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Master of Science (Applied) in Multilingual Digital Communication

The first degree of its kind in Canada, the online M.Sc.(A) in Multilingual Digital Communication has been designed to respond to the increasing demand for versatile professionals who can connect the language/translation, communication, and tech/AI industries.

The interdisciplinary curriculum comprises a core module, a final internship or applied research project, and a choice of two interrelated streams:

  • A communication-oriented stream focusing on the competencies needed to create, optimize, measure, and manage multilingual digital content as part of a larger global communication strategy
  • A technology-oriented stream focusing on the competencies needed to design and manage multilingual communication processes by critically evaluating, selecting, and leading the implementation of relevant language technologies, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence–driven machine translation and other AI-based applications
Type:   Master of Science (Applied)
Schedule:  Part-time
Delivery:   Online
Credits:   45 (courses and final project)
Experiential Learning:   Internship or Applied Research Project
Unit:   Technology and Innovation
Questions?   msca-mdc.scs [at] mcgill.ca

 


 

Admissions Open in Fall 2024

The M.Sc.(A) will be open for admission in fall 2024, and successful applicants will begin their studies in fall 2025.
If you would like to be notified by email once the program is open for admission, please click the link below to fill out the request form.

Key Features
 

An innovative interdisciplinary program that:

  • Responds to the growing market demand for professionals who are adept at navigating the language, communication, and technology industries
  • Caters to mid-career professionals with education and/or experience in the language or communication fields, as well as professionals with a STEM-related degree and academic or industry exposure to these fields
  • Features a branched program design based on a “choose-your-own-adventure” approach that allows learners to opt for differentiated pathways
  • Provides learners with opportunities to interact with local, national, and international thought leaders, practitioners, industry experts, and scholars
  • Includes an applied research option that helps prepare learners to contribute to solving complex and pressing real-world problems and promotes critical reflection on the latest advances in human–computer interaction as it relates to multilingual digital communication

Career Opportunities


Industry reports confirm that language and communication professionals’ career paths and workflows are undergoing profound transformations. Recent advances in AI and large language models (LLMs) are not only changing existing roles but also giving rise to emerging tasks and skillsets that require a combination of translation and AI-interaction expertise.

Graduates of the M.Sc.(A) program will be uniquely equipped to lead the renewal and hone the competitiveness of the increasingly tech-driven Canadian language and communication industries. They will be especially well positioned for roles such as the following:

Communication stream
Bilingual/Multilingual Community Engagement Manager
Editor of Multilingual AI Content
Global Communication Strategist
Language Strategist
Localization Strategy Consultant
Multilingual Social Media and Website Specialist
Source Language AI Copy Editor
Speech AI Output Editor
Transcreator
Translation AI Reviser

Technology stream
AI Integration Specialist
Director of Language Technology Solutions
Expert in Linguist-AI Interaction
Language Technical Product Manager
Language Technology Implementation Manager
Language Technology Solutions Architect
Machine Translation Specialist
Multilingual AI Ethicist and Compliance Expert
Multilingual Data Curator
Multilingual Prompt Engineer


 

Additional roles are listed in this recent Slator article.


Message from the Graduate Program Director


When I consider the nature, goals, and future impact of the M.Sc.(A) in Multilingual Digital Communication, three terms come immediately to mind: “connect,” “integrate,” and “incubate.”

The program connects and integrates industries that currently operate in silos—specifically, the language, communication, and tech industries, which are all key to the Quebec/Canadian ecosystem. In this regard, the M.Sc.(A) is intended to contribute to the development of a new industry cluster. The program also, and necessarily, connects the (inter)disciplines underlying these industries and practices (translation, localization, communication studies, and applied computer science), thereby generating a new academic field that integrates deep expertise in multilingual communication with the latest advances in human–computer interaction.

The M.Sc.(A) is also an incubator for new approaches to learning, emerging areas of practice, applied research, and future-ready workforce development. By welcoming learners from diverse professional and disciplinary backgrounds, the M.Sc.(A) fosters the kind of interprofessional education and know-how needed to support communication between and within multilingual and multicultural societies in our increasingly digitalized world. The ongoing interaction between learners from different contexts, professions, and industries creates a constant source of bottom-up creative renewal.

Likewise, and in keeping with McGill’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the M.Sc.(A) incorporates both official and non-official languages—a significant departure from other programs. Without question, the future of tech needs to be linguistically diverse. For this reason alone, our program places as much emphasis on developing linguistically aware professionals employed in technical roles as it does on developing computationally aware language and communication professionals.

By embracing an integrated approach to multilingual digital communication, this program will enable the professionals of today and tomorrow to efficiently, strategically, and responsibly contribute to the revitalization, growth, and sustainability of the multilingual digital communication industry, here in Canada and around the world.

