.

MA in Translation in a European Context

Our Masters in Translation in a European Context provides an academic qualification for those intending to become, or who already are, professional translators.
Translation studies

Why choose this course?

  • This programme is a member of the European Masters in Translation (EMT) Network, which has established a quality label for university translation programmes that meet agreed professional standards and market demands,  and of the OPTIMALE project.
  • Work towards Chartered Institute of Linguists' certification and TRADOS certification
  • Excellence in Translation Award (sponsored by the Translation People Company) for the best student overall on the MA in Translation in a European Context
  • Amicus Transtec Prize (sponsored by Amicus TransTec Limited) for the best final assignment in module LIM015, The Translation Profession
  • We are a corporate member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).
ITI Corporate Member Logo


Entry requirements & fees

Duration: Full-time: 12 months. Part-time: 2-3 years

Start date(s): October 

Distance learning available: No

Intake: Approximately 15 per year

Entry requirements: A good UK Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) in Translation Studies, French and/or German and/or Spanish or a related discipline or an overseas degree recognised by Aston University, plus two references.

International students whose native language is not English and have not completed a full degree programme taught in English, will need to obtain: An IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 7 in writing and minimum of 6 in speaking, listening and reading.

Holders of the Chartered Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation and Members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) may be awarded credits for prior experience.

Fees for 2014/2015*: 
UK/ EU: £4,700 
Non-EU: £13,000 
*These figures have not been confirmed, but they are expected to be approximately as stated. Part-time students pay a pro-rata version of full-time fees. 

Application: We recommend that overseas students apply before the end of June due to visa requirements as these can take a few weeks to process.

Apply for this course online

EMT logo

Our Masters in Translation in a European Context provides an academic qualification for those intending to become, or who already are, professional translators. It links the development of expertise in advanced translation skills (especially in political and journalistic texts) with theoretical and professional aspects of translation. The programme also encourages the development of an understanding of European integration.

Sample module options

The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.

Core modules:

Number of credits: 30

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will be introduced to controversial debates concerning some basic concepts of translation studies and approaches to translation in order to develop a critical reflection on theoretical aspects. Various approaches to translation throughout recent decades will be discussed.

Module Content: The following topics will be discussed:

  • The emergence of translation studies as an academic discipline

  • Early reflections on translation: e.g. St Jerome, Luther, Schleiermacher

  • Linguistics-based approaches to translation (translation as interlingual transfer): e.g. Catford, Jakobson, Kade, Wilss, Vinay & Darbelnet, Newmark, Koller; concepts covered include: fidelity, faithfulness, translatability, equivalence, decoding, encoding, transcoding, translation procedures

  • Textlinguistic approaches to translation (translation as text production): e.g. Reiß, Neubert, Göpferich, Trosborg, Hatim & Mason; concepts covered include: text type, genre, textuality, convention

  • Functionalist theories of translation (translation as purposeful activity performed by experts): e.g. Vermeer, Reiß & Vermeer, Nord, Holz-Mänttäri, Hönig & Kußmaul, Chesterman; concepts covered include: function, purpose, skopos, translatorial action, translation problem, translation strategy, loyalty

  • Descriptive Translation Studies (translation as norm-governed behaviour): e.g. Toury, Hermans, Even-Zohar, Lambert; concepts covered include: polysystem, norms, regularities, patronage

  • Cultural studies and translation (translation as representation of the other): e.g. Venuti, Arrojo, Bassnett, Lefevere; concepts covered include: cultural turn, foreignisation, domestication, visibility

  • Postmodern and postcolonial theories of translation: e.g. Niranjana, Tymoczko, Gentzler & Tymoczko; concepts covered include: power, ideology, gender, ethics

  • Sociological approaches to translation: e.g. Wolf; concepts covered include: habitus, field, capital

  • Translation as a profession / Translation in institutions / New forms of translation (job profiles, media translation, dubbing and subtitling, MT and MAT, corpus-based Translation Studies, translations and EU institutions, etc.)

Method of Assessment: A total of three essays:
Two short essays (15 % each). Critical reviews of key concepts or approaches of translation studies based on literature review (approx. 1500 words each): 30%. 

One extended essay (5,000 - 6,000 words) on a theoretical topic to be submitted at the end of the module: 70%.

Essential Reading:
Munday, Jeremy (2008) Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications. London, Routledge, (2nd edition)

Venuti, Lawrence (ed) (2004) The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge. (2nd edition)

Number of credits: 10

Module Learning Outcomes: This module aims to consolidate students’ understanding of concepts and methods of linguistics and text analysis in order to apply this knowledge to a translation task. Student will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key concepts of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, textlinguistics, discourse analysis

  • The relevance of linguistic concepts for translation-oriented text analysis

  • Different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types and related macro- and micro-textual features

  • Key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse functions

  • The importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text.

