Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 50 Location Durham


  • Spanish Language 2A (SPAN2011) OR Spanish Language 2B (SPAN2111), OR an equivlent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages and Cultures, Liberal Arts, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Spanish Language 4 (SPAN3011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Students may take up to a total of two Translation/Interpreting modules in MLAC: Spanish Translation (SPAN3131), French Translation (FREN3051), Specialised Arabic-English Translation (ARAB3041), German Interpreting (GERM3041), French Interpreting (FREN3331) and Russian for Professional Communication (RUSS3381).


  • To develop skills of translation from and into Spanish and a theoretical understanding of the processes of translation.


  • Approaches to translation, principlesand strategies.
  • Regular practice in the translation of a variety of types of text and discussion of the strategies employed.
  • Analysis of a published translation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced knowledge of grammatical and expressive differences between Spanish and English.
  • Understanding of theoretical and practical issues arising from translation processes.
  • Enhanced understanding of the cultural implications of language use.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Advanced skills in Spanish>English and English>Spanish translation of a range of text types.
  • Enhanced ability to write precisely and effectively in Spanish and English.
  • Ability to analyse concisely and critically the process involved in producing a translation.
  • The effective use of basic translation tools (dictionaries, term banks, corpora, etc.).
Key Skills:
  • Communication skills.
  • Mediation between languages and between cultures.
  • IT skills (use of online learning environment, word processing, use of online reference sources).

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

  • A weekly review class comprises practical exercises involving discussion and group work. Some of these sessions focus on reviewing and building on regular formative translations written individually and in teams.
  • A series of lectures and seminars covers the planning of translation strategies and issues arising from the translation of different text types.
  • The summative coursework tests students' ability to undertake a substantial translation project with access to a full range of reference sources and to reflect critically upon the process and the problems encountered.
  • The end-of-year examination tests students’ ability to carry out short translations from and into Spanish in controlled conditions under pressure (with limited time but with access to reference sources), mimicking the working conditions of an urgent professional translation assignment. The examination is taken in a computer classroom, enabling the submission of word-processed target texts and access to online resources.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Review Classes 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Lectures 5 5 per year 1 hour 5
Seminars 5 5 per year 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Translation of a 1000-word text with a 700-word commentary 1,700 words 100% No
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Word-processed examination 2 hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Regular short translations; preparation of specific tasks for seminars; and a formative version of the translation-and-commentary assignment.

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