You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

MA in Translation - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to enable you to:
  • practise translating texts to and from your chosen language and English and to evaluate your performance as a translator by engaging in peer review
  • understand the roles of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice, including quality assurance and ethical considerations
  • develop the skills to understand and evaluate the tools to manage translation tasks and assignments, including electronic tools
  • understand the key theories, concepts, approaches and processes in translation, and to establish links between theory and practice
  • develop your ability to maintain and further develop your language and intercultural skills, and your professional practice.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the programme are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • key theories, concepts, approaches and processes in translation, and the links between theory and practice
  • the roles of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice, including quality assurance and ethical considerations
  • the type and purpose of the text, register, attitude and tone, concepts, factual information and opinion; cultural conventions and style
  • concepts and methods to analyse and evaluate translated texts in terms of quality, accuracy and fitness for purpose
  • the role and relationship of the writer with the intended readership cultures of the languages in which you translate, their conventions for communication, and the implications for localising translated texts

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • define and appropriately utilise key terms, concepts and theories in applied research and practice
  • critically analyse and evaluate current sources of information and research relevant to the field of translation 
  • interpret and assess the nature and purpose of the text which is to be translated and the context and setting in which it will be used, and deploy successful strategies to translate the text 
  • define and evaluate translation problems, find appropriate solutions, and justify translation choices and decisions
  • engage critically and creatively with debates relevant to the development of the translator’s professional practice.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • manage your own learning and plan your professional development  
  • work independently and collaboratively in a range of modes to address cognitive problems and solutions
  • reflect critically and constructively, in the light of ideas and frameworks presented in the course, on your own thinking and professional practice 
  • demonstrate competence in the use of information and communication technology appropriately in your professional practice
  • use communication and interpersonal skills to enable you to work in teams, make appropriate use of the capacities of colleagues, and maintain good relationships with colleagues and potential clients 
  • manage your time efficiently, and organise and schedule your work to meet agreed deadlines
  • review and give feedback on the work of others, subject your work to peer review and act on the feedback you receive, and develop skills to review the quality of your own work.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • independently keep up-to-date with the languages into and out of which you translate (including the ability to acquire knowledge of domain-specific language) and with the intercultural skills to understand the cultures of the countries where these languages are spoken
  • demonstrate an understanding of the processes, stages and strategies for translating text in order to produce high quality translations in various situations and contexts
  • independently research and verify general and domain-specific terminologies, compile and maintain glossaries of terms, and source and use effectively general and specialist information to assist with translation (e.g. dictionaries, glossaries, online resources, peers and other professionals)
  • demonstrate familiarity with suitable translation software and tools, including cloud-based solutions, terminological software, corpora, electronic dictionaries, and tools for the translation of multimedia and audio-visual material
  • demonstrate familiarity with quality assurance systems to monitor the effectiveness of your work, such as checking, revising and reviewing translations
  • critically reflect on your own practice and actively seek feedback from colleagues in order to develop your practice and manage your career
  • demonstrate that your professional practice is aligned with professional and industry standards
  • in the final module; plan, conduct, analyse and report on a small-scale investigation or translation assignment within a professional setting to develop or enhance the understanding of your professional practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

This qualification has been specially selected for presentation in a different online learning platform to other modules that you may have studied with The Open University.  We are using this new learning platform because we wish to enhance your learning experience. Early tests with students have shown that it is easy to navigate, provides excellent presentation of the learning materials and allows the module team to better support your learning.

Each module uses a range of study materials, resources and activities to help you develop your professional skills as a translator, to become familiar with some of the tools needed to manage translation tasks, and to understand the link between translation theories and practice. You will also develop more generic skills such as communication and interpersonal skills, or managing your own learning.

You will be supported by staff on the modules, and they will provide feedback on assignments. The first two modules are formally assessed through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and an end of module assessment (EMA), which assess the learning outcomes of the course. You will also engage in group activities to develop an understanding of the different roles of the translator in professional settings. You will engage in peer review activities with other students, as this is important in developing your ability to review the quality of your own work, and to review the work of others.

You will work with students specialising in the same language combination as you, but will also be part of the wider cohort including students with other language combinations. You will have the opportunity to engage with online communities of volunteer translators, and undertake some real-life translation tasks. The MA is fully online, and because of the nature of the translator’s work, you will engage in substantial amounts of self-directed study, for instance when you are working on a specific translation task.

The final module of the MA is an extended translation project or dissertation. You will have the opportunity to either carry out an extended translation project (such as an extended, annotated translation) or, if you prefer, carry out a small-scale research project in the form of a dissertation. You will be supported and guided by a member of staff, who will provide feedback as you work on this module.

Many of the activities and assessments on the MA will have reflective components which invite you to consider your own learning and development. This will feed readily into ongoing personal development planning. These reflective activities will run throughout the programme of study. Such reflections will range from responding to tutor and peer feedback on a specific translation task to reflecting on your overall progress and development as a translator.

« Back to MA in Translation description