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Translation - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

A globalised world has warranted a growing trend in the need for translators. The Translation BA degree will engage you with all aspects of technical translation as well as some aspects of literary translation, focussing on practical work and the professional skills needed for a successful career in translation.

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Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIOL), this vocational degree provides excellent grounding in language, culture mediation, and translation theory and practice. Enjoy the opportunity to translate multimedia texts such as advertisements, comic strips, songs and films, as well as documents from specialist areas including finance, law, IT and medicine.

We'll equip you with the transferable professional skills required in the translation industry and give you an in-depth knowledge of translation theories, methods and procedures. You'll also study interpreting skills and learn about the various techniques used in liaison interpreting within business settings.

As part of the degree you'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement where you can benefit from our links with the EU Directorate General for Translation, Moscow State University, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, the British Council and the United Nations.

This Translation BA course offers English language combined with French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, German, Polish or Russian.

In particular cases, there may be the possibility to learn a further foreign language outside your translation pair.

We also organise an extensive programme of industry speakers, professional translators, interpreters and IT specialists.

The translation technology software that we use on our courses include:

Assessment

You'll be assessed via coursework, class tests, exams, individual and group presentations, a translation portfolio, a translation project and commentary.

Professional accreditation

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.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum grade C in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic subjects (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent) or
  • an appropriate Access certificate

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

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the study of language, its various components and their description. It also focuses on the importance and impact of cultural differences in intercultural exchanges. The module aims at providing a solid foundation in the understanding of human communication, cultural and linguistic diversity. Lectures and seminars are designed to encourage student autonomy and participation and to develop the range of skills needed for effective study and achievement.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module focuses on developing research and documentation skills as well as evaluative competencies crucial to work as a translator. The focus of the module is on two aspects of translation:
    1) Translation as a process. Students will be exposed to the use of monolingual/bilingual dictionaries and glossaries, and of a variety of other (paper and internet-based) translation resources. As translation trainees, they are expected to be working actively with these resources from the beginning of their course and learn to understand the limitations that such resources present as well as the advantages they offer.
    2) Translation as a product. Students are expected to use the above-mentioned research skills developed to check the accuracy of the final product. In view of this, they will be trained to edit their own and the others’ translations in terms of style, structure, content and accuracy.
    The module is practice-based and this is reflected in the teaching method.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This practical module explores the relationship of the translator to language. In the first part, the module focuses on cultural concepts and culture bound language: specific aspects of culture are addressed, analysed and discussed as to what problems they might pose in the translation into different languages. In typical areas of culture bound language such as names, geographical references, political and educational institutions, figurative language etc., students are introduced to practical translation procedures which are used to translate such language, and the terminology relating to it. In the second half, the module introduces students to language as grammar and, specifically, to grammar concepts and grammatical equivalence. In addition, students are introduced to aspects of practical translation by concentrating on those areas in their language pair, which are characterised by both non-equivalence and culture-bound items. The module familiarises students with both grammatical and culture bound ‘translation problems’, and introduces them to the most appropriate ways of transfer.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    In this module students will develop advanced language skills and work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B1 in the first semester and B2 in the second) Students will learn how to use Arabic in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends students’ ability to use grammatical structures and vocabulary accurately. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    In this module students will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1) In the first semester. In the second semester they will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level C2) Students will learn how to use French in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials. The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module is designed for students to advance their English language skills up to the level required for their study. The module focuses on improving students’ English language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. There is a strong focus on vocabulary development, language accuracy and acquiring effective learning strategies.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module is designed to advance the students’ English language skills to Proficiency level for their academic study and to develop their reading comprehension and their analytical expertise. There is an emphasis on lexical development and autonomous learning.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    In this module students will develop advanced French language skills and work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B1 in the first semester and B2 in the second) Students will learn how to use French in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends students’ ability to use grammatical structures and vocabulary accurately. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday

