Languages and Translation Studies PhD

Surrey, and in particular the Centre for Translation Studies, has an excellent international reputation for its research and postgraduate tuition.

Richard Bale PhD Corpus-based interpreter training

Why Surrey?

The School of English and Languages hosts the Centre for Translation Studies. Founded in 1982, the Centre enjoys an international reputation and is staffed by scholars who are actively involved in the national and international translation and interpreting studies scene. The School is also home to world-leading research centres such as the Surrey
Morphology Group and TRANS: Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies.

Our work explores many different aspects of language and translation studies, including applied language studies, intercultural studies and sociolinguistics. In translation studies, our research reflects the evolving nature of the discipline, encompassing topics such as new technologies, audio description, sociological perspectives on translation and innovative practices in interpreting.

You will play your part in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of our multilingual and multicultural community of students and scholars. Specialist software is available to support corpus-based analysis, subtitling, computer-assisted translation/terminography and audio-description topics, as well as state-of-the-art interpreting facilities with
integrated videoconferencing.

Programme overview

We particularly welcome topics that cross discipline boundaries.

At the core of our PhD programmes are the regular meetings that you will have with your supervisors. For us, writing is key to understanding and developing new perspectives: you will be submitting written work from the very start. In the first year, you will – with the guidance and support of your supervisors – lay the foundations of
your research by refining your research proposal, engaging with the literature and planning the structure of your work, based on an agreed timetable. Throughout your studies, we are committed to thinking about your long-term career as well as your time at the University.

Key to the planning of your work is training in generic skills (for example, giving presentations and managing your time) as well as participation in a module in research methods. You will gradually learn to work more independently as you progress into your second and third years, or the equivalent for part-time students. Your supervisors will guide you on how to present at conferences and the process of getting published.

Key research areas include:

  • Audiovisual translation, including intermodal translation (eg, audio description)
  • Interpreting with a special focus on business and public service interpreting and new technologies in interpreting (remote/videoconference interpreting)
  • Text corpora - including spoken corpora - as a basis for studies of translation, terminology and interpreting; corpus-linguistic methods in translation, terminology and interpreting
  • Terminology studies, computerised terminology and terminography
  • Cultural policymaking/questioning
  • Humour theory and (audiovisual) translation
  • Linguistic/text-linguistic/pragmatic aspects of translation
  • Modelling the discourse process of (audiovisual) translation and interpreting
  • Paratextual framing of translated texts; ideology and/of translation
  • Sociological approaches: social movements and translation, translation and agency
  • Literary and cultural approaches: literary translation, transnational studies
  • Strategic and pragmatic dimensions of (audiovisual) translation and interpreting
  • Translator and interpreter education and training


The School of English and Languages is committed to the continuous development of our doctoral programmes. An important feature of this commitment is the Faculty Studentship Programme, which each year fully funds a number of three-year studentships for top-quality students, covering tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at current research-council rates for full-time or part-time study. Please see the Faculty studentships webpage for further information.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 33-48 months
  • Part-time: 45-96 months

Start date:

October, January, April, July


Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 686 509

Entry Requirements

For Translation Studies, a good Bachelors degree and/or Masters degree in translation studies (translation, audiovisual translation, interpreting), in languages (with a literary or linguistic background), or in related subject areas is required. For other topics, a good Bachelors degree in linguistics, applied linguistics, education, languages (including literature) or in related subject areas is required. Applicants wishing to pursue doctoral studies in audio description or intralingual subtitling (SDH) only require a high level of proficiency in English.

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English are required to have IELTS 6.5 or above, with a minimum of 7.0 in the Writing component.

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 UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £3,996 £12,735
Part-time £1,998 £6,368

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2014/15 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Researcher Development Programme

Our researcher development programme provides a range of workshops and support mechanisms for our postgraduate researchers.

More info

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

Contact Us

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

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