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Communication & Media Stud…×

Durham University, Full Time Masters Degrees in Communication & Media Studies

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This course is ideal both for prospective professional translators and for those wishing to go on to further academic study, and it is internationally well respected for both of those purposes. Read more
This course is ideal both for prospective professional translators and for those wishing to go on to further academic study, and it is internationally well respected for both of those purposes. The course is designed for both native speakers of Arabic, and speakers of English who have near-native competence in Arabic.

The MA lasts for twelve months and it combines training in English to Arabic and Arabic to English translation with a special consideration of the theoretical issues involved in the process of translation. The MA modules are mainly taught in the Department of Arabic. Translation Theory and Research Skills for Translation Studies are offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC).

Course structure

The MA involves a combination of core modules, which are taken by all students, plus a number of optional modules, where students have a choice. The course structure of the MA is as follows:

Core modules: obligatory for all students
In 2015, core modules included:
-Research Skills for Translation Studies (15 UCUs)
-Translation Theory (30 UCUs)
-Translation Practical Arabic>English, English>Arabic (30 UCUs)
-Dissertation (60 UCUs)

Optional modules 1
Students choose one module. In 2015, modules included:
-History of Translation (15 credits)
-Intercultural Project Management (15 credits)
-Revising and Editing for Translators (15 credits)
-Sociology of Translation (15 credits)
-Translation Ethics (15 credits)

Optional modules 2
Students choose two modules. In 2015, modules included:
-Business and Technical Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
-Legal Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
-Interpreting, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)

Learning and Teaching

The main emphasis of this programme is on the development of translation and interpreting skills, which are reinforced by the provision of a general introduction to translation theory, as well as to more general academic, research and bibliographical techniques. Students attend on average six hours of translation and/or interpreting classes per week during the first two terms of the year. These classes, which are spread over three separate modules, are held in small groups, and alternate between Arabic>English and English>Arabic work. The classes are prepared for by independent learning in the form of preparation and reading (131 hours per module). The structure of the classes allows for extensive student participation, and for the provision of timely feedback on students’ home assignments in an interactive environment.

The practical orientation of these classes is supplemented and reinforced by the Translation Theory module, taught on a School-wide basis, which typically involves an average of one hour’s attendance per week at either a lecture or a seminar. This should be supported by 282 hours of preparation and reading.

In addition, students receive instruction in general academic, presentational and bibliographical skills through participation in the School-based Research Skills module. Research Skills for Translation Studies provides interactive lectures on research skills and training sessions on the use of library and other resources over the course of the first two terms and, in the early part of the programme, a series of user-focused workshops in which students work intensively to consolidate their knowledge of selected translation technologies.

Over the final few months of the programme, students are able to apply the skills and theory learned over the year to a larger project (either a dissertation or an extended, annotated translation) in a more independent way. Each student is allocated a supervisor, who provides up to five hours of supervision / consultation on an individual basis. This exercise enables the student to apply the results of their studies during the year to a text or topic of particular interest to themselves (595 hours of independent study).

In addition to the formal provision detailed above, all students have access to the MA Course Director and to other members of the teaching staff during weekly office hours. Feedback on formative course assignments may also be provided to students on an individual basis outside these hours. Outside their particular programme, all students are also strongly encouraged to participate in other activities of the School and Department (for example research seminars) as appropriate.

Other admission details

We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications and further information on English language requirements, please contact our International Office or visit their website. We will require two academic letters of reference. If these are not uploaded with your application, we will contact your referees directly. It would be useful if you could inform your referees to let them know that they will be approached for references by Durham University.

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Students on the MA in Translation Studies choose between a more theoretical and a more practical pathway; both pathways include translation practice and examination(s) for professional accreditation. Read more
Students on the MA in Translation Studies choose between a more theoretical and a more practical pathway; both pathways include translation practice and examination(s) for professional accreditation.

The Durham MATS has been a member of the European Masters’ in Translation (EMT) network since 2011. The network is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation and EMT network membership acknowledges the high quality of the MA programme.

