MPhil/PhD Translation Studies

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
  • Modern Languages
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April


Why study for a Humanities PhD

Hear from staff and postgraduate research students as they explain what makes Exeter a unique place to study at a postgraduate level. View full size.

Translation Studies is an exciting programme incorporating, and bridging, a number of disciplines, including linguistics, literary criticism and semiotics, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and gender studies, media studies and multimodality, history, sociology, ethics, philosophy and rhetoric…and more. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural by nature, Translation Studies appeals particularly to students with an interest in how language mediates between cultures and disciplines, and with an aim of learning about the professional aspects of the field.

Our MPhil/PhD in Translation Studies at Exeter provides an opportunity for you to study with leading academics who are specialists in this field. Our wide range of expertise offers postgraduates the possibility of preparing for research degrees in one or more areas. We attach particular importance to the quality of research supervision and training in research methodology and to the integration of our postgraduates into the Department’s academic and research community. Scholars of international repute are frequent visitors, as are renowned practitioners in the field.

Our research is often interdisciplinary, therefore we recommend you also visit, in addition to the research pages of related subjects, the description of the affiliated researchers in Translation Studies.

The Centre for Translating Cultures is a home for much of the research we do in Translation Studies, and invited scholars regularly present cutting-edge research as a part of the Centre’s events, conferences, and seminar series. Postgraduates also enjoy their own regular research seminars. 

Read more about our research

Exeter is a portal to a rich variety of research resources in Translation Studies and offers access to unique archives in medieval and modern history, modern and contemporary literature and film. Dynamic partnerships with arts, culture and heritage organisations - British Museum, Historic England, London Film School, National Trust, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Tate Britain among many others - give our researchers access to a remarkable range of research collections and facilities.

Exeter offers PhD students exceptional support:

  • A teamed approach to supervision combining research expertise from across our disciplines and access to a pastoral tutor
  • A dedicated Humanities Graduate School, a single point-of-contact for all programme and practical needs
  • Access to the newly built Translation Studies Suite and Digital Humanities Lab
  • A framework of research and career development opportunities across the University and through our network of partners
  • An exclusive study suite for Humanities postgraduates
  • A well-established postgraduate research culture including annual conferences and journal publications
  • Funding opportunities for individual research needs

Read more about funding opportunities



Research areas

What activities are of interest to prospective research students?

Research students are encouraged to integrate fully into the College and participate in our subject-specific staff/postgraduate seminar programmes, and our research training seminar series, during term-time, as well as participate in the University’s Researcher Development Programme.

As a postgraduate research student you will have the support of both a first and second supervisor, and a mentor, to make sure you get the one-to-one contact needed.

We strongly encourage students to give papers at major conferences, and at the College’s annual PGR Conference; we also offer advice on how best to get work published. Research students participate in the lively seminar series organised by our research groups and centres, whose speakers include leading academics from around the world. There may also be teaching opportunities.

What does a research degree involve?

Both MPhil and PhD research degrees involve an extensive investigation of a particular topic.

MPhil research takes a maximum of three years to complete full-time, or five years part-time, and is assessed by the submission of a dissertation of up to 60,000 words. The PhD takes a maximum of four years full-time and seven years part-time and the results of your research will normally be assessed by a written thesis of up to 100,000 words and oral examination. The PhD is only awarded when the results of your investigation make an original contribution to knowledge in the field.

A PhD is the highest qualification that a university can award and offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research: if you have these qualities Exeter can offer a very supportive environment in which to pursue research. It may be possible to study for a PhD or MPhil with only occasional visits to the University. Distance-based students undertake the majority of their research at an off campus location of their choosing. This may mean they visit the campus at just a few keys times during their studies and for no more than four months per year. If you think you may be interested in a distance-based MPhil/PhD, please read the guidance and further information before applying.

Exeter's researchers lead in a wide range of fields and debates in Translation Studies. Current areas of enquiry include (but are not limited to):

  • Autobiographies in Translation
  • Cities in Translation
  • Contemporary Chinese Cinema
  • The Market for Translated Literature
  • Translators as Activists
  • Medieval Culture of Translation
  • Translation and Gender
  • Translation and History
  • Translation and the History of Ideas
  • Knowledge and Translation
  • Science and Translation
  • Self-Translation
  • Translation and Mobility and Migration
  • Translation and Multimodal Practice
  • Translation and Publishing Practices
  • Translation and Rhetoric
  • Translation and Visual Culture
  • Translation and Word Cities
  • The 3% Problem for Translated Literature

Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the webpage for the Research Group in Translation Studies.



We provide access to excellent computing facilities, including a state-of-the art suite dedicated to Translation Studies with the latest in CAT tools, and a bespoke lounge for postgraduate students in Translation Studies. Within Queen’s Building, there is an additional postgraduate IT suite and lounge, a postgraduate and staff common room, as well as a study room containing a number of private study carrels for research students.

Training is provided in a broad range of academic and general professional skills, such as compiling a CV, interview skills and time management.


We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career. You will develop skills which will be useful to you whether or not you stay in academia including highly developed research methods skills. Possible careers include academic research and teaching, and potentially, usually with further professional training, employment in research and policy organisations and charities in the UK and beyond.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Entry requirements 2018

Normally students will have proficiency in a second language in addition to English, a good UK Honours degree (2:1 Honours or international equivalent) and a Master’s degree with Merit or international equivalent in a related subject.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Scholarships and other funding

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our research degrees in Modern Languages.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306