Survey

General
  • id
  • username
  • 2009-06-15
  • UK
  • Durham University
  • School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Federico Federici
  • Lecturer
  • Ubaldo Stecconi
  • Answer applies to Durham University, UK
Structure
  • There is not a specific programme devoted to Translation Studies. Candidates register for a PhD by research.
  • 3 years FT; 6 years PT
  • In theory yes, but there is no agreement in place.
Admission
  • 3-4 years as undergraduate (4 for students of Modern Languages with Year Abroad; 3 for UG with linguistic degrees) + 1 year MA by research (FT, 2 years PT) or taught on relevant subjects (languages, linguistics, and cognate disciplines).
  • Students from different background can come into TS, provided that they can prove knowledge of foreign languages to an advanced level of competence.
  • Candidates can approach a supervisor, later applying with their proposals through the Graduate School. Applications are assessed by potential supervisors, who can discuss proposals with candidates; agreed proposals are formalized in the application form and passed to the School Director of PG studies. Finally the School evaluates the proposal.
  • 1. Originality of proposal; 2. Research expertise available in the School; 3. Methodological approach; 4. Timescale of project and its feasibility within the temporal frame.
  • Approx £ 4,000 per year (half for PT). Fees scholarship available: Durham Doctoral Fellowship, AHRC Doctoral studies; Teaching assistantships (not always available).
Programme
  • PhD candidates, who did not study one of Durham MA programmes, or equivalent programmes, preparing them to carry out research are encouraged to take the non-compulsory Research Methods and Resources module, which consist of a series of seminars on research skills (30 UK credits, 10 approx ETCS). The Graduate School also offers access to research training on academic writing, time management, speed reading and other relevant courses. The University offers an optional non-credit modules leading to the Durham Key Skills Award for Researchers.
  • No.
  • Doctoral candidates are expected to give presentations at the School Postgraduate Day and to participate in GRAD Events (Research Councils’ GRADSchool programme consists of a series of national residential workshops); additionally they are encouraged to attend and give papers at national and international conferences.
  • A 100,000-word thesis in English or in any of the languages taught in the School of Modern Languages in agreement with the supervisor and with the approval of the Board of Studies. Completion times: FT candidates, 3 years minimum, 1 year for writing up; PT candidates, 6 years.
  • Study abroad is possible; students are encouraged to apply for external grants, some travel refunds are possible for research visits.
Supervision
  • Full-time research active members of staff, holding a PhD, with research interests in translation can supervise. The Graduate School and the University regulations clearly outline the supervisor’s role.
  • Each thesis has a lead supervisor and a co-supervisor, when plausible and possible covering SL and TL, or interested in relevant or cognate research area. In practice, it is mostly the lead supervisor who works with the PhD candidate.
  • At least 6 meetings per year are agreed between supervisors and candidate. Meetings are recorded and monitored. Each year the lead supervisor writes a report on the candidate. There are 1) 6-month monitoring vivas, with internal reviewers discussing the PhD proposal; 2) 12-month monitoring (for FT) and in the 2nd year of PT candidates, School’s members of staff carry out a monitoring viva (analyzing 4,000-5,000 words of writing, an outline of the thesis, and the students’ research project) which allows progression from provisional to full PhD status, and report on progress to supervisor and to the School’s Research Committee.
Assessment
  • The viva oral exam assesses the doctoral thesis. An external examiner expert in the research area is nominated and contacted, arrangements on a date for the viva are made. The defence of the thesis takes place in the viva at the presence of an internal examiner and of the external; University regulations allow the external to consult with supervisors and also to invite them to the oral defence. Grades are Pass, Referral, Fail.
  • There are no publication requirements, although candidates are encouraged to publish.
Other
  • At the institution’s level, the strengths lie in the growing interest in Translation Studies – that overall seem to be attested to by HESA statistics for UK – however it is difficult to gauge a precise overview of the national trends; weaknesses concern unstructured format of PhD in Translation Studies.
  • Doctoral studies are organized centrally by the Graduate School, minor adjustments are provided by the School, but overall the most relevant material is accessible online: http://www.dur.ac.uk/graduate.school/.