module specification

TR7P79 - Independent Research Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Independent Research Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
268 hours Guided independent study
32 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   5,000-10,000 word Dissertation, normally around 7,500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module involves critical reflection, research and academic writing, linking translation practice to theoretical notions drawn from the field of translation studies and related areas. The module offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and awareness of current theoretical and methodological issues in the discipline. Students produce a 5,000-10,000 word dissertation, which should communicate and evaluate the investigations undertaken in a clear, creative and scholarly manner. The module runs with co-requisite TR7P78.

Assessment is 100% CWK: Dissertation.

Prior learning requirements

Co-requisite: TR7P78

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

• To enable students to formulate a relevant research proposal and complete a dissertation which includes an evaluative review of existing literature, and to examine critically key methodological issues in the field, through specific perspectives and/or interdisciplinary work in theory;
• To enable students to develop the skills necessary to plan and execute relevant research which deals with complex issues both systematically and creatively;
• To develop students’ abilities to communicate their research ideas and outcomes clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences in an appropriate written register and form;
• To provide students with the opportunity to develop self-confidence and the ability to work and learn independently; transferable skills which are required for continuing professional development.


The Independent Research Project, is the eighth and final module of MA Translation and builds, in particular, upon the insights and knowledge gained in Theoretical Issues in Translation. Students are prepared for researching and writing their dissertations though a series of seminars which introduce them to the specific requirements of the module and develop relevant research skills. Students define a working title and their research question(s) and are allocated an individual supervisor once their written project proposal has been discussed and approved. Students then agree a timetable with their supervisor and are asked to submit written drafts of their work prior to each tutorial. Supervision is available from May to July. Students work independently to finalise their research and writing during August and submit the dissertation (along with the Personal Development Portfolio, bound in as an appendix) by the specified, University-wide September deadline.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered through a combination of seminars, individual tutorials, a library research skills workshop and e-learning materials accessible via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. A Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) is integrated into the Dissertation and comprises 5 separate pieces of formative/diagnostic student work (Annotated Bibliography; Project Proposal Document; 3 x Supervision Reports). The PDP is not assessed, but formative feedback is given on the first two pieces of work, which are submitted in January and March respectively. This timing allows for the staged development of the Portfolio and of the research project itself.

In addition to the contact time and the directed activities, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed, independent study for the module.

Students who are permitted to study in distance-learning mode (following discussions with Course and Module leaders and based on their performance in Semester 1) may undertake the latter part of this module in this way, but must commit to communicating regularly with the Module Leader and with their supervisor.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of current theoretical and methodological approaches and produce a project which locates their research in the context of existing theoretical literature in translation studies;
2. Design and undertake substantial investigations to address significant areas of translation theory and practice and reflect  systematically and creatively on the interface between the two; 
3. Carry out the analysis of complex data, draw appropriate conclusions and effectively communicate  the implications of their research within the time and word limits imposed;
4. Act with initiative to implement and evaluate improvements to their performance and independent learning.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed 100% by summative coursework (the Dissertation), however, two of the components of the PDP (the Annotated Bibliography and the Project Proposal Plan) provide opportunities for formative/diagnostic assessment and feedback, as do the three individual supervision tutorials. This formative/diagnostic assessment and feedback is staged in order to allow for ongoing development and enhanced learning over the course of the module.


Baker, M. (ed.) (1998) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London: Routledge.
Hatim, B. (2001) Teaching and Researching Translation. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
Hermans, T. (ed.) (2002), Crosscultural Transgressions: Research Models in Translation Studies II: historical and ideological issues. Manchester: St Jerome.
Katan, D. (2003) Translating Cultures, an Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators. Manchester: St Jerome.
Munday, J. (2008) Introducing Translation Studies; Theories and Applications. London: Routledge.
Pym, A. (2010) Exploring Translation Theories. London: Routledge.
Schäffner, Christina (ed.) (2004)Translation Research and Interpreting Research: Traditions, Gaps and Synergies. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Shuttleworth, M. and Cowie M. (1997) Dictionary of Translation Studies. Manchester: St Jerome.
Thomas, R. M. and Brubaker D.L. (2000), Theses and Dissertations, A Guide to Planning, Research and Writing. London: Bergin & Jarvey.
Venuti, L. (ed.) (2004), The Translation Studies Reader. London: Routledge.
Williams, J. and Chesterman A. (2002) The Map, A Beginner’s Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Manchester: St. Jerome
Zanettin, F. et. al. (eds) (2003), Corpora in Translator Education. Manchester: St Jerome.