Translation in practice

This module aims to consolidate your understanding of translation theories studied previously by applying them to the practical task of translating. You can choose to study French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese or Modern Standard Arabic, in combination with English. You’ll engage in professional and collaborative translation, peer review, quality control, and specialised translation. You’ll use and evaluate the latest cloud-based translation technologies, including translation memories, machine translation and term bases, and undertake a range of complex translation tasks to and from your main language and English. Translation professionals will contribute to the module, and you’ll put their advice into practice when engaging in authentic tasks, for example, audiovisual translation and volunteering with open translation communities.

Vocational relevance

This module can be taken as part of the MA in Translation (F79) which provides an academic qualification for those intending to become, or who already are, professional translators.


L802 is a compulsory module in our:


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

This module aims to consolidate your understanding of the translation theories and concepts studied previously by applying them to the practical task of translating. You will engage with a variety of professional aspects of translation, such as analysis of text and brief; text, task and genre conventions; peer review, team working and collaborative translation; revision and quality assurance mechanisms; and features of specialised translation.

Through various activities and exercises, you will use and evaluate the latest cloud-based translation technologies, and manage a wide range of complex translation tasks to and from your main language and English with online tools and packages, such as translation memory software, machine translation and term bases. Translation professionals will be invited as guest speakers on the module, and you will put their advice into practice when engaging in authentic tasks, such as audiovisual translation, web and games localisation, and volunteering with well-established open translation communities.

The module content and practical tasks will introduce you to the different roles of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice, including ethical considerations and electronic tools training, to prepare you for entry into the profession.

The texts to be translated will be taken from various domains and areas: advertising, tourist literature, medical, legal, financial, business, etc. Working with a wide range of texts will promote an understanding of different text-types, genres, textual features and functions, and the best ways to tackle these. You will learn to analyse source texts effectively so as to produce functionally adequate target texts that meet the requirements of clients and the expectations of different target readerships.

In addition, you will be trained in the use of parallel texts and other supporting documentation, with guidance on how to find - and assess the reliability of - available resources. This will enhance your ability to defend your translation decisions and to carry out effective revisions on other translators’ work.

By the end of the module, you will be a reflective practitioner, having developed a keen awareness of the differences and similarities between source and target cultures, as well as what is required for professional text-production.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other and with the rest of the students on your tutor group through the online tutor group forum. There will also be forums for all the students on the course, and these will be facilitated by a number of tutors on the module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Translation in practice (L802) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

  • A UK honours degree (preferably a 2:1 or above) or other recognised equivalent qualification1
  • Proficiency in your first language at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level C2
  • Proficiency in your second language at CEFR level C12
  • Successful completion of L801 or equivalent prior experience3. You may register for L802 while awaiting your L801 result
  • Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

1If you don't have an honours degree, talk to an advisor.

2If your first language is English and you've passed an OU level 3 module in your second language, your language proficiency should be suitable, as the exit level of our OU level 3 language courses is CEFR C1.

3If you're unsure about this requirement, talk to an advisor.


Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Jun 2025 £2720.00

Registration closes 12/09/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2026.

Future availability

Translation in practice (L802) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

Ways to pay for this module

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

All study materials are provided on the module website. This includes the module study guide and activities, audio/video material and a range of tools to support your study, including real-time conferencing and online forums.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (and where applicable: musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

This module makes use of third-party translation software that is freely available on the web. The module team has chosen software which is as accessible as possible, but may not be fully accessible, particularly if you use assistive technology. Further information will be available via the Student Support Team to help you make a decision on your ability to study the module before registering.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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