UK university guide
Universities in England, Scotland and Wales offering undergraduate and postgraduate translation-related courses
This university guide is intended as a direct link to all UK translation-related courses. The listings are in alphabetical order (place of main university campus). The entries are based on the relevant universities’ website information for the most recent academic year available. The guide includes details such as type of course, obtainable degree, course length (full-time, part-time or distance learning) and languages offered by UK universities. Courses for interpreting are only included if combined with translation.
The university guide lists some UK language courses which are not specifically designed for future translators. These were included because they seem to offer a good basis for a future career in translation, for example, Aberystwyth’s interesting combination degrees.
If you’re undecided on your career path, please read our complete guide to a career in translation, especially the information given on useful qualities for professional translators. We also offer our business planning tool, Cost2Target, free to download. Cost2Target allows you to input your potential income and expenditure, so you can see how much money you will need to earn to have a viable business. It also gives you the opportunity to check out various business scenarios, so you can assess which impact low translation rates, for example, have on turnover.
Aberystwyth University offers a wide variety of French, Spanish and German language degrees at undergraduate level (BA, 4 years). Languages can be studied not only as pairs but also in combination with Mathematics, Economics, (Human) Geography, International Politics, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, LLB Law, Business and Management and more. On the postgraduate level, the university offers an Applied Translation Masters (MA, 1 year).
Aston University’s MA in TESOL & Translation Studies is a 1-year full-time or a 2-3 year part-time course. Acceptable languages are French and/or German and/or Spanish.
Queen’s University Belfast offers a 3 year PhD in Translation (Research), with a focus on interdisciplinary theses. The university also teaches a 1 year full-time, 2 year part-time MA in Translation.
Bangor University postgraduate courses include Translation Studies (MA), Translation Studies (PhD/MPhil by Practice) and Translation Studies (PhD/MPhil). The School of Modern Languages offers supervision in a number of areas and languages, including Welsh, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Galician, German and Modern Greek. Courses take 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Bath University: MA Interpreting & Translating in the languages: French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Chinese. 1-year full-time course.
The University of Birmingham offers Translation Studies in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian. All postgraduate.
MA (12 months full time, 24 months part-time; distance learning course available, 2.5 years).
The University of Bristol’s School of Modern Languages offers a distance learning course MA/Diploma in Translation. Full-time: 12 months; part-time: 36 months.
Cardiff University offers undergraduate as well as postgraduate translation-related course.
It runs a 3-year BA in translation course. Taught postgraduate courses in Translation Studies (MA) can be taken full-time or part-time.
Research programmes in Languages and Translation Studies for PhD and Mphil are also available full-time and part-time.
The University of Essex has some interesting BA/BSc courses combining Modern Languages with Business Management, Banking and Finance which are administered by the Essex Business School. These are 4-year courses, including a year abroad.
Postgraduate courses include MA Business Translation and Interpreting (Chinese English), 12 months full-time .
Durham University’s School of Modern Languages & Cultures’ MA in Translation Studies can be taken with the following language pairs: English and Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and British Sign Language (subject to student take-up).
The University of Edinburgh’s School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures’ (LLC) postgraduate translation programme includes an MSc and a PhD in Translation Studies and an MSc in Literary Translation as Creative Practice. Languages offered to undergraduates include Celtic, Gaelic and Scottish plus French, German, Italian and Russian. However, Hispanic and Scandinavian Studies are also offered.
The Heriot Watt University provides an Interpreting and Translating MSc and a Translating for Business course. Students can choose to study English combined with French, German or Spanish or they can study English plus two foreign languages e.g. German, French, Spanish, Arabic or Chinese. In 2015 the university amended their programme for translators and interpreters so that students may develop their language communication skills in a more business-relevant way. MSc courses are offered over 12 months and 24 months (part-time), 9 months for the PGDip (21 months part-time).
The University of Exeter’s MA Translation offers professional translation training in the Chinese language and in European language pairs. These include French to English, German to English, Italian to English, Russian to English and Spanish to English. There are three pathways: Specialist, Research and Literary translation.
The University of Glasgow’s postgraduate taught degree programme “Translation Studies: Translation & Professional Practice” leads to a number of degrees: MSc (I year full-time; 2 years part-time)/PgCert (9 months full-time)/PgDip (4 months full-time).
There are various postgraduate courses in translation and interpreting courses available at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Translation Studies. These include Translation, Audiovisual Translation Studies, Translation Studies with Intercultural Communications (all MA) run for 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time. Language pairs offered at the time of writing (Oct ’14): English to Chinese, English to German, English to Greek, English to Russian, English to Spanish, English to Turkish, French to English, German to English, Arabic and Polish.
Additionally, The School of English and Languages’ Centre for Translation Studies offers a PhD course in Languages and Translation Studies. Full-time: 33-48 months, part-time: 45-96 months.
The School of Languages, Linguistics & Cultures at the University of Hull has designed an MA in Translation Studies programme. It includes the opportunity to study one new European language (French, German, Italian or Spanish) from scratch. There is a one-year full-time and a two-year part-time option.