María Sierra Córdoba Serrano, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director
M.Sc.(A) in Multilingual Digital Communication


Who Should Apply


The M.Sc.(A) is primarily intended for working professionals with diverse profiles seeking to either upskill or pivot to emerging roles in the multilingual digital communication industry. These include:

  • Translators and other language professionals
  • Communication professionals operating in bilingual/multilingual environments
  • Professionals with a STEM background (i.e., computational linguistics, computer science, or a related discipline) who are interested in positions in the language and communication industries in technical product management, data analysis, or software development

Learning Outcomes


By the end of the program, and depending on which stream is chosen, learners should be able to:

  • Design and manage workflows, taking into account key stakeholders and relevant language technologies to facilitate effective multilingual digital communication processes
  • Evaluate language technologies, select the most appropriate multilingual digital communication solution for both organizational and functional needs, and lead a responsible implementation plan
  • Create and manage multilingual digital content using a variety of practices, including global copywriting, translation, transcreation, localization, and postediting
  • Design an integrated multilingual digital communication strategy as part of a broader global communication plan
  • Leverage existing research to make evidence-informed recommendations, and, when relevant, conduct research to solve applied problems related to multilingual digital communication
  • Evaluate, critique, and articulate arguments to influence changes in policies that affect the multilingual digital communication industry and related professions

Delivery Format


The M.Sc.(A) is a fully online, asynchronous program with live sessions.


Curriculum


The program has three components:

  • A core module that focuses on transversal competencies in translation, research, project management, global copywriting, and multilingualism management
  • A choice of two streams, one of which focuses on communication and the other on technology
  • A final internship or applied research project

The communication stream aims to strengthen the relevance of language professionals to the digital communication industry and to train global communication specialists in localization.

The technology stream aims to prepare qualified professionals able to bridge the gap between users and management, sales and technology development teams, and language service clients. These professionals can also be instrumental in giving feedback to and assisting development teams in designing user-friendly technologies that language and communication professionals, as well as other users, can easily embrace.


Courses

Core (breadth)
15 credits

Required courses (students select 5 out of 6 based on previous background):

CMDC 610 Approaches to Multilingualism Management (3 credits)
CMDC 612 Writing Effective Copy (3 credits)
CMDC 614 Translation Literacy in the Digital Age (3 credits)
CMDC 616 Research Methods in Professional Communication (3 credits)
CMDC 618 Language Technologies (3 credits)
CMDC 620 Project Management for Global Content (3 credits)


Specializations (depth)
18 credits

Localized Global Communication

  • CMDC 622 Current Trends in Multilingual Digital Communication (3 credits)
  • CMDC 630 Multilingual Desktop Publishing
    (2 credits)
  • CMDC 642 Social Media and Community Management in Multilingual Contexts
    (3 credits)
  • CMDC 644 Multilingual Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics (3 credits)
  • CMDC 646 Global Digital Communication and Localization Strategies (3 credits)
  • CMDC 650 Multilingual Content Management in Enterprise Solutions (2 credits)
  • CMDC 652 Transcreation Lab (2 credits)

Multilingual Communication Technologies

  • CMDC 623 Artificial Intelligence in Multilingual Communication (3 credits)
  • CMDC 630 Multilingual Desktop Publishing
    (2 credits)
  • CMDC 643 Technical Writing (3 credits)
  • CMDC 645 Advanced Language Technologies: Evaluation and Implementation (3 credits)
  • CMDC 647 Translation and Large Language Models (3 credits)
  • CMDC 650 Multilingual Content Management in Enterprise Solutions (2 credits)
  • CMDC 653 Data Structure for Language Professionals (2 credits)

Capstone
12 credits

CMDC 694 Practicum 1 (6 credits)
CMDC 695 Practicum 2 (6 credits)
OR
CMDC 696 Internship 1 (6 credits)
CMDC 697 Internship 2 (6 credits)
OR
CMDC 698 Applied Research Project 1 (6 credits)
CMDC 699 Applied Research Project 2 (6 credits)


Admission Requirements
 
  1. A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent, as recognized by McGill University) is a minimum requirement, preferably in translation, localization, communication studies, linguistics, or modern languages. Applicants must otherwise have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, including STEM fields, with coursework in a language- or communication-related discipline, or with at least two years of language- or communication-related industry experience.
  2. A minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 is required, or a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two years of full-time studies.
  3. An interview-based assessment will be conducted to determine whether the program is a good fit for the applicant.
  4. Applicants will also be required to present a written statement of purpose (1,000 words) in English, as well as a summary in French or another language (choice of language is subject to faculty availability). In their statement, applicants should explain why their background and experience makes them an ideal candidate for the program, and how success in the program will enable them to achieve their professional goals. A current curriculum vitae should accompany the statement.
  5. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from outside Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 100 for the Internet-based TOEFL exam test (iBT; 600 for the paper-based test, PBT) with each component score not less than 20 is required. Please use the McGill code 0935 when writing the exam.
  6. Applicants may write the IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) instead of the TOEFL exam. A minimum overall band of 7.0 is required, with each component score not less than 7.0. IELTS test scores must be sent electronically by IELTS directly to McGill University using the McGill code 0935.

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