Core modules engage with theoretical questions and with current translation practices. In 2015, the Research Skills for Translation Studies module includes training in the use of translation technologies such as Trados and MemoQ. Specialised Translation modules are offered from/into English and Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

The final examinations of the Specialised Translation modules are externally moderated by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and may lead to exemption from Unit 1 of the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans), the professional-standard qualification in the UK.

Core modules

In 2015, core modules included:
-Research Skills for Translation Studies (15 credits)
-Translation Theory (30 credits)
-Specialised Translation Language 1 (Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Turkish) from and into English (30 credits)

Core dissertation/project

Students choose 60 credits. Modules have previously included:
-Translation Studies Dissertation (60 credits)
-Extended Translation Project (60 credits)
-Translation Project 1 (30 credits) + Translation Project 2 (30 credits)

Optional modules

Students choose 45 credits. Modules have previously included:
-Specialised Translation Language 2 (30 credits)
-History of Translation (15 credits)
-Intercultural Project Management (15 credits)
-Revising and Editing for Translators (15 credits)
-Sociology of Translation (15 credits)
-Translation Ethics (15 credits)
-Translation Work Placement (15 credits)

Learning and Teaching

The MA in Translation Studies (MATS) is a one-year (12-month) full-time or two-year (24-month) part-time course (180 credits, corresponding to 90 ECTS). The Durham MATS is a member of the EMT Network of Excellence. The Durham programme offers different pathways according to the number of specialised translation modules (in one or two languages) students take and whether they opt for the more vocationally-oriented project(s) or the more research-focused dissertation. Both pathways benefit from the varied delivery of content that consists of seminars, workshops, lectures, group projects, research seminars, and individual tutorials. The Institute of Linguists assesses the Specialised Translation examination papers against the requirements of Dip Trans Unit 1; successful candidates receive accreditation for Unit 1 of this official test of professional competence.

Lectures in Translation Theory introduce the discipline’s key debates; students prepare seminar presentations focused on related topics. Research Skills for Translation Studies provides interactive lectures on research skills and training sessions on the use of library and other resources over the course of the first two terms and, in the early part of the programme, a series of user-focused workshops in which students work intensively to consolidate their knowledge of selected translation technologies. The Specialised Translation modules work in both directions, translating from and into the foreign language, with students completing weekly assignments individually or in groups.

An extensive programme of visiting speakers is provided, partly under the auspices of the School’s Translation & Linguistics Research Group; these include both researchers and professional practitioners, for example European Commission Visiting Translators and field officers. These lectures are seen as an integral part of the course and students are expected to attend. The balance shifts from taught hours to independent study or work experience in the third term. The MATS aims to offer a vocational approach for intending professional translators and an academic approach for those considering continuing to a doctorate by honing specific skills developed in earlier modules. This places further emphasis on students’ autonomy in carrying out work to professional standards or in undertaking a substantial piece of independent research. Students receive individualised support in the form of regular meetings with their designated supervisor. Students also have access to Course Directors and other staff during their office hours.

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The MA Intercultural Communication and Education develops critical understanding of education and intercultural communication in the context of global movements of people and the internationalisation of education. Read more
The MA Intercultural Communication and Education develops critical understanding of education and intercultural communication in the context of global movements of people and the internationalisation of education. The programme provides students, educators, and policy makers with resources for reflecting on and responding to the growing need for intercultural education and communication in an increasingly intercultural/international world. This programme is available for part-time and full-time students through the academic year. It can also be studied part time at the School of Education International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI) programme that runs in Durham every July.

Course structure

Students on this pathway must do Research Methods in Education (30 credits) with two core modules, Intercultural and International Education and Intercultural Communication. They then have a choice of one additional module from across those running in the School of Education (see MA Education for full list). Students also do a 15,000 word dissertation within the field of intercultural education and internationalisation. This is a supervised piece of work working with specialists in the field.

Modules

-Intercultural and International Education (30 credits) Assessment by 5,000 word assignment
-Intercultural Communication (30 credits) Assessment by 5,000 word assignment

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