MA Translation and Interpreting Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Translation and Interpreting studies

Course unit fact file
Unit code ELAN64001
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course unit provides students with a grounding in contemporary theories of translation and interpreting from the 1960s until the present time.

The first half of the course focuses on linguistic approaches, specifically the analysis and description of texts, using a range of skills and concepts from linguistics and sociolinguistics. The second half of the course explores approaches to translation that are employed in translation studies beyond linguistic approaches, or in conjunction with them, including:

  • systems approaches
  • sociological approaches
  • feminist approaches
  • postcolonial approaches

Sessions and exercises in both parts will connect with existing literature in translation and interpreting studies, as both examples and as the basis for exercises and discussions where relevant.

This course also provides a foundation for MA writing in translation and interpreting, using exercises and coursework to cover issues related to academic writing, critical reading, and the integration of textual analysis with other forms of analysis.




  • To provide students with a metalanguage for analysing a broad range of texts and utterances, including their own translation and interpreting outputs 
  • To enable students to write critically about methods and categories of textual analysis 
  • To introduce key paradigms of research in translation and interpreting studies 
  • To develop awareness of the relationship between theory and practice 
  • To equip students with effective research and analytical skills

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a firm grasp of the metalanguage used to discuss and analyse spoken and written texts
  • Understand how linguistic issues can affect translation decisions, connecting theory with practice as well as micro-linguistic choices with wider issues
  • Be familiar with the major disciplinary approaches in translation and interpreting studies since the 1960s


Intellectual skills

  • Analyse written and spoken texts
  • Evaluate translation choices using appropriate concepts and metalanguage
  • Critically assess relevant academic literature
  • Develop and sustain a coherent argument in appropriately lucid and scholarly terms


Practical skills

  • Make informed decisions about translation and interpreting (in practice)
  • Evaluate your own decisions and the decisions of others with reference to linguistic as well as cultural/social/political concerns
  • Select and synthesise literature to back up an argument


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Structure ideas clearly and present a well-structured analysis or argument
  • Adhere to guidelines and present a professional written product
  • Plan and carry out written assignments to a strict deadline


Employability skills

Analytical skills
Time management
Problem solving
Structuring an argument
Supporting arguments with evidence

Assessment methods

Assessment task:

1. Critical review - 30%

2. Critical essay - 70%


Resit assessment:

If only one assessment task has been failed, that task will be resat.  

If both  tasks have been failed, Assessment 2 will be resat. 



Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on written assignments


Oral feedback on group discussions in seminars


Peer feedback through seminars



Recommended reading

The readings listed here are indicative overviews of topics, elements of which may be part of the actual course reading list. This is not, however, the reading list itself, which is largely made up of individual scholarly articles on various topics.

  • Baer, Brian J. and Christopher D. Mellinger (2019) Translating Texts: An Introductory Coursebook on Translation and Text Formation, London & New York: Routledge.
  • Baker, Mona (1992/2011) In Other Words, London & New York: Routledge.
  • Baker, Mona (ed.) (2010) Critical Readings in Translation Studies, London & New York: Routledge.
  • Bermann, Sandra and Catherine Porter (2014) A Companion to Translation Studies, Wiley Blackwell.
  • Hatim, Basil and Ian Mason (1990) Discourse and the Translator, London & New York: Longman.
  • Munday, Jeremy (2001/2008/2012) Introducing Translation Studies, London & New York: Routledge (third edition).
  • Venuti, Lawrence (2000/2004/2012) The Translation Studies Reader (first, second and third editions), London & New York: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kasia Szymanska Unit coordinator
Henry Jones Unit coordinator
Anna Strowe Unit coordinator

Return to course details