Method of Assessment: Oral examination (25 minutes) at the end of teaching period 1 on theoretical notions covered in the respective sessions with a particular focus on a pretranslational analysis of an English Source Text (approx. 1000 words). 100%

Recommended Reading:

Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert and Hyams, Nina (2003): An Introduction to Language.
Boston, Mass: Thomson Heinle (7th edition)

Nord, Christiane (2005) Text analysis in translation, theory, methodology, and didactic application of a model for translation-oriented text analysis. 2nd ed, Amsterdam, Rodopi, Trask, Larry A Student's Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, Arnold, London 1997

Number of Aston Credits: 10

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop the following subject-related knowledge and skills:

  • Students will be able to outline the European Union’s institutional set-up, the functioning of these institutions, and the interchange between national and European agendas in various policy fields.

  • Students will be able to analyse the complex context within which European Union and other related documents are produced and the processes by which they are formulated.

  • Students will be able to formulate critical and theoretically-informed independent evaluations of the nature, status, current operation and prospects for the institutional structures and some of the policies of the European Union.

Module Content: Topics to be discussed may include:

  1. The Evolution of the EU: 1945 – 1966

  2. The Evolution of the EU: 1966-2010

  3. The role of the Commission

  4. Decision-making: The European Council and the Council of the European Union

  5. Decision-making: the growing role of the European Parliament

  6. The "new legal order" and the Court of Justice

Method of Learning and Teaching: One-hour lecture and one-hour seminar each week. These will take the form of presentations by the lecturer interspersed with questions and discussion, and may include exercise such as the examination and evaluation of documents. The students’ resources for learning should include textbooks, books, articles and internet sites.

Method of Assessment: Final essay: 3,000 words for PgD/MA in Translation in a European Context (to be submitted by the last week of Teaching Period One).

Students will receive individual feedback after their oral presentations during the weekly office hours.

Essential Reading:

John McCormick (2008) Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction (4th edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave

Nugent, Neil (2006) The Government and Politics of the European Union (6th edition) Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Dinan, Desmond (2005) Ever-Closer Union. An Introduction to European Integration (3rd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Hix, S., 2005, The Political System of the European Union: second edition, (Palgrave)

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will acquire knowledge of and skills in a variety of professional aspects of translation and the professional environment. An important part of this module is to foster team working skills and reflection on own knowledge, strengths and weaknesses so that students become reflective practitioners.

Students will acquire knowledge:

  • of the procedures of project management in translation companies

  • of quality control mechanisms in translation companies

  • of the differences in the work of free-lance translators and translators in employment

  • of legal and ethical aspects of the profession

  • of the manual and electronic tools and processes involved in translation and project management and work with clients

Module Content: The main objective is to simulate a professional environment for students to focus on the actual process of managing a translation project. After introductory seminars, students will meet in groups and create their own translation companies, assigning roles to members of the group by negotiation, and secure a translation commission.

Method of Assessment

  1. A progress report of approx. 800 words on setting up a company, assigning professional roles, and finding a client, to be submitted by the team on the last day of TP1. 20%

  2. A critical reflective report of approx. 4,000 words, to be submitted by each student individually, at the end of the module. 80%

Number of credits: 10

Module Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and understanding of:

  • what constitutes research

  • the different paradigms associated with different research traditions

  • specific research methods used within these different traditions: set-up, procedures, results, constraints

  • the ethical dimension within any research project

Module Content (Part I)

Part I of the module in Research Methods is a general introduction to research methods:

  1. Introduction to the broad based nature of the School and the main approaches to research covered by the different disciplines within it. Overview on the nature of postgraduate study and the role of research at postgraduate level.

  2. Methods of acquiring new data: Identifying the gap in the literature; using library and IT facilities; access to people, organisations and unpublished data.

  3. Understanding the paradigms in which we research. (what can we know? how can we know it? Awareness of various views on cultural partiality, positionality and objectivity).

  4. An awareness of ethical and legal issues (e.g. the rights of other researchers and of research subjects, intellectual property rights, working in teams).

Module Content (Part II for Translation Studies programmes)

The second part of the module in Research Methods is devoted to research methods that are specific to translation studies. These can be grouped into comparative, process, and causal models. Comparative models aim at discovering similarities and differences (esp. between linguistics systems, between genres, between source text and target text, between original texts/language and translated texts/language). Process models are dynamic models, representing changes of status through time (phases in the process). Causal models aim at discovering causal conditions that produce target texts, which in turn produce effects.

Method of Assessment

  1. Oral presentation in main examination period. Students present an outline of their dissertation topic (10-15 minutes),

  2. Submission of a portfolio consisting of (a) a list of (at least 10) bibliographical sources (b) completed form on ethical implications of the research.

 

Dissertation

Elective modules:

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: This module aims to consolidate advanced awareness of contemporary translation theories and to apply these to practical skills involved in the translation process, with reference to features of Specialised Translation including the role of corpora. Each student chooses a specific, semi-specialised domain for study and researches the subject, text conventions, lexical and grammatical features, content and intercultural issues that must be considered when translating a text from that domain.

