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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

R9K107 Translation Studies MA Postgraduate Taught  2019



Degree MA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Start Date 02-10-2019
Location Durham City
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Course Summary

Course Summary


Students on the MA in Translation Studies choose between a more theoretical and a more practical pathway; both pathways include translation practice and examination(s) for professional accreditation.

The Durham MATS has been a member of the European Masters’ in Translation (EMT) network since 2011. The network is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation and EMT network membership acknowledges the high quality of the MA course.

Core modules engage with theoretical questions and with current translation practices. Students are trained to use translation technologies. Specialised Translation modules are offered from/into English and Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

The final examinations of the Specialised Translation modules are externally moderated by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and may lead to exemption from Unit 1 of the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans), the professional-standard qualification in the UK.

Core modules

In 2018, core modules included:

  • Research Skills for Translation Studies (15 credits)
  • Translation Theory (30 credits)
  • Specialised Translation Language 1 (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish) from and into English (30 credits)


Core dissertation/project

Students choose 60 credits. Modules have previously included:

  • Translation Studies Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Extended Translation Project (60 credits) 
  • Translation Project 1 (30 credits) + Translation Project 2 (30 credits)

Optional modules

Students choose 45 credits. Modules have previously included:

  • Conference Interpreting Chinese - English (15 credits)
  • Consecutive English<>Chinese Interpreting (15 credits)
  • Editing and Revising for Translators (15 credits)
  • History of Translation (15 credits)
  • Interpreting Arabic - English
  • Linguistics for Translation
  • Specialised Translation Language 2 (30 credits)
  • Translation Ethics and Intercultural Project Management (15 credits)
  • Translation Work Placement (15 credits)
  • World Literature and Translation. 

Course Detail

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

The MA in Translation Studies (MATS) is a one-year (12-month) full-time or two-year (24-month) part-time course (180 credits, corresponding to 90 ECTS). The Durham MATS is a member of the EMT Network of Excellence. The Durham course offers different pathways according to the number of specialised translation modules (in one or two languages) students take and whether they opt for the more vocationally-oriented project(s) or the more research-focused dissertation. Both pathways benefit from the varied delivery of content that consists of seminars, workshops, lectures, group projects, research seminars, and individual tutorials. The Institute of Linguists assesses the Specialised Translation examination papers against the requirements of Dip Trans Unit 1; successful candidates receive accreditation for Unit 1 of this official test of professional competence.

Lectures in Translation Theory introduce the discipline’s key debates; students prepare seminar presentations focused on related topics. Research Skills for Translation Studies provides interactive lectures on research skills and training sessions on the use of library and other resources over the course of the first two terms and, in the early part of the programme, a series of user-focused workshops in which students work intensively to consolidate their knowledge of selected translation technologies. The Specialised Translation modules work in both directions, translating from and into the foreign language, with students completing weekly assignments individually or in groups. 

An extensive programme of visiting speakers is provided, partly under the auspices of the School’s Translation & Linguistics Research Group; these include both researchers and professional practitioners, for example, European Commission Visiting Translators and field officers. These lectures are seen as an integral part of the course and students are expected to attend. The balance shifts from taught hours to independent study or work experience in the third term. The MATS aims to offer a vocational approach for intending professional translators and an academic approach for those considering continuing to a doctorate by honing specific skills developed in earlier modules. This places further emphasis on students’ autonomy in carrying out work to professional standards or in undertaking a substantial piece of independent research. Students receive individualised support in the form of regular meetings with their designated supervisor. Students also have access to Course Directors and other staff during their office hours.


Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

Applicants must have an upper-second class bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant area.

Students with a different academic background but significant professional experience in translation are also invited to apply. In such cases, we reserve the right to assess students’ preparation for our course through a test.

Students should possess at least level C1, and preferably C2, of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or equivalent for non-European languages) – in their chosen language(s) – Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish– and in English. In some circumstances, we may require students to provide proof of language competency.


English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £7,750.00 per year
Home Student £7,750.00 per year
Island Student £7,750.00 per year
International non-EU Student £18,300.00 per year

Part Time Fees

EU Student £4,300.00 per year
Home Student £4,300.00 per year
International non-EU Student £10,100.00 per year

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


“Durham's MA provides the practical experience needed for a career in translation. I particularly enjoyed the variety of material, as well as the contact with professional translators. The professional accreditation provided solid evidence of my translation skills, and after graduating in January, I commenced work in April. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone wanting a career in translation.”

Charlie, UK, 2009, MA Graduate
Durham is a member of EMT

Durham MA in Translation Studies joins the EMT Network (May 2011)


Durham MATS secured membership of the European Master’s in Translation Network (EMT), which enables Durham to award a degree recognised by the European Commission. More about the EMT network.