Taught course

Translation Studies

Durham University · School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

Applicants must have an upper-second class bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant area.

Students with a different academic background but significant professional experience in translation are also invited to apply. In such cases, we reserve the right to assess students’ preparation for our course through a test.

Students should possess at least level C1, and preferably C2, of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or equivalent for non-European languages) – in their chosen language(s) – Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish– and in English. In some circumstances, we may require students to provide proof of language competency.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Masters in Translation Studies is recognised all over the world for its academic quality, its innovative approach to translation, and its relevance. Our students go on to successful international careers in professional translation and interpreting, academic research, diplomacy, business, journalism, and cultural entrepreneurship. They also go into professions unrelated to translation and interpreting, having acquired mastery of several languages alongside valuable expertise and experience in transcultural understanding.

What do we teach?

Practical skills

As members of the European Masters in Translation Network we specialise in a wide range of languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition, we offer core modules in the complex skills required of translators in the 21st century, including essential technological competences and strategies of intercultural mediation.

Critical and research skills

We teach our students to analyse translation as a profession, an academic discipline, and a wider set of cultural practices. In whichever direction our students choose to develop critical and research skills, our MA helps them to become better readers, listeners, communicators, and thinkers.

Professional training

We offer our students an outstanding range of work placements from which to gain highly relevant professional experience. These placements take our students into the European Commission and other international institutions, into museums and galleries, and into many other parts of the culture, heritage, and creative sectors. Wherever they go, our students blaze a trail for future cohorts, creating a dynamic network of Durham Translation graduates across the world.

Core and optional modules:

Modules may include:

Core modules (60 credits):
  • Translation Theory and Research Skills
  • Specialised Translation (Arabic <> English, Chinese <> English, French <> English, German <> English, Italian <> English, Japanese <> English, Russian <> English, Spanish <> English)
Optional modules* (select 2 to 4 = 60 credits):
  • Specialised Translation Language 2
  • Crossing Cultures: Word, Text and Image in Translation
  • History of Translation
  • Introduction to Linguistics for Translation
  • Translation Ethics and Intercultural Project Management
  • World Literature and Translation
  • Translation Work Placement
  • Conference Interpreting Chinese <> English
  • Consecutive Interpreting English <> Chinese
  • Introduction to Linguistics for Translation
  • Grant writing for Masters students

*Availability of optional modules will depend on student recruitment and staff availability

Independent study modules (60 credits):
  • Translation Studies Dissertation
  • Extended Translation Project
  • Translation Project 1 + Translation Project 2

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
£10,800 per year
International students
£22,750 per year

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details