Translation student in conversation

Mode of Study

Full-time, Full-time by distance learning, Part-time, Part-time by distance learning

Duration

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time, 3 years part-time

Start date

January 2023, September 2023, January 2024

Overview

Whether you're a university graduate or a practising translator, you can further your knowledge and career with our flexible and industry ready MA Translation Studies degree course. 

Advance your practical language, translation and technology skills whilst developing your understanding of professional practices, and networking with industry experts. 

You'll benefit from the rich research experience and industry collaborations of teaching staff, who'll provide you with the most up to date theoretical knowledge and working practices, to best prepare you for your career in translation.

This is a flexible course – you can study around your existing professional and personal commitments by choosing between full-time, part-time, campus-based or distance learning options. 

You can also work towards one of the following exit awards, depending on the number of credits and length of your study:

  • MA in Translation Studies (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Translation Studies (120) credits
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Translation Studies (60) credits

When you graduate, you'll be qualified to work as a translator in the UK or abroad, or to pursue further studies, such as a PhD.

You can start this course in September or January (distance learning option only).

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Specialise in translation between English and your choice of eight languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian or Spanish
  • Gain free access to translation software's MemoQ and Ooona, the most widely used software tools in the profession
  • Choose to have your dissertation supervised by an industry professional, who'll act as an advisor and an insight to the industry
  • Combine the newest theories with the most current industry practices to prepare you for your career in translation
  • Benefit from the rich research experience of teaching staff and their collaborations with major translation stakeholders, including the European Language Industry Association (ELIA) and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) 
  • Network with industry professionals as part of your course, and through internship and job opportunities

I have access to translation technologies and certificates to go with them, boosting my profile to employers. I have been able to visit many countries over Europe as part of my studies at Portsmouth and have achieved a more advanced knowledge of French and German than I thought possible.

David Jackson, MA Translation Studies student

What you'll study on this MA Translation Studies degree course

Full-time

Alongside your core modules you’ll choose 2 optional modules

Core

What you'll do
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Critically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace community
  • Critically review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights and ongoing study

Explore this module

What you'll learn
  • Identify differences between the source and target cultures which have an impact on translation, and ways of dealing with such difficulties
  • Situate translations and their problems within theoretical models and articulate these in an evaluative and analytical manner
  • Identify different text types, their problems for the translator and ways of overcoming those problems
  • Apply critical concepts and theories to the students' own translation practice in relation to a variety of text types
  • Translate semi-specialised or specialised texts from different language domains in the language of study to a high level of proficiency
  • Critically reflect on the translation process and product

Explore this module

Optional

What you'll do
  • Critically analyse the processes of intercultural communication
  • Compare and reflect critically on their own and/or other culture(s)
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of how cultural and linguistic factors relate to communication in a particular context
  • Critically apply a range of theoretical and practical approaches to the study of culture

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Analyse and evaluate career opportunities in translation available in a specific context by honing employability and enterprise skills
  • Demonstrate competence in research and associated skills for professional translation
  • Demonstrate a range of transferable skills for careers in translation
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of operating as a professional translator
  • Critically analyse potential paths of continuing professional development

Explore this module

What you'll learn
  • Select and define a relevant area suitable for independent study
  • Critically analyse, discuss and evaluate in-depth a topic of particular interest and/or professional relevance
  • Critically analyse and evaluate primary and/or secondary data and/or practice to reach defined objectives

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Critically analyse and evaluate technical texts
  • Systematically develop and apply an audience and use profile
  • Systematically create and adapt information for different audiences
  • Critically reflect on the writing process
  • Comprehensively apply theories of rhetoric in an oral presentation to a specified audience

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Translate with proficiency an extended, self-selected text in a relevant domain and reflect analytically on the experience
  • Identify, manage and make effective use of appropriate language 'and domain-specific translation resources
  • Successfully gauge market demand and end user requirements
  • Effectively manage their time and resources and accurately account for these

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Use appropriate glossary compilation, computer assisted translation (CAT) and machine translation tools to a threshold level of competence commensurate with Master's level
  • Use appropriate subtitling tools to a threshold level of competence to perform stages involved in subtitling process according to professional practice
  • Critically evaluate the capabilities of the technologies in relation to appropriately designed projects

Explore this module

Part-time

All modules during year 1 of part-time study are core.

