Translation Studies MA

This programme offers you the opportunity to explore the main issues in the discipline of translation studies and constitutes a sound academic basis for a doctoral programme.

Why Surrey?

The MA Translation Studies caters for students with an interest in translation studies in all its aspects (translation, interpreting, audiovisual translation, intermodal translation) rather than those with a more targeted professional orientation.

Programme overview

The programme provides a particular focus for research-oriented applicants who have set out with a clear goal of moving from Masters to PhD in Translation Studies. It is also of interest to those who are attracted by the more reflective perspective of translation studies as an academic discipline rather than by translation, subtitling or interpreting practice. The programme is therefore envisaged not only as a stand-alone Masters programme but also as part of a package leading to our doctoral programme.

The primary aims of this Masters programme are to provide an overview of the principal issues in the fast-growing field of translation studies, with a strong element of problematisation and criticality, and to prepare you for independent research. The range of choice in the optional modules is indicative of the widening landscape of translation studies as a discipline.

Programme structure

The taught part of the programme is divided into eight modules. Taught modules are worth 15 credits, which is indicative of 150 hours of learning, comprised of classroom time, private study and assessment. The practice-based modules on this programme are offered in English paired with Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, according to demand. In addition to the programme’s compulsory modules, you will be able to select two optional modules according to your specific interests. Semester 1 options marked ‘I’ must be paired up with equally named semester 2 options marked ‘II’. The programme offers 24/7 access to computer labs and the latest professional subtitling and audio description software.

  Module title Compulsory/Optional Credits
Semester 1 Translation Issues I C 15
  Computer-Assisted Translation O 15
  Translation of Persuasive Texts O 15
  Translating Cultures O 15
  Interpreting Studies O 15
  Audiovisual Translation Issues* O 15
  Interlingual Subtitling I* O 15
  Monolingual Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing I O 15
  Audio Description for the Blind and Partially Sighted I* O 15
  Economics/Business Translation I* O 15
  Scientific/technical translation I* O 15
  Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes I O 15
Semester 2 Translation Issues II C 15
  Research Methods in Translation Studies O 15
  Applied Linguistic Principles* O 15
  Issues in Literary Translation O 15
  Monolingual Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing II O 15
  Audio Description for the Blind and Partially Sighted II* O 15
  Economics/Business Translation II* O 15
  Scientific/technical translation II* O 15
  Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes II O 15
Summer Dissertation C 60

*Module available according to demand

Module overview

The modules are led by research and have been designed to respond to the contemporary concerns of the industry. You may, for example, broaden your view on different types of translation and communication in various institutional settings or extend your translation language portfolio.

Translation Issues I

This module provides you with a framework for understanding important aspects of translation and translating, drawing on key concepts from text linguistics, semiotics and text processing, as well as terminology studies.

Computer-Assisted Translation

This module provides an introduction to computer-assisted tools for translators, from machine translation to terminology-management and translation-memory systems. It is mostly a hands-on module taught in a computer lab with individual workstations for each student, but the module also raises awareness to the implications, advantages and disadvantages of computer-assisted translation tools.

Persuasive Texts

In this module you will learn how persuasive texts are structured with an aim to changing a recipient’s behaviour. The main focus is advertising discourse in various forms. You will learn how audiovisual, printed and online adverts function and how they can be effectively translated. The module is suitable for students with different language backgrounds.

Translating Cultures

This module focuses on the role culture plays in translation. The module will focus on the linguistic and cultural resources employed by translators in their attempt to serve as mediators of messages, thus helping in the construction of global, national and institutional identities. Examples are offered from the areas of literature, tourism, politics and journalism. The module is suitable for students with different language backgrounds.

Interpreting Studies

This module provides you with a systematic framework for understanding the major principles of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision-making and production processes involved in interpreting. Building on analysis of different interpreting situations, the module offers a critical overview of the main theoretical underpinnings of Interpreting Studies, which help you to identify common interpreting challenges and develop relevant strategies and solutions.

Audiovisual Translation Issues

This module, which assumes no prior knowledge of languages other than English, is intended to give you an insight into the diversity of human communication systems found throughout the world. In order to understand how language works, we need to examine the variety of systems to be found, some of which differ drastically from what we know and what we might expect.

Interlingual Subtitling I & II

In these modules, students will learn how to produce subtitles approaching a professional standard for a range of genres including feature films, documentaries, news broadcasts, popular TV dramas and shows. The focus will be on acquiring advanced skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, sound, text) and developing strategies for translating film dialogue into written-language subtitles using professional subtitle software.

