module specification

TR7057 - Subtitling (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Subtitling
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
176 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 60%   Subtitling translation
Coursework 40%   Commentary
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module focuses on one particular audiovisual translation (AVT) mode: Subtitling.
You will be introduced to the main translation-related issues peculiar to subtitling, including methods of dealing with linguistic and non-linguistic elements within the audio-visual text, and taught the basic, transferable practical skills necessary to develop further experience in a professional subtitling environment. Theoretical and example-based instructions in the basic principles of the various issues will be coupled with practical and technically-oriented exercises relating to these principles.

The module aims to enable you to:

  1. Appraise the challenges faced by the translators working with audiovisual material, namely the complex semiotic mix of linguistic and non-linguistic elements;
  2. Develop practical techniques and translation strategies for dealing with these issues as appropriate to subtitled material;
  3. Identify the pros and limitations of subtitling within the context of the target audience culture;
  4. Appreciate the social dimension of audiovisual texts, i.e. the sociocultural context in which audiovisual programmes are produced, the extent to which these convey values, clichès and biases and how much these influence the target audiences’ perception of the world, as well as the translator’s decisions.

If there are no sufficient student numbers to make a module viable , the school reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the School cancels a module it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative

Prior learning requirements

No official pre-requisites but students are advised to be IT literate


The module focuses on the subtitling modality of AVT, although much of the material covered will also be relevant to other modalities such as dubbing and voiceover.The module intends to provide you with an awareness of technical and translational issues peculiar to subtitling (LO1), give you the practical skills necessary to develop further experience in a professional subtitling environment (LO2 and LO3) and support your reflection on social issues triggered by audiovisual programs (e.g. gender, ethnicity) and, consequently, on your role of active agent in instigating positive social changes through your work of translator (LO4).
For this purpose, you will work with a varied range of audiovisual texts (films, documentaries, advertisements).You will be expected to combine your theoretical and practical knowledge in producing a short piece of subtitled work for the assessment. Only one software package will be taught, but the skills learned are expected to be transferable to other programs.

You will also gain experience of working on your own and in group.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module involves a combination of face-to-face and blended learning delivery to keep enhancing your capacity to communicate and exchange work through different mediums. You will get knowledge about the specificities of AVT (more specifically subtitling) through very practical sessions which will entail hands-on exercises with the regular use of a subtitling program, individual and group work, brainstorming and reflective activities and problem-solving tasks. This range of activities is aimed at recreating the scenarios in which professional subtitlers work, to accommodate your different learning styles and to enable you to develop different transferable skills: time management while working to set deadlines, individual and team work, self-reflection on your own and your peers’ work and, more widely, on the whole process.

These activities will attract formative feedback which will support your reflection on what you have been learning in preparation for the summative assessment.
Use of WebLearn will be made regularly for the purpose of sharing material, tasks and submitting assignments.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:
1. Distinguish the challenges faced by the translators working with audiovisual material, i.e. the complex semiotic mix of linguistic (dialogue and other verbal cues) and non-linguistic elements (e.g. movements and expressions, setting, mood, sound);
2. Apply the key practical techniques and translation strategies to deal with these issues (e.g. timing, segmentation, condensation, omission);
3. Develop the capacity to successfully comprise between the pros and limitations of the subtitling mode within the context of the target audiences’ culture;
4. Critically discuss to what extent audiovisual texts are carriers of social values, clichès and biases and how much this impact the target audience’s perception of the world and the translator’s decisions.