Module code: TRAM503

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the key critical considerations and creative and technical decisions faced by translators of works in the cultural/creative industries, such as the film, theatre, creative or publishing industries. By focusing on the repertoires and creative decisions that such translation entails, the definition of  ‘translation’ will be examined rather broadly, namely, both as a form of interlingual transfer and as a creative platform for (re)writing texts.

Examples are offered from the areas of advertising, cultural heritage, tourism, performance (drama translation) and entertainment/art (children’s literature, comic books, films). The module is suitable for students with different language backgrounds and it offers a creative practical component as well as insights into how the creative industries work.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ASIMAKOULAS Dimitris (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

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative module content:

  • Introduction to key concepts pertaining to semiotic and broader cultural or ideological aspects in translation of selected texts (such as advertisements, tourism texts, museum texts, plays, comic books).

  • Practice in applying these concepts to their respective source text-target text language pairs.

  • Practical source-text analysis exercises.

  • Exploration of the transformative synthesis of micro-level features, macro-level organisation and pictorial elements in specific samples. • Integration of cultural considerations and aspects of rhetorical organisation in translation.

  • Audience requirements and marketing preferences.

  •  Translation and creativity/originality ('transcreation' in industry settings);

  • Using Machine Translation to explore creativity in translation.

  • Exploring professional roles and workflows in the creative industry

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1,000-word reflective commentary 40
Coursework 2,000-word critical essay 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • ability to analyse and interpret translated texts from the areas of advertising, cultural heritage, tourism, performance and entertainment/art

  • ability to select and synthesise information in a principled, lucid and scholarly manner

  • subject-specific knowledge relating to linguistic and semiotic aspects of translation

  • the development in their creative writing skills in selected areas

  • their development of research and writing skills

  • productive and informed critical reflection on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A Written Reflective Commentary (1000 words) (40%) (to be submitted in the first half of the semester)
    This takes the form of a reflection on a culturally adapted text, enabling students to explore and test subject-specific knowledge, to develop research skills and to develop professional presentation skills of their final written contributions

  • Critical Essay (2000 words) (60%) (to be submitted at the end of the module)
    This takes the form of an extended written piece reflecting on a transcreation project (new or existing) enabling students to develop research skills and subject-specific knowledge in a specialised area with a view to unlocking their creativity.


Formative assessment

Formative assessment is provided in exercise de-briefing posted on the VLE and in real-time, in-class student participation and class discussions throughout the module.


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

  • The module aims to: introduce students to key concepts and debates in translation for the cultural and creative industries
  • familiarise students with frameworks for analysis of texts in the fields of advertising, cultural heritage, tourism, performance and entertainment/art
  • equip students with the skill to (re)frame or (totally) recontextualise information in order to secure a similar/equivalent response in a different context of cultural consumption
  • familiarise students with translation as a creative process, a vehicle of building upon but also of creatively rewriting originals
  • expose students to the realities of the creative industries
  • offer students an overview of translation in the creative industries as a field of research

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: relate the fundamentals of key theoretical approaches to cultural facets of translation, with a view to suggesting sustainable digital solutions C
002 Develop self-efficacy and resilience by reflecting in a productive and critically-informed fashion on translation practice in a principled, lucid and scholarly manner and/or by demonstrating sufficient expertise to translate creative texts to adequate academic standards C
003 Analyse the strategic interaction of pictorial and linguistic elements with a view to questioning own assumptions, creating effective translations and self-evaluating the strategic use of (digital) resources KCT
004 Develop self-efficacy and resilience by reflecting in a productive and critically-informed fashion on the process affecting specific outputs in translation activity, thus questioning own assumptions and self-monitoring performance for real-life texts posing similar challenges KT
005 Gain awareness of the issues, priorities and workflows in the creative industry which will be useful for students' future employment KPT
006 Develop/make effective use of relevant useful concepts and assess (digitally informed) creative content that will be transferable to other modules in the programme CPT

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:

  • equip students with the ability to conduct independent research and assess (digitally informed) aesthetic, cultural and promotional features to translation practice, which will extend beyond the strict remit of module tasks and will be useful in other modules, especially their practical translation modules

  • Engage students who have different language specialisms and maximize their learning by drawing on their own language-specific experience and by confidently contributing to discussions in the multi-lingual group of the class with a view to questioning own assumptions and comparing solutions to translation problems

  • facilitate students’ productive reflection on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it by enabling them to develop/make effective use of relevant concepts that will be transferable to other modules in their programme, and to practice problem-solving and priority-setting skills which will be useful for future employment

  • equip students with the ability to understand elements of effective texts, including the analysis of image-language relations and patterns of creative discourse, to reflect on them and to gain confidence in in creating culturally appropriate texts with a view to enhancing their translation work

  • equip students with the ability to communicate as experts about the main challenges/themes in the creative industries, using metalanguage in the field of translation studies effectively and confidently

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Seminars, which are interspersed with opportunities for group and whole class discussions, where students will be able to assimilate, apply and question acquired knowledge and where they will be able to analyse concrete examples of translation from a process, product and cultural appropriacy angle. The above contact hours will be complemented with further materials (such as existing translations, texts, podcasts, exercise de-briefing) and activities (such as planning translation) for guided study posted on SurreyLearn

  • Students are expected to read language-related and transcreation-related sources outside classes in order to build their confidence in discussing elements of persuasion and cultural appreciation and they are expected to prepare texts for classes in advance so as to maximize their participation in hands-on exercises tackled in class

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: TRAM503

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 both explores translation as a method of allowing messages to travel across languages and cultures and as a decision-making process that entails responding to a specific cultural brief, widely recognized as a key transferrable skill sought by employers in the creative industries (Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities). Whilst non-language specific (i.e. can be taken by students who have been learning any foreign language and have developed their translation skills), it is suitable for any translation/interpreting postgraduate student with a flair for creative translation and who wishes to pursue a career in the language service industry sector (an outlook also shared by the professional translation practice modules in Semesters 1 and 2) (Employability).   

As such, it allows students to demonstrate knowledge of the main challenges in different fields of specialization in the creative industries (Global and Cultural Capabilities).); it helps them develop confidence in solving translation problems and learning from their own translation performance and experiences (Resourcefulness and Resilience); it helps them develop as critical, creative thinkers and effective communicators who excel in applying evidence-based, varied solutions to translation problems and justifying those to others (Sustainability; Resourcefulness); it presents them with opportunities to demonstrate digitally informed solutions to translation problems concerning various areas, from literature and comic books to advertising campaigns and varied units of translation, from the smaller (terms, individual words) to the more complex (multimodal documents) (Sustainability; Digital Capabilities). As with all modules, students are expected to engage with online material and resources on the VLE (Digital Capabilities).

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Translation MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting Studies MRes 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Writing MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 2 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.