Online Course in Subtitling

Next course dates

Monday 1 June 2015 - Friday 14 August 2015

Course Details


The course lasts 11 weeks and is normally offered 3 times a year.

Tuition Fees

£725 (inclusive of 20% VAT)

Course overview

This interactive online course has been designed by a specialist in subtitling with many years of experience in teaching audiovisual translation in Higher Education and an in-depth knowledge of the subtitling industry.

The audiovisual translation (AVT) industry is currently developing at a mind-boggling rate. In particular, there has been an impressive increase in the quantity and range of audiovisual programmes in need of subtitling. This online course aims at equipping you with basic subtitling skills by introducing you to subtitling and providing hands-on training with audiovisual material taken from different authentic contexts. It covers the following topics:

  • an introduction to the key concepts of audiovisual translation and subtitling;
  • subtitling mechanics - spotting/time-cueing;
  • layout and formatting conventions;
  • translating dialects, verbal humour, and cultural specificities;
  • working in the subtitling industry.

The course does not require the purchase of any specialised software; you’ll be asked to download and install freely available subtitling software for the practical tasks.

The course follows a set format, with written course material provided at the beginning of each week, followed by self-test questions. Each unit is then followed by either group or individual tasks. The tutor is on hand on set days to help with any specific questions you may have.

The course materials, including tools for group discussions, email, assignments, quizzes etc., are accessible via Moodle (the e-learning platform used at UCL). Based on experience, the weekly workload for participants will be between 6 and 10 hours.

What will I gain from the course?

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • efficiently analyse a range of audiovisual material (e.g., films, TV shows, documentaries etc.) for subtitling purposes;
  • successfully carry out the main tasks involving subtitling: spotting or time-cueing (i.e. deciding on the in- and out-time of subtitles) and the actual translation of audiovisual material;
  • deal with the spatial and temporal constraints of subtitling by appropriately condensing and reformulating the original text;
  • tackle certain translation challenges pertaining to the handling of dialects, cultural specificities, and verbal humour;
  • select among different techniques and justify translation decisions;
  • produce subtitles in your chosen target language using subtitling software.

Certificate of Completion

There is no exam but you have to complete ALL the set tasks in order to receive a certificate of completion for this course.

Who should attend?

This online course will be useful for individuals who have a professional interest in audiovisual translation. The course will be of particular interest to translators and translation trainees embarking or thinking of embarking on a career in subtitling.

You will need a good working knowledge of English and at least one other language to translation-proficiency level. The online subtitling course is particularly appropriate for those who are or will be working from English into another language. You will also need a high level of competence with computers. Your own computer and internet access (preferably with a high-speed connection) are essential.

Language combinations

Although you will be given the opportunity to practise subtitling into your native language through a range of activities, this online course is not language-specific and students with any language combination who wish to become familiar with subtitling will benefit from it.


Please download and complete the application form (Word).

Email your application form, together with your CV, to Dr Louisa Desilla l.desilla@ucl.ac.uk.

Please write 'Online Course in Subtitling’ in the subject line of your message.

The application deadline is Friday 22 May 2015.

Payment and cancellations

All payments must be made in Sterling by debit or credit card visiting the University Online Store. The course will be listed under Conferences and Events > Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS)

Please read applicable Terms and Conditions

To register your interest for the online subtitling course and for any enquiries, please contact the Course Tutor, Dr Louisa Desilla.

Email: l.desilla@ucl.ac.uk

Benefits of online learning