The course of Postgraduate Studies: Foundations of Terminology aims to introduce basic information about the meaning of Terminology as a field of study and in practice, as well as its basics and main strategies. The first unit covered is the context for studying terms (specialised communication), and where the terms can be found, in either oral or written specialised texts. The second unit covers the units terms use to share the representation and communication of specialised knowledge (SKU). The third unit focuses on the central component of terminology, terms, also known as terminological units. The fourth unit is dedicated to presenting the applied side of terminology (terminography), with a particular focus on the process of creating systematic terminology. Finally, unites five and six give an overview of terminology as a whole. Unit five deals with terminology as a field of study, the relationship it has with lexicology, its functions and users, and relevant theoretical models. Unit six deals with the origin and evolution of terminology, and its socio-professional diversification.


The aims of the Course of Postgraduate Studies: Foundations of Terminology are:

• To introduce students to understanding terminology as a field of theoretical and applied knowledge.
• To learn about the basic fundamentals of terminology.
• To present terminological units in the context of discourse and specialized knowledge.
• To provide the initial elements for working on preparing specialized dictionaries.

Potential candidates

Translators and interpreters, documentalists, technical writers, journalists involved in scientific dissemination, lexicographers and dictionary editors, editors of scientific magazines, philologists and linguists interested in lexicon, text book editors, teachers of languages for specific purposes, teachers and specialists in various subjects interested in building subject-specific glossaries.


Digital classroom with access restricted to course students and lecturers, with exclusive teaching material in the form of websites, discussion forums, chat, tests, exercises and administrative and academic services.

Individual attention with direct, ongoing contact with teaching staff for the taught units, the course directors, the dynamiser and the webmaster for resolving any academic queries or other issues.

Innovative teaching methodology based on discussion forums and the teaching material available on the homepage of the course's digital classroom.

Work method for the programme

The course is organised into taught units, each of which is taught by one lecturer, who handles queries and manages the debate forums every day the unit is being taught.

Students read the materials for each unit, ask the lecturer any questions, participate actively in the tutored forums and prepare given exercises. The teaching staff will tell students to improve any exercises that do not pass the first submission, personally tutoring each student.


Assessment is done by combining the following marks according to this elements:

• Results of the exercises and/or tests from all the course or workshop units.
• Evaluation of active participation in the discussion forums for all course units.
• Evaluation of the student's ability to redo exercises he/she did not pass the first time.

Academic contents

The Course of Postgraduate Studies: Foundations of Terminology is organised into six units:

Unit 1: Terminology and specialist communication
Unit 2: Specialist discourse work unit
Unit 3: Terminological unit
Unit 4: Terminographic work: compiling terms
Unit 5: Terminology: definition and functions
Unit 6: Terminology: history and organisation

Qualification and Academic Value

Students will obtain the qualification of Course of Postgraduate Studies: Foundations of Terminology awarded by Pompeu Fabra University after following, participating in and passing the exercises set throughout the course.

15 ECTS*
European Credit Transfer System. 1 ECTS credit equals a total approximate dedication of 25 hours by the participant, including teaching hours and independent work.