Subtitling for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People

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As the name itself suggests, Subtitling for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing audiences (SDH) is an accessibility service intended for viewers who, due to their hearing loss, cannot fully enjoy audiovisual materials. In the form of the text presented on the screen SDH conveys what is heard in a video material, i.e. speech, music, sound effects, etc. The course is designed to gain more understanding about this particular service and the creation of quality subtitles for the target audiences.

Participants will be practicing on bespoke software Ooona, a cloud-based subtitling platform used widely in the subtitling industry. Please note the this software can be used regardless of the operating system you are working on (Mac OS, Windows, Linux).

The course does not require the purchase of any specialised software; you'll be asked to download and install subtitling software for the practical tasks, with licenses purchased by UCL.


The course lasts 11 weeks and is normally offered 2 times a year.

Next course:

  • 15th January 2024 to 31st March 2024
Course Syllabus

Thanks to fast-growing awareness about accessibility services as well as changes in international regulations, Subtitling for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) and Audio Description (AD) (for blind and partially sighted people) are becoming popular modalities of Audiovisual Translation (AVT). This online course focuses on SDH as a main means of accessing audiovisual materials by people with hearing loss. The course aims at providing you with basic skills of an SDH subtitler. The topics covered include:

  • SDH audiences
  • Types of SDH
  • SDH characteristics, e.g. character identification, sound descriptions etc.
  • SDH for children
  • SDH on different platforms (e.g. TV, DVD, cinema, the internet)

In order to complete practical tasks, you will be provided with access to professional subtitling software.

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 for SDH purposes;
  • successfully carry out the main tasks involved in SDH: spotting and translation with SDH characteristics
  • deal with the spatial and temporal constraints of subtitling by appropriately condensing and reformulating the original text to allow for the SDH specific characteristics
  • tackle challenges related to SDH for younger audiences
  • select among different techniques and justify translation decisions;
  • produce subtitles in your chosen 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.


My name is Renata Mliczak. I am a Teaching Fellow at University College London. I have recently completed my doctoral dissertation on Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH). I am a member of European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST) and the Audiovisual Translation Lab (AVT Lab), a research group working at the University of Warsaw. Apart from audiovisual translation and accessibility my interests include sign languages, language acquisition and development of reading skills by deaf and hearing children.

Who Should Apply

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 media accessibility and, more specifically, subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH).

You will need a good working knowledge of English. 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.

Operating system needed: Microsoft Windows.

How to Apply

Please download the application form below:

To apply, email your completed application form, together with a short CV, to selcs.centras-professional@ucl.ac.uk. Please write 'Online Course in SDH' in the subject line of your message.

Fees and Payment

Tuition Fees

  • £725 - Standard fee
  • £652 - Affiliate rate*
  • £616 - Returning participants who have already completed an online course with CenTraS
  • £225 - CenTraS students/graduates/academic visitors/alumni.

*CenTraS professional courses affiliates: Institute of Translators and Interpreters (ITI), Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL), The Subtitlers' Association (SUBTLE), and local organisations including ATAV, ATA, APTRAD, PEM and Translators and Interpreters Australia. For information or to add your organisation to the list of affiliates, please contact the Professional Course Co-ordinator.

Payment and cancellations

Once you have been offered a place on the course, you will be sent details of how to pay via the University Online Store:

Please note:

  • All payments must be made in full, in Pounds Sterling by debit or credit card.
  • Places are not confirmed until payment is received, which must be at least one week before the course start date.
Further Information

If you have any queries about this course, please contact us via e-mail: selcs.centras-professional@ucl.ac.uk