Research methods and master’s seminar

Credit points: 3
Contact hours: 30
Type: p,s

Course Description

Objectives and competences

Awareness of the plurality of different research methods in Translation Studies and applied linguistics.

•          The ability to apply theoretical models to independent research work.
•          Understanding theoretical principles, evaluating and applying them.
•          An ability to carry out research and analyse the results.
•          An ability to identify translation-related problems and possible solutions.
•          Developing written and spoken skills in argument and discussion.
•          Recognising the features of and being able to produce academic discourse.
•          Understanding what is involved in writing a Masters dissertation.


Research work in Translation Studies
The role of theoretical models in understanding human behaviour
The connections between theoretical foundations, research methods and interpretation of results
Ethical principles in research – academic honesty, citation standards and avoiding plagiarism
Use of library and online resources
Organising research – practical aspects
Empirical research in Translation Studies
Possible research topics in Translation Studies
Cognitive research – 'think aloud protocols'
Sociological research – survey writing
Research involving corpora
Preparing and carrying out a research project: identifying a problem; establishing hypotheses; review of existing literature; collecting data; interpretation and discussion; drawing conclusions.
The seminar is directed towards helping students produce their MA dissertation: selecting an appropriate theme; writing a proposal; collecting material and identifying relevant literature; carrying out research and analysing the results; structuring the dissertation; writing abstracts, summaries and conclusion; presenting the dissertation.


The course is based on material prepared by the lecturer. Recommended reading:
•          Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad and Randi Reppen.1998. Corpus Linguistics. Investigating Language Structure and Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•          Danks, John. H. et al (ed.) 1997. Cognitive Processes in Translation and Interpreting. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
•          Hatim, Basil. 2001. Teaching and Researching Translation. Harlow: Pearson.
•          Gile, Daniel. 1995. Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
•          Koskinen, Kaisa. 2008. Translating Institutions: An Ethnographic Study of EU Translation. Manchester: St. Jerome.
•          Séguinot, Candace (ed.) 1989. The Translation Process. School of Translation, York University: H.G. Publications
•          Scholfield, Phil. 1994. Quantifying Language. A Researcher's and Teacher's Guide to Gathering Language Data and Reducing It to Figures. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
•          Tirkkonen-Condit, Sonja, (ed.) 1991. Empirical Research in Translation and Intercultural  Studies. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
•          Tirkkonen-Condit, Sonja and Riitta Jääskeläinen, (ed.) 2000. Tapping and Mapping the Processes of Translation and Interpreting. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
•          Williams, Jenny and Andrew Chesterman 2002 The Map. A Beginner's Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Manchester: St. Jerome.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and seminar.