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Translation and Professional Language Skills (MA)

Course Description

Languages offered
- French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish

Qualifications and durations
- Full-time MA 1 year (includes 3 months to submit dissertation)


This programme is designed to prepare linguists for careers in several areas of specialised language work in which there is a rapidly growing demand for highly trained speakers of English, both in the UK and abroad.

These include translation, editing and revision, précis writing, public service interpreting and proofreading. The programme also covers real-world skills such as translation management and setting up in business as a translator.

Placements are normally organised during the year with the language services of international organisations, government departments or translation companies.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/ma-in-tran-and-prof-lang-skil/

Why study with us?

- Team of highly experienced professional staff
- State of the art digital interpreting suites provide excellent teaching and practice space.
- Small class sizes provide high levels of student and teacher contact.
- Work placements in translating are often an option during the programme and provide invaluable practical experience.
- Motivated and multi-national student cohort offers a diverse and stimulating learning environment.
- Students are exposed to realistic training from experienced translation and interpreting trainers which prepares them for work after graduation.
- The University and city of Bath offer ample exposure for non-native students to the English language and culture of the UK.

Programme structure

Semester 1

- Editing and revision (core unit)
- Professional translation (core unit)
- Proofreading (optional unit)
- Translation management (optional unit)
- Public speaking (optional unit)

Semester 2

- Editing and revision (core unit)
- Professional translation (core unit)
- Précis writing for UN (optional unit)
- Enterprise skills (optional unit)
- Using technology in the T&I Industry (optional unit)
- Public service interpreting (optional unit)
- 15,000 word thesis: annotated translation or a project type

If you are interested in taking the German-only or Italian-only pathway, you will not be able to take the Precis writing for the UN unit (as German and Italian are not UN languages), therefore you will have to take all the other units listed below. If you have any queries about this then you can contact us (http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/about/contact-us/).

View programme catalogue (http://www.bath.ac.uk/catalogues/2015-2016/pl/pl-proglist-pg.html#H) for further information.


Through our extensive network of contacts, we try to organise placements for all students with the language services of international organisations, government departments or translation companies.

They provide an invaluable insight into the work of professional linguists and are valued highly by employers. They are not however compulsory and are not always guaranteed.

Our students have previously undertaken placements in:
- United Nations
- Institutions of the European Union
- Council of Europe

Learning and teaching

Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, classes and seminars. Lectures are quite formal, whereas classes and seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion.

We also use the software MemoQ for the delivery of the unit, Using Technology in the Translation & Interpreting Industry; this is one of the leading tools in the industry.


We have a worldwide reputation for training professional translators and conference interpreters. This programme draws on that expertise and extends into new and specialised areas of language work where there is a great demand for highly trained linguists with English as their first or ‘A’ language.

This programme has been established following feedback from a wide range of employers, including the Association of Translation Companies, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and numerous UN agencies.

Organisations are keen to recruit the linguists we produce.

About the department

The Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS) (http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/) is one of the largest departments in the University.

Many staff are leading scholars in their field and are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.

International and industrial links:
- Our department has links with 22 Erasmus partner institutions, as well as universities in Russia and Mexico.
- Research students regularly engage in fieldwork abroad, especially in the countries of the European Union, but also in Russia, Latin America and the United States.
- Students on the Euromasters programme study at two or three different sites in either Europe or the USA.
- In the case of the MA Interpreting & Translating and the MA Translation & Professional Language Skills, a number of work placements in Western Europe are made available to students in the language services of international organisations, government departments and commercial enterprises.

Our research

Experts from our department are publishing regularly in the most highly ranked international journals.

Our academic expertise and research activities are organised into three broad Research Clusters:

- Conflict, Security & International Order
- Governance, Citizenship & Policy
- Memory, History & Identity

International collaboration:
Many staff are internationally leading scholars in their field. We are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.

Projects are funded by a variety of bodies such as:

- Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- European Commission Framework Programme
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Stimulating cutting edge research:
Our diversity and the disciplinary mix of political science, political theory, policy analysis, social anthropology, political sociology and others make for a very stimulating environment for students to develop their own research projects.

