Taught course


Lancaster University · European Languages and Cultures

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Entry requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in languages.

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in Translation has been designed to provide a gateway into the translating profession or into doctoral (PhD) studies in the field of translation studies. It offers a combination of specialist modules in translation studies alongside the opportunity to gain the linguistic and technological skills necessary to enter the profession. The programme is suitable for practising translators who do not have, but wish to gain, formal qualifications.

The MA covers the necessary linguistic and technical skills for a career in specialist industries such as legal, technical, or medical translation. It also provides a unique chance to focus on literary translation and translation’s relationship with the arts and culture, one of the research strengths of the department. Building on your existing language skills, you will have the opportunity to learn how to research specialised subjects to produce professional translations in different contexts. You will be encouraged to apply insights drawn from linguistics and translation theory and to use your technical skills in Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools.

The MA in Translation is also suitable for those aiming for a career in literary translation, editing or copy-writing. Optional modules such as Translation as Creative Critical Practice and the literary translators-in-residence scheme provide the possibility of exploring the more creative aspects of the profession.

As a preparation for entry into the translation profession, our optional placement module (Translating in a Professional Context) provides valuable professional experience, while the translation project and Independent Study Unit provide opportunities for you to pursue your own particular interests.

We combine language-specific practice in either one or two languages in addition to English. You may specialise in translation as follows: German into English; French into English; Spanish into English and English into Mandarin Chinese. You also have the possibility of studying more than one language combination during your MA.

The department is a vibrant language research community with its own resource centre, language lunch clubs and research talks available for students to attend throughout the year. Students are also able to learn a new language (currently Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Spanish) through our extracurricular language evening classes. You can find out more about these on our departmental website.

Professional Development

The Department of Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University is a Higher Education partner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), The Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies, and is part of the SDL Academic Partner Programme. SDL is one of the industry leaders in translation technology and services.

As a student on this programme, you will be able access free membership of CIOL for professional recognition. The benefits of the membership include advice on CV writing, professional networking opportunities and the CIOL mentoring scheme. You will also be able gain a free SDL Trados studio licence during your Masters through our academic partnership with SDL.

Literary Translators in Residence

Every year the Department is home to a translator or literary editor of translated literature in residence. This means that our students can develop their translation skills in literary translation alongside a professional in the field. Past translators and editors in residence include award- winning translators such as Frank Wynne and Sophie Lewis, as well as translated literature editor Bill Swainson.

Translation Research and Professional Talk Series

Throughout your MA you will be taught by professional researchers who either work in the field of translation studies or have experience as professional translators and interpreters. We also invite external speakers who are either researchers in the field of translation studies or translation professionals to give talks to our students as part of our Translation Talk series. This gives you a valuable opportunity to build an academic and professional network during your degree.

Information for international students

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Fees and funding

Learn more at our fees and funding page

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1524 592661