Translation Dissertation (SMLM145)

StaffProfessor Michelle Bolduc - Convenor
Credit Value60
ECTS Value30
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 3: 6 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the modules, including research skills, textual and discourse analysis, applied translation skills, theoretical approaches to translation, evaluation of translation strategies, in a substantial piece of original research. Where you are undertaking a work placement the topic of the dissertation may to an area of activity in the work environment that is relevant to the content of a taught module (for example: translation, terminology, information management).

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a theoretical, technical or practical knowledge of a selected aspect of the programme which you have covered in one or more of the taught modules
  • 2. Display an advanced knowledge of a discipline that intersects linguistic, literary and technical aspects within modern languages
  • 3. Demonstrate the use of other media (especially IT) where relevant
  • 4. Where the approved topic is undertaken in relation to a work placement, apply your knowledge and skills to the work context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Apply the full range of knowledge and resources applicable to the topic and have demonstrated the capacity for independent research
  • 6. Synthesise and evaluate information from all relevant sources and presented it in a critical manner

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Master complex areas and present results in a detailed, informed manner
  • 8. Identify, analyse, and explain issues, present and structure an extended argument according to the specific requirements of the research community as regards citation, referencing and bibliography
  • 9. Present independent work that engages with core aspects of a higher degree course
  • 10. Where the approved topic is undertaken in relation to a work placement, show how you have worked within the working environment (e.g. as a member of a team), have contributed to or taken responsibility for an area or activity, and have developed new skills that will assist further professional development

Syllabus plan

A candidate may undertake one of three potential subjects in their dissertation:

A major, original translation accompanied by a commentary, which may include such topics as:

  • A rationale for choosing a particular text to translate as its relates to professional and academic development
  • An evaluation of the text type
  • A rationale of the translation strategies employed
  • Analysis of specific issues or difficulties encountered
  • Analysis of the approach taken to the translation based on theoretical models studied
  • An evaluation of this translation’s potential for publication based upon relevant market research

A comparative analysis of existing translations, which may include such topics as:

  • Evaluation of specific issues in translation related to the text type/genre
  • Analysis of specific issues or difficulties encountered by the translators
  • Analysis and evaluation of the translation strategies employed by the translators in light of a number of theoretical models studied
  • The visibility (or invisibility) of the translator
  • The publishing and distribution history of the translations
  • The reception history of the translations
  • Analysis of the translated texts’ respective historical and socio-cultural contexts, including how it engages with contemporary intellectual currents and debates

A critical analysis of any aspect, theoretical or applied, related to the discipline of translation studies, informed by theoretical models. Whilst the specific topic will be chosen in concert with your supervisor, topics have included:

  • Questions of power and agency in translation
  • Gender and postcolonial approaches to translation
  • Translation and the publishing industry
  • History and the cultural turn
  • The concept of fidelity in adaptations
  • The role of the translator as cultural mediator
  • Cultural identity and intercultural communication
  • Metaphors of translation in performance and the arts
  • Translation as a social practice

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching5Tuition/Supervision
Scheduled learning and teaching2Group seminar
Guided independent study593Private Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Proposal with initial bibliography200 words1-10Oral
Presentation of proposal to peers in group seminar5-10 Maximum 3000 words1-10Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Extended essay of continuous prose (or equivalent output in a creative medium) on a topic proposed by the student and approved by the programme director10015000 words1-10Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Extended essay of continuous prose (or equivalent output in a creative medium)Extended essay of continuous prose (or equivalent output in a creative medium)1-10Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Andrew Chesterman and Jenny Williams, The Map: A Beginner's Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Manchester, St. Jerome, 2002.

You are expected to form a literature search as part of the dissertation, and so basic reading will depend on the topic. A useful starting point is the reading list of related modules, and the Translation Theories Explained and Translation Practices Explained by Routledge, (formerly from the St Jerome publishing house, Manchester).

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Translation, dissertation