A good honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. Applicants whose main language is English require advanced knowledge of at least one other language (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish). English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
Months of entry
Why take this course?
This well-established programme is a practical, accredited course designed for language graduates and practicing translators, which offers a formal qualification in translating between English and any of a range of languages. It has a strong practical orientation, embracing technology and research skills that are highly relevant to translation as a career.
You can study this as a campus-based or distance learning course.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Specialise in translation between English and your choice of language from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian or Spanish
- Balance your study between translation skills, technological competence and the acquisition of theoretical methodologies
- Follow a programme accredited by the European Masters in Translation network
What opportunities might it lead to?
The MA Translation Studies at the University of Portsmouth is an accredited member of the European Masters in Translation Network, and the University is also a member of the OPTIMALE translator training network funded by the Erasmus lifelong learning scheme of the European Commission.
The course includes a strong practical element, as well as a careers element, which enables those who wish to become professionals to understand the basics of staff, agency and freelance translation work. Translation graduates are in demand for translation project management as well as editing, copywriting and related posts.
This course is accredited by European Masters in Translation. The EMT is a partnership project between the European Commission and higher-education institutions offering master's level translation programmes. The project has established a quality label for university translation programmes that meet agreed professional standards and market demands.
Our campus programme combines the opportunity for traditional classroom-based teaching, with the flexibility of distance learning. A student can complete the programme (excluding the dissertation) through classroom delivery. Alternatively, they can widen their option choices by selecting one or more units from the distance learning and supervised unit ranges.
A full time student will do one core unit and one option in each teaching block, plus their dissertation. A part time student will do a core unit in each teaching block of year one and an option unit in each teaching block of year two (plus their dissertation).
Critical Approaches to Specialised Translation
For the theoretical strand of this unit, students will be introduced to a series of concepts and theoretical frameworks in linguistics and translation studies. This unit makes substantial use of task-based learning in order to help the students to learn to apply these concepts and frameworks to the analysis of translations by other people and to their own translation practice. For the practical strand of this unit, students will work in language specific groups. They will practice translation and the preparation of commentaries as well as other translation related activities on four different specialised translation domains.
Students have the choice to complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a translation related topic or an extended translation and commentary. (Taken once core unit and options have been passed)
Options: 2 of the following:
Translation Technologies and Subtitling
This unit is designed to provide students with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with software tools which are relevant and in use in the professional world of translation. It will cover both the theory and the practice of glossary development, translation memory/machine translation usage and subtitling.
This unit is designed to develop students’ ability to communicate technical information effectively to specific audiences. It will examine a range of factors that can influence the effectiveness of communication and provide strategies to overcome communication problems
The Translation Project provides an opportunity for students to produce an extended translation in a domain of their choice. Students will be required to address a range of practical and professional issues, including market demand, time and resource management and billing, and reflect critically on them.
The Professional Portfolio is designed as a unit which allows students to profile their studies in a way which is academically or professionally important to them on the basis of previous professional experience, a work placement or internship, or any specific interests they may have in translation. This unit may be used to perform a deeper exploration of elements relating to the translation and interpreting sector not covered in other units on the MA, with the final artefact presented in the form of a small research project, report or essay.
Professional Aspects of Translation
This course will provide students with tools to maximise their employability in the sector and to enhance their professional business skills. The unit show cases current professional issues and trends.
Please note: Specialised Translation workshops will run on campus depending on student numbers. Students will join the Distance Learning workshop variant of this unit if numbers for a specific language pathway are low on campus.
The credit system creates a flexible framework in which you can graduate with one of the following awards, depending on the number of credits gained:
- MA in Translation Studies (one core unit, two optional and the dissertation): 180 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma in Translation Studies: 120 credits
- Postgraduate Certificate in Translation Studies: 60 credits
The distance learning programme will provide you with online learning materials for the units. These will be supported by asynchronous online discussion with the tutors responsible for the various course units and with other students on the course. You will also be able to communicate with your tutors on a one-to-one basis (e.g. by email, Skype or telephone).
You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor, who will oversee your work throughout the process and you will be encouraged to start thinking about your dissertation from the start of the course and submit a series of interim documents
Assessments include translations, essays and projects. All translation-related assessments provide the opportunity to practise your translation skills and simultaneously to reflect on this practice. Other assignments will evaluate your technical expertise, research skills, ability to read critically and grasp of the principal theoretical concepts relating to translation.
Graduates of the MA Translation Studies work in a variety of translation-related roles, in the UK and abroad. The course can enhance a specialism that students already have, or can help develop the relevant knowledge and skills for the profession. It is quite common to begin one's in-house career as a project manager, co-ordinating translation commissions before moving on to work as a translator. Quite a few of our graduates also go into freelance translation. A number of our graduates go on to pursue further research in translation.
Fees and funding
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Admissions Team
- 023 9284 5566