Students on the 2 year part-time course will take additional core module during their first year that runs between June and September.

Core

What you'll do
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Critically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace community
  • Critically review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights and ongoing study

Explore this module

2-year part-time students take 1 optional module during their second year.

3-year part-time students do not have to study the core module below and take 2 optional modules in their second year.

Core

What you'll do
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Critically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace community
  • Critically review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights and ongoing study

Explore this module

Optional

What you'll do
  • Critically analyse the processes of intercultural communication
  • Compare and reflect critically on their own and/or other culture(s)
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of how cultural and linguistic factors relate to communication in a particular context
  • Critically apply a range of theoretical and practical approaches to the study of culture

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Analyse and evaluate career opportunities in translation available in a specific context by honing employability and enterprise skills
  • Demonstrate competence in research and associated skills for professional translation
  • Demonstrate a range of transferable skills for careers in translation
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of operating as a professional translator
  • Critically analyse potential paths of continuing professional development

Explore this module

What you'll learn
  • Select and define a relevant area suitable for independent study
  • Critically analyse, discuss and evaluate in-depth a topic of particular interest and/or professional relevance
  • Critically analyse and evaluate primary and/or secondary data and/or practice to reach defined objectives

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Critically analyse and evaluate technical texts
  • Systematically develop and apply an audience and use profile
  • Systematically create and adapt information for different audiences
  • Critically reflect on the writing process
  • Comprehensively apply theories of rhetoric in an oral presentation to a specified audience

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Translate with proficiency an extended, self-selected text in a relevant domain and reflect analytically on the experience
  • Identify, manage and make effective use of appropriate language 'and domain-specific translation resources
  • Successfully gauge market demand and end user requirements
  • Effectively manage their time and resources and accurately account for these

Explore this module

What you'll do
  • Use appropriate glossary compilation, computer assisted translation (CAT) and machine translation tools to a threshold level of competence commensurate with Master's level
  • Use appropriate subtitling tools to a threshold level of competence to perform stages involved in subtitling process according to professional practice
  • Critically evaluate the capabilities of the technologies in relation to appropriately designed projects

Explore this module

All modules during year 3 of part-time study are core.

Core

What you'll do
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Critically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace community
  • Critically review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights and ongoing study

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Why study a Master's in Translation Studies?

Meet students and lecturers from our MA Translation Studies course, and discover how studying translation can boost your employment prospects.

Dr Begoña Rodríguez: MA Translation Studies is a well-established course. Students come to our course because of its flexibility, so you can study our course on campus and distance learning. 

Elke: I signed up for a distance learning course because I felt it gave me maximum flexibility in terms of organising my daily life. So I'm working, I have family commitments, so I found this the best option to do. 

Kayleigh: I'd have to say my favourite part of the course were the professors, as well as translation technologies. 

Brianna: The instructors, all really nice people. They love to tell you about the current trends in the industry and support you and they're just very honest about what sort of things you can expect after your programme and they really prepare you for that. 

Dr Begoña Rodríguez: On the course, we cover subjects such as translation, theory and practise, but also we have cutting-edge teaching, which is backed up by our research in translation technologies and professional aspects of translation. We are in touch with many translation companies and language service providers. 

Raisa: The Association of Translation Companies, a UK-based industry. We've looked at legal translation, are some of the recent projects that Portsmouth students have done for the ATC and what the students get from that is, of course, an amazing industry contacts and their work published by the ATC. 

Dr Begoña Rodríguez: Students that do translation can move into any language-related job. Translator and interpreting roles, or even teaching or even lecturing roles. 

Elke: I'm working for a company doing technical translation. If I hadn't done the Master's, I wouldn't have been able to apply for this job, let alone be considered for my current position. 

Brianna: I really did feel supported while I was here. I did use wellbeing services a couple of times and the academic tutors as well and they were all very, very helpful. 

Elke: The tutors were always available for questions, if there was anything. I was very happy with that. 

Kayleigh: That's why I stayed in Portsmouth for my undergrad to my postgrad, because the support is like a family unit, like a family little bubble and it's very nice. 

Dr Begoña Rodríguez: I'm passionate about translation and I've always loved to pass down the knowledge to my students. 

Raisa: I think the University of Portsmouth, MA Translation course is a really great foundation. It's really versatile. There are lots of different facets, the language learning, the language skills and finding about how the industry works. 

