Why choose this course

This is one of the longest-running MA Translation programmes in the world. 

Incorporating over 30 years of experience in translator education, our internationally recognised MA Translation course is focused on professional translation, and will prepare you for a career in the language service industry. 

The course has a strong practical component, and is designed to suit the needs of the translation market today. We offer ‘virtual internships’ which enable you to collaborate with language service providers and build a professional engagement portfolio. Our European Masters of Translation membership gives you priority access to traineeships at the EU Directorate-General for Translation.

What you will study

You will learn about factors beyond language proficiency that are necessary to become a translator, and receive instruction on practical translation methodology, terminology research, proofreading and editing. You will practise specialised translation in language-specific groups taught by professional translators, simulating real-life translation scenarios and covering different topics (for example, business, legal, scientific and technical translation). 

We offer Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English at specialist level, and Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian paired with English at ab initio level (languages subject to teaching availability and or student demand). 

You will learn to work with computer-assisted translation software and advanced corpus tools and resources. The course also highlights the business requirements of the industry. The various optional modules offered allow you to adapt your learning experience.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MA Full-time 12 months October 2019
MA Part-time 24 months October 2019

Teaching staff

Our experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of translation. Our professional translation tutors also bring their real-world experience and standards, as well as an up-to-date view of the translation market into the classroom.

Professional development

You’ll be able to enjoy regular contact with professional translators in your practice-based modules, and you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and wider industry aspects of the profession.

You’ll also gain further insights into the industry from the speakers we invite to our Centre for Translation Studies seminar series. Speakers have included:

  • Professional translators
  • Interpreters
  • Subtitlers and audio describers
  • Professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations
  • Representatives of professional translator and or interpreter associations
  • Translation and interpreting researchers.

We offer professionally relevant courses and have forged close links with the main professional bodies. As well as the European Masters of Translation network, we are also members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, the Translation Automation User Society and the European Language Industry Association, so you’ll benefit from excellent connections and be taught to industry standards. You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after you graduate. We also collaborate closely with many professional language service providers, and have an extensive network of visiting professionals.

As a student, you will benefit from free access to SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, MemsourceKantanMTLilt and Sketch Engine software to help you learn about translation technology.

Career prospects

Careers companies from the language industry come and present themselves at our Centre for Translation Studies careers fair. They also give you an idea of what current and future opportunities they have, providing a chance for you to ask important questions and kick-start your career. This occasion allows you to encounter companies and representatives in an informal, friendly atmosphere who have an active interest in Surrey graduates.

Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well-equipped to begin work as a freelancer or as a language service provider at an international organisation, government body, or at a university or private company.

The translation services industry continues to grow despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new markets, and creates demand for multilingual translation services to exchange knowledge and communicate with clients. As an MA Translation graduate and qualified language professional, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.

Programme leader

FRANKENBERG-GARCIA AL Dr (Lit & Langs)

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
 
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

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Academic year structure

The course modules are taught across two academic semesters. You can find out more details by contacting our course administrators.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Year 1 (full-time)

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose five optional modules (ideally two in Semester 1 and three in Semester 2).

Specialist Translation language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages. Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes include Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian paired with English. Semester 2 options in the Specialist Translation and the Ab Initio list must be taken in conjunction with their corresponding Semester 1 options.

Year 1 (part-time)

Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Specialist Translation language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages. Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes include Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian paired with English. Semester 2 options in the Specialist Translation and the Ab Initio list must be taken in conjunction with their corresponding Semester 1 options.

Year 2 (part-time)

Optional modules for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Specialist Translation language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages. Ab Initio Language for Translation Purposes include Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian paired with English. Semester 2 options in the Specialist Translation and the Ab Initio list must be taken in conjunction with their corresponding Semester 1 options.

Timetable

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday-Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Please note that as our practice-based classes are normally delivered by professional translators or interpreters, we may sometimes have to reschedule classes to accommodate professional commitments.

Learning and disability

We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Academic Skills and Development

Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

Additional Learning Support (ALS) is the University of Surrey’s disability and neurodiversity service. The ALS team supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.

We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

If you are a native English speaker, we require a minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish, or a related subject taught in one of these languages. If you are a native speaker of another language, we require a minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree taught in arts, humanities or social sciences. We can also consider relevant work experience if you don’t meet these requirements.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing and 6.0 in each other element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time October 2019 £7,500 £16,400
Part-time October 2019 £3,700 £8,200

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

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University of Surrey
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Surrey GU2 7XH