Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module MELA44615: Research Skills for Translation Studies

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures

MELA44615: Research Skills for Translation Studies

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to T6L107
Tied to R9K107


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with rigorous introduction to the essential research skills required in the first instance for the successful completion of an MA programme Translation Studies and Interpreting and, in the second instance, for future research at doctoral and postdoctoral level.


  • The module will consist of seminars on the following issues:
  • Using on-line and printed bibliographies to conduct literature searches.
  • Presenting bibliographies according to specified citation conventions.
  • Completing research proposals in a format typically required by funding bodies (i.e. using the headings 'Aims and Objectives', 'Research Questions', 'Research Context' and 'Methodology').
  • Understanding the role of translation memories and translation technology in terminological research and in any activity involving language transfer.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have acquired knowledge of research methodologies relevant for those working in modern languages, literary and cultural studies and translation studies.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will have acquired a range of skills specific to carrying out research in modern languages, literary and cultural studies and translation studies, including bibliographic research, bibliographic conventions and academic writing skills..
Key Skills:
  • Students will have acquired a range of broad research skills including the writing of research proposals; academic writing skills; the compiling of research bibliographies; and the understanding the position of translation technologies in professional and research activity.

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

  • Students will follow a series of seminars aimed at giving detailed, practical and, subject specific advice concerning information retrieval and literature searches, the preparation of bibliographies, the completion of research grant applications, and the preparation and presentation of conference papers.
  • The module will be taught in Michaelmas Term (Term 1) and during the induction period there will be a short series of sections introducing the students to Computer-Aided Translation tools (CAT tools).
  • As preparation for the module, students will be offered six hours of specialist training in the context of an extended induction package timetabled independently during induction week.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Training Sessions 6 in Induction week 1 hour 6
Seminars 9 3-weekly 2 hours 18
Student Preparation and Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Bibliography and Literature Review Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Bibliography & Literature Review 1000-words including titles 100% Yes
Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Proposal 750 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students will be introduced to CAT tools that are essential in order to conduct professional lexicographic research and in order to conduct critical and analytical research when discussing current translational activities that in the 21st-century rely on these technology by default. The formative assessment will be compulsory for all the students and represent a diagnostic test that will inform the students’ choice of 60-credit modules to take in Easter Term (Term 3).

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