Translation (BA)

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.

Key facts

UCAS CodeQ910
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB including a B in the relevant major language at A level
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including relevant languages.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerConsidered on individual merit
Other qualificationsApplications 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
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Cristina Marinetti, 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.

Year one

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.

Year two

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Principles of Translation TheoryML229920 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Innovations in European LiteratureML129820 credits
History Of Art From Middle Ages To The RenaissanceML829220 credits
Introduction to Catalan Culture and LanguageML029420 credits
German Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML729920 credits
French Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML629920 credits
Italian Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML829920 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML029820 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML029920 credits
German Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML729820 credits
Italian Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML829620 credits
Dante: The Journey And The MissionML829420 credits
Business French IML629420 credits
Women and the Second World War in FranceML628620 credits
Business Spanish IML028720 credits
Rhyfel AlgeriaML629720 credits
Business German IML728820 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (French)ML229420 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (German)ML229520 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (Italian)ML229620 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (Spanish)ML229720 credits
French Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML628720 credits
At the Roots of European CulturesML129520 credits
Storm and StressML729120 credits
Bertolt BrechtML729020 credits
Memories of FascismML829320 credits
Landmark Films from Spain and Latin AmericaML029120 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (Japanese)ML229120 credits
Cultures of French Cinema: 1895 - presentML628520 credits
National Socialism & its LegacyML728620 credits
Short Literature in PortugueseML421020 credits
Portuguese Language 2ML421120 credits
Symbols of the Portuguese-Speaking WorldML421220 credits
Spain from 1898 to 1975: Republic, Civil War and the Franco RegimeML029020 credits
Contemporary Japanese SocietyML259520 credits
Intermediate Japanese (Autumn)ML259620 credits
Intermediate Japanese (Spring)ML269620 credits

Year three

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).

Module titleModule codeCredits
Italian Language (BA Translation - Portfolio)ML239120 credits
French Language (BA Translation - Portfolio)ML239820 credits
German Language (BA Translation - Portfolio)ML239720 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Spanish Language (BA Translation - Portfolio)ML239020 credits
Writing AfricaML638120 credits
The GDR in Literature & Visual CultureML739120 credits
Twentieth Century Italian Women's WritingML839120 credits
Catalan Language and Society (Prereq EU0294)ML038120 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
German for professional purposesML738720 credits
Spanish for professional purposesML038320 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
Italian for professional purposesML838620 credits
French for professional purposesML639620 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (French)ML638620 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (German)ML738920 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Italian)ML838920 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Spanish)ML038620 credits
Translation Dissertation/Project (40 credits)ML238840 credits
Dissertation/Project (Translation)ML238920 credits
Spanish Language (BA Languages)ML038220 credits
German Language (BA Languages)ML739020 credits
Italian Language (BA Languages)ML839720 credits
French Language (BA Languages)ML638020 credits
Y Chwyldro Ffrengig [The French Revolution]ML630120 credits
European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
Geschichte oder Geschichten? - die Gegenwartsliteratur im historichen KontextML737020 credits
Multimedia AdaptationsML636920 credits
Advanced JapaneseML542120 credits
Advanced Readings in Japanese BusinessML543820 credits
Advanced Japanese StudiesML543920 credits
Japanese Studies Research ProjectML542520 credits
Stories from the Edge: Minority Voices from Spain and Latin AmericaML037820 credits
Spanish American PoetryML037920 credits
Dépassement de l’art: The Parisian Avant-Garde and the Revolution of Everyday Life from Breton to DebordML630220 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

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.

Jobs

  • Translator
  • Teaching

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

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.  

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

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.

Other information

Distinctive features

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.

Admissions tutors

Dr Cristina Marinetti, Admissions Tutor


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.

Applying

Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
Students outside the Glamorgan Building

Open Day 2016

Open days are your chance to get a real first-hand experience of the university and the city.

Related courses

Related links