Languages and Translation Studies PhD

Surrey, and in particular the Centre for Translation Studies, has an excellent international reputation for its research and postgraduate tuition.

Richard Bale PhD Corpus-based interpreter training

Why choose this course?

The School of Literature and Languages hosts the Centre for Translation Studies. Founded in 1982, the Centre enjoys an international reputation and is staffed by scholars who are actively involved in the national and international translation and interpreting studies scene.

The School is also home to world-leading research centres such as the Surrey Morphology Group and TRANS: Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies.

Our work explores many different aspects of language and translation studies, including applied language studies, intercultural studies and sociolinguistics.

In translation studies, our research reflects the evolving nature of the discipline, encompassing topics such as new technologies, audio description, sociological perspectives on translation and innovative practices in interpreting.

You will play your part in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of our multilingual and multicultural community of students and scholars.

Specialist software is available to support corpus-based analysis, subtitling, computer-assisted translation/terminography and audio-description topics, as well as state-of-the-art interpreting facilities with integrated videoconferencing.

What you will study

We particularly welcome topics that cross discipline boundaries.

At the core of our PhD programmes are the regular meetings that you will have with your supervisors. For us, writing is key to understanding and developing new perspectives: you will be submitting written work from the very start.

In the first year, you will – with the guidance and support of your supervisors – lay the foundations of your research by refining your research proposal, engaging with the literature and planning the structure of your work, based on an agreed timetable.

Throughout your studies, we are committed to thinking about your long-term career as well as your time at the University.

Key to the planning of your work is training in generic skills (for example, giving presentations and managing your time) as well as participation in a module in research methods. You will gradually learn to work more independently as you progress into your second and third years, or the equivalent for part-time students.

Your supervisors will guide you on how to present at conferences and the process of getting published.

Key research areas include:

  • Interpreting technologies, especially remote interpreting via video link and mobile devices
  • Translation technologies, i.e. machine-assisted and corpus-based translation, and digital lexicography
  • Audiovisual and multimodal translation, including e.g. subtitling, audio description and other forms of audiovisual translation in the context of digital media
  • Legal and healthcare interpreting
  • Translation and migration

Language and cultural studies

  • Latin American literary and cultural studies
  • Transnational history and its methodologies
  • Franco-British political and cultural exchanges, nineteenth and twentieth centuries


As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, our highest quality students may be eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). 

Faculty studentships are also available for top-quality students, covering tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at current research-council rates for full-time or part-time study. Please see the Faculty studentships webpage for further information.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months October, January, April, July
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, January, April, July

Entry Requirements

For Translation Studies, a good Bachelors degree and/or Masters degree (2:1 or equivalent) in translation studies (translation, audiovisual translation, interpreting), in languages (with a literary or linguistic background), or in related subject areas is required. For other topics, a good Bachelors degree and an MA in a relevant topic is required.

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English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category and at least 7.0 in the writing component. Please note, applications will only be considered once they have met this requirement. 

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 UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4195 £16,000
Part-time £2100 £8,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that 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 research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

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Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

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