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 6 YEARS
Part-time 4 YEARS 8 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. Our strong awareness of and belief in social justice allows us to tailor our delivery of modules so that every student feels they are empowered and included as full participants in their learning journey as clearly defined in London Met’s Education Social Justice Framework.

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 them 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 while sharing both their personal experiences as users of various languages and also their cultural knowledge attached to these languages. 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, 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. Lecturers make themselves available to students to allow them to have clear and achievable study goals. This is followed by monitoring their academic progress during the year with appropriate interventions when necessary to give students academic support, guidance and any assistance they might need to achieve their goals. We also refer our students as and when necessary to any other university service (DDS, careers, School Office, income office, visa compliance, counselling, etc).

In addition to this support, the BA Translation course also runs a peer support (PASS) scheme featuring Success Coaches who help mainly but not exclusively our first year students by organising one-to-one as well as group sessions, regularly through the year. Some second year modules also benefit from this scheme which is greatly appreciated by all students.

The BA Translation course also organises various activities such as a yearly visit to the European Commission’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 self confidence and open up employment opportunities.

To sum up, we aim at developing a strong sense of belonging among our students and this is achieved thanks to in-class activities that involve pair and group work not only within specific language combinations but also across language combinations. The course has a few modules that explore in some depth different cultural values, beliefs and identities. Such modules are the best opportunities students have to discuss the diversity of views in our groups according to language, dialect, culture, gender, religion, ethnicity, age, education, family, social class and other diverse aspects. These activities and discussions provide an opportunity to understand “the other” and eventually celebrate the diversity that we have in London Met. All these aspects naturally contribute to achieving a strong sense of belonging, achieving and prospering without any barrier. The university’s Education Social Justice Framework has long been a part of our curriculum and our agenda and continues to be developed further.

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, focusing 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, having learned to demonstrate their ability to act as a confident and socially responsible professional person.

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 translation course will equip students with the skills, attributes and knowledge that will enable them to compete with success in the complex and challenging translation industry environment and employment market. It brings together university and School distinctiveness and it also refers to the
QAA subject benchmark (Languages, Cultures and Societies) as careful mapping of level 6 BA Translation learning outcomes has been undertaken to verify that the learning outcomes match.

The University learning outcome that cuts across the entirety of the London Metropolitan University provision, and thus the BA (Honours) Translation is:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline (ULO)

Thus, upon graduation with an Honours degree in Translation, students will typically be able to:

1. demonstrate accurate understanding and use of established techniques of analysis and enquiry within the Translation discipline (LO1)

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Translation studies (LO2)

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, in the area of Translation, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge (LO3)

4. manage their own learning, and make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to the Translation subject) (LO4)

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and initiate and carry out projects (LO5)

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), make judgements, and frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem (LO6)

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences (LO7)

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in relatively complex and unpredictable contexts (LO8)

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature (LO9).

Principle QAA benchmark statements

“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.”

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

Assessment strategy

Teaching and learning strategies are underpinned by a wide variety of learning ways involving discussions, seminars, individual and group presentations, interactive 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 translations of texts with analytical commentary.

Assessment tools include essays, individual presentations, group presentations, translations, written commentaries, translation portfolios, reflective journals, class tests, essays and 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 translation 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 105 hours for project placement, which can be flexibly arranged in consultation with the employer, and a further estimated 140 hours working on their assignments for the module Researching the Translator’s Professional Environment.

Advice is offered to overseas students to ensure compliance of the work placement with their visa requirement.

Course specific regulations

Part time students will be able to choose up to 90 credits worth of modules and will study alongside their full time peers. These students will be advised by teaching staff as to what modules to choose.

The University’s Academic Regulations will apply. There are no course specific regulations that apply.

Modules required for interim awards


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 Describing Language, Translating Text and Culture, Managing Translation, Work Placement, Interpreting Skills and Translation Project where students have to write reflective statements and reports in relation to their personal development plan.

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:
2. Chartered Institute of Linguists

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, 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.

The array of skills our students acquire while being trained during their studies with us allow them to embrace careers with more self assurance, specific knowledge of how to translate according to the brief they receive, how to meet tight deadlines and perform efficiently in dealing with project management.

Once they graduate, some students work on a freelance basis, others carry on with postgraduate studies in translation, interpreting or opt for a PGCE in languages while the rest embrace jobs in the wider areas and domains of activities.

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 BBC in at least two A levels in academic subjects (or a minimum of 112 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
  • you must be fluent or proficient in both languages

The BA Translation is available in eight language pathways paired with English. We may need to test your language proficiency in your chosen pathway. If this is the case, we will ask you to contact the course leader to arrange to take a test. We may be able to offer you the test via skype.

You may also be asked to contact the course leader for an interview. Please email the tutor to arrange this.

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

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 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 AUT    
OL0002 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Core 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
TR4050 Describing Language Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
TR4051 Cultural Awareness Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
TR4052 The Translator and Language Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH AUT THU AM
TR4053 The Translator and Culture Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
TR4054 Practical Resources for Translators Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
TR4055 Proofreading Skills Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR5052 Translation Process and Procedures Core 15 NORTH AUT THU PM
TR5053 Practical Translation Skills Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
TR5054 Translating Text and Culture 1 Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
TR5055 Translating Text and Culture 2 Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
TR5056 Electronic Tools for Translation Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
TR5057 Managing Translation Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
OL0001 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT    
OL0002 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Alt Core 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR6052 The Translator and Specialisation Core 15 NORTH AUT THU EV
TR6054 Theoretical Aspects of Translation Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE EV
TR6P04 Translation Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED EV
TR6W50 Work Placement Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
TR6W51 Researching the Translator's Professional Envir... Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR TUE EV
OL0001 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Option 15 NORTH AUT    
OL0002 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
TR6053 Translation Dissertation Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
TR6K51 Interpreting Skills Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM