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 – a member of the European Masters in Translation Network since its inception in 2009 – has, for over 25 years, been preparing students to work as professional translators, terminologists and, latterly, project managers, specialising in the translation of economics/business and scientific/technical texts.

Programme overview

You will study translation practice in small language-specific groups, with a focus on professional standards. There is a wide range of options to choose from, allowing you to customise your studies. Languages currently on offer (subject to demand) are: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, all paired with English.

Learning from professionals and academics in a supportive environment, you will be entering a highly specialised programme, preparing you for a growing professional market, as well as for the exciting research opportunities in this expanding field. Professional translators bring their real-world experience and standards into the classroom as tutors. Experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of translation. Regular seminars in our Translation Studies series, held throughout the year, provide additional insights from a range of experienced professionals.

Main educational aims and objectives of programme

The MA in Translation prepares you to work as a professional in various fields of the translation industry, such as translation (in-house or freelance), editing/reviewing, terminology management, project management and, to a lesser extent, web and/or software localization. Focusing mainly on the practical complexities of translation as a profession, the programme allows you to choose your own pathways leading to variable areas of specialisation by selecting two of the following practice-based strands:

  1. Economic/Business Translation
  2. Scientific/Technical Translation
  3. Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes
  4. Translation Technology

The combination of modules focusing on issues of translation methodology and research, professional practices and the applications of technology in the field of translation - and modules providing a wider view of translation as a science and a field of interdisciplinary applications - renders a quality of balanced academic and professional practices to the programme.

Module overview

Programme structure

C - Compulsory, O - Optional, C/O - Compulsory or optional (depending on pathway)




Economic/Business Translation

2 x 15


Scientific/Technical Translation

2 x 15


Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes

2 x 15


Translation technology: Computer-Assisted Translation (Semester 1)



Translation technology: Corpora in Translation/Intepreting Practice & Research (Semester 2)



Translation Issues 1



Translation Issues 2



Translation of Persuasive Texts



Translating Cultures



Issues in Literary Translation*



Interlingual Subtitling**



Monolingual Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing



Research Methods in Translation






*Available from 2015/16 only

**Module subject to availability

Some modules may be withdrawn, or unavailable in certain combinations. Please enquire for further details

Compulsory modules

Translation Issues 1

This module provides you with a framework for understanding important aspects of translation and translating, drawing on key concepts from text linguistics, semiotics and text processing, as well as terminology studies.


This module allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest by writing a topic-based dissertation, by doing a translation with commentary or by compiling an electronic termbase with commentary. Successful completion of the module requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

Compulsory/Optional modules

You must select two of the following strands. You may take the other strands as options if you wish.

Economics/Business Translation I and II (language pair-specific)

This module provides students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in economics/business with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. It combines regular translation practice in smaller groups with lectures on the underlying principles of economics and applied economics.

Scientific/Technical Translation I and II (language pair-specific)

This module provides students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in science/technology with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. It combines regular, weekly translation practice in smaller groups throughout the year with a background lecture on the underlying principles of science and technology.

Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes I and II (languages offered: Portuguese, Norwegian and Russian)

This module provides you with the chance to study a new language for translation purposes. It is particularly useful for students with only one foreign language who wish to add to their portfolio of translation languages. At the end of the module, you will have the basis for further professional development in the chosen language.

Translation Technology
Computer-Assisted Translation (Semester 1)

This module provides an introduction to online resources for translators, from machine translation to terminology-management and translation-memory systems with a view to understanding the tools of the translator’s trade and also as a basis for systematic compilation of your own bilingual and multilingual resources and their use in translation. This hands-on module taught in a computer lab with individual workstations for each student also shows you how to import your past translations into a translation-memory system and build your own freelance translator’s website.

Corpora in Translation/Interpreting Practice and Research (Semester 2)

This module provides an introduction to corpora and corpus analysis tools with specific reference to the use of corpus technology in translation and interpreting practice and research. This hands-on module taught in a computer lab with individual workstations for each student shows you how to use corpora in English and in your other working languages to look up linguistic information that is not available from dictionaries or on the web, helping you with your decisions during the process of translation and improving the quality of the translation product. The module also teaches you how to compile your own corpus in order to extract  terminology and phraseology from a specialist area of your choice and introduces you to corpus-based approaches to Translation and Interpreting Studies.

Teaching hours

Teaching: 10–12 hours per week

Private study: 28–30 hours per week

Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours over three months

European Masters in Translation

In 2009, the European Commission launched a major initiative to spread good practice in translator training through its European Masters in Translation network. Following careful vetting, our MA Translation programme was amongst the first to be selected to be a member of this exciting new group. Our membership has just been renewed, providing the highest level of quality assurance to our  programme. We are proud to be part of the EMT network and able to offer this professional recognition to the students enrolling on our MA in Translation.

Professional recognition

Students may join 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 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 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: 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. 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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