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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MODL5080M Subtitling and Respeaking for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audiences

15 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Dr Carlo Eugeni

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

MAAVTS Programme entry requirements.

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Skills-focused sessions delivering key skills in subtitling for deaf and hard of hearing (SDH), respeaking and SDH quality assurance using dedicated software.


The overall purpose of this module is to acquaint students with specific methods and equip them with the necessary skills for making audiovisual content accessible for people with hearing impairments. Students will gain both theoretical and practical expertise in SDH for television and theatre, and respeaking, i.e. live subtitles though speech recognition technology. Students will be trained to implement various subtitling techniques depending on the target audience profile, as well as develop and deploy different types of quality assurance (QA) metrics to assess the extent to which specific subtitling processes and products are fit for purpose. More specifically, students will be given the tools and training required to create SHD and respoken subtitles using professional software, as well as enable them to perform a critical analysis of the context in which subtitling for hard of hearing audiences are required and suggest appropriate solutions. Training will be targeting the development of specific skills, from technical such as adequate timing of subtitles, efficient profile building and training for speech recognition technology, to more linguistic skills such as grasping the essential components of the overall meaning of a text and rendering them adequately in the audiovisual context required.

Learning outcomes
1. develop hands-on skills in television SDH, theatre SDH (or theatre captioning) and speech recognition using dedicated software;
2. work with commonly used SDH and respeaking principles and conventions;
3. identify needs and abilities of the target deaf and hard of hearing audience when it comes to accessing audiovisual content;
4. edit and condense a text with a view to subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing;
5. perform essential television SHD, theatre captioning and respeaking;
6. create and deploy appropriate quality assurance metrics for SHD and respeaking.

Skills outcomes
- hands-on skills in using dedicated technologies to produce SDH.


This module is designed to introduce students to the practical and cognitive aspects of subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Using professional software, it will teach them to manage an original audiovisual text to comply with time and space limitations specific to SDH, but also accommodate for necessary explanations, e.g. integration of descriptions of sound effects. In getting to grips with how to convert audio information into written text, the students will be able to create subtitles for different contexts, including television and theatre. This will enhance their existing general language and translation skills and contribute to their professional linguists' profiles.

Relying on conventions, guidelines and software used in the subtitling industry, this module will provide students with real-life scenarios and materials and enable them to develop the necessary skills needed to compete on the SHD market. Students will be working with professional software to create subtitles for hard-of-hearing audiences and will use adequate quality assessment frameworks to critically evaluate the adequacy of the subtitles they and their peers produce.

Combined with the expertise acquired in the other programme modules, it will make graduates suitable for a variety of pre-and post-production translation and media jobs, such as subtitling, respeaking, theatre captioning, writing and quality assurance.

The working language will be English, but most of the skills and essential principles of SDH, respeaking and QA they will acquire are transferable to any language and culture from and into which they may be working.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning201.0020.00
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will be required to prepare for each class in terms of research through online and print sources – with regard to both SDH theory and the specific subject areas covered.

Moreover, the students will be required to practise individually and in groups, to create and evaluate SDH and respeaking products in order to build upon the practical work done in class. Guidance on this will be provided by the tutor. Students will be required to carry out regular, reflective study of their own progression and development and the implementation of the skills covered.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

As the class is practice and skills-based, a week-by-week/class-by-class formative appraisal can be made by the tutors across the degree content in the modules in which these skills will be put into practice (SDH for television, respeaking, theatre captioning, QA frameworks assessment). Moreover, the tutors will also monitor formative peer-assessment practices implemented and comment on their efficiency.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalSDH file plus 1,5000 word commentary critically assessing the submitted SDH file against adequate quality metrics.100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The summative assessment comprises a single submission worth 100%. This will consist of one file in SDH format(s) produced by the student plus a 1,500 commentary which should also include a critical analysis of the submitted subtitling file using a suitable quality metric. Assessment of all learning outcomes will be included in this format. Resits will assume the same format.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/09/2020


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