Translation (Chinese Pathway) MA - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Translation (Chinese Pathway)

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Translation (Chinese Pathway)
PGCert Translation (Chinese Pathway)

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PPA63038 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

This programme is subject to approval. This means that it has received initial agreement from the University and is currently undergoing a detailed final approval exercise, through the University¿s quality assurance processes. These processes are a requirement for all Higher Education Institutions within the UK, to ensure that programmes are of the highest standard. Occasionally there may be instances where the University may delay or not approve the introduction of the programme.

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - School of Literature and Languages

Programme Leader

WANG Fang (Lit & Langs)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To develop a broad and deep understanding of current and future opportunities and challenges of English-Chinese and Chinese-English translations in different markets and contexts.
  • To enable students to become experts in translation as a multilingual, multimodal and sometimes intralingual activity for a rapidly evolving language industry, with rapidly increasing globalization among businesses, the incremental rise of digital content/online content and increasingly personalized, digitally enhanced customer services.
  • To enable students to draw on theoretical knowledge, develop self-efficacy and confidently frame their practice using scholarly and professional writing.
  • To focus specifically on advanced technology, business and creative skills - i.e. the areas of translator education which will enable students to take full advantage of the changing language industry landscape.
  • To instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in the area of translation studies and neighbouring disciplines.
  • To provide a solid, all-round translator education that will stand students in good stead when they pursue careers in a fast-evolving language industry, as in-house translators, project managers, freelance translators, Chinese/English content writers, language service provision managers, localisation and transcreation specialists.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Translate and post-edit specialised texts to industry standards and follow best practices grounded in translation scholarship to justify choices and decisions, as well as produce Chinese/English content by means of writing, re-writing or adapting texts to target audiences in multiple scenarios. KCT PGCert, PGDip, MA Global and Cultural Capabilities, Employability, Resourcefulness and Resilience (G, E, R)
Develop key professional skills, including linguistic, translation, technological, business, interpersonal and soft skills by actively engaging in authentic translation scenarios. KCP PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability, Resourcefulness and Resilience (R, E)
Reflect on, analyse, synthesise and evaluate a range of issues relevant to translation as a discipline, practice, profession and industry, with evidence of efficient processing of complex information and problem solving. KCT PGCert, PGDip, MA Global and Cultural Capabilities, Employability, Resourcefulness and Resilience (G, E, R)
Work independently and contribute to teamwork on extended pieces of work in a sustained way, with or without guidance, and use advanced research skills on topics pertaining to both English-Chinese and Chinese-English translation. CPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Digital Capabilities, Employability, Resourcefulness and Resilience (D, E, R)
Demonstrate commitment to continuous professional development and independent pursuit of opportunities to engage with various (academia/profession/industry) stakeholders. PT PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability, Resourcefulness and Resilience (E, R)
Become competent users of language/translation technologies (including computer-assisted translation, machine translation, corpus technologies and natural language processing) to support their work in a range of translation-related tasks, during the comprehension, pre-production, production and post-production stages. PT MA Digital Capabilities, Employability, Sustainability (D, E, S)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y There is an optional work placement within the dissertation module (TRAM505)
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

The School of Literature and Languages is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Translation Studies constitutes a highly porous, interdisciplinary field and, arguably, a highly representative area of adopting global cultural perspectives in both academic pursuits and professional practice. As a relatively young discipline, it is currently reaping the benefits of recent advancements in several paradigmatic turns ¿ cultural, sociological, economic, technological ¿ that seek to explore the wide diversity of translation phenomena in the world. The programme taps into a fulsome tradition of extant research and practice whilst being forward-looking and anticipating future developments. This is achieved by exploring research developed in different parts of the world, by focusing on several language directions, by keeping a healthy balance between north-south and (especially in this case) east-west perspectives and by interrogating the boundaries between traditional typologies of translation, through the prism of technological and social change. The programme is taught in an interactive and collaborative way and students are offered ample opportunities to engage with and learn from diverse perspectives through interaction and teamwork. Given the multi-cultural backgrounds of teaching staff and invited speakers (academics or Language Services Industry experts), the programme also serves as a theatre of comparative analysis in language usage, translation practice and norm-supported professional behaviour in the service of inter-social communication. The tasks and assessments undertaken across the programme are geared towards fostering the internalisation and confident navigation in the terminology and debates relevant to the above perspectives, thus rendering MA graduates experts in their area of specialisation.

