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 3 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

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

The MA Translation is a programme designed for those who wish to start or advance a career in specialised translation. To this end the course equips students with the specialised knowledge and skills needed to translate in various specialist domains such as Medicine, law, business and advertising, IT and politics and to acquire experience in such specialisations as subtitling, localization and translating for international organisations. Students also learn to use essential translation tools and software that enhance their employability and enable them to adapt to the fast-changing landscape of the translation industry. Training is offered in a range of language combined with English: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch , French , German , Greek , Italian , Japanese, Polish , Portuguese , Spanish and Russian.

The programme welcomes students from various backgrounds. Its diverse student population offers a unique multicultural and multilingual learning experience that develops an understanding of diversity and inclusiveness. Moreover, the course fosters students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural and linguistic differences and equip them with the knowledge and the skills to mediate and enable communication among specialists in a multicultural and multilingual world.

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, promoting independent and critical thinking through confidence - boosting learning activities and offering opportunities of experiential learning and work experience through work placement with employers. Students will develop awareness of professional and social responsibility and work ethics, while on work placement or when volunteering as translators with various NGOs and charities.

The course adopts a student- centred and inclusive approach to learning 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 will be 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, debates and discussions, individual reflective work, individual and group presentations etc. They will also be offered an opportunity to have input in the choice of learning material, enabling them to work with learning resources that reflects their interests and their cultural specificities.

Students will acquire relevant knowledge and a wide range of competences and skills, delivered in four interrelated and complementary strands: theoretical and specialised knowledge of translation, practical skills and translation competence, translator’s professional environment and research skills. Running in parallel to the above- mentioned learning processes are translation language- specific modules where the acquired knowledge, competences and skills are applied and reinforced in practical translation seminars workshops and individual supervision led by field and language specialists.

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 translation in such fields as advertising, business, IT, law, medicine and politics. The further specialised and software-based modules of Subtitling and Website and Software Localisation enable students to acquire more practice in translation and introduce them to new translation modes and novel skills. Translating for International Organisations is a unique opportunity for the 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 (translation tools). Such skills will help the 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 the various situations in their future career in the translation industry.

In addition to academic and translation knowledge and skills, students will be equipped with generic/ soft skills such as teamwork, planning and time management, organisational skills, CV writing and attending interviews.

Course aims

The course aims deliver an academically rigorous programme of study, which provides students with the opportunity to study the major disciplines in Translation and to relate these to the professional practice. To this end, the programme promotes the use of a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods, which develop the students’ intellectual abilities, self-confidence, and ability to study independently.

The course aims to

• provide students with an opportunity to study, at postgraduate level, practical and theoretical aspects of translation, culture, and specialised fields
• provide an understanding of the development of translation theory, translation practice, and of the cultural contexts in which they are evolving
• give students the opportunity to examine critically key methodological issues in their discipline, through specific perspectives and/or interdisciplinary work in theory
• provide a variety of perspectives from which students can widen their critical understanding of currently dominant assumptions and their knowledge of the market which they are preparing to enter
• harmonise with and contribute to the University ethos and perspectives, which encourages the development of an international dimension, encourages the development of learning technologies, and is receptive to students’ needs and interests
• provide tuition and training which will allow students to compete as translators/communicators in today’s commercial and industrial world
• promote methods of teaching, 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 has been 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 extensive knowledge and understanding of the broad range of areas of Translation (LO1).

• have sound understanding of the nature of translation and its main concepts and deal with the complexity of the translation process by researching on perspectives from Translation Studies and related discipline (LO2)

• 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 (LO3)

• have good grasp of theoretical and methodological issues in translation and use such knowledge effectively to determine their impact on practice (LO4)

• choose and effectively use relevant translation tools and software to research and undertake translation work and execute it to the best required standards (LO5)

• 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 (LO6)

• undertake relevant research in Translation Studies according to the required academic standards and effectively communicate its implication in the field (LO7)

• demonstrate application and ability to reflect on creative thinking to practical problems, and possess the analytical and organizational skills to translate creative ideas to operational solutions (LO8)

• possess extensive communication skills that will help them adopt a global and multicultural perspective in their professional context (LO9)

• be critically cognizant of the effects of the social and environmental of their decisions and will remain active citizens of the places they live and work (LO10).

• have the confidence needed to take leadership decisions in challenging situations (LO11)

• 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 (essays, practical translation tasks, commentaries and annotations on translation work, report on work placement, translation projects and MA dissertation)
• 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:
1) TR7P79 Independent Research Project is a 30 -credit module, assessed with an 8.000 - 10.000 - word dissertation. Although higher than the standard tariff for a 30- credit module, the required word count allows the students to fully explore their research topic and enables them to investigate it in depth.

