European Society for Translation Studies
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  • 2009-06-15
  • Denmark
  • Aarhus School of Business
  • Helle Vrønning Dam
  • Associate Professor
  • Yves Gambier
  • Unless otherwise specified, my answers apply to all universities in Denmark
  • No, in DK the degrees are normally in Language, Linguistics or Communication, not TS as such.
  • 3 years
  • Not at my university at present.
  • 3 years of BA studies and 2 years of MA studies, i.e. a total of 5 years, is the normal route in Denmark. In some universities/departments in DK a 4+ 4-structure is also possible (4 years of pregraduate studies and 4 years of MA cum PhD-studies); at our university we are currently contemplating the possibility of recruiting PhD-students even earlier, namely after 3 years(BA), followed by 5 years for a combination of MA and PhD
  • Yes, they can come into TS with e.g. a degree in language(s) or similar. To enroll at our university they must have an MA, good grades and a strong project description. We have a strict scanning procedure prior to enrolment, and only few are selected to get a scholarship and do a PhD.
  • At our university, the decision is made by the head of department, based on a recommendation by an expert assessment committee and job interviews (where we try to decide factors such as the applicant’s motivation, etc.). The research topics must fit into the research programs of the department (e.g. at our department it is business translation and interpreting).
  • At our university selection is based on a project proposal as assessed by an expert assessment committee, good grades, motivation etc. as described above.
  • In DK PhD-students are ‘normal’ employees, they make a reasonable salary and do not pay fees.
  • A total of 30 ECTS is required. The courses are organized within PhD schools, normally set up as cooperation between several university departments, sometimes at national level and sometimes at international level.
  • What courses to take is an individual matter, depending on the project and the particular needs of the PhD student in question. The decision is made by the PhD student together with the supervisor. Normally it is a combination of theoretical and methodological courses. The students attend courses during their research work, but their coursework should preferably be completed after the first two years. This answer applies to our Faculty only; I am not sure how it works at other Danish universities.
  • As described, our PhD students are integrated into national PhD schools, but they are also encouraged to participate in international networks, conferences etc.
  • No fixed length, but normally the theses are between 200 and 350 pages. Normally they are monographs, but a compilation of articles is also OK and our students are increasingly being encouraged to do compilations. No language requirements, but more and more write in English for reasons of internationalization. The thesis is expected to be completed within the 3 years allotted, but there are no sanctions if this does not happen.
  • Studies abroad for one semester are strongly encouraged, and university funding is available.
  • Associate and full professors are entitled to supervise in DK. They can come from a different university (and country), yes, but then normally our students also have a local supervisor. The role and obligations of supervisors are pretty well defined at our university.
  • Two supervisors is possible, and happens quite regularly.
  • There is no fixed structure of supervision, but at our university the supervisor and student are asked to talk about what suits the individual student best and to agree upon a certain structure at the outset. There is an evaluation of the student’s progress each six months, which at our university – after the first two periods (one year) – takes the shape of a so-called Thesis Proposal, which involves external examiners as well as the supervisor. The other evaluations are only internal.
  • The final thesis is submitted to an assessment committee consisting of normally one internal member (chair) + two external members, often from abroad. If the preliminary assessment by the committee (in writing) is positive, we proceed to a public defense during which the thesis is presented and discussed. If the committee’s assessment of the whole thing (thesis + defense) is positive, the degree is conferred.
  • The thesis must be ’made public’ before the defense, but it is only printed as a pre-publication at the university. Not with a ‘real’ publisher. No publication of articles is required.
  • Difficult question......
  • At the ASB website you can find quite detailed information about our PhD programmes: http://asb.dk/research/phd.aspx (click the English flag).


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