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MA Translation

Course Description

This programme offers intensive training in the various types of translation activity and related translation technologies required by the growing professional translation market.


This internationally recognised programme draws on the expertise of both experienced academics and professional translators, and has been preparing students to work in the Language Service Industry for nearly 30 years.

Catering for a wide range of interests within the domain of translation, the programme has a strong emphasis on practice in specialised translation, the hands-on use of translation technologies, and the specific competences required of translators in an increasingly globalised profession.

Our commitment to the highest standards of excellence in the profession is reflected in our accreditation by the European Masters in Translation (EMT) network, which we have held since the inception of the network in 2009. Our EMT membership gives you priority access to traineeships at the European Directorate-General for Translation.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/translation

Programme overview

- What makes the programme special?

The MA programme is tailored to suit current market demands. You will practise specialised translation in language-specific groups, with a focus on professional standards and opportunities to simulate real-life translation scenarios.

The domains covered include economic, business, legal, scientific and technical translation. Our strong emphasis on the use of translation technologies will allow you to work hands-on with computer-assisted translation software and state-of-the-art corpus tools and resources.

The programme also emphasises the business requirements of the industry, providing you with an opportunity to acquire necessary project management and entrepreneurial skills, and knowledge to work as a professional language service provider.

- Languages on offer

The practice-based translation modules on this programme are offered in English paired with Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, according to demand.

Programme structure

The MA Translation is studied over one year (full-time mode) or two years (part-time mode). On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a Master’s degree in Translation accredited by the European Masters of Translation.

The taught part of the programme consists of three compulsory modules and a wide range of options so that you can customise your course according to your interests.

Language-specific options are paired with English and are subject to demand. If you are a native speaker of English, you can take up to two Specialist Translation options. If you are not a native speaker of English, you will normally take one Specialist Translation option (your mother tongue paired with English).

You can also choose one ab initio language if you wish to expand your portfolio of translation languages. Options ending in ‘I’ in semester 1 must be taken in conjunction with modules ending in ‘II’ in semester 2. Each module provides 15 credits, totalling 120 credits in all.

In the summer, from mid-June to early September, you will have an opportunity to write a topic-based dissertation related to an aspect of translation of your choice (60 credits) or carry out an extended translation project (15 credits) accompanied by an analytical commentary (45 credits) under the guidance of an appointed supervisor.

If you choose not to write a dissertation, you will be awarded a Postgraduate (PG) Diploma, with which you can also enter the professional translation market.

Teaching staff

Experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of translation, while professional native-speaker translators bring their real-world experience and standards, and an up-to-date view of the translation market into the classroom.

Professional development

In addition to enjoying regular contact with professional translators in your practice-based modules, you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and wider industry aspects of the profession.

Further insights into the industry will be provided by the speakers we invite to our Translation Studies seminars series.

These include professional translators, interpreters, subtitlers and audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researchers.

In line with our aim to offer professionally relevant programmes, we have forged close links with the main professional bodies, i.e. the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the Chartered Institute of Linguists, as well as with many professional language service providers, and we have an extensive network of visiting professionals.

Career prospects

Thanks to our emphasis on professional development, our students are well-equipped to begin work as freelancers or as language service providers at international organisations, government bodies, universities and private companies.

We also regularly have students who decide to stay on to study for a PhD and pursue an academic career in Translation Studies.


Students can become a student member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and/or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL), and become a full member after graduation.

Our membership of the European Masters in Translation (EMT) network and the European Language Industry Association (ELIA) gives students priority access to internships at the European Union’s Directorate-General for Translation and the possibility to apply for a work placement with the various translation companies that are members of ELIA.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MA Translation page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

Student Profiles

TECHNE (AHRC) Studentships - No. of awards TBC

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. Studentships are awarded by TECHNE to the best students put forward by its member universities. The TECHNE training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Please visit TECHNE to find out more about the aims and opportunities of TECHNE.TECHNE – the Consortium is named in reference to the Greek term for craft – will create a new model for collaborative research skills training for PGR students across seven higher education institutions (Royal Holloway, Brighton University, Kingston University, Roehampton University, Royal College of Art, University of Surrey, University of the Arts London). TECHNE’s vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Students will benefit from a diversity of training opportunities and be able to draw on supervisory expertise from across the Consortium.It is not possible to apply directly to TECHNE for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your TECHNE application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Arts or the School of English and Languages, to go forward to TECHNE and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from TECHNE members.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee and Maintenance


Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK’s Conditions of Research Council Training Grants
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.
More Information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm

Further Information



Faculty Studentship Competition - No. of awards TBC

Faculty Studentships are available in the following areasSchool of Arts:Cultural Production, Creative Practices, Dance, Digital Arts, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Performance, Sound Recording, Theatre.School of English and Languages:English Literature, Creative Writing, Translation Studies, Modern Languages, Theoretic Linguistics (Morphology) and Applied Linguistics (Intercultural Communication).School of Social Sciences:Criminology and Criminal Justice; Developments in Methodology; Identities, Diversities, and the Life Course; Media, Culture and Communication; Science, Environment and Technologies; European politics; International politics; Social politics and methodology

Value of Scholarship(s)



Under the FASS Studentship Scheme Home / EU and International Students are eligible to apply for 2016 entry. Successful International students will be awarded a fees at the Home / EU Rate and a stipend. Please note that full international fees are not covered: candidates should ensure that they are in a position to cover the outstanding costs.Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.More information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm

Further Information



Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Native English speakers: a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree – or equivalent – in a relevant language, translation or other relevant subject. Speakers of other languages: an equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject. In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered.English language requirements-IELTS minimum overall: 6.5-IELTS minimum by component: Reading: 6.0, Writing: 7.0, Speaking: 6.0, Listening: 6.0

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