Translation MA

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

Why Surrey?

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.

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. You should choose five options from the list below (ideally two in semester 1 and three in semester 2). Please note all optional modules are subject to demand.

Language-specific options are paired with English. 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.


Compulsory modules – 3 modules (45 credits):

Semester 1

Semester 2

Language and Translation

Technology, Business and Industry Aspects of the Translation Profession

Translation Technologies


Optional modules – 5 modules (75 credits) from the following:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Issues in Literary Translation



Corpora and Translation


Research Methods in Translation Studies


Translating Cultures


Translation of Persuasive Texts

Audiovisual Translation I

Audiovisual Translation II

Specialist Translation I

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

Specialist Translation II*

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)


Ab Initio language for Translation Purposes I

(Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian)

Ab Initio language for Translation Purposes II

(Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian)


Summer dissertation work
Topic-based dissertation or Translation Project with Analytical Commentary


*If taking Specialist Translation I for more than one language, you are only required to follow up Specialist Translation II for one of the languages chosen.

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.   

Professional recognition

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.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Ana Frankenberg-Garcia

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 2016

Entry Requirements

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

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 2016 £7,000 £13,500
Part-time Sep 2016 £3,500 £6,800

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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