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Translation - MA

Why study this course?

A member of CIUTI, this vocational course is designed specifically for starting or advancing a career in translation, and covers specialist translation areas including law, politics, medicine, business, IT, media, subtitling and localisation.

It also includes work placement opportunities to give you a career headstart.

The programme is also accredited through its main translation project by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIoL).

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The MA Translation is a member of the Conférence Internationale Permanente d'Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes (CIUTI) - an international association of universities and institutes with translation and interpretation programmes.

Designed specifically for starting or advancing a career in translation, the course is open to qualified graduates and translators seeking a professional qualification in specialised translation to enhance their career.

The programme aims to equip students with the required knowledge and skills to succeed in the industry, where the need for qualified translators able to communicate complex, specialised material has never been greater. The course has a vocational emphasis on specialist translation, focusing on areas such as law, politics, medicine, business, IT media, subtitling and website and software localisation and translation of institutional documents.

You will have the opportunity to translate using the following languages paired with English (translating into mother language): Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

One of the strong features of the course is the work placement with reliable employers in the translation industry. The course also benefits from strong links with international organisations (EU and UN).

Here's a selection of translation technology software used in our courses:


Students are assessed via a variety of methods including translations, commentaries, essays, portfolios, work placement report and the MA dissertation.

You will be required to have:

  • a good first class degree in translation, interpreting, modern languages or a related field (Applications from candidates with a second class degree or from non-language-based disciplines will be considered but an entry test may be required. Applicants with substantial work experience in translation but no first degree will also be considered.)
  • native knowledge of mother language
  • near-native proficiency in the first foreign language
  • a good command of the second foreign language (if applicable)

The following documents are also required to support the application:

  • two references, one of which must be an academic reference
  • a first degree certificate and mark transcript

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Students take non-language-specific modules, practical translation and translation project modules and complete a work placement report and an MA dissertation.

The modules are as follows:

Autumn semester (first year for part-time students)

  • The Translator and the Translation Process
  • Characteristics of Specialised Texts
  • Translation Tools and the Translator
  • The Translator and the Specialised Text 

Spring semester (second year for part-time students)

One of the following options:

  • Translating for International Organisations
  • Website  and Software Localisation
  • Subtitling

Core modules:

  • Independent Translation Project (accredited by the Chartered Institute of Linguists)
  • Work placement

Summer study period (summer of second year for part-time students)

  • Independent Research Project (MA dissertation)

Find out more about the modules from our course specification.

"The MA provided me with the degree required to become a fully qualified translator, hence enabling a welcome career change. The classes were well structured and their content covered a broad spectrum of subjects covering all aspects of translation, both from a theoretical and practical point of view. Teachers were very dedicated, available, flexible, supportive and very knowledgeable." Claire Sjaarda

"Highlights throughout the year included talks by translation professionals held in the department, a trip to the DGT in Brussels where we met some of the EU Commission’s in-house translators and the work placement model which provided the chance to gain professional experience." Matthew Lye

This course is an excellent preparation for career opportunities in translation agencies, EU and international institutions, multinational companies, news corporations, government bodies or work on freelance basis.

A substantial built-in part of the course is the work placement, which is an opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience with one of the many translation service providers in the UK and, whenever possible, with the UN and the EU. These placements may lead to longer-term work opportunities for our graduates.

Some of our students also go on to further advanced study (PhD).

Another strong features of the course is its focus on students’ employability. In addition to the work placement, students’ learning experience is enhanced with workshops on the translator’s professional environment talks by professional experts and successful graduates.

Provisional timetable

Full time students:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 12pm - 5pm/8.30pm

Part-time students:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

For further details contact the course leader:

Dr Nadia Rahab
Tel: +44 (0)20 7320 1041

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information