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.

Programme structure

The programme comprises a combination of compulsory modules and options, covering a range of relevant study areas, and a research-based or practice-based dissertation. The practice-based 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.

Components of the programme

The components covered by this programme are led by up-to-date insights from translation/interpreting research and respond to the contemporary concerns of the language and translation/translation industry.

Translation Issues
This component provides you with a framework for understanding important aspects of translation and translating, drawing on key concepts from text linguistics, discourse analysis, semiotics and terminology studies. It also offers a critical overview of the main theoretical premises that underpin various approaches to Translation Studies. It enables you to apply relevant conceptual tools when tackling specific translation tasks and to develop a framework for analysing, discussing and justifying translation decisions.

Research Methods in Translation
This component provides you with the means to initiate and carry out own research projects in Translation Studies. It will help you to understand of how to link research questions with methods and data, and will enable you to present the outcomes of your research in an effective way. You will also develop critical reading and evaluation skills.

Translation technologies
This component offers students an opportunity to become acquainted with different types of translation technologies. Classes are mostly hands-on, and take place in a computer lab with individual workstations for each student. Within the broader field of translation technologies, students will become acquainted with translation-memory systems, terminology-management systems, machine translation, corpora for translation and interpreting practice and research, terminology extraction and subtitling.

Specialist Translation
These are language-pair-specific components taught by professional translators. They provide students who have no previous experience of specialist translation with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence in areas such as business, finance, science, technology and law. Practical introductory sessions on translation methodology are followed by regular language-pair-specific translation practice and background lectures to support each topic.

Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes
Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes provides you with the chance to study Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian for translation purposes. It is particularly useful for students with only one foreign language who wish to expand their portfolio of translation languages. This component will provide you with the basis for independent professional development in the chosen language.

Cultural Aspects of Translation
The focus in this component is the role culture plays in translation. More specifically it focuses on the linguistic and cultural resources employed by translators in their attempt to serve as mediators of messages, thus helping in the construction of identities as well as in changing recipients' behaviour and worldviews. Relevant areas under examination include advertising (audiovisual, printed), literature (comic books, fiction, poetry, drama), tourism, politics and journalism. This component is suitable for students with different language backgrounds.

Interpreting Studies
This component provides you with a systematic framework for understanding the major principles of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision-making and production processes involved in interpreting. Building on analysis of different interpreting situations, Interpreting Studies offers a critical overview of the main theoretical underpinnings of Interpreting, which help you to identify common interpreting challenges and develop relevant strategies and solutions.

Background lectures

You will also attend a selection of background lectures (e.g. Applied Economics; Principles of Science and Technology), following the pattern that we use in other CTS MA Translation programmes, where practice-based translation modules are currently supplemented by background lectures.


For the MA, the dissertation (60 credits) allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest by writing a topic-based dissertation, or by doing a translation project with commentary. Successful completion of this part of the programme requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

CTS Translation Seminar series

You will also have access to the MA Translation Seminars, a series of guest talks given by external guest speakers and open to all CTS Masters and PhD students. The talks provide students with insights into the profession from the perspective of practitioners and scholars. The guest speakers include translators, interpreters, subtitles, audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researchers.

Study workload

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

Study mode

This MA programme is offered in full-time mode and is studied over one year. On successful completion of the programme, you can be awarded a PG Diploma (120 credits) or Master’s degree (180 credits), and can then enter the professional market. You can also become full members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and/or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. The PG Diploma usually takes nine months if studied full time. The Postgraduate Certificate is an exit award only and requires students to achieve 60 credits in selected modules.

No components of the programme are contracted out to another educational institution or involve the exchange of students for a period of study.

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 leader

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 2016

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.

View entry requirements by country

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

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/17 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.

For more details

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