Module Content: Students will be introduced to concepts of LSP Translation and will study texts for specific domains, as well as looking at different text types and analysing typical features of each. Seminars will introduce students to relevant methodology and research skills, to be applied to their chosen domain and text type, with the opportunity for consultation each week during the research phase.

Methods of assessment: Assessment will be in two parts, as follows:

  1. Each student will compile a corpus of comparable texts, which will be used as the basis for a comprehensive study (4,000 words, plus supporting corpora) of the conventions and textual features of the chosen genre, along with analysis and discussion of the translation issues arising from this. 75%

  2. In addition, the student will prepare a glossary of 50 key terms from the semispecialised domain chosen, with definitions and examples of use taken from the corpus. 25%

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and French.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of French:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a French source text of about 1,000 words, its translation into English, and a written record of the translation and the research process.Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-French and French-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types, genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and German.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of German:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a German source text of about 1,000
words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into
English, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information
about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor German need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-German and German-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and French.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of French:
1. a take-away paper, translation into French (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into French (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of an English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into French, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc. Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-French and French-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and German.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of German:
1. a take-away paper, translation into German (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into German (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of an English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into German, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor German need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-German and German-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and Spanish.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of Spanish:
1. a take-away paper, translation into Spanish (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into Spanish (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of English:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a English source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into Spanish, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc. Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor Spanish need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-Spanish and Spanish-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

Number of credits: 20 

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relevance of contemporary translation theories to translation performance

  • different types of written communication; their communicative functions, text types , genres

  • key features of argumentative, informative and expressive discourse

  • the complexities of reader expectations, needs and profile in text reception

  • the importance of source text analysis as a pre-requisite for production of a functionally adequate target text

  • the role of a brief in determining professional text production and adequacy for purpose – target audience, purpose, scope, deadlines, selection of material

  • the importance of revising translated text

Methods of learning and teaching: Class discussion, supported by independent reflection and preparation of specific texts within the framework of a specified brief: each week students will prepare a draft translation of one text and edit their draft of the previous one to a professional standard. During the seminar, an interactive approach to analysis and discussion will encourage reflection, argumentation skills and reasoning supported by evidence. The texts to be translated will be taken from the domains of political, legal, cultural and journalistic discourses, with a special emphasis on European affairs. Work with a range of text types and genres will promote an enhanced command of various styles of written English and Spanish.

Method of Assessment: The structure of assessment will depend on the mother tongue of the student concerned.

For native speakers of English:
1. a take-away paper, translation into English (600-700 words, to be completed within 48 hours) with annotations 60% of the final mark
2. a two-hour examination, translation into English (text of 400 words) - 40% of the final mark.

For native speakers of Spanish:
Preparation of a translation portfolio, consisting of a Spanish source text of about 1,000 words (source text needs to be approved by the course convenor), its translation into English, and a written record of the translation and the research process (i.e. information about the sources consulted, sample parallel texts, background information, etc.). Translation 60%. Pre-translation analysis plus annotations 40%.

Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor Spanish need to decide on one of the two options in consultation with the lecturer. Students taking both English-Spanish and Spanish-English, for whom neither language is mother-tongue, must complete both types of assessment, one for each module.

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research. Assessment is on a credit accumulation basis and by written examination (practical translation modules), oral examination (text analysis module) or extended essay (remaining modules). Successful completion of the taught modules is a precondition for proceeding to a 15,000 word dissertation leading to the MA.

Career prospects   

Recent destinations for our graduates include translators, technical editors and translation project managers for translation companies and software developers, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

You will have access to:
  • Our Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – to support your studies, including Blackboard discussion groups
  • The University Library, including over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals.  The library has special provision in place to help part time and distance learning students access their resources: www.aston.ac.uk/lis/studentinfo/parttime
  • University wide facilities such as the Careers Service, Students’ Advice Centre, Students’ Jobshop, Counselling Service, Sports Facilities, and Chaplaincy.

Read what the staff have to say about their programme:

f
Global Trends in Translator and Interpreter Training

PhD (Translation Studies) University of Bath, MA (Translation and Interpreting) University of Bath, BA (French and Spanish) University of Kent

''The MA in Translation in a European Context really prepares students for a career in translation. It provides them with unique opportunities to work with industry experts and to develop their translation skills in a high-quality environment. The possibility of gaining professional accreditations and prizes is a real bonus!''

Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3762
Fax: +44 (0) 121 204 3766
Email:
lss_pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

EMT logo

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Nicole Euring

Graduate MA Translation in a European Context

I'm a Translation Coordinator at the major accounting firm Ernst & Young in Germany, where I benefit from the language skills and experiences I gained at Aston University. My job is varied and I enjoy being in contact with many different people (both clients and translators).

 

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries

Accommodation

Accommodation

Learning & teaching facilities

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research