SML8009 : Research Methods in Translating and Interpreting

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


For students to:
- have a working knowledge of a range of methods for translation and interpreting studies research
- have a working knowledge of basic descriptive statistics
- have the knowledge and skills needed to design and write up a dissertation or Translating/Interpreting Project

This module aims to prepare you to research and write an MA dissertation or Project Commentary in translating/interpreting studies, and will give you a grounding if you are doing an MPhil/PhD thesis in this field. You will learn how to use a range of research methods and library search tools, how to build your own EndNote bibliographic database, and how to use Excel for graphs and simple statistics. You will also learn about the specific chapter-by-chapter features of dissertations and project commentaries. The module is not language-specific.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Types of research, key concepts. Structure of dissertations and projects.
•       Aims, objectives, hypotheses. Planning research.
• Text studies.
•       Questionnaires and interviews.
•       Think-alouds; studying translating and interpreting strategies
•       Sampling, variables, validity, reliability.
•       Ethnography, observation, networks
•       Research ethics and dealing with people.
•       Reflexivity, researcher-as-subject studies, case studies.
•       Endnote: organising reading & references.
•       Library skills
•       Projects: From Portfolio to Commentary
•       Statistics and graphs with Excel
•       Write-up chapter structure.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

•       Practicals enable students to get hands-on practice in library skills and in using Excel and Endnote to generate graphs, descriptive statistics and bibliographies.
•       Lectures combine input and discussion of research methods and dissertation/project-writing skills.
•       They also develop teamwork and interpersonal communication. Online discussion enables students to ask queries about Dissertations & Projects in a whole module online forum.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M100including review of research methods (2,000 words). Set in Week 1, due at the end of the taught sessions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MOutline Research Proposal plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This tests both the students' knowledge of methodological principles and their ability to apply the principles and techniques learned to a real-life research project. It also motivates them into producing a practical working proposal for the subsequent Dissertation or Translating/Interpreting Project.

Reading Lists