Translation is crucial in today's globalised world. Multinational businesses and international institutions are constantly looking for translators and language specialists.
BA Translation is both challenging and stimulating and enables you to build the skills required for a career in translation and a wide range of language-related professions.
As a three-year degree, this programme provides an alternative route to studying modern languages. You will be taught by staff with extensive experience in translation in a number of languages. You will choose a major language and a minor language and study professional and practical translation modules together with cultural modules from across the School. At present you may study French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.
The translation modules include Translation Theory and Translation Methods as well as specialised translation and professional translation. The cultural options modules cover a wide range of subjects both country-specific and general e.g. European Cinema. The programme provides students with a solid grounding in language and culture plus practical translation skills to start a career as a professional translator or to enter a postgraduate degree programme.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Typical places available||The School typically has 185 places available|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives 600 applications|
|Typical A level offer||ABB including a B in the relevant major language at A level|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including relevant languages.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||Considered on individual merit|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Dr Hilary Potter, Course Administrator
Dr Hilary Potter, Admissions Tutor
Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.
Alongside language classes in two languages (focusing on reading, speaking, listening and writing), you will begin practicing translation with dedicated practical seminars where you will learn to translate from your foreign languages into English.
You will also study translation theories and methods which will help you develop an understanding of the contexts and functions of translation. The idea here is to strengthen your linguistic and critical skills in a way that directly enhances your translation skills.
You will specialise in the translation of different types of texts (technical, scientific, legal, administrative, cultural, media) and will be introduced to different translation software tools. You will also continue studying translation theories and reflect on important socio-political issues.
Among these, you will discover how translation can shape cultural and political relations between countries. For example, EU laws have to be translated into all 23 official languages of the EU before they come into force. You will also learn about the translators' dilemmas and their double allegiance towards their target audience but also towards the values fo the source culture.
In the final year, we will explore the sociocultural dimension of translation and you will see how, in the context of today's global economy, languages and translation become political tools - in relation to minority cultures, multiculturalism but also situations of conflict and migration (see the work of the Cardiff Research Group on Politics of Translating).
While continuing to strengthen your linguistic and critical skills (with language and theory modules), we will also look at translation as a profession. A specialist module will introduce you to the different institutional contexts you may encounter in your future careers (government, media, multinational business) and through a series of case studies and real-life problems, we will develop your problem-solving skills but also alert you to some of the real challenges of the translation profession (time-management, managing resources, establishing and maintaining networks).
Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.
Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.
Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.
Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.
Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study; to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.
Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.
In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment.
Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such as Translators, Language Assistants, Export Assistants and Proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.
In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in search of employment.
Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s MA degrees in European Studies or in Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Overview and aims of this course/programme
There is an increasingly high demand for translation skills in the UK and Europe.
We offer a specialist translation programme which provides you with practical and professional translation skills alongside in-depth language tuition in either one or two modern languages.
Our translation curriculum (in line with the Institute of Linguists and the Institute for Translators and Interpreters Standards) will focus on combining the theory behind translation with methodology and practical skills. In addition you will study core language modules and in some cases, cultural options which will cover a wide range of country specific and general topics, such as European Cinema.
In the final year, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation, which stimulates initiative and can serve as a useful preparation for postgraduate study.
What should I know about year five?
How is this course/programme structured?
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year.
What should I know about year four?
What should I know about year three?
In the final year, you will explore the sociocultural dimension of translation and you will see how, in the context of today’s global economy, languages and translation become political tools – in relation to minority cultures, multiculturalism and situations of conflict and migration (please see the work of the Cardiff Research Group on Politics of Translating).
While continuing to strengthen your linguistic and critical skills with language and theory modules, you will also look at translation as a profession. A specialist module will introduce you to the different institutional contexts you may encounter in your future career such as government, media or multinational business.
Through a series of case studies and real-life problems, you will develop your problem-solving skills but also become alert to real challenges of the translation profession in terms of time management, managing resources and establishing and maintaining networks.
What should I know about the preliminary year?
What should I know about year one?
You will have the opportunity to study translation alongside two modern languages. Languages currently available for this pathway alongside translation are French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. You will be able to study the languages at an advanced level or one at an advanced level and one as a beginner.
Alongside language classes which focus on reading, speaking, listening and writing, you will start to practise translation from foreign languages into English with dedicated practical seminars. You will also study cultural modules that explore history, culture, politics, economics and society of the various countries.
Modules in translation theories and methods will help you develop an understanding of the contexts and functions of translation. You will strengthen your linguistic and critical skills in a way that directly enhances your translation skills.
Please note: it is also possible to study translation alongside one modern language. Should you wish to opt for this pathway the languages currently available are French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. To adhere to the 120 credits needed in year one you will need to take additional cultural modules if you choose this option.
The distinctive features of the course include:
- The opportunity to learn translation methodologies at the same time as learning a modern language.
- A focus on employability. You will be taught specialised translation and professional translation skills which will assist you in pursuing a career as a translator or go on to further study in the field of translation studies.
How will I be taught?
We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.
You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.
Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.
Dr Hilary Potter, Course Administrator
Dr Hilary Potter, Admissions Tutor
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