Dr Begoña Rodríguez: Portsmouth is by the sea. It is very easy to travel in Portsmouth, you can walk, you can cycle but even if you don't come to Portsmouth, we have an excellent pastoral support, administrative support that all our online students all over the world will benefit from. 

Raisa: The language services industry is hugely interesting because there are so many different roles that you can take. I've been in the industry for two decades now and I've never had a dull day. 

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

Once you complete your Translation Studies MA you'll have the rich academic knowledge and industry know-how to start or advance your career in translation.

This well networked course benefits from collaborations with field experts, including the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). These ongoing relationships help shape the content of the course and provide you with the right training for you to graduate with the skills you need to thrive within the industry.

 

Graduates of this course have gone onto areas such as:

  • Translation project management
  • Translation
  • Freelance Translation
  • Editing
  • Copywriting

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Association of Translation Companies (ATC)
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)
  • Parallel Translations
  • Wessex Translation

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

You'll also have the option of progressing to doctoral level in your specialised area of translation. We're on hand to give you help, support and advice, whatever you decide to do next.

9 reasons to do a Master's

Placements and industry connections

Placements are not a compulsory part of the MA Translation Studies degree course, however there are a number of opportunities available for you to gain industry experience and liaise with professionals in translation.

Through collaborations with major stakeholders in the UK and Europe, including the European Language Industry Association (ELIA) and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), you can attend webinars, seminars and other events. Here you'll network with academics and professionals to bring the realities of the profession to the classroom.

You can even choose to have your dissertation supervised by an industry professional, who will act as an advisor and gatekeeper to the industry. Providing you with access to information, data and translation experts to help you get the most from your dissertation whilst networking and building your industry experience.

MA Translation Studies graduate, Taegan Jones Skinner, wrote her dissertation in association with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), exploring the effect of the well-documented UK decline in foreign language learning on language service companies’ access to native English translators. The dissertation has been published on the ATC website, and the recommendations made could go on to affect policy making. 

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to spend in on-campus or in online lectures and seminars and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

1 year (full-time study)
2 years (part-time study)
3 years (part-time study)

You can expect

  • Up to 3 hours of teaching time every week (lecture, seminar or workshop) for each module you study.
  • 24–30 hours of independent study each week if you study full-time, or 12–15 hours each week if you study part-time.

In the last 3 months of the course you'll be focusing on your dissertation or major project.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree. If you choose campus based study, the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • 1 to 1 tutorials 
  • online learning materials
  • blended learning

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through:

  • translations and commentaries
  • essays
  • presentations
  • projects
  • portfolios

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Meet your course leader

Dr Begoña Rodríguez

I'm a trained translator and interpreter, and my career has included translation and proofreading freelance work, specialising in legal translation and translation of children’s stories. 

I was Portsmouth Coordinator for the National Network of Translation (NNT) and a founding member of the ELIA Exchange UK team. I have also been involved in several research and knowledge exchange projects and organiser of professional translation workshops and seminars. I also sit on two national Executive Committees: APTIS and am acting as national representative for Translation and Interpreting of UCML

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Facilities

Digital Language Laboratories

Perfect your listening and comprehension skills in a rich, multi-media language learning environment. Find out how to integrate and manipulate video, sound, text and internet sources in different languages.

Explore the laboratories

Student group discussion

Global Café

You can meet students from all over the world at the Global Café on Wednesday afternoons. Learn about other's cultures and practise speaking in each other's languages while making new friends and getting to share your own culture.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees 2023 start

  • Full-time (on campus): £9,900
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,500
  • Part-time (on campus): £4,950 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 2 years): £4,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 3 years): £2,830 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time (on campus): £9,900
  • Full-time (distance learning):  £8,500
  • Part-time (on campus): £4,950 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 2 years): £4,250 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 3 years): £2,830 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Full-time (on campus): £17,200
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,100
  • Part-time (on campus): £8,600 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 2 years): £4,250 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time (distance learning – 3 years): £2,830 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out more how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover. 

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for postgraduate taught courses

Discover how you can fund your postgraduate studies at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.

Explore funding

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2022/January 2023

Qualifications or experience
  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. Applicants whose main language is English require advanced knowledge of at least one of our eight available language combinations: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian or Spanish.

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Ready to apply?

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.