Captioning and subtitling in the West Midlands Arts and Cultural Sector

Undergraduate Research Scholarship project 2020

Department of Modern Languages

Project academic: Emma Tyler

Project summary

The research that you will carry out for this project will contribute to the development of an innovative new module for the MA in Translation Studies, examining how captioning and subtitling are used in cultural venues in the West Midlands to widen access to audiences with hearing loss.

Captioning (single-language) and subtitling (between two languages) are often used to support audio-visual displays in art galleries, or live and recorded performances (ballets, opera, theatre). We want you to help us found out about how captioning and subtitling are integrated into arts programming, who carries out the work, how are they trained and recruited, what are the constraints under which they operate and what policies govern the provision?

Your findings will be incorporated into our new module, which aims both to train translators in useful additional skills and provide an understanding of how these skills are used in real-world contexts.

What you will do 

  • Gather and evaluate data from representatives of a variety of West Midlands-based arts and cultural organisations
  • Research captioners/subtitlers employed by these organisations
  • Develop resources for use in teaching
  • Test the Department’s new subtitling software to evaluate suitability for project-related teaching resources

Skills required 

  • Effective planning and record-keeping
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal skills, such as an ability to negotiate and respect other people’s time
  • Effective writing and proofreading skills
  • Willingness to engage with new technology (subtitling software)
  • An ability to adapt as the project evolves
  • Desirable: Familiarity with the arts and cultural sector, through work experience/academic study and/or extracurricular activities, such as dance, drama or musical performance

How will the project benefit you?

  • Increase awareness of creative content delivery
  • Improve knowledge of professional standards
  • Practise essential project management skills, such as collation of data and time management
  • Enhance networking skills

Where now?


Professional Services