Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (Arabic)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to T6L007


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Dissertation.


  • The final translation project is a translation, either from Arabic into English, or vice versa, the aim being to develop the translation skills acquired during the course.


  • The source text for the final translation project will be decided in consultation between the student and their supervisor according to the student's interests and the expertise of the supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will develop and demonstrate advacned translation skills and grasp of the various translation methodologies available .
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to deal with a large translation project, to locate and effectively use secondary sources, and successfully to identify and resolve translation issues.
  • Students are expected to produce a high-level idiomatic and faithful translation, composed in a source language that is grammatically correct, fluent, in the appropriate register and in compliance with the features of the appropriate genre and tex-type.
Key Skills:
  • Successful completion of the final translation project requires:
  • effective time management and the capacity to plan a major piece of work over a long period of time;
  • effective use of translation methods, procedures and devices, and secondary sources;
  • the ability to engage in self-directed learning;
  • the ability to produce a fluent idiomatic translation.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Summative assessment for the module is by a translation English>Arabic or Arabic>English of a source text of about 10,000 words, to allow the student to demonstrate the full range of their skill in translation, and their capacity for tackling a large-scale project.
  • Every student is assigned a supervisor, who will provide individualized feedback on the progress of the translation on the basis of work submitted by the student. The supervision meetings involve detailed discussions between the supervisor and the student, with the former providing relevant guidance regarding resources and methodologies that may usefully be employed. Supervisions are expected to cover general matters of translation methodology.
  • During the course of the term, each student is entitled up to 5 hours of individual consultation/supervision with the supervisor. The purpose of this is to elucidate problems of comprehension and interpretation of the original text, and discuss matters of translation strategy and tactics. The translation is to be accompanied by extensive decisions of detail outlining major problems encountered in translation, the solutions adopted in problematic cases, and the reasons why these solutions (rather than other possible alternatives) were adopted. The translation should also contain an introduction dealing with the background to the source text (including the author) of about 1,000 words, and with its relevant features (e.g. text type, genre, register), as well as a well-founded discussion of general translation points not dealt with in a consolidated manner elsewhere (approximately 2,500 words).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 5 as agreed 1 5
Preparation and Reading 595
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Translation project Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Translation (Arabic>/<English) 10,000 words (ST) 65% resit_opportunity
Commentary 3,500 words 35% resit_opportunity

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University