Translation - BA (Hons)

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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.

More about this course

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code Q910
Entry requirements View
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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 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)
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent) or
  • an appropriate Access certificate

The BA Translation is available in 8 language pathways. We may need to test your langauge 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.

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

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

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

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

    This 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. Interactive lectures, seminars and group discussions are designed to encourage student autonomy, enhance participation and develop the range of skills needed for effective study, self confidence and achievement. Included in these skills are oral and written communication, essay planning, summarising, note taking, referencing, researching, time management, revision, critical reading and other transferable skills.

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

    This module focuses on developing consultation and documentation skills 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 to a variety of other 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 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 section 12.

    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 during the translation process into different languages. In typical areas of culture bound language related to names, geographical references, political and educational institutions, legal systems etc., students are introduced to practical translation procedures which are used to translate such language, and the terminology relating to it. In the second part of the module, students are introduced to language as grammar and, specifically, to various grammar concepts such as gender and number, pronouns and others as well as their grammatical equivalence in the target language system. In their specific language pair sessions, students are introduced to aspects of practical translation by concentrating on those areas 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.

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 memory (TM) software (also known as Translation Environment Tools); students will work with a variety of packages and systems, both theoretically and practically, developing their skills through "hands-on" sessions, troubleshooting issues which may arise in their workflow, comparing features among tools and reflecting on both the impact these tools have on translators’ workflow and the role they play in current professional settings.

    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 course, advanced reading competence is developed through an examination of complex theoretical grammar concepts, as seen operating in a variety of written contexts. Productive skills related to students' individual competence in written domain-specific language are also developed through practical exercises aimed at improving nuanced expression and register-dependent paraphrasing. The theoretical/practical nature of this module is reflected in the teaching structure of the first part of the course, with the aim of fostering transferable translation-specific skills. In the second part of the module, the focus on text is broadened, through an examination of some of the key concepts which affect the ways that texts operate within the cultures and societies that produce them.

    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, translation stages and the mechanisms underlying these stages. 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.

Year 3 modules include:

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

    In this module, students are exposed to the specific requirements for the translation of texts belonging to specialist areas, e.g. business, medicine, IT, law, multimedia areas such as television programmes, video games, comics, and the literary field such as the translation of children literature and fiction. 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 therefore focuses 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 - Wednesday

    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) - Tuesday

    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 supervisor, 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) - Tuesday
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

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

    This module expands your skills in cross-linguistic and intercultural mediation by introducing you 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 you with ample opportunities to acquire and develop relevant skills including memorising, note taking and communication.

    Read full details.

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

What our students say

"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

After the course

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.

Additional costs

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 - key information set

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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.

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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