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MA Communication And Language Skills

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  • Objectives
    This course is designed to produce highly competent linguists for the modern business and media world. Combining the theory with the practice of communication, it has a distinctive vocational orientation and focuses on English as the medium of communication. Graduates will understand the nature and function of communication in the modern world and will be able to produce text (written, spoken, printed and broadcast) according to a range of different agendas. Additionally, there will be opportunities to develop high-level multilingual communication skills in a translation context. The choice of languages includes Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish. These bilingual units are entirely optional.
  • Entry requirements
    The course is designed for graduates from any discipline who wish to work in business, commerce and the media as highly competent linguists. The course combines the theory of communication with the practice of communication, has a distinctive vocational orientation and focuses on English as the medium of communication.
  • Academic Title
    MA Communication And Language Skills
  • Course description
    Communication and Language Skills balances theory and practice and features units that have a high degree of professional relevance and training.

    The course is structured on the basis of core units and optional units.

    Core units

    -Communication: units and systems
    -Communicating in different contexts 1: writing
    -Research management
    -Sociology of communication
    -Communicating in different contexts 2: speech
    -Optional units
    -Computer and the translator
    -International business communication 1
    -Specialised translation 1
    -Electronic publishing
    -Technical writing
    -International business communication 2
    -Specialised translation 2
    -Multimedia communication

    These units are described briefly below.

    Exit levels
    The credit system creates a flexible framework in which you can graduate with one of the following awards, depending on the number of credits gained. Each taught unit has a credit rating of 15 credits with the dissertation worth 60 credit points:

    MA in Communication and Language Skills (four core units plus the research management and dissertation units) 180 credits

    Postgraduate Diploma in Communication and Language Skills : 120 credits

    Postgraduate Certificate in Communication and Language Skills: 60 credits

    Core Unit descriptions

    Communication: units and systems

    The unit examines a series of questions in the context of well-known approaches to semiotics. Questions include: What is the process of communication? What are signs, symbols, signalling, badges, icons? What systems of communication are there? How do they differ? What non-verbal systems of communication are there? How are they integrated with verbal behaviour? How do artificial systems of communication differ from naturally occurring ones? What theories have been proposed to describe all of these things and how can we apply them?

    Communicating in different contexts 1: writing
    In this unit you will be encouraged to develop the skills necessary to produce good professional writing in a number of fields. The unit has a theoretical and practical component, and usually covers persuasive writing, technical writing, and writing in a business/commercial context.

    Research management
    The research management unit is designed to prepare you for the dissertation. Following the discussion of suitable topics at Masters level, you will be introduced to a variety of methodologies that will enable to you to develop a practical and analytical framework for your dissertation.

    Sociology of communication
    The unit explores the roles and rules of communication, in a variety of different social environments, including non-verbal and electronically-based communication, and the complexity of linguistic exchanges among speakers. The content is based on a micro-analytical approach looking at rules of conversation and politeness as a part of the speaker’s behaviour and a macro-analytical approach through the study of language identity, power, norms, policies and inequalities in the context of social interaction.

    Communicating in different contexts 2: speech
    The unit follows on from Communicating in different contexts 1: writing, but focuses on the spoken word. Topics will include presentations, the art of persuasion, meetings and negotiations.

    You will choose your dissertation theme with support from your dissertation tutor. We will encourage you to start thinking about your dissertation topics (initial dissertation proposal) as early as possible, so that when the time comes to focus you will be in a position to take forward the dissertation dynamically (dissertation proposal and dissertation).

    Optional Unit descriptions
    Computer and the translator
    Technology plays an increasingly significant part in the life of the modern professional translator. As a consequence, the unit introduces students to key technologies, such as concordance software, dictionary generation software (TRADOS) and translation memory software (DEJA VU). Familiarisation with these technologies is promoted by means of two projects in which (a) students produce and evaluate their own glossary and (b) produce and evaluate the outputs of translation memory.

    International business communication 1
    This unit aims to acquaint learners with models of national culture and with how these models might influence language and communication skills in an international business environment. At the end of the course learners will be able to demonstrate awareness of the importance of relationship building across cultures, of non-verbal communication, of motivating international teams and the relationship between national and corporate culture.

    Specialised translation 1
    The purpose of the workshop is to provide you with opportunities to develop your practical translation skills. In each semester, an understanding of the challenges to the translator provided by three domains, such as economics, business/commerce, legal documents, is developed through the regular production and discussion of texts. At the same time, you will be encouraged to develop your reflective skills through translation commentary writing. There is a separate workshop for each language.

    Electronic publishing
    This unit will introduce you to the most significant technologies involved in the production and publishing of electronic texts. You will develop skills and understanding of the underlying principles of the appropriate software and of the legal and economic issues involved in electronic publishing.

    Technical writing
    The unit is designed to ensure that you will develop a thorough understanding of the distinguishing characteristics of technical discourse, which includes both writing and speech. This will be achieved through the analysis of existing texts, the regular production of different text types and their evaluation, using relevant concepts from linguistic and communication theory.

    International business communication 2
    This unit builds on IBC1 by enabling learners to put theory into practice. Learners will be expected to fully participate in role plays and simulations and problem-solving activities in groups. At the end of the unit learners will be able to understand and effectively use a range of styles , registers and practices appropriate to working and communicating in the context of international business.

    Specialised translation 2
    In workshop 2 a further three domains, such as technology, science and information technology, form the focus of translation activity. Assessment includes the translation project, designed to encourage you to explore a particular domain in your area of interest. A variety of tasks is introduced through, for example, an examination of pre-editing and post-editing (translation review) techniques.

    Multimedia communication
    In this unit you will explore current multimedia software authoring tools in order to produce effective communication artefacts and understand the theory that informs their production. The syllabus includes: fundamentals of digital multimedia; multimedia authoring; multimedia design and planning; journaling and reflective writing.

    Please note. All optional units are subject to staff availability and student demand

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