Department of Languages, Translation and Media at Swansea University

Swansea University today issued the following announcement:

Swansea University has confirmed the establishment of a new Department of Languages, Translation and Media within the College of Arts and Humanities.

The department, which will be operational from August 2011, will be led by Professor Andrew Rothwell.

The new academic department will build on the University’s existing strengths in key strategic areas; with particular emphasis placed on academic rigour and graduate employability.

Professor Noel Thompson, Pro Vice Chancellor at Swansea University said: “The new department will play a major role in delivering against Welsh Assembly Government strategic objectives for widening access and employability and, at the same time, contribute to the ongoing achievement of the University’s research excellence and student experience ambitions.”

The department will offer a range of undergraduate degrees in languages – including French, German, Spanish and Italian – Translation and Media Studies. The department will also expand its Masters and PhD provision.

Dr Brigid Haines, Head of the current Department of Modern Languages at Swansea University, said: “We are delighted that this new department is seen as integral to the University’s mission. Modern Languages at Swansea has an excellent reputation as a research-intensive unit and lead provider of Welsh-medium modern language teaching in Wales. We will build on these strengths to help realise the University’s internationalisation and employability ambitions through the cross-institutional ‘Languages for All’ programme. We will also contribute to the economic regeneration of the convergence region of Wales, and to the University’s fruitful interaction with local businesses, through the ‘Work-based Learning in Languages’ initiative.”

Languages, Translation and Media will bring together more than 40 professors, lecturers and tutors to create a dynamic research and teaching unit which has already won attention and funding from outside bodies such as the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Wellcome Trust and the EU.

The new organisational structure will provide a solid basis for a strong submission to the REF (Research Excellence Framework). It will also extend language teaching and learning provision into the workplace, and across the University, to encourage all Swansea University students to take full advantage of the many opportunities to develop valuable language skills.

At the same time, Translation Studies will continue to build on its strengths; offering existing and prospective students the opportunity to study for a professionally-focused BA in Translation and MA in Translation with Language Technology – a highly popular ‘Taught Masters’ course that has been selected for inclusion in the EU’s prestigious European Master’s in Translation (EMT) Network. The established Translation Studies unit, which is at the forefront of translator training in the UK, is a member of OPTIMALE – a network of 64 universities backed by a 1 million euro grant from the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The respected PGT programmes feed a vibrant community of Translation PhD students.

Professor Andrew Rothwell, Head of the current Department of Translation Studies at Swansea University, said: “We are delighted to have achieved a successful balance between the academic and professional aspects of Translation Studies that students value and to which all members of staff contribute in different ways.”

Completing the new department is Media Studies, which combines media theory, history and practice, film and television studies, journalism, and public relations, with vocational skills supported by a developing range of internships.

Professor Rob Stone, current Head of Media Studies, commented: “The learning environment at Swansea University is energised by vibrant research in digital media, world cinema and global journalism so that students can be assured of relevant, multi-dimensional degrees.”

The Department of Languages, Translation and Media within the College of Arts and Humanities will also offer exciting opportunities for collaboration with Academi Hywel Teifi – the University’s centre of excellence for the study of Welsh language and literature, and Welsh-medium teaching and research. The Academi supports the ‘Languages for All’ programme and will continue to work closely with Translation and Media to deliver courses through the medium of Welsh.

Director of the Academi, Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, said: “This welcome announcement paves the way for an exciting and productive relationship between the new department and the Academi; enriching student experience and responding to the Welsh Assembly Government’s strategic priorities for Welsh-medium education and modern foreign languages. The new department has already succeeded in securing two additional Welsh-medium posts in Spanish and French, funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, reinforcing the excellent opportunities for studying languages through the medium of Welsh at Swansea University.”

Head of Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities, Professor John Spurr, concluded: “This initiative shows the University’s commitment to Languages, Translation and Media and underlines the fundamental role that Arts and Humanities play in achieving the strategic vision of an ambitious University; offering attractive, rigorous programmes that equip students with the skills needed in the 21st century.”

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