‘OMG it’s happening again’ may have been many a teacher’s first thought last autumn when planning the new MA degree began at the School of Languages and Translation Studies. This is the third curricular reorganization in ten years, and everyone is worried about the time that planning always takes, which is time away from research and teaching, our primary occupations. After dozens of meetings, the principles of the new curriculum were unveiled on 28 February, 2014, to a full house – there were actually not enough seats in the lecture room for everyone interested in the plan. What, then, does this new regime mean for our students? The English Department has an excellent curriculum now, so what will the reform change in the near future?
Not to worry: for the majority of English students, few things will change much. At the end of your BA degree you still choose the Track which you follow in the Department, but you will also choose a Path within the School: either Language Learning, Research, Language Specialist or Translation (the names of the paths may still be modified). Just as before, you select two Track-foundation courses, ideally in your fourth year, and subsequently the methodology course and thesis seminar that match your interests, organized by the Literature, SLA, Discourse or Philological Track. The rest of the Advanced Studies you can fill with courses from your selected Track and Path, the major change from the current system being that you can also choose some courses, projects and book exams offered by teachers from other language departments.
For new translation students the revised MA degree will look quite different though: practically all teaching on translation and interpretation topics will be fitted into a two-year programme, which means you can fully immerse yourself in the world of international communication at the Master’s level and also get to work with teachers and students from other language departments in a multilingual environment.
Overall, it doesn’t look bad, this brave new degree. However, a lot of details will have to be sorted out in the next few weeks. We will provide more information through official channels later this spring, and the New Curriculum will kick in after the summer.