Course description and syllabus


Course Aims

  • To develop a basic proficiency in written scientific and technical translation into English
  • To become skilled in clear expression and sensitive to stylistic issues
  • To develop an understanding of how to manage terminological and other linguistic resources
  • To develop a critical approach to the WWW as a terminology resource

Course Prerequisites

French, German, Spanish C1 (CEFR)

Learning Objectives

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Translate technical complex texts within familiar subject domains into English, with the use of dictionaries
  • Exploit the WWW as a translation resource
  • Assess a text in terms of target audience and register and choose the most appropriate translation strategy

Core Content

This course is intended for students in their fourth year on the Combined Degree Programme. It combines practical translation work with use of a range of methodologies and utilities for exploiting and managing language resources for the purposes of translation. The practical translation element will focus on written translation, into English, of technically complex texts from the domains of biology/biochemistry/biotechnology as appropriate; these may include extracts from scientific papers, patents and popular scientific texts. The integrated translation technology component will include the use of the WWW as a resource for translation, glossary creation and maintenance and the creation of specialised text corpora. Regular attendance at classes and regular submission of coursework are essential for successful completion of the course. Classes include a weekly 2-hour practical translation class, plus approx. 2 hours a week self-study is required. Attendance records are kept for all students.

Material to be used for the course

Texts for translation will be derived from appropriate printed and electronic sources. The integrated translation technology component will focus on the WWW and terminology management.

French, German or Spanish and English.


Syllabus –Autumn Term The syllabus will be completely based around practical translation tasks, during which matters such as accuracy, idiomaticity and genre will be addressed on a heuristic basis. A variety of different types of text will be translated. Use of the WWW (on-line glossaries and dictionaries; search engines); terminology management, corpus linguistics.
Syllabus –Spring Term (A continuation of the previous term.)


Coursework: 30% - Four pieces of equally-weighted coursework (approx. 250 words each)

Examination: 40% - A two-hour written examination at the end of Term 2 (with defined resources)

From Horizons course: 30% - One piece of assessment mid-term 1, a one-hour in-class test at the end of Term 1, plus one oral examination. 

Coursework assignments should normally be submitted by the relevant deadline. A short extension may only be obtained if circumstances warrant it, with the prior agreement of the lecturer concerned. A longer extension is permissible only in exceptional circumstances. The course is moderated by an External Examiner. All marked work must be retained for resubmission at the end of the course.


Translation course 20 weeks
Horizons course 10 weeks


French -Ms Sibylle Moulin (
Spanish -Ms Iria Gonzalez-Becerra (
German -Dr F. Starr-Egger (