Module code: TRAM431

Module Overview

This module is an introduction to corpora and corpus analysis tools with specific reference to the use of corpus tools and resources in translation practice and research. Working hands-on in a computer lab, students will learn how to use existing corpora of English and their other working languages, and to create their own corpora in order to assist them with equivalence, collocation, specialised terminology, phraseology and translation decisions in general. The module also provides a grounding for corpus-based and corpus-driven research in translation studies.  

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: Q910

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 8

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to corpora and corpus analysis tools

  • Different types of corpora (monolingual, multilingual, etc.)

  • Part-of-speech tagging and other types of mark-up.

  • The use of concordances, frequencies and collocation statistics

  • Using existing corpora in translation and/or interpreting practice 

  • Building an ad-hoc specialized language corpus

  • Using corpora to research subject specific terminology and phraseology for specialized translation and/or interpreting practice

  • The use of corpora in translation studies research

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2500-WORD ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they understand the main issues involved in the use of corpora and are able to use corpora as a translation/interpreting professional and/or researcher.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A 1000-word guided commentary exploring the use of corpora for practical translation purposes (40%)

  • A 2500-word essay  based on a practical project carried out with recourse to corpora (60%)

Formative assessment and feedback

The students will receive continual informal verbal feedback during the hands-on sessions as well as formal written feedback on their assignments.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to corpora and corpus analysis tools;
  • Allow students to use corpora proficiently to complement traditional language reference tools such as dictionaries and grammars and new tools like the Internet;
  • Equip students with the knowledge necessary to become proficient users of corpora;
  • Enable students to apply their knowledge of corpora to practical translation tasks;
  • Enable students to use corpora as a tool for researching terminology and phraseology in specific subject domains;
  • Show students how corpora can be used in translation studies research;
  • Prepare students for independent research in translation studies using corpora and corpus analysis tools.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the principles of corpora and corpus analysis tools CT
002 Discern when and how to use corpora in translation practice and research CP
003 Use general language corpora as an aid to writing, translation and interpreting; PT
004 Compile an ad-hoc specialized language corpus and use it to research terminology and phraseology in specific subject domains; KPT
005 Recognize the importance of corpora in translation studies research and appraise previous studies carried out with the help of corpora KC
006 Use corpora independently in translation practice and research KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students with a good understanding of, and an opportunity to practice using, corpus technology in translation and/or interpreting practice and research. This is in line with the MA in Translation’s overall aims of combining the study of the major principles of, and scholarly approaches to, translation with opportunities for application and practice.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (11 hours) will be interspersed with hands-on activities in class and opportunities for group and whole class discussions (11 hours)

  • Contact hours will be complemented with materials for and activities for guided study posted on SurreyLearn (8 hours)

  • Self-study: reading and practising using corpora outside the classroom (120 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRAM431

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.