Translation Studies MA

This programme offers you the opportunity to explore the main issues in the discipline of translation studies and constitutes a sound academic basis for a doctoral programme.

Why Surrey?

The MA Translation Studies caters for students with an interest in translation studies in all its aspects (translation, interpreting, audiovisual translation, intermodal translation) rather than those with a more targeted professional orientation.

Programme overview

The programme provides a particular focus for research-oriented applicants who have set out with a clear goal of moving from Masters to PhD in Translation Studies. It is also of interest to those who are attracted by the more reflective perspective of translation studies as an academic discipline rather than by translation, subtitling or interpreting practice. The programme is therefore envisaged not only as a stand-alone Masters programme but also as part of a package leading to our doctoral programme.

The primary aims of this Masters programme are to provide an overview of the principal issues in the fast-growing field of translation studies, with a strong element of problematisation and criticality, and to prepare you for independent research. The range of choice in the optional modules is indicative of the widening landscape of translation studies as a discipline.

Translation and other practice-based options are available in English paired with Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, subject to demand. Practice-based options will allow those students with the relevant language background to use practice as a means to further reflection and as a personal source of data.

Module overview

Programme structure

C - Compulsory, O - Optional
Modules Credits MA
Translation Issues 1 15 C
Translation Issues 2 15 C
Research Methods in Translation Studies 15 C
Translation of Persuasive Texts 15 O
Translating Cultures 15 O
Computer Assisted Translation 15 O
Issues in Literary Translation* 15 O
Audiovisual Translation Issues** 15 O
Interpreting Studies 15 O
Economics/Business Translation** 2x15 O
Scientific/Technical Translation** 2x15 O
Ab initio Language for Translation Purposes 2x15 O
Corpora in Translation/Interpreting Practice & Research 15 O
Public Service Interpreting – Trends and Issues 15 O
Dissertation 60 C
Monolingual Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 2x15 O

*Available from 2015/16 only

**Modules 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.

Translation Issues 2

This module focuses on the major approaches to translation studies. It offers you the opportunity to develop a framework for analysing and discussing translation activity. The issues that the module elaborates are organised chronologically, along the lines of important milestones, and then thematically, offering a problem-focused approach covering textual equivalence as well as wider issues of social/cultural mediation.

Research Methods in Translation Studies

In this module you will acquire the means to initiate and carry out your own research projects based on a sound understanding of how to link research questions with methods and data, and to present the outcomes of your research in academic contexts. Critical reading and evaluation skills form an integral part of the module.


This module allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme which is of particular interest to you by writing a topic-based dissertation. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to explore a translation problem in some depth. If language-pair availability allows it and you have taken a practice-based module as an option, you may also write a dissertation that consists of a project with commentary.


Teaching hours

Teaching: 10–12 hours per week
Private study: 28–30 hours per week
Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours over three months

English Language Support

Mastery of English is vital for success on our translation and interpreting programmes. The Department’s intensive academic English courses are available for students who wish to prepare for their degree programmes starting in the autumn.

These pre-sessional classes are available in 5, 8 or 12-week sessions between July and September, as well as from October to June. The University sometimes asks for successful completion of our ten-week pre-sessional programme as a condition of entry.

Support is also available to you throughout the academic year in study skills and academic writing. You will receive individual attention from our experienced and friendly staff to help you get the most from your degree programme.

Seminars and events

The CTS regularly organises a varied programme of international events, including, for example:

  • ‘Videoconference and Remote Interpreting in Legal Proceedings’, an international symposium and the first of its kind, organised by CTS to discuss emerging research on these novel forms of interpreting.
  • ‘Audio Description for Visually Impaired People: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda’, hosted by CTS and sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Studies to provide an interdisciplinary framework for dialogue and future research.
  • ‘Translation and Opposition’, organised by CTS, under the auspices of the publisher Multilingual Matters Ltd, with the aim of bringing together specialists from the UK and other European countries to discuss and debate the conflictive aspects of translation.
  • ‘The Translator as Professional and Scholar: Challenges and New Horizons’, a one-day event to mark the 21st anniversary of our MA in Translation.
  • An International Translation Symposium hosted by CTS and the Royal Embassy of Norway in London.
  • ‘In So Many Words: Language Transfer on the Screen’, an international conference on audiovisual translation, co-hosted by CTS and the Hispanic Research Centre at the University of Roehampton.

Why study in the Centre for Translation Studies?

You will be taught by both academic staff and experienced practising professionals in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

Our academic staff enjoy international reputations in their particular field and bring the insights of their research work into the classroom. You will be challenged to think and develop your own ideas.

Our extensive team of tutors – professionals who work as translators, interpreters, subtitlers and audio describers – bring their knowledge of the marketplace, its conditions and expectations to practice-based classes in which interaction and feedback are the keys to progress.

Our students of translation, interlingual subtitling and interpreting take part in practice-based classes in language-specific groups for which assignments are set throughout each semester. You will get individual feedback on a regular basis from an expert tutor in your chosen language pair throughout the academic year.

Postgraduate students are fully integrated in the life of the Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) and benefit from being part of a larger community in the School of English and Languages, which is in turn part of the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences.

Strengths of the Centre for Translation Studies

  • We combine state-of-the-art teaching methods with up-to-date insights from translation and interpreting research.
  • Our programmes are taught by a combination of academic staff and practising professionals.
  • We maintain close relations with the profession: CTS has forged close links with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and has an extensive network of visiting professionals.
  • We place equal emphasis on translation/interpreting theory and practice.
  • Our programmes prepare you for the professional market as well as research; we help you to develop the professional skills required to start a career in your chosen field of translation/interpreting or research.
  • We offer regular language pair-specific practice throughout the academic year, taught in small groups.
  • Our programmes enable you to study according to your specific interests; each programme combines a range of compulsory modules with a variety of options.
  • We provide excellent academic support facilities.
  • We use state-of-the-art professional translation software, including translation memory, terminology management, subtitling and audio description software; the software is accessible 24/7.
  • We have a brand-new suite of interpreting labs with videoconferencing facilities for the teaching of interpreting (including remote interpreting) and for self-study.
  • We offer a supportive environment for learning.

Research in the Centre for Translation Studies

The CTS enjoys an international reputation for its scholarship and research across a range of areas in translation and interpreting studies.

Founded in 1982, the Centre offers a full portfolio of programmes from undergraduate through Masters to doctoral level. The Centre is staffed by scholars who are actively involved in the national and international research scenes. Colleagues regularly participate in international conferences, give invited lectures, publish in peer-reviewed journals, produce edited volumes on topical themes with leading publishers, and write monographs, as well as work on funded research projects.

Links with professional associations

The Centre for Translation Studies is proud of its active links with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL). The Centre is a corporate member of the ITI and supports its activities by contributing to courses in continuing professional development. By working together with the ITI and the CIoL, the Centre is keen to promote all branches of translation and interpreting and to work towards establishing and maintaining the highest possible standards.

Translation Studies 1+3 taught Masters leading to PhD

This route allows you to submit a single combined application for study on a taught Masters programme with further study for a research degree. The initial application should include details of the proposed taught Masters programme and the broad area of the proposed future research. Offers for the 1+3 programme will include progression criteria that will be applied at the end of the taught element, usually in the form of an overall percentage and a minimum performance in the dissertation. This pathway is primarily intended for the MA in Translation Studies but can also be considered for other programmes.

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 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 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. 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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