    In this module students will WORK towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1) In the first semester. In the second semester they will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level C2) Students will learn how to use French in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials. The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    In this module students will develop advanced language skills and work towards becoming independent users of Spanish. (CEFR Level B1 in the first semester and B2 in the second) Students will learn how to use Spanish in a wide range of contexts both personally and professionally, through practical class activities focusing on authentic language use. There will be a particular emphasis on developing reading and writing skills, as well as oral, listening and intercultural skills. The course extends students’ ability to use a wide range of grammatical structures and vocabulary accurately. In addition, cultural aspects of Spanish speaking countries will be studied.
    The course is structured around class time, independent learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    In this module students will develop advanced Spanish language skills and work to becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1 level in the first semester and C1/C2 in the second). Students will learn how to use Spanish in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of Spanish speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module develops students’ knowledge of the range of electronic tools available for translation. It familiarises them with the principles and methods of Automatic / Computer / Human-assisted translation systems and compares and evaluates these in terms of their relevance for the practice of translating. The focus is on machine translation (MT), post-editing and translation environment tools (TEnTs); students will work closely with a variety of packages, both theoretically and practically, and will compare their features. As well as receiving theoretical instruction, students will develop their skills through "hands-on" sessions that emphasise the "real world" translation environment.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    In response to a growing professionalisation of the translation industry, this module offers students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with aspects of managing the translation process from the perspective of various agents in the translation workflow. It covers aspects such as types of work in the translation industry and skills and abilities required to perform them, opportunities and challenges when entering the translation market, and professional responsibility and ethical standards in various roles in the translation industry.
    By providing an employability component within the translation course, this module complements linguistic and cultural knowledge of translation students develop in other modules and prepares them to become reflective and responsible professionals in the translation industry.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module focuses on developing the analytical and interpretive reading and writing skills which are a necessary and integral part of the translation process. The module aims to raise students’ awareness of the important role that cultures play in the ways that we process and produce texts. In the first part of the module, advanced reading competence will be developed through an examination of complex theoretical concepts, as seen operating in a variety of written contexts. Interpretative and productive skills related to students' individual competence in written domain-specific language will also be developed, through practical exercises aimed at improving nuanced expression and register-dependent paraphrasing. In the second part of the module, the focus is on the examination of some of the key concepts which affect the ways that texts operate within the cultures and societies that produce them. This is achieved through analyses of existing translations as texts produced within specific cultural contexts. The theoretical/practical nature of this module is reflected in the teaching structure, with the aim of fostering of transferable translation-specific skills.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module explores the translation process and procedures, including aspects of ST analysis and text typology. The module focuses on the components of translation, its stages and the mechanisms underlying it. It introduces students to techniques for a strategic source text analysis which help them to anticipate translation problems. Students will be familiarised with the relevance of extra and intra-textual features of the source text to the translation process. They will be required to use appropriate meta-language to describe and discuss translation problems and to explain and justify the translation procedures adopted to solve them.
    Students will draw on the theory of anticipating and solving translation problems in language-specific practical sessions, where they will be translating a wide variety of text types into and out of English.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    In this module students will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1) In the first semester. In the second semester they will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level C2) Students will learn how to use French in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials. The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module is designed to advance the students’ English language skills to Proficiency level for their academic study and to develop their reading comprehension and their analytical expertise. There is an emphasis on lexical development and autonomous learning.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday

    In this module students will WORK towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1) In the first semester. In the second semester they will work towards becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level C2) Students will learn how to use French in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of French speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials. The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    In this module students will develop advanced Spanish language skills and work to becoming autonomous users of the target language. (CEFR Level B2/C1 level in the first semester and C1/C2 in the second). Students will learn how to use Spanish in a wide range of contexts, with appropriate register. The course further extends the accurate use of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It also focuses on intercultural communication skills and cultural aspects of Spanish speaking countries.
    The course is structured around class time, autonomous learning and guided WebLearn materials.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module expands students’ skills in cross-linguistic and intercultural mediation by introducing them to essential interpreting skills, required in selected professional contexts. It will cover generic sessions on the nature of various types of interpreting and modes of delivery which are widely used in professional situations in the business world. The module will develop skills for liaison interpreting, to facilitate dialogue and discussions between speakers who cannot speak each other’s language.
    The generic sessions will be followed by practical sessions providing students with ample opportunities to acquire and develop relevant skills including memorising, note taking and communication.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday

