MA Translation and Interpreting Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Development Seminar

Course unit fact file
Unit code ICOM70302
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit follows on from ICOM70201 Research Methods delivered in first semester. Through that course unit the students will have acquired knowledge about the principles and practice associated with a number of research approaches, methods and techniques. The course unit ICOM70302 delivered in second semester provides preparation for undertaking a specific research project, the MA dissertation. The aims are: to develop the students’ researcher competence; to encourage critical reflection on the process of planning, designing, implementing, and presentation of research; and to support students in developing their individual dissertation project. A step by step approach is followed, guiding students through the planning and designing of the project. Once a brief outline of the overall dissertation project is established, the student will undertake a small pilot study. The experience and results of the pilot study will feed into refining the student’s plans for the dissertation to be incorporated in a formal dissertation proposal.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Research Methods in Translation and Intercultural Studies ICOM70201 Pre-Requisite Recommended


  • support students in developing their MA dissertation project;
  • develop students’ autonomy and confidence in undertaking and managing their studies and their competence in searching for and handling information relevant to their studies;
  • develop students’ confidence in demonstrating their understanding and ideas through their academic writing;
  • encourage critical reflection on the process of planning, designing, implementing, and presentation of a research project;
  • encourage critical reflection on the appropriateness of particular approaches, methods, and techniques for their own specific research activities.


Teaching and learning methods

Weekly scheduled classes will consist of a one and a half hour seminar. Classes will combine tutor-led exposition of key issues in research development with class discussion and practical exercises. The interactive tools available in Blackboard will be used to support learning, with a particular emphasis on a reflective process undertaken through a personal journal. Students will be encouraged to participate in a menu of additional skills and training sessions available within the School (PGT Skills Training).

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the practices and conventions of academic writing, of bibliographic research, and of the application of research methods in intercultural communication/translation studies projects.
  • Understand the process of conducting a research project within intercultural communication/translation studies. 

Intellectual skills

  • Assess critically existing research in intercultural communication/translation studies and the appropriateness of particular research methods for analysis of specific instances of intercultural communication/translation.
  • Develop and explain a research plan intended to answer specific research questions

Practical skills

  • Plan, conduct, and present a small-scale, independent research project.
  • Learn proactive and responsive actions to cope with uncertainties and risks over an ongoing project 

Transferable skills and personal qualities


  • effective personal strategies to organise and manage their studies
  • enhanced academic and digital skills including academic presentation and information processing
  • enhanced skills in interpersonal and intercultural communication
  • an appreciation of the value of reflection in academic and professional practice

Employability skills

The skills that are learned and practised on this course unit are useful not only in undertaking a Masters dissertation, but will also be useful in the graduate¿s future career if they are asked to undertake a research project as part of their job, or if they need to evaluate existing research.

Assessment methods

Assessment task:

Assignment 1 – dissertation outline (& ethics statement) - 20%

Assignment 2 –dissertation proposal and pilot study report  - 80&


Resit assessment:

Resit Assignment 2 dissertation proposal and pilot study report.

Feedback methods

Feedback method:

  • Oral feedback from instructor and classmates during in-class discussion and exercises.
  • Assignment 1 – written feedback and oral feedback in class.
  • Assignment 2 – written feedback.

Recommended reading

Denzin, Norman and Yvonna Lincoln, eds. 2011. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks etc: Sage.

Flick, U., von Kardoff, E. and Steinke, I. eds., 2004. A Companion to Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage. 

Saldanha, Gabriela and Sharon O’Brien. 2013. Research Methodologies in Translation Studies. Manchester: St Jerome.

Williams, Jenny and Andrew Chesterman. 2002. The Map: A beginner’s guide to doing research in translation studies. Manchester: St. Jerome.

Zhu Hua, ed. 2016. Research Methods in Intercultural Communication. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.