Module code: TRAM498

Module Overview

In this module students learn about the distinctive features of multimodal translation, such as subtitling, dubbing, audio description and live subtitling. The module introduces students to the main challenges in each mode of audiovisual translation across a variety of genres, such as film, documentaries and video games. As such, the module will combine tutor-led components and components with a prominent practical element.

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:

  • Typology of audiovisual translation, as a type of multimodal/intersemiotic translation, which includes, inter alia, dubbing, game localisation, live subtitling and accessible audiovisual translation, such as audio description

  • Specialized approaches to the mediation of audiovisual texts, including semiotics, multimodality and social aspects of transfer across media

  • Audiovisual communication analysis for AVT purposes

  • Verbal and non- verbal elements in audiovisual texts

  • Conventions and characteristic problems of translation/transfer in different types of audiovisual translation

  • Translating spoken language and dialogue

  • Translating visual images

  • Technology and audiovisual translation

  • Past and present trends in audiovisual translation (linguistic and cultural approaches, reception and avenues for future research)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1,200-word commentary 40
Coursework EITHER 1,800-word essay OR 1,600-word commentary based on 12 mins of prepared AV material 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

* knowledge and understanding of audiovisual transfer
* knowledge of the technical and stylistic characteristics of different types of AVT
* ability to analyse, interpret and create translated audiovisual discourse
* ability to select and synthesise information in a principled, lucid and scholarly manner
* subject-specific knowledge of multimedia translation.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A Written Commentary (1,200-words) (40%) (to be submitted in the first half of the semester)
    This takes the form of a guided commentary task, enabling students to explore and test subject-specific knowledge and develop research skills.

  • ONE of the following:
    - A Written Assignment (1,800 words) (60%) (to be submitted at the end of the module).
    This takes the form of an essay, enabling students to develop subject-specific knowledge in this field and to develop research skills in their chosen AVT mode.
    - A Written Commentary (1,600-word commentary based on 12 mins of prepared AV material) (60%) (to be submitted at the end of the module).
    This takes the form of a reflective, critical commentary task, enabling students to explore and test subject- specific knowledge and develop research skills. Students will be required to choose their own audiovisual material, prepare it for a certain context of production and discuss how linguistic/cultural challenges have been tackled.

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: familiarise students with key concepts and debates in audiovisual translation studies
  • familiarise students with frameworks for analysis of audiovisual materials
  • enable students to establish links between AVT frameworks and translation strategies in audiovisual communication so that they can make informed choices when preparing a project in a relevant field.
  • familiarise students with the characteristics of AVT, including the tools and software applications used, the stylistic/technical profile of the final product and the context in which AVT occurs

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: demonstrate knowledge of cross-linguistic, cross-cultural issues in AVT, which will allow them to question own assumptions and to compare established practices and norms in audiovisual translation KCP
002 Make informed decisions about the production of sustainable audiovisual outputs, such as subtitles or voice over excerpts, based on knowledge of how language is processed in both written and spoken modes KP
003 Apply theoretical approaches to solve translation problems, with a view to achieving sustainable digital solutions CPT
004 Develop self-efficacy and resilience in justifying and explaining audiovisual translation choices by analysing the decision process that led to digitally and theoretically informed solutions CPT
005 Demonstrate knowledge of the broader social, legal and technological contexts of audiovisual Translation, which will allow them to question own assumptions and will stand them in good stead for future employment KCPT
006 Develop/make effective use of relevant conceptual tools and assess (digitally informed) creative content that will be transferable to the other modules and the MA dissertation 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) multimodal features to audiovisual translation practice, which will extend beyond the strict remit of module tasks and will be useful in other modules, especially those with a creative component (creative industries, 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 audiovisual translation problems

  • equip students with the ability to assess and exploit the functionality and operation of audiovisual translation software and to apply their multimodal analysis skills, all of which are highly valued in the professional world

  • equip students with the ability to understand elements of effective audiovisual discourse, including the analysis of image-language relations, the management of spatio-temporal and technical characteristics of audiovisual discourse, to reflect on audiovisual products and to gain confidence in in creating culturally appropriate texts with a view to enhancing their translation work and their future employment

  • equip students with the ability to communicate as experts about the main challenges/themes in audiovisual translation, using metalanguage in the field of audiovisual 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 audiovisual translation from a technical, linguistic and client compliance perspective

  • The above contact hours will be complemented with materials (such as existing filmic material, audiovisual translations, podcasts, industry reports and manuals) and activities (such as planning an audiovisual translation project) for guided study posted on SurreyLearn

  • Students are expected to read language-related and audiovisual translation-related sources outside classes in order to build their confidence in discussing multimodal discourse and they are expected to practice with dedicated software before/after each class so as to maximize their participation in hands-on exercises tackled in class and to prepare for their assignments

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: TRAM498

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 explores audiovisual translation as a mode of translation where a holistic appreciation of interactions between language, image, sound and music are required by producers and consumers of relevant texts in this area (Digital Capabilities). It also explores audiovisual translation as a popular type of translation in several contexts of the creative industries, a type of linguistic transfer that entails responding to a specific client brief and linguistic or technical norms, widely recognized as key transferrable skills sought by employers in the creative industries (Employability; Global and Cultural Capabilities). The module also offers a critical overview of the evolution of audiovisual translation studies as a sub-discipline in translation studies with a wide remit, from traditional film translation to accessibility services for clients with sensory impairments (subtitling for the deaf, audio description for the blind) (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 multimodal 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 and the translation for the creative industries module in Semester 2) (Employability).

 As such, it allows students to demonstrate knowledge of the main challenges in subtitling and dubbing (Digital 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 linguistic transfer problems and justifying those to others (Sustainability; Resourcefulness); it presents them with opportunities to demonstrate digitally informed solutions, for example, by subtitling from a master file and working with different genres, from films and documentaries to games (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
Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Interpreting 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

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 2025/6 academic year.