Module code: TRAM500

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to enable students to acquire basic and intermediate concepts of computer science and programming, and to learn how to apply them to problems related to translation-related tasks such as glossary creation, error analysis, automatic substitution. Topics to be covered include basic programming concepts such as fundamental data types, control structures, organising programs into functions and modules, as well as practical examples how this knowledge can be applied for extracting statistics from corpora, cleaning translation memories and preparing data for experiments and analyse the results. Students will learn how to analyse a problem, design solutions and implement them in a chosen programming language.

The programming language to be used in this module is Python. Students will learn not only how to implement solutions in Python, but they will also gain the skills to analyse existing pieces of code and understand how to adapt them for their needs. Practical sessions will give participants hands-on experience in writing Python programs individually and in teams. The module will also introduce students to powerful toolkits commonly used in language processing such as NLTK and SpaCy.

The module is intended for students who have no programming experience, but students with programming background interested in learning Python and how it can be used in the area of translation technology will also benefit from it.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ORASAN Constantin (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 11

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Seminar Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 8

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative module content:
• Key notions of computer science and programming, how to analyse problems and design appropriate solutions
• Basic python notions (data structures, syntax, functions, etc)
• Important NLP toolkits such as NLTK and SpaCy
• Automatic processing of multilingual texts
• Automatic extraction of statistics from corpora
• Regular expressions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Portfolio containing solutions to exercises given during the semester and reflective comments on the solutions 60
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Open book unseen test at the end of the module 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of the important concepts and paradigms of programming.

  • Ability to analyse and design solutions to problems from translation technology.

  • Knowledge of how to use existing code and NLP toolkits, and develop simple programs to help them accomplish tasks related to translation.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Portfolio of solutions to the exercises. Students will be given practical homework every two weeks and will be asked to prepare a portfolio with their answers to the homework. In some cases, students will be asked to write "small essays" (200 - 250 words) explaining how they used some tools, whilst in other cases they will need to provide documented code. The portfolios can be seen as a diary of the practical activities covered in this module. The solutions are expected to indicate any problems that the students encountered and how they solved them. In order to pass, the students will have to submit all the homework. For the homework given in the first eight weeks, the solutions will be discussed in class and the students will have the chance to update their portfolios with reflective analysis of their initial solutions. All the pieces of homework given during the semester will have to be included in the final portfolio and the marking will focus on both how the solution was achieved and on the reflective analysis. The portfolios will be due at the end of the semester.

  • Open book unseen test: Students will have to solve a number of unseen exercises in a limited time. During the test, the students will have access to all the lecture notes. The test will be organised in the last week of the semester (Week 11).

Formative assessment

  • Formative assessment will focus on student participation and class discussions throughout the module.

  • The solutions for the homework given in the first eight weeks will be discussed in the class.

  • The students will be able to discuss their solutions to the homework before submitting the portfolio.


  • Students will be provided with detailed written feedback following coursework assignments.

  • Verbal feedback will also occur in class and individual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • Provide students with a thorough understanding of the basic and intermediate concepts from computer science and programming
  • Give students the means to analyse a given problem, decompose it into subproblems at the required level of detail, and then design an appropriate implementation
  • Give students hands-on experience in how to implement solutions using Python
  • Develop students¿ skills to understand existing pieces of code and learn how to adapt them for their needs
  • Introduce students to the most important toolkits that can be used for language processing with emphasis on those that are most relevant to translation technologies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the basic and intermediate concepts from computer science and programming CKT
002 Demonstrate ability to analyse and implement computational solutions for problems from the field of translation CKP
003 Demonstrate intermediate knowledge of Python CP
004 Demonstrate ability to communicate solutions in writing using the required conventions of the field of computer science CP

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 computer science and programming with emphasis on how they can be used to tackle problems from translation. By the end of the module, students will feel confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals related to translation technology. This is in line with the MA in Translation’s overall aims of enhancing students’ background in technologies for translation.

The learning and teaching methods include:
• Lectures, seminars and workshops will be interspersed with opportunities for group and whole class discussions (22 hours)
• Contact hours will be complemented with materials and activities for guided study posted on SurreyLearn (8 hours)
• Self-study (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: TRAM500

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Translation MA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting Studies MRes 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

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.