Audiovisual Translation MA

This programme allows you to effectively use audiovisual technologies in order to give audiences access to relevant services and products.

Why Surrey?

Developments in the areas of technology, (market) globalisation, mobility and communication have been so rapid in the last few decades that the ways in which information is shared has completely transformed. Self-realisation and expression in artistic, private communication or public/working environments are now directly linked to technologies involving multimodal documents. From the way in which educational materials are designed to the way news items and cultural products in an ever-expanding entertainment industry are made available to consumers, the dominance of moving images has become a given.

This is a programme that follows closely such developments by examining movements from the visual/aural plane to the verbal plane. Our programme provides a broad introduction to the subject, ranging from dubbing and voice-over to surtitling and subtitling, while offering a practical focus on professionally oriented training in interlingual subtitling. 

Programme overview

Learning from professionals and academics in a supportive environment, you will be entering one of the few programmes dedicated to audiovisual translation, which will prepare you for a growing professional market, as well as for the exciting research opportunities in this expanding field.

Professional subtitlers bring their real-world experience and standards into the classroom as tutors. Experienced academic staff with excellent research records help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of audiovisual translation. Regular seminars in our Translation Studies series, held throughout the year, provide additional insights from a range of experienced professionals.

The programme is offered in English paired with Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, according to demand. The programme offers 24/7 access to computer labs and the latest professional subtitling software.

Module Overview

Programme Structure

* Only one of these modules needs to be taken

C - Compulsory, O - Optional

Modules Credits MA
Interlingual Subtitling 2x15 C
Applied Linguistic Principles 15 C
Audiovisual Translation Issues 15 C
Intralingual Audiovisual Translation (Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing) 2x15 C*
Audio Description 2x15 C*
Economics / Business Translation 2x15 O
Scientific / Technical Translation 2x15 O
Creative Writing 2x15 O
Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes 2x15 O
Translation of Persuasive Texts 15 O
Translating Cultures 15 O
Research Methods in Translation Studies 15 O
Issues in Literary Translation 15 O
Dissertation 60 C

Compulsory Modules

Interlingual Subtitling (language pair-specific)

In this module, students will learn how to produce subtitles for foreign-language films, TV series, and for more factual programmes. The focus will be on acquiring skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, sound, text), developing strategies for transferring audio information to written form and learning to create subtitle files using professional subtitling software.

Intralingual Audiovisual Translation (Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing)

In this module you will learn how to produce intralingual subtitles in order to meet the needs of SDH viewers. The focus will be on acquiring skills for analysing the various components of audiovisual materials (speech, sound, text), developing strategies for transferring audio information to written form and learning to create subtitle files using professional subtitling software.

Audio Description

In audio description, additional narrative is inserted in films, TV programmes or theatre performances to describe actions, body language and other essential details in order to increase the comprehension and enjoyment of audiovisual contents for blind and partially sighted people. In this module you will learn how to produce effective audio descriptions using professional AD software.

Audiovisual Translation Issues

In this module, you will learn about the various forms of audiovisual translation such as subtitling, dubbing, voice-over and audio description, their development, their major challenges, as well as their overall relationship to translation.

Applied Linguistic Principles

Drawing on pragmatic models of communication, this module will help you to develop an understanding of how verbal language and other modes of communication are used for the creation and comprehension of meaning.

Optional Modules

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will be able to select optional modules according to your specific interests. You can complement your skills in paper translation or audiovisual translation, or you may learn a new language for translation purposes. Alternatively, you can take an option on creative writing (subject to availability) or explore issues of creativity in other areas, such as advertising.


You will have the opportunity to specialise in an aspect of the programme by writing a topic-based dissertation, or by doing a subtitling / audio description project with commentary. Successful completion of the module requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

Contact Hours

Teaching: 10–12 hours per week

Private study: 28–30 hours per week

Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours

Professional recognition

There is no professional accreditation body for audiovisual translation. However, students may join the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) as student members.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme director

Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas

Find out more

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions Enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 24 months

Start date:

Sep 2015

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: 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. Non-native speakers of English will also have to meet the English language requirements specified for this programme.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component:

Reading: 6.0
Writing: 7.0
Speaking: 6.0
Listening: 6.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2015 £6,600 £13,300
Part-time Sep 2015 £3,300 £6,700

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2015/16 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumni of Surrey you could be eligible for a 10% discount on our Taught Masters programme fees.

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