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Course content

The MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies (MATIS) aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills for a career in translation and/or interpreting, and/or for other professions which require expertise in cross-cultural communication. With its combination of theory and practice, it also provides excellent preparation for further study and research at PhD level.

The translation course units are offered in all language combinations. However, the interpreting course units are offered in specific language combinations (Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish).

Our students come from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America; each year ten or more different languages are spoken by the MA group - creating a truly multilingual environment in the centre of Manchester.

Launched by The Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies in 1995, the MA in Translation Studies has been one of the longest-running and most prestigious postgraduate degrees offered by a UK institution.


 The course aims to:

  • equip students with the knowledge and skills for a career in translation and/or interpreting or in other professions which require expertise in cross-cultural communication.
  • equip students for further study and research.
  • provide specialist training in various types of translation and/or interpreting activity, including the use of technology in translation, interpreting and related activities.
  • provide a gradual transition into the world of work through practical, real-life translation and/or interpreting tasks, according to the chosen pathway.

Teaching and learning

On successful completion of the course students will have demonstrated an understanding of:

  • translation and interpreting studies as an academic discipline and the various perspectives from which different scholars have attempted to develop theories of translation and interpreting.
  • the role of translation and interpreting in solving interlingual and intercultural communication problems.
  • the interdisciplinary nature of translation and interpreting studies and the exchange of empirical and theoretical approaches between translation/interpreting studies and other disciplines.
  • research issues in interpreting and translation, including recent approaches, current problems, and potential future developments.
  • the relationship between translation, interpreting and other aspects of language use and communication, including language patterning, textual organisation and the semiotics of verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • specific translation and/or interpreting practices and the role of the translator and/or interpreter in various sectors of economic activity including the audiovisual media, publishing, localisation, commercial and international organisations, depending on the chosen pathway.

Coursework and assessment

All core course units, specialist research-orientated course units and specialist translation course units are assessed by coursework, rather than by written examination. Specialist interpreting course units are assessed by a combination of assessed coursework and examination (see individual course unit descriptions for more details). The pass mark for MA coursework and the dissertation is 50%.

All course units are assessed by coursework essays or other assignments. Following two semesters of taught course units, MA students write a dissertation of 12-15,000 words; this can be a traditional research dissertation or a translation/interpreting dissertation. This is based on an extended translation or interpreting assignment plus critical analysis.


All postgraduate students in the School can make use of the purpose-designed Graduate School which promotes excellence in Arts and Languages Research. It is an online and physical community where postgraduate students can meet each other, access resources and organise events. As part of our stimulating Graduate School you join a cutting-edge gathering of researchers. You can keep up to date with events, conferences and seminars both in the Graduate School and further afield with our Graduate School Blog  or by following us on  twitter .

In addition to expert teaching and tuition you will be offered excellent training, be able to access great new facilities such as common rooms and workstations, use world-leading library and archive collections, and participate in a thriving academic community. The School has an exceptional record of generating and sharing new ideas, and the quality, breadth and volume of its activity is unparalleled in the UK.

Find out about the facilities available for Translation Studies students.

The University of Manchester Library  is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries. We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Career opportunities exist in all areas of the translation profession, including translation, revising and editing, terminology, localisation and in project management. Graduates have also entered careers in translator training, international business and publishing.

Read some of our graduate profiles

Visit the Translation and Interpreting Studies (MA) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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