Published: 26 May 2022

Meet the School of Literature and Languages

In the School of Literature and Languages, we have a long-standing history of offering masters courses that meet the needs of both industry and society. Our courses are ranked top 10 for modern languages and linguistics in the Guardian University Guide 2022.

Why choose the School of Literature and Languages?

By choosing to complete your postgraduate studies with us, you’ll become part of a close-knit community of research-active staff and students and will benefit from one-to-one support, expertise from leaders in their respective fields, enhanced employability and opportunities to attend events, conferences and seminars.

Studying with us

For English literature or creative writing students, we offer a structured environment to help you complete a research project and learn how to write more creatively, surrounded by new genres and experts. On our creative writing course, you’ll engage with intriguing literary theory and writing techniques, and discover how to find your niche and engage with the publishing world. On our literature course, we’ll advance your understanding of literary theory, sharpen your academic writing and add authority to your critical voice.

We’re home to the Centre for Translation Studies, an interdisciplinary centre for translation, interpreting and related forms of communication, bringing together traditional research practices with cutting-edge advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Our language courses combine research and teaching in technologies, with interpreting and audio-visual translation. Our industry approach will give you opportunities to hone your interpreting and translation skills in real-life working environments, with previous students interpreting for multilingual events.


As an English literature or creative writing student, you’ll get use of our library, open 365 days a year, and our extensive assortment of e-publications, allowing you to access resources 24 hours a day. We also have over 100 archives and special collections, with previously unseen texts and transcripts available to you.

As one of our students, you will get access to our publishing room, bookable project spaces, study areas, and computer suites. You’ll also be able to use our common room, surrounded by staff offices, ensuring you can access academic support as soon as you need it.

As a translation and interpreting student, you’ll get access to our industry-standard facilities, including our digital language, interpreting and multimedia teaching laboratories. Using our equipment, you’ll practise on the latest computer-assisted translation software, corpus (a collection of linguistic data) tools and resources, including SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm and Matecat, to gain advanced corpus-compilation and terminology extraction skills.

In our conference interpreting suites, equipped with industry standard (ISO) approved double interpreting booths, you’ll practise simultaneous interpreting using a two-way and multipoint video conferencing system. You’ll also get access to our language study area, equipped with the latest language software, satellite TV and a large foreign film collection, as well as books, and other study materials.

Tutor support and expertise

At the beginning of your course, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor, who will provide you with one-to-one academic and pastoral support.

As an English literature or creative writing student, you’ll be taught by lecturers who are published writers and editors, actively researching within their respective fields, to produce globally-recognised creative work, academic articles and books. Our Distinguished Writer in Residence is the award-winning novelist Neel Mukherjee, author of A Life Apart (2010), The Lives of Others (2014), and A State of Freedom (2017). His book for the Cahier Series, Avian, was published in 2020. Our subject leader for English Literature, Film and Creative Writing, Dr Paul Vlitos, has had his new novel, The Club (co-written under the pseudonym Ellery Lloyd), chosen by American actress Reese Witherspoon for her latest book club selection.

As a translation and interpreting student, you’ll be taught by experienced professional translators and interpreters. You’ll benefit from our diverse range of specialisms, including audio-visual translation, remote simultaneous interpreting, translation workflow automation, and technologies for scientific writing in the context of translation.


As an English literature or creative writing student, you’ll build a network of industry contacts by working alongside published writers and editors. Our courses are a stepping stone into a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism and teaching. Previous graduates have secured varying roles, including editors and copywriters.

“I am Assistant Editor of Trade & Reference and Kids at Lonely Planet. I’ve authored books, and I adore the variety of working on both adult and kids titles.”

Christina Webb, MA Creative Writing

Our translation and interpreting courses are developed to produce industry-ready graduates who have the skills needed for a successful career in the communication, translation and interpreting sector. You’ll benefit from our combined human-artificial intelligence approach, in the development of multilingual and automated solutions. You’ll also interact with a network of collaborators in academia, industry and the public sector, with the opportunity to complete a virtual internship and participate in a summer school.

We’ll help you build an engagement portfolio of all the activities you’ve undertaken to prepare for employment, including attending events and webinars, as well as joining professional bodies. Our opportunities will prepare you to begin work as a freelancer or as a language service provider at an international organisation, government body, university or private company.

Many of our graduates also go on to complete a PhD with us, joining a community of research-active staff and postgraduate researchers.

Student life

We’re a campus-based university with a large student union, multiple coffee shops and restaurants, and over 130 clubs and societies.

As a postgraduate student, you’ll be invited to attend conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year, on a wide range of thought-provoking topics. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work.

We host the long-established Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, featuring a well-known contemporary poet, and the Surrey New Writers Festival, an annual public event for budding writers who want to find out more about publishing their work. We also run the annual Poetry Festival.

Guildford and wider Surrey are home to a variety of cultural activities and centres, including the Guildford Book Festival, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and Watts Gallery.


Find out more about our postgraduate courses within the School of Literature and Languages.

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