Why choose this course
This is one of the longest-running MA Translation courses in the world.
Incorporating over 30 years of experience in translator education, our internationally recognised course focuses on professional translation, preparing you for a career in the language services industry.
The course has a strong practical component designed to suit the needs of the translation market today. We support ‘virtual internships’, which enable you to collaborate with language services providers and build a professional engagement portfolio to present to future employers.
What you will study
You will learn what you need in addition to language skills to become a professional translator, and receive advanced training in translation methodology, terminology research, proofreading and editing, translation technologies and the business of translation.
You will practise specialised translation taught by professional translators, simulating real-life scenarios and covering different topics (for example, business, legal, scientific and technical translation). We offer Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English at specialist level (languages subject to teaching availability and/or student demand).
Optional modules such as an additional language paired with English at ab initio level, literary or audio-visual translation, or corpora for translation will allow you to customise your learning experience.
Our experienced academics will help you develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of translation, while our professional translation tutors bring their workplace experience, standards and up-to-date knowledge of the translation market into the classroom.
Practice-based modules enable you to learn from professional translators, use translation technologies, and appreciate the business and industry aspects of the profession. You can also gain advanced corpus-compilation and terminology extraction skills.
As a student, you will benefit from access to SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm and Sketch Engine, and can also use software like SmartCat, Matecat, Memsource and Lilt. You will be given opportunities to develop projects with the local community. For example, our students have recently collaborated with the University International Office, the Watts Gallery, the Guildford Walking Tours and local language services providers.
You will gain further insights into the industry from guest speakers at our Centre for Translation Studies seminars, such as:
- Professional translators and interpreters
- Subtitlers and audio describers
- Professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations
- Representatives of professional translator and interpreter associations
- Translation and interpreting researchers.
We offer professionally relevant courses and have forged close links with key stakeholders in the translation industry. You can join these bodies as a student and then become a full member after you graduate. We are a member of the European Language Industry Association, which gives you the possibility to apply for work placements with its various affiliated companies. We are also a member of the Translation Automation User Society, collaborate closely with language services providers, and have an extensive network of visiting professionals, so you will benefit from excellent connections and be taught to industry standards.
Local and international companies from the language industry who have an active interest in Surrey graduates come to our Centre for Translation Studies careers fair, providing a chance for you to engage with them directly and kick-start your career in an informal, friendly atmosphere.
Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well-equipped to begin work as a freelancer or as a language services 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 and technological innovation open up new markets, and create novel demands for multilingual translation services. As an MA Translation graduate and qualified language professional, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.
Technological innovation is also rapidly reshaping the translation industry, presenting new research opportunities. Your MA dissertation is one of the many ways of getting involved in ongoing research at the Centre for Translation Studies. We also regularly have MA students who decide to stay on to study for a PhD in Translation and Interpreting Studies.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Academic year structure
Our MA Translation modules are taught across two semesters. Full-time students normally take four modules in semester one and four in semester two. Part-time students can plan their work load flexibly under the guidance of the programme leader, as long as they take eight modules across two years. The dissertation is completed in the summer and submitted in early September.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
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:
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).
Please note that as our practice-based classes are normally taught by professional translators, we may sometimes have to reschedule classes to accommodate professional commitments. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Native speakers of a relevant language (from list below) require a degree in an arts, humanities or social science (e.g. Economics, Management, Tourism and Hospitality Management) subject.
Alternative subjects will be considered by the Faculty on a case-by-case basis.
Relevant work experience to be considered by the faculty on a case-by-case basis. Programmes available in the following languages (subject to demand):
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 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.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Asylum Seeker Bursary
Application Deadline: 30.06.20
Find out more
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 (PDF) 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.
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.