Employability: Whilst the programme does not have official accreditation, it is designed to equip students with the linguistic, translation, technological, business and interpersonal and soft skills needed for a successful career in the language services industry. Throughout the programme, and under the guidance of professional translators, students experience simulations of realistic scenarios and cover different thematic areas, such as news, business, government reports, technical, legal, and advertisement translation. The above-mentioned thematic areas are covered from a more reflective aspect in theoretical modules, where the properties of textuality and information organisation are examined in greater detail. Practical modules, technology- and business/industry-related modules jointly equip students with transferrable skills needed in prevalent and emerging areas in the industry, such as computer-assisted translation, post-editing of machine translation output, platform-enabled remote collaborative translation, managing translation projects and global supply chains. Students have an opportunity to benefit from insights into best practice and authentic examples in the remit of translation and audiovisual translation professions, as shared by invited external speakers: academics, language service experts and representatives of professional associations with whom CTS have long-standing links, including those of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Translation Automation User Society, Globalization and Localization Association. Students can take active part in a dedicated Language Services Industry Careers Fair (in semester 2). Throughout the year, they develop a Professional Engagement Portfolio, where they document work placements and other collaborations with language services providers and extra-curricular activities (such as joining a professional body, attending professional development webinars/workshops, voluntary translation work). The Professional Engagement Portfolio can also be taken as a substantial component of the University¿s Employability Award, thus allowing students to tailor the Employability Award to the Language Industry.

Digital Capabilities: Throughout this programme students learn to use the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for real-time in-class learning as well as guided learning and self-study activities so that they can unleash their research potential, systematize their translation solutions or critique existing translation solutions. Students are also introduced to and gain proficiency in specific digital tools, including inter alia, computer-aided translation tools, machine translation systems, terminological databases, terminology management tools, subtitling software, sound-editing software and corpus management tools. The teaching approach adopted is eclectic and reflective in that it is not tool-led or tool-focused as such, given that technologies evolve rapidly; rather the programme adopts an approach whereby students are trained to assess the quality, reliability and contextual understanding of technological solutions to translation and projects. This allows them to become confident, expert users of technologies in their fields of specialisation at all stages of a language service-related project: preparation/planning, process language output in different contexts, delivery of final product and evaluation. The use of the afore-mentioned types of technology are an integral part in the professional world as the speed, quality and economic value of language solutions depends on the ability to gather information, assess tried-and-tested translation equivalents and apply methodological abilities that allow optimal communication to occur across language and cultural boundaries. Thus, assessments equip students with the practical skills needed, a thorough appreciation of how technologies impact the interaction of participants and clients, and the ability to articulate (dis)advantages in the use of technological resources and specific workflows in order to achieve output that serves the purpose of communication in a given context.

Sustainability: The programme approaches the theme of sustainability in more focused or more diffuse ways across module diets and the competences developed throughout the programme. On a more local level, the topics of environmental sustainability, decent work and economic growth and sustainable consumption are addressed in practical translation modules, where students are asked to work with specialised texts (legal, technical) or less specialised (business, media) which overtly address these areas. Students therefore undertake conceptual research before they deliver such texts in another language. Tutors serve as facilitators, also offering their insights from past experience in conceptual research-linguistic output to complement individual and collective perspectives on the topic of sustainability in class. In more theoretical or technology-oriented modules, the theme of sustainability is explored ¿ through hands-on practice, group discussion and independent research ¿ from various angles. Students discover which translation digital/business solutions may best serve future tasks, thus consolidating resources, saving time and preparing them for greater volume of work and work diversification in the future (see also employability). They also actively engage with theories and debates on the visibility of cultural and linguistic minorities and on how these may be best served through language mediation, thus reducing inequalities. At the same time, students acquire thorough knowledge of language mediation as a global enabler of economic growth, expression in the creative industries and general well-being for clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds (by, say, having access to public services or consumer products in their own language). On a more general yet self-referential level, the topic of sustainability is integrated in the holistic approach to skill development throughout the academic year; each graduate is prepared for a variety of careers where language data, text transfer across cultures and adaptability to changing technological and business contexts are key. This ensures the sustainability of the translation profession itself (see also Resourcefulness and Resilience).

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The inter-disciplinary foundations of the programme are undergirded by a social sciences perspective in empirical, evidence-based investigation and by humanities-informed philosophy of reflexivity vis-à-vis the ethical use of communication skills, technology and workflows in language mediation. Such foundations, in combination with the types of assessments employed simultaneously instil a strong sense of disciplinary identity and confidence in using metalanguage/professional terms as experts in their respective areas of specialisation. The programme allows students to explore the rich diversity of translation phenomena and to develop their problem-solving skills in a supportive learning environment before venturing into the professional world. Given the nature of our programmes and a long-established culture in CTS, the above is complemented by empathic communication and academic or professional candour allowed in small groups of both practical-oriented modules and more theory-oriented modules; experience tells us that such an environment is conducive to learning through trial and error, risk taking and openness to multiple perspectives, without losing sight of desired standards of academic standards or language service provision standards. From early in the programme, students are introduced to the expectations regarding teaching, learning and assessments to facilitate self-efficacy. Timetabling and module optionality encourage agency in planning workloads and tailoring the course according to preferred domain-specific, media-specific and situation-specific types of translation. Formative and summative assessments are designed to feed forward to assessments within modules and to future modules in the programme, whilst peer feedback fosters empathy and the use of appropriate written and oral communication techniques. Throughout the programme, students have opportunities to develop their critical thinking and their responsiveness to different contexts of language transfer scenarios and phases of a project life-cycle (preparation, process, post-delivery/evaluation). The programme requires individual and collective resourcefulness in developing optimal solutions for simulated translation scenarios and in implementing the standards applicable to the provision of a language service.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

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 2024/5 academic year.