Competence-based approach to a module design for the Master Degree Programme in Translation: Challenge of Tuning Russia Tempus Project

  • Vera Zabotkina Russian State University for the Humanities, Russian Federation
  • Marina Korovkina MGIMO University, Russian Federation
  • Olga Sudakova Russian State University for the Humanities, Russian Federation
Keywords: translator training in Russia, learning outcome, competence, module, master degree programme


The article demonstrates the application of the modular competence-based approach for the design of a Master degree programme in translation studies. The case study is based on output materials produced during the lifetime of the Tuning Russia project involving a number of Russian universities, one of which is the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). The module in question – the LSP (language for special purposes) translation module – emphasizes interaction between the related disciplines on the basis of the common subject-matter, i.e. the translation of special purpose texts. The modular approach sets out to achieve key competences required for professional qualifications. In addition, the module considers teaching methods, ECTS and assessment tools. Attention is given to the concept of competence-based approach in contemporary education. The authors argue that the competence-based approach introduced in Russia at the national (Ministerial) level in 2016 facilitates Russia’s interactive alignment with the main principles of the Bologna Process adopted by the European Higher Education Area.

Received: 01 April 2019
Accepted: 24 June 2019
Published online: 29 November 2019


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Author Biographies

Vera Zabotkina, Russian State University for the Humanities, Russian Federation

PhD, is Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Programmes and Technologies, and Professor at the Department of Translation Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). She has expertise in EU project management (Erasmus+, EMA2, EM Joint MAs, Tempus, Council of Europe, UNESCO and UNICEF projects, etc.). She is a Bologna promoter and has experience in developing the university strategy of international cooperation with focus on compatibility of degrees, and curricula development for 2 cycles based on the needs of the labor market. She is a certified Higher Education Reform Expert (HERE) and an Expert of the National Training Foundation. She has expertise in setting up quality assurance system within dual degree programme in the framework of Joint European Tempus Project. Prof. Zabotkina is the editor and one of the authors of the Quality Handbook for Joint International MA Programmes. She was coordinating a group of six universities (subject area group – modern languages, translation) within the Joint Tempus project “Tuning Russia” and has more than 190 publications including 5 monographs and articles on cognitive linguistics and international projects. She is a member of the editorial board of several Scopus journals including Tuning Journal for Higher Education. She teaches a course on Foundations of Cognitive linguistics for translators/interpreters. Mail:

Marina Korovkina, MGIMO University, Russian Federation

PhD, is a Senior Lecturer teaching translation and interpreting at Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO University). She is a practicing simultaneous interpreter in the following subject areas: economics, finance, legal issues, environmental protection, education, cognitive sciences and linguistics, military and political issues, chemistry, medicine, nuclear industry, and some others. Dr. Korovkina is actively involved in research, having published about twenty papers on translation and interpreting. Dr. Korovkina also participates in Russian and European conferences on related topics. She was awarded with the Certificate of Merit by the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation for her contribution into the training of high-skilled translators and interpreters. Dr. Korovkina has designed a course aimed at developing LSP-translation skills in finance and economics. This course takes into account the differences in the conceptual and language world views of Russian and English. Its upgraded edition is used for the training of simultaneous interpreters at the graduate level. Mail:

Olga Sudakova, Russian State University for the Humanities, Russian Federation

PhD, is a professor at the Department of Translation Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), Moscow (Russia). She teaches Written Translation, International News Translation, and Publicistic Translation (English-Russian). Her research interests include text ambivalence and pragmatics in political discourse translation. She translates for “The New Historical Bulletin”, a Scopus-indexed research journal (RSUH). Dr. Sudakova participated in the Tuning Project Russia, being a coauthor of “The Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in Interpreting and Translation” (2013). Mail:


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How to Cite
Zabotkina, Vera, Marina Korovkina, and Olga Sudakova. 2019. “Competence-Based Approach to a Module Design for the Master Degree Programme in Translation: Challenge of Tuning Russia Tempus Project”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 7 (1), 67-92.