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Translation - MA/PGDip

Course Description

The Translation MA is taught by staff from a wide range of departments at UCL. Students benefit from a flexible programme of study that allows for various pathways and can include practical translation work involving particular language combinations, modules on electronic communication and translation technology, and more theoretical translation studies.

Degree information

The programme aims to develop an understanding of translation in its social, cultural and historical contexts, a grasp of the technological environment in which modern commercial and/or literary translating takes place, and, where applicable, practical translation skills involving selected language pairs. The final dissertation project provides an opportunity to produce an extended annotated translation showcasing students' translation interests and abilities.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers several pathways. Each has one core module (30 credits), optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time one year, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules
-Translation Studies

Optional modules (indicative list):
-Advanced Translation including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian languages, Spanish
-Digital Humanities modules
-Electronic Publishing modules
-Gender Studies
-Interpreting modules
-Linguistics modules
-Specialised Translation modules
-Translation and the Web
-Translation in History
-Translation Technology

Students may also choose options from across the Centre of Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry including African studies, comparative literature, European studies, gender studies

All students complete a 12,000-word dissertation consisting either of an annotated translation or of a critical discussion of theoretical, practical or historical aspects of translation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical translation exercices, case studies and web-based classes, depending on the options chosen. The core modules is assessed by essay coursework. Optional modules are assessed through unseen and written examination, coursework, translation projects and essays.


There is an ever-growing demand for highly-trained commercial, literary and other types of translators in the private as well as in the public sector and in international organisations, in Britain and abroad. Other career paths include the media, publishing and education.

First career destinations of recent graduates include:
-KPMG: Translator
-Prime Minister's Office: Translation
-Sage Publications: Account Manager Europe
-Codex Global: Junior Project Manager
-Platts: Senior Editor
-Morgan Stanley: Trading Analyst
-English Studio: Teacher
-Deloitte: Consultant
-Comms Multilingual: Sales Manager

The programme provides graduates with a range of vocational skills that enable them to pursue successful careers in the fields of translation and interpreting. Former students have gone on to work as translators for companies such as KPMG, SDL International and Alpha CRC; three graduates from 2012 have set up their own translation business. Graduates also acquire transferable skills that lead them into successful careers in publishing, media, finance, fashion, PR and education; examples include our graduates who are now working for Newsweek, the British Library, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury's and Deloitte.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Located in the heart of multicultural London, UCL provides a uniquely rich environment for studying and researching translation in all its facets, taught by specialist translation staff with a divers range of research interests including translation and the web, theatre translation, and Chinese translation.

The MA is truly interdisciplinary, with access to experts in an unrivalled variety of languages and disciplines from across Europe and further afield. This allows students to customise their own programmes in relation to their language competencies and other academic and professional interests.

UCL translation students are highly valued by the translation industry, with workshops and networking events organised during the year.

Visit the Translation - MA/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Olivia Fairweather

"UCL coupled a compelling emphasis on literary translation with the opportunity to learn how to manipulate translation technology. This, to my mind, sets the programme apart. I now feel very at ease with translation technology and I understand why it makes me a better translator. In academic terms, translating changes the way you read and as such I am a better analyst. I am just starting out in a career that I am extremely excited about. Without this degree, making these first steps would be inconceivable. I just would not have the appropriate skills."

(Student Profile)

Melodie Teruel-Vaissiere

"This programme has proved an asset in attracting potential employers. More importantly, it gave me access to the best tools available, helping me to become a better translator."


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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