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Professional Translation MA

Course Description

Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Professional Translation at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

The MA in Professional Translation MAPT (previously Translation with Language Technology) is an integrated programme designed to turn entrants with proven excellence in foreign languages into successful and marketable professional linguists.

Key Features of MA in Professional Translation

The MA in Professional Translation belongs to the European Master's in Translation Network which currently has 64 members throughout Europe with Swansea University being the only EMT member in Wales.

At the core of the MA in Professional Translation lies advanced translation work on general, administrative and technical text types, and training in industry-standard Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. Part 1 of the Professional Translation degree also includes opportunities to develop specialised skills in Public Service Interpreting, audiovisual translation, machine translation (MT) and software localization, terminology management, video making or digital publishing, while in the Translation Work Experience module students form simulated translation companies, working with local translation businesses, and undertake real commissions to professional standards and deadlines.

These different skills come together in a choice of Part 2 projects: either two Extended Translations of the student’s choice, or an academic Dissertation, or a 13-week Internship in a translation company, in the UK or abroad.

Course Content

Part One – Full-time Professional Translation students take three 20-credit (10 ECTS) modules in each of two academic semesters, while part-time students can distribute the same work flexibly over four semesters. There are three compulsory modules: Foundations of Translation and Interpreting, Translation Tools, and one Advanced Translation module from the range of language pairs listed above. Professional Translation students then choose three optional modules. These include: a second Advanced Translation module, History and Theory of Translation, one or two modules in Interpreting, Translation Technologies, Audiovisual Adaptation (subtitling, dubbing, audio description), Terminology Management, Translation Work Experience, or (subject to numbers) Video and Documentary Making, or Visual Communication and Media Design. There is also the option to study a new language intensively (French, German, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish), or to pick up again at intermediate level a language (French, German, or Spanish) not studied since secondary school.

Part Two - An individual project of 60 credits (30 ECTS) which full-time Professional Translation students undertake over the summer (by 15 September), while part-time students have up to a further year. The project can take three forms:

- Two Extended Translations with commentary. These are chosen by the Professional Translation student and offer the opportunity to develop domains of specialisation. At least one must be technical and must be performed using a major CAT tool; or

- Dissertation (15,000-20,000 words). This can be, for instance, on a topic in Translation Studies, a comparison of two or more published translations, terminology research in a specialised domain, or an investigation into aspects of translation technology. The dissertation offers excellent preparation for PhD work, but can also be a valuable indicator of professional expertise (e.g. in terminology or CAT tools); or

- Internship (13 weeks full time, part time pro rata). This is the most vocational option and can be undertaken either in the UK or abroad. We make our extensive list of professional contacts available to students but they must make their own application to companies and pass admissions tests. A successful internship may turn into a first job.


Modules on the MA in Professional Translation include:

Foundations of Translation and Interpreting
Advanced Translation
Translation Tools
Translation Technologies
Translation Work Experience for MA Students
Terminology Management
Beginners' Language
Intermediate Language
Extended Translations
Translation/Interpreting Internship

Student Quote

“After graduating from Swansea University with a First Class Honours BA Translation degree, I decided to study the MA in Professional Translation (previously Translation with Language Technology) and I also set up a translation business, Veritas, with a fellow graduate. Our business was successful from the outset, and we have experienced high rates of growth year on year. Veritas has won numerous awards, including the HSBC International Business Award in 2010, and we work with companies such as the British Red Cross, Nokia and the NHS. We now employ 9 members of staff and are still growing rapidly. Companies love to work with us, as they can see our passion for language and communication with other cultures. For me, it was a dream to study near the sea, and I loved Swansea so much that I made it a permanent home for my family”.

Rachel Bryan, Professional Translation, MA

Visit the Professional Translation MA page on the Swansea University website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Nicholas Dobson


“I wanted to use my skill in languages in my future profession, and the vocational course I am currently doing will allow me to do just that.

My MA Translation with Language Technology is a one-year taught Masters course which covers translation theory, software and practical work, followed by a dissertation (or two exended translations) during the Summer.

I chose to do my postgraduate studies at Swansea because, whilst many places offer translation courses, very few deal with the technological aspects, namely the use of Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) software. This software helps to speed up and improve the consistency of translations, and is essential for the professional world.

I had a great experience at Swansea as an undergrad, and that helped me decide to stay. Swansea is a friendly place with a village culture, and with the Gower Peninsula on your doorstep and the beach just across the road from campus, there are plenty of good reasons to stay!

I was lucky enough to receive a Swansea University Masters Bursary to help pay for my tuition fees. When my course finishes I have secured a six month position as a Translation Intern with a company in Brussels. After that, I could apply for a job as an in-house translator or, if the mood takes me, go freelance instead."

(Student Profile)

Sian Brooks


"I am currently in my second year of a part-time MA in Translation with Language Technology whilst on a career break from teaching. Postgraduate study was something I always wished I had done, and I chose Swansea University partly because of its location, but mainly because of the course: I wanted to do language-based research and the language technology focus of the course sounded exciting!

The course has taught me about translation for different areas, such as legal, business, medical and technical environments, but what really sets it apart is the language technology element: Learning how to use cutting-edge Computer Assisted Translation tools really prepares you for professional translation work.

Postgraduate study has been an extremely positive experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and have benefited hugely from the experience and support of my language tutors who have been inspiring.

The course has given me huge confidence, not just in translation and IT skills, but also generally. I recently did an interpreting job which I would never have dreamed of taking on before the course. I may return to teaching, but will certainly be exploring freelance translation and interpreting opportunities."


100 Swansea University Master's Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Swansea University is offering 100 Master’s Scholarships, each worth £3000 towards tuition fees for UK/EU students starting eligible master’s courses in September 2017.Eligible courses include:All LLM programmes (including LLM by Research)All MA programmes (including MA by Research)All MRes programmesAll MSc programmes (including MSc by Research)Please note that MPhil, GDL/CPE and LPC programmes are not eligible for the Swansea University Master’s Scholarship scheme.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must have, or expect to achieve, a minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent).You must hold an offer to study on an eligible master’s course at Swansea University from September 2017. Programmes commencing in January, April and July 2017 are not eligible.

Application Procedure

Please visit our website for more details on how to apply.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for the Professional Translation MA is a first degree, normally in Translation, a Language or a related subject, normally an upper second or above (or equivalent). As an alternative, we can accept a minimum of two years of relevant professional translation experience. Overseas students must be able to demonstrate English language competence at IELTS 6.5. level (or equivalent).

Last Updated

31 March 2017

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