The integration of our research community is further enhanced through the International Relations & European Politics (IREP) postgraduate group.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

Visit the Translation and Professional Language Skills (MA) page on the University of Bath website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

David Mossop

“Before coming to Bath, I had already worked in the translation industry for several years, first as an in-house translator, then as a freelancer. I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to up-skill and broaden my professional horizons whilst earning a well-recognised postgraduate translation qualification. I managed to do all of this at Bath. Without doubt, the best part of the programme is the teaching provided by industry experts with longstanding professional experience in their respective fields.

Despite my own years spent in the translation profession, I was still able to gain valuable new insights. I learned how to better edit and proofread texts, how to more effectively market my business, and how I could go about expanding my existing translation practice. I think the TPLS programme provides budding translators with a great foundation for and launch pad to a career in the translation industry.”

David Mossop
MA Translation and Professional Language Skills, 2014

(Student Profile)

Stephanie Lovell

2790.jpg “The MA in Translation and Professional Language Skills not only improves your language and translation abilities, but also equips you with a variety of transferrable skills - from editing and proofreading to public speaking - that are desirable in all kinds of professions. What really drew me to the programme was the opportunity to go on a placement and put all that you have learned into action in a real working environment. The course director uses her personal links to find a placement that suits your language combination and future ambitions. It is an invaluable investment that gives your CV a big boost.

Life since graduation has been non-stop. I started off working as an editor at a professional services firm in Moscow before going on to do a traineeship at the United Nations Office in Vienna. I’ll be rounding off the year working as a translator and précis-writer during the General Assembly at UNHQ in New York. The future really is bright for graduates of this programme.”

Stephanie Lovell
MA Translation and Professional Language Skills graduate, 2013


University of Bath International Scholarships Scheme - 20+ Awards

There are 75 scholarships worth £3,000 each in the University of Bath International Scholarships Scheme (UoBISS). See the website

Value of Scholarship(s)



These are for international fee-paying full-time taught master's applicants from any country and for any subject area.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



Graduate School Scholarships - 20+ Awards

There are 20 Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences scholarships each worth £2,000. See the website.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- for international fee-paying full-time taught master's applicants from any country for MA/MSc programmes in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



PGT Bath Bursaries (Home UK full time) - 20+ Awards

For the academic year 2016/17 we have 30 bursaries of £6,000 each available for new UK Masters students.We anticipate opening for applications around late April/early May. We will email eligible offer holders with further details on how to apply once we are ready to open applications.In addition, the selection panel may take into account the following widening participation criteria and information in your supporting statement when making awards, if:- the highest education level of both of your parents is below degree level or equivalent
- the occupation level of both of your parents is between SEC 4-7 (Social Economic Class)
- you are a care leaver
- you were aged 21 or over when you commenced your undergraduate studies
- you were in receipt of free school meals, Education Maintenance Allowance or 16-19 Bursary Fund
- you attended a state school and/or a low performing school
- your gender is underrepresented in your academic department
- your ethnicity is underrepresented in your academic faculty.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- be a Home (UK) student, and
- apply for and subsequently register on an eligible Masters course.An eligible Masters course leads to an MSc, MBA, MA or stand-alone MRes with a maximum duration of two years for a full time course or four years for a part time course. Part time courses must be studied at a minimum of 50% intensity (e.g. a course which would take one year if studied full time may take up to two years if studied part time). Courses studied by distance learrning are not eligible for this scheme.

Application Procedure

The application process will be online, accessible through Bath Application Tracker, which you will have access to once you apply for a course. You will be required to answer questions relating to the widening participation eligibility criteria and provide a supporting statement of around 350 words.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university. English as the first language - Candidates with English as their first language are those who have completed primary and secondary education in an English-speaking country (other criteria may be applied on a case by case basis, such as bi-lingual ability). Applicants need to offer one or two of the languages taught in the Department (French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish).

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