Module code: TRAM496

Module Overview

This module is an introduction to the practice of translation with the support of the most advanced technologies available, focusing on the demand for translators to possess expert skills to be in command of their performance and in control of the outputs of their work. The module is informed by the evolution of requirements of professional translation, namely under the influence of advanced technologies like machine translation. The focus of the module is on the interaction between translators and the computer tools that they use.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DO CARMO Felix (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: 17

Independent Learning Hours: 113

Lecture Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The indicative content for the module includes:

  • Computer technologies in general, e.g. Microsoft Office tools

  • Resources that help solve problems in translation, e.g terminological databases

  • Support provided by specialised computer-aided translation tools, e.g. SDL Trados Studio

  • Human-computer interaction in translation: the translator as an agent and technology as an aid to problem-solving

  • Capacity and limitations of machine translation; using machine translation output as an element of translation decisions

  • Different modes of translation, including post-editing of machine translation and different translation strategies

  • The influence of technology on professional practices.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Portfolio of weekly work (circa 2000 words) 50
Practical based assessment Practical task with time restrictions 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of achievement they were able to reach in terms of the defined learning outcomes.
The assessment units always include a practical and a reflective element, which are used to evaluate all outcomes of the module.

Summative assessment is composed of two units of assessment:

  1. Portfolio of weekly work (50%)
    This is composed throughout the semester as follows:
    - Students write weekly short reports (ca. 200 words) reflecting on the work done.
    - At the end of the semester, students revise and select the most important pieces describing the weekly work and write a longer commentary (ca. 500) words on the whole module.
    - They submit an end-of-semester module portfolio with ca. 2000 words

  1. Practical assignment and commentary  (50%)
    Task to be performed with a computer tool, with specific resources and time restrictions at the end of the semester.


Formative assessment

* The portfolio of weekly work is evaluated formatively by mid-semester.
* A mock practical assignment (short translation with commentary) is done two weeks before the summative practical assignment and evaluated formatively.


* Students are incentivised and free to submit work done in class or in independent study for individual feedback. Exercises are discussed and revised in class.
* Verbal feedback will also occur in class and individual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: provide students with a broad number of experiences in the use of advanced translation technologies, contextualizing them in contemporary practices of translation
  • enable students to gain competences in solving translation problems with the support of different resources and tools
  • create situations for students to search and manage information sources, compare and prioritise sources according to reliability, make decisions based on acquired knowledge and take responsibility for the final results
  • incentivise critical thinking, as necessary to extend the learning experience to future professional experience, through in-class discussions and feedback on work submitted by students

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: demonstrate problem-solving competences, by applying effective research techniques and using technologies efficiently KPT
002 Explain the advantages of terminology and information resources to solve translation problems KP
003 Use features of translation tools that allow translators to work more efficiently KP
004 Appraise the role that human translators play in contexts in which technology becomes prevalent KCT
005 Express a critical and proactive attitude towards the challenges that technology brings 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:

  • transmit the basic knowledge on the themes, discuss the implications of the different topics, and guide the self-study of the students. This objective is fulfilled by the lectures and discussions during the tutorials.

  • provide hands-on exercises for the students to test the use of the technologies, and to discover and develop their technical skills. This work is done during the weekly workshops.

  • incentivise the students to test and try new features available in the tools to improve their efficiency, and to learn more about the role of technology in professional life. This work should be done by the students in independent learning time.


Learning and teaching methods:
The number of hours for workshop and lectures per week is adjustable to each cohort of students, always totalling 22 hours (2 hours/week). Lectures are one-hour long, and they do not occur every week. Workshops can be either one-hour or two-hour long.

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: TRAM496

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

  • The module focuses on the development of strong Digital skills, in the context of the advanced use of technologies in the language industry. HCI has a dual nature, studying how technologies adapt to human needs and humans adapt to technological features. The efficient use of computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and machine translation requires that students navigate comfortably in this dual reality.
  • The ongoing dual adaptation process of HCI, which starts in class but has to be extended by independent work, can only be achieved by proactive students, who develop Resilience and Resourcefulness. After understanding the rudiments of CAT, students are incentivised to discover their own models of work, so as to efficiently complete the proposed exercises, which simulate and prepare them for real professional environments, and aim at making them feel comfortable climbing a learning curve that may feel steep.
  • The module integrates a perspective of Sustainability, based on a reflection over the balanced and fair symbiosis of human and technological capabilities, aiming at healthy professional lives for translators. The sustainability of information and language within the frame of both the human and the machinic (the computer) and their intersections is an area of relevance to this module, alongside questions about the modes of technology that store and/or report them.
  • The context of the module is given by the localisation industry, which requires professionals with Global and diverse Cultural competences. Training of translators for the new technologies aims at enabling communication across a globalised world, in which several cultures express and understand each other. In class, students produce translations into different target languages and manage the quality of their work autonomously.
  • All the factors above contribute to the Employability of the students. The practical skills with the most recent technologies used in the industry, the work across different languages, and the reflection on the impact of these skills in their professional future are elements regularly discussed in class, fostering on the students the development of a well-informed and  proactive professional attitude.

This module applies concepts and approaches from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to Translation.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Translation MA 1 Compulsory 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
Translation and Interpreting MA 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 2023/4 academic year.