Monolingual Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing I & II

In these modules you will learn how to produce intralingual subtitles in order to meet the needs of SDH viewers. The focus will be on acquiring advanced skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, sound, text) and developing strategies for translating film dialogue into written-language subtitles using professional subtitle software.

Audio Description for the Blind and Partially Sighted I & II

In audio description, additional narrative is inserted in films, TV programmes or theatre performances to describe actions, body language and other essential details in order to increase the comprehension and enjoyment of audiovisual contents for blind and partially sighted people. The focus will be on acquiring skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, image, text), developing strategies for transferring visual information into verbal language and learning to use AD software to produce descriptions approaching a professional standard.

Economic/Business Translation I & II

These language-pair-specific modules are taught by professional translators and provide students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in economics/business with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. Semester 1 begins with practical introductory sessions on translation methodology, then progresses to regular translation practice in smaller groups, which carries on into semester 2. Alongside this there are weekly lectures on the underlying principles of economics and applied economics.

Scientific/Technical Translation I & II

These language-pair-specific modules are taught by professional translators and provide students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in science/technology with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. Semester 1 begins with practical introductory sessions on translation methodology, then progresses to regular translation practice in smaller groups, which carries on into semester 2. Alongside this there are weekly background lectures on the underlying principles of science and technology.

Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes I & II

Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes provides you with the chance to study Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian for translation purposes. It is particularly useful for students with only one foreign language who wish to expand their portfolio of translation languages. By the end of semester 2, you will have the basis for independent professional development in the chosen language.

Translation Issues II

This module offers a critical overview of the main theoretical premises that underpin various approaches to Translation Studies. It offers you the opportunity to use relevant conceptual tools when tackling specific translation tasks as well as develop a framework of analysing and discussing translation activity in general. The issues discussed in class are organised chronologically, examining the most recent trends in TS and thematically, offering a problem-focused strand (equivalence, translation shifts, register, power struggles and so on).

Research Methods in Translation

This module provides you with the means to initiate and carry out own research projects in Translation Studies. It will help you to understand of how to link research questions with methods and data, and will enable you to present the outcomes of your research in an effective way. You will also develop critical reading and evaluation skills.

Applied Linguistic Principles

Drawing on pragmatic models of communication, this module will help you to develop an understanding of how verbal language and other modes of communication are used for the creation and comprehension of meaning.

Issues in Literary Translation

In this module you will be introduced to key critical considerations and creative and technical decisions faced by translators of literary works. Examples are offered from the areas of poetry, fiction, comic books and film. The module is suitable for students with different language backgrounds.

Background lectures

You will also attend a selection of background lectures (e.g. Applied Economics; Principles of Science and Technology), following the pattern that we use in other CTS MA Translation programmes, where practice-based translation modules are currently supplemented by background lectures.

Dissertation

For the MA, the dissertation (60 credits) allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest by writing a topic-based dissertation, or by doing a subtitling/audio description project with commentary. Successful completion of the module requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

CTS Translation Seminar series

You will also have access to the MA Translation Seminars, a series of guest talks given by external guest speakers and open to all CTS Masters and PhD students. The talks provide students with insights into the profession from the perspective of practitioners and scholars. The guest speakers include translators, interpreters, subtitles, audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researchers.

Study workload

Teaching: 10–12 hours per week
Private study: 28–30 hours per week
Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours over three months

Study mode

This MA programme is offered in full-time mode and is studied over one year. On successful completion of the programme, you can be awarded a PG Diploma (120 credits) or Master’s degree (180 credits), and can then enter the professional market. You can also become full members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and/or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. The PG Diploma usually takes nine months if studied full time. The Postgraduate Certificate is an exit award only and requires students to achieve 60 credits in selected modules.

No components of the programme are contracted out to another educational institution or involve the exchange of students for a period of study.

Professional recognition

Students may join the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) as student members.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme director

Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas

Find out more

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions Enquiries:

+44-(0)1483-682-222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

Programme facts

Type of programme:

MA

Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 24 months

Start date:

Sep 2015

Entry Requirements

Native English speakers: A minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree – or equivalent – in a relevant language or other relevant subject. Speakers of other languages: an equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject. Non-native speakers of English will also have to meet the English language requirements specified for this programme.

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English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component:

Reading: 6.0
Writing: 7.0
Speaking: 6.0
Listening: 6.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2015 £6,600 £13,300
Part-time Sep 2015 £3,300 £6,700

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2015/16 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes

Funding

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumni of Surrey you could be eligible for a 10% discount on our Taught Masters programme fees.

For more details

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