At the University of Leeds’ Centre for Translation Studies students can take two postgraduate courses in Translation Studies: Applied, varying language pairs and Audiovisual. The Centre also offers interpreting courses. Languages: English plus Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Not all languages will be available every year. Qualifications: MA, PGDip
The University of Leicester runs a Translation Studies MA/Postgraduate Diploma course; 1-year full-time, 2-year part-time. Available language combinations include English with a European language (Danish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish) or Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Malay.
City University London’s Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture course (MA) is a unique post-graduate translation course (1 year full-time, 2 years part-time).
The London Metropolitan university runs a Translation MA programme. Full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years.
Middlesex University London. Undergraduate courses: BA Interpreting and Translation. Language combinations offered: English and Arabic, English and French, English and German, English and Italian, English and Polish, English and Spanish, English and Turkish, English and Russian, English and Mandarin Chinese. (More combinations depending on student demand.) Options of 3 or 4 year full-time and 3-year part-time.
The University of Roehampton’s Department of Media, Culture and Language runs undergraduate as well as postgraduate translation-related courses. Undergraduate: BA in Translation (French or Spanish), 4 years full-time; postgraduate: MA in Specialised Translation and MA in Audiovisual Translation (also: PGDip/PGCert), 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
London SOAS University of London
The Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) at SOAS University of London promotes Asian and African translation studies. This means that students can take the MA Programme in Translation Theory and Practice (full-time or part-time) in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian and Swahili.
London UCL (University College London)
At The School of European Languages, Culture & Society students can study Dutch, French, German, Italian and Scandinavian languages, plus Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. There are over 300 possible degree combinations to choose from and the opportunity of combining a language with other disciplines. This includes history of art, management studies and more.
At CenTraS, UCL’s Centre for Translation Studies, students can enroll in Translation Studies (CMII) MPhil/PhD. It is a 3-year full-time or 5-year part-time course.
The University of Westminster’s undergraduate programme for prospective translators consists of Translation Studies (Spanish or French) BA Honours. 3-year full-time; 5-year part-time day).
Postgraduate courses include: Bilingual Translation MA, Technical and Specialist Translation MA, Translating Cultures MRes and Translating and Interpreting MA (all available full-time and part-time day).
The University of Manchester offers an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies; 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. Additionally, a PGDip course is available: 12 months full-time.
Newcastle University offers a variety of translation-related postgraduate courses, including Professional Translating for European Languages (MA), Translating and Interpreting (MA), Translating (MA), Translation Studies (MA), Translation Studies (MLitt). All (min) 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time. While the Translating and Interpreting (MPhil, PhD) takes a minimum of 3 years when studied full-time, it takes 6 years part-time.
The University of East Anglia’s (UEA) MA in Literary Translation combines translation theory and practice. This course is taught at the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. 1 year, full-time.
The University of Nottingham offers a Translation Studies MA. It is a 1-year full-time course or 2-years part-time. Students can choose between English and up to three of the following languages: Arabic, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish; Russian, Slovene and Serbian/Croatian. Some pathways or modules may not be available for some languages.
Nottingham also runs a Chinese/English Translation & Interpreting course (as a 1-year full-time option or by e-learning: 2 years part-time). Students can study for an MA in Interpreting and Translation, Mandarin and English at Nottingham’s China Campus.
The University of Portsmouth’s MA in Translation Studies is run as a distance learning (3 years part-time) as well as a campus-based course (1 year full-time, 2 years part-time). Students may specialise in English and Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese.
UCLAN, the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Language, Literature and International Studies offers a 1-year full-time MA in Interpreting and Translation.
The University of Salford’s (Manchester) School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences has a Centre for Translation and Interpreting. Translation and Interpreting are taught from foundation to masters level and their postgraduate courses are well established. Language options: English, French, German and Hispanic studies. The university offers MA/PgDip courses in Interpreting and Translating (Chinese/English and Arabic/English), TESOL and Applied Linguistics, Translating and Translating for International Business.
The University of Sheffield’s two MA courses, Translation Studies and Screen Translation, take 1 year full-time and two years if studying part-time. These language combinations are available: English into Arabic, Danish, Italian, Polish and Chinese; Czech, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish into English.
The University of Stirling’s Translation Studies (MRes) is available in various language pairings. They include English and Chinese; French, German and Spanish; Polish and Russian (subject to availability and demand).
What is more, there is an opportunity to continue studying for a PhD.
Swansea University’s undergraduate courses for translation related studies include BA English – Chinese Translation and Interpreting (3 years full-time) and a BA Modern Languages, Translation & Interpreting (4 years full-time). Postgraduate courses offered are MA in Chinese – English Translation and Language Teaching, MA Literary Translation with or without French, German or Spanish, MA Professional Translation etc. and a PGCert in Translation Technology.
The University of Warwick offers an MA in Translation and Transcultural Studies. Language options may include French, German, Latin; Arabic, Bengali, Japanese, Turkish and Chinese. 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.