2) 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

Our graduates are fully employable and familiar with their future professional environment thanks to the course focus on employability and experiential learning. The compulsory work placement, the guest speakers from the translation industry, the field work visit to the EU commission translation services in Brussels and accreditation by professional bodies all contribute to educating and training well - rounded graduates and give them a head start in the competitive translation market. Moreover, the work placement prepares students to operate efficiently as confident members of the translation professional community, work collaboratively with others and give back to the community through voluntary translation work with NGOs, charities, and refugee centres.
The compulsory work placement offers an introduction to real-life translation situations in the setting of a TSP (translation service providers/ translation agency). While on work placement, students perform various types of translation, terminology and project management jobs and other translation related assignments usually undertaken by professional translators, under the supervision of a professional mentor.
Students produce a reflective and critical report in which they discuss and evaluating their work placement experience.

Course specific regulations

Year 1
Autumn semester
TR7085 The Translator and the Translation Process Core
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts Core
Spring semester
TR7087 The translator and the Specialised Text Core
TR7042 Translation Tools and the Translator Core

Year 2
Autumn semester
TR7W01 Placement for Employability Skills Core
TR7P78 Independent Translation Project Core
Spring semester
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option - Default module
TR7089 Website and Software Localisation Option
TR7057 Subtitling Option
Summer study period
TR7P79 Independent Research Project Core

Modules required for interim awards

Postgraduate Diploma in Translation:
TR7085, TR7086, TR7087, TR7042, TR7W01 and one of the three following modules:
TR7084, TR7089 or TR7057.

Postgraduate Certificate in Translation
Any combination of three modules from the following: TR7085, TR7086, TR7087 and TR042.

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 or during supervisory meetings. Reflective skills are also developed through writing annotations and extended commentaries on translation tasks and are 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 reflective supervision reports).

Other external links providing expertise and experience

The European Master’s in Translation Competence Framework 2017

The Chartered Institute of Linguists

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

The programme is accredited through its Independent Translation Project module by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) an internationally recognised professional body. The accreditation offers successful students exemption from one of the three units of the exam leading to the Institute’s own Diploma of Translation (DipTrans).

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

As mentioned above in section 19 above, students perform various employability enhancing activities and attend events specifically scheduled to prepare them for their future career in the translation industry and to give them a head start in this competitive market. The work placement provides an opportunity to acquire further knowledge and skills in a real life-learning environment, undertaking a variety of tasks and assignments usually performed by professional translators such as translation, terminology management, project management, transcreation, localisation, subtitling to name a few . The work placement also offers students an opportunity to learn essential skills such as professionalism, workplace relationships, effective teamwork, communicating positively, work planning, problem solving, work ethics and Health & Safety. Every year a number of students are offered permanent positions with employers while they are still on work placement with them.

Experiential learning gained through pro bono translation work performed for charities is an excellent opportunity to accumulate the translation experience so often required of junior translators entering the translation job market and to prepare for the transition to formal work with employers. Students also take part while still in training, in translating real life projects, a valuable learning and confidence boosting experience and professional l achievement to include to their curriculum vitae.

Lectures and employability workshop develop students’ awareness of the translator’s professional environment and equip them with essential soft skills such as CV writing, interview skills, work ethics, project management, communication, and business skills. The invited professional speakers’ series and the yearly visit to the Directorate General of Translation in Brussels are opportunities to learn the ropes of the profession from experts and rub shoulders with seasoned translators.

Accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Linguists, a quality label delivered to successful, will enhance
students’ profiles and boost their employability with future employers. Moreover, students are encouraged to prepare for and sit entry / aptitude exams organised by international organisations such as the United Nations.

Graduates of the programme start their career working as in-house translators with translation services providers (translation agencies) or doing freelance work. Others work as translators in companies, international and multinational organisations (UN or EU agencies), governmental bodies and news corporations (such as the BBC World Service). Some of the course graduates are employed as terminologists and translation project managers and other re-join the programme as language - specific translation tutors after a few years working as translators in the industry. The course is also an excellent preparation for further research degrees (Ph.D.).

Career opportunities

This course will prepare you for different professions in the translation industry (translator, translation project manager, editor, proof-reader, localiser, subtitling). Graduates of this course have become freelance translators or in-house translators in EU and international institutions, multinational companies, news corporations, NGOs, government bodies and many more.

Some of our 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 will be required. Applicants with substantial work experience in translation but no first degree will also be considered)
  • native knowledge of the native language, English
  • 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

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  
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
TR7086 Characteristics of Specialised Texts Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
TR7087 The Translator and the Specialised Text Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE PM
          NORTH SPR MON EV
TR7W01 Placement for Employability Skills Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE EV
          NORTH AUT TUE EV
TR7P78 Independent Translation Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT WED EV
          NORTH SPR WED PM
TR7P79 Independent Research Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT TUE EV
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR TUE PM
TR7057 Subtitling Option 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
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        
TR7W01 Placement for Employability Skills Core 20        
TR7P78 Independent Translation Project Alt Core 30        
TR7P79 Independent Research Project Alt Core 30        
TR7057 Subtitling Option 20        
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option 20        
TR7089 Website and Software Localisation Option 20