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The MPhil in Literary Translation is a unique opportunity to develop a wide range of practical skills related to translation, while also building a strong understanding of the theory and history of translation thought and a keen critical eye. The programme is based in the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation, where students work alongside our partners: Ireland's institute for the promotion of translation, Literature Ireland and Ireland's foremost publisher of literary translations, Dalkey Archive Press. Our students are ideally placed to build professional networks and to see the translation industry from the inside.

Translation, and especially literary translation, has been a subject of huge interest in recent years, both within academia and in industry. At the same time, the demand for well-qualified translators continues to grow internationally. The MPhil in Literary Translation equips you with the skill to apply translation theory to your literary translation practice in creative and original ways. You will craft a unique portfolio of translations under the guidance of academic and professional mentors. You will take part in team projects, aimed at simulating the realities of the translation industry, and you will be trained in the latest specialist translation tools.


On this varied and demanding course, you will be provided with a wealth of opportunities to develop your understanding of translation, expand your practical translation skills, and prepare either to work in translation or to undertake advanced research.

Core Modules

Optional Modules


All students craft their own portfolio of 8-10 literary texts of their choice, together with short commentaries on the strategies used.


All students complete a 15-20,000-word dissertation. This dissertation can take the form either of a theoretical analysis of one or more translations, or an experimental translation and commentary, in which a student posits a new way to translate, and demonstrates it.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, and practical workshops. The modules are assessed by essays, presentations and projects.

Working languages

English is the common language for all our students, and students must have a demonstrably very high level of English to apply. We do our best to accommodate as broad a range of working languages as possible for our student translators. Our students regularly work with the following languages:

  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Places are limited. Therefore, you are encouraged to contact us as early as possible to see whether your working languages can be accommodated. We are happy to accept queries from applicants working with languages not listed here, though we cannot guarantee availability.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at Trinity, please visit the Postgraduate Scholarships Website.

Careers and Employability

There is a strong and growing demand for highly-trained translators with the creativity and linguistic prowess to create aesthetically appealing work. Such translators are already sought out not only in the field of literature, but also in the private and public sector, in international organisations, media, and education. We have close ties with many such organisations, and give our students regular opportunities to interact with them.

The programme develops eight key competences that build the practical, professional, and theoretical skill base of students:

1. Transfer competence

The ability to identify issues in translating texts, and to formulate strategies to achieve identified goals.

2. Language competence

The ability to use many variations of both the source and target languages to a very high level of competency.

3. Textual competence

The ability to distinguish and reproduce literary genres and styles.

4. Heuristic competence

The ability to gather the linguistic and thematic knowledge needed to translate.

5. Literary-cultural competence

The ability to apply knowledge about differences between source and target cultures, literary movements and genres while producing translations.

6. Professional competence

The ability to gather knowledge and understanding of working in the field of literary translation.

7. Evaluative competence

The ability to assess and evaluate translation choices and translations' impacts.

8. Research competence

The ability to conduct methodical and rigorous research in translation studies.

These competencies enable our students to pursue careers in the fields of translation and interpreting, as well as project management, editing, and promoting. Recent graduates have gone on to work as translators, editors and project managers, to work for NGOs, and to pursue advanced research in the form of a PhD.


To apply, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Visit the Literary Translation (M.Phil.) page on the Trinity College Dublin website for more details!




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