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LN911 Critical Skills for the Translation Profession

Module Tutors
Aims and Objectives


This cross-School postgraduate module introduces students to current professional practices in the language industry from a critical perspective. Through a combination of lectures and seminars based on problem-solving activities and analysis of real-world scenarios, it will offer an in-depth understanding of the main stages in a professional translation process, providing both knowledge of and skills in a variety of professional aspects relevant to the translation industry. As well as becoming familiar with language industry demands, emerging job profiles, translation competence models, the role of technology, market requirements and the need to specialise, students will develop a critical and reflexive stance towards their position within the current translation job market. Crucially, students will acquire the necessary analytical skills to assess ethical dilemmas and the challenges and opportunities of translation as a sustainable profession.

This module aims to expand students' understanding of the translation profession in the 21st century and it will prepare them to:

  • critically assess the key demands and expectations of the job market,
  • negotiate ethical working conditions enabling social, economic and environmental sustainability in the profession,
  • apply their knowledge to reflect on and make informed decisions regarding the advancement of their careers.

The wide range of aspects considered include:

  • the diversity of job profiles and the role of professional associations
  • the different translation competence frameworks
  • the impact of technology on human translation and its societal implications
  • the need to specialise in particular domains
  • the ethics of the translation profession
  • the neoliberal economics of translation and non-hegemonic alternatives for a sustainable profession.

Additionally, the module will provide students with opportunities (workplace visits or volunteering) to engage with Language Service Providers or organisations through an optional work-visit component. This exercise will allow students to apply and expand their translation technologies skills and knowledge.

Teaching Schedule

The module consists of 12 teaching hours, across 6 weeks.

This module will be taught by the module convenor in Term 2. It is expected that representatives from the local translation industry and members of the regional Institute of Translation and Interpreting will contribute as guest lecturers for this module.

Indicative module syllabus*

The syllabus is structured in six sessions, combining lectures and seminars, with specified independent reading/learning time in between each session. Students will be provided with handouts to prepare for group discussions and seminars based on problem-solving activities and analysis of real-world scenarios.

Session 1. The job market: insights from the profession

Session 2. The translation profession in the 21st century: European Masters of Translation competence framework

Session 3. Translation and technology: societal implications

Session 4. The need to specialise

Session 5. Translation ethics and sustainability: the future of the profession

Session 6. Work-in-progress workshop about professional development plan

Optional work-visit component: the module provides students with the opportunity to complete an optional work-experience activity. Students could participate in a workplace visit to a Language Service Provider or engage in volunteer translation activities so that they can apply their newly acquired skills in a real-life situation.

*This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.


100% Course Work: Professional development plan (3,000 words)

Deadline: to be announced on Tabula in due course.

Students will write a reflective and critical piece in which they will show: (a) their understanding of translation in a professional context, focusing on one or various aspects covered in the module and engaging with academic readings; (b) and their capacity to reflect on their own career and opportunities. The plan will test the students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to make decisions about their personal and professional perspectives.