    In this module, students are exposed to the specific requirements for the translation of texts belonging to specialist areas such as business, media, IT, law, multimedia areas such as television programmes, video games, comics, and the literary field such as the translation of children literature, fiction, theatre and poetry. Students are introduced to the characteristics of texts from these specialist domains and are familiarised with types, terminology, stylistic features, structure and the constraints imposed by the medium on the translation process. The module will therefore focus on two main domains, encompassing specialist areas and fields:

    1. Technical/Applied Domains
    2. Multimedia/Literary Domains

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday

    This module is a generic, non language-specific module which focuses on students’ knowledge of the main theoretical trends and approaches in translation. It facilitates students’ grasp of the main translation theories, and addresses the role of theory in shaping translation practice. Throughout, students are requested to evaluate different translation theories and reflect critically on how these theories support the translator. Seminar discussion and student presentations will address questions such as: Are all theories useful for all kinds of translation? What aspects of translation do specific theories address? How does translation theory influence the translation product? In which context do the theories operate?

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday
    • all year (September start) - Thursday

    This module allows students to complete an extended translation and write a commentary on it. They will be expected to know how to find a text of appropriate level of specialisation and length for translation into the chosen target language. Students are shown how and where to search for appropriate texts in terms of difficulty, length and degree of specialisation, how to work independently on the choice of text, preparation of translation, production of commentary under the guidance of their language-specific lecturer, and they are expected to use feedback to improve and develop their project. Students will at all times be expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently, seek advice from appropriate sources (supervisor, peers, colleagues, etc) and make constructive use of feedback. They are also expected to translate the text to a professional standard of accuracy, identify and make use of appropriate research, apply searching and documentation strategies and use appropriate translation tools. Students will analyse the text and write a commentary on it and the translation process.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday

    This module offers an introduction to real-life translation situations in the setting of a Translation Service Provider (TSP). To complement the students’ placement experience, employment-related workshops run by translation practitioners will be delivered to develop further knowledge of the characteristics of the translator’s professional environment.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 3) modules include:

  • Language, Communication and Culture
  • The Translator and Language
  • Practical Resources for Translators
  • First Foreign Language: English Language Advanced or English Language Proficiency
  • or French stage 3 intensive or French stage 4 intensive
  • or Spanish stage 3 intensive or Spanish stage 4 intensive
  • or Arabic stage 3 intensive or Arabic stage 4 intensive

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Translation Process and Procedures
  • Translating Text and Culture
  • First Foreign Language: English Language Proficiency
  • or French stage 4 intensive
  • or Spanish stage 4 intensive
  • or Arabic stage 4 intensive
  • Electronic Tools for Translation
  • Managing Translation

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Working in the Professional Environment
  • Specialist Translation Domains
  • Translation Project
  • Interpreting Skills
  • Theoretical Aspects of Translation

"I could not better express how essential the BA in translation is to anyone wishing to embark on a career within the translation industry. I look back on my academic experience and feel that the course has provided me with invaluable expertise, knowledge, skills and confidence to embark on a profession I am passionate about." Laurent Thibaud

"The course focused on the professional world and prepared us for the demands of being a translator (working to deadlines, translating, proofreading and editing). The work placement was a real learning curve and taught me a work method and translation techniques that I still use today when producing a translation." Céline Cabesos

"I really enjoyed my course. I’ve always loved languages and it’s great to have a practical application for my interest. We’ve had talks from the industry, ranging from professional translators to IT specialists. I also undertook a work placement, which gave me a clear idea of the work place." Jeanne Okie

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.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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