines such as The European Master’s in Translation Competence Framework 2017 and those provided by the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

Course learning outcomes

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

• have sound understanding of the nature of specialised translation and a good grasp of theoretical and methodological issues and competently use such knowledge effectively to determine their impact on practice (LO1)

• choose and effectively use relevant translation tools and software to research and undertake specialised translation work and execute it to the best required standards (LO2)

• translate documents of different levels of complexity and from various fields of specialisation and be able to explain and justify decisions and choices made during the translational act (LO3)

• demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills and competently use them when performing translations as well as when commenting on performance (LO4)

• be ready to work effectively in the specialised translation market environment and have a wide and critical understanding of its role in translation industry (LO5)

• demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition, and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative, and socially responsible professionals in their discipline (ULO)

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement. Languages, Cultures and Societies December 2019.

“In an increasingly interdependent world, it is essential to be able to work with other languages, cultures and societies. Courses 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. Students are able to study languages, cultures and societies in single or combined honours degrees, as minor subjects or pathways, as elective modules alongside their main subject, and as extracurricular studies.”

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy

The course assessment strategy is informed by the University and the School guidelines, staff expertise, feedback received from external examiners and from employers as well as from the accrediting professional body (the Chartered Institute of Linguists). 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 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 is designed to ensure alignment with module outcomes and learning/ teaching strategy.
• Tasks used in assessment are set to evaluate relevant skills be they academic, professional, practical, and theoretical.
• Assessment is appropriately scheduled so that it is manageable for students while being timely.
• Assessment is varied and inclusive in the sense that it is designed to address student diversity in terms of learning styles, abilities (practical translation tasks, commentaries and annotations on translation work).
• Feedback is comprehensive and constructive and provides opportunities for students to consolidate learning and improve performance.
• Students receive timely feedback that enable them to discuss the outcome with their tutors, learn from their past performance and incorporate the new knowledge in their learning and in their preparation of subsequent assignments. This is of particular importance to those who have to submit their work for reassessment.
• Student work is first marked according to clearly articulated and transparent criteria while moderation, both internal and external, ensures consistency of marking and adherence to quality standards.

Further information:
TR7086 Characteristics of Specilised Texts is a 20- credit module, assessed with a 1.800-word piece of coursework. The assignment consists of practice – based tasks that assess student knowledge and skills in decoding specialised texts and preparing them for transfer (translation). Although the suggested word count is shorter that the recommended tariff, it is believed to be appropriate, given the practical nature of the assignment and the multiple tasks carried out by the students.

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

Experiential learning is acquired through various activities and events scheduled on the course. In addition the guest speakers from the translation industry and the field work visit to the EU Directorate General of Translation in Brussels, students attend employability workshops organised by the university and take part while still in training, in translating real life projects, a valuable learning and confidence boosting experience and a professional achievement to include to their curriculum vitae.

Course specific regulations

Year 1
Autumn semester
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts core
Spring semester
TR7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text core (can be taken in the autumn semester or the spring semester).

Year 2
Autumn semester
R7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text core (If not taken in the autumn semester).
Spring semester
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations core

Modules required for interim awards

Postgraduate Diploma in Translation:
To gain the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation, students need to take three extra 20 credit modules from the following: TR7085, TR7042, TR7W01, TR7089 or TR7057.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflective learning runs across the programme and is part and parcel of each module. It is included in various activities performed face to face in class or online on the University virtual learning platform 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 as well as when discussing translation performance in class. Reflective skills are also developed through writing annotations and commentaries on translation tasks.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

The European Master’s in Translation Competence Framework 2017

The Chartered Institute of Linguists

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The experiential learning mentioned above in section 19 will undoubtedly provide the students with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and awareness of the translator’s professional environment and of translation as a profession. It also enables students to further develop their soft skills such as CV writing, interview skills, work ethics, project management, communication, and business skills.

The knowledge and skills acquired on the course will enable students and generalist translators to embark on the translation of specialised texts. They will also enhance student translation competence in existing areas of specialism or offer an opportunity to diversify /add to their areas of expertise. This will, in turn, enrich their professional profile and boost their employability.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Specialised Translation can also offer an opportunity to pursue further study and professional development through gaining a higher qualification in translation such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation or the MA

Career opportunities

The translation industry is a popular sector around the world and skilled translators are highly sought after. Our graduates have gone on to work as freelance or in-house translators with translation service providers, governmental bodies, international organisations and the business sector, to name a few examples.

You could also go on to study on one of our below master’s programmes and progress to PhD level, or even consider teaching.

Entry requirements

You’ll be required to have:

  • a relevant undergraduate degree with a minimum grade of 2:1 in either translation, interpreting, modern languages or a related field
  • native knowledge of English
  • near native proficiency in your chosen paired language

If you have extensive industry experience but no formal qualifications, you may still be considered following an interview and entrance exam.

If you’re an international applicant, you’ll be required to have an IELTS overall score of 6.5, with no component score less than 6.0. You’ll also need to meet the DfE entry qualification requirements or equivalents.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2021/22 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 06 Jul 2021 Last validation date 06 Jul 2021  
JACS codes 101130 (translation studies): 100%
Route code SPCTRA

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Core 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
TR7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text Core 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
          NORTH AUT TUE PM