MA Translation

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Modern Languages
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


£1,000 Global Excellence Awards

We are offering a number of £1,000 awards for international students of excellent academic quality applying to the MA Translation for 2017. Find out more

The MA at Exeter is a vibrant and growing programme of study, with excellent professional training that prepares you for a fulfilling career in the translation industry.

The programme is taught by specialists including published literary translators, practitioners from agency contracts and international organisations, and specialists in the use of computer-assisted translation (CAT

You can choose from three dedicated pathways, each tailored to your needs:

Translation practice is at the heart of the programme. You will practice translating between English and one of our available languages, as well as gaining a thorough grounding in the academic discipline of translation studies.

We will give you a solid foundation in translation methodology and you will learn professional techniques and strategies, as well as how to use industry-standard software.

This course is ideal if you are wishing to pursue a career as a professional translator in the public and private sectors, or are interested in the study of translation. Training in translation also prepares you for careers in other language-related professions, including copy writing, journalism, public relations or teaching language.


Language areas

The MA Translation programme is carefully designed to develop our translation skills and aims to prepare students to be professional translators.

The support services for international students are very helpful and understanding. They offer various well paid job opportunities and internships in different fields, making it relatively easy to support my study.

I would definitely recommend this university to international students who are eager to find a comfortable place to study and live.

Qian Zheng.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Our MA in Translation is designed to bring together method and practice with a strong focus on practice, in how you are both taught and assessed. You will learn through a mix of small hands-on workshops specific to your language specialism and larger integrated lectures, where you will learn collaboratively with other students working with a variety of language pairs.

Tailored to meet the academic and career goals of a wide-range of students, the MA in Translation offers three pathways: the Specialist pathway; the Research pathway; and the Literary pathway.


The Specialist Translation pathway is designed to prepare you for a career in the translation industry; it offers training in the applied translation of a variety of specialized texts, including business and financial, legal and scientific, as well as in the latest Computer Assisted Translation tools and other essential aspects of the language services industry.

The approach of the Research pathway is more academic: it will prepare you for the pursuit of a doctoral degree across the globe in such fields as Translation Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Comparative Literature, and would suit anyone looking to pursue a research career.

The Literary pathway is devised especially for students specialising in one of our European languages: it focuses on the creative and inventive aspects of literary translation as well as the professional aspects of literary translation, with contacts in the publishing industry and professional literary translators around the globe.

I highly recommend the University of Exeter. The University has a high reputation with lots of brilliant students.

I think the MA Translation course is good in every aspect. The teaching style is professional and I like the Chinese workshop which allows us to discuss translation methods with students who are studying the Chinese languages with the help of a Chinese Professor.

During my free time I travel a lot as there are trips held every few weeks for international students to explore England. These trips are a great opportunity to meet new friends. You don’t have to go far as there are plenty of fantastic views in the South West of England.

Ke Zhang.


To succeed in the translation industry you will need a range of practical expertise as well as excellent language skills. Our MA in Translation will give you the tools you need whether you choose to work in the industry or pursue a PhD.

With our industry-recognised qualification you will have the skills specified in EU standards for translation and a variety of career paths will be open to you. Our students go on to work for multi-national organisations, publishing and cultural organisations, set up their own businesses as freelance translators, or take their research on to doctoral level.

You will gain:

  • The ability to communicate – whether directly with clients, with agencies, or with employers
  • Confidence in competing for work and negotiating your terms and conditions
  • An understanding of company-specific guidelines for workflow and text presentations
  • Project Management and people management skills – which are vital if you go on to manage other translators
  • Organisational, analytical, research and IT skills

You will practice all of these career focused skills through our modules and discuss them in tutorials. At the same time our regular visiting speakers will impart to you their valuable experience from their own careers.

Some of our more recent graduates have gone on to a variety of different roles such as:

  • Project Manager at a major translation company
  • A European Summary Translator for a media company
  • Self-employed Freelance Translator
  • A University Lecturer in China
  • PhD study at Exeter

A number of our graduates have secured funding for their PhDs in translation and related areas and one of our MA in Translation graduates has set up their own translation business.

Thanks to Linguaset, our graduates benefit from a free website domain name, a free custom-built website and free hosting following their studies. This gives them a helping hand at the start of their career.

Careers and employment support

While studying at Exeter you can also access a range of activities, advice and practical help to give you the best chance of following your chosen career path. For more information visit our Careers pages.


You will have access to dedicated study spaces and computers with such translation memory software and Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tools as SDL Trados 2015, MemoQ, Star Group Transit and Omega-T.

The College of Humanities operates a variety of Research Centres across all subject disciplines, including the Modern Languages Centre for Translating Cultures, and you will have full access to the University Library which includes some specialist holdings from St Jerome and John Benjamins’ Translation Studies Library.

Entry requirements 2017

Chinese language

A first degree, equivalent to a UK 2.1 Honours degree, in English, Linguistics, Translation, or a similar subject. Exceptions may be made if you are already working within the translation industry. Chinese must be your mother tongue, or you must be able to demonstrate a native-equivalent knowledge of Chinese, in addition to a clear interest in translation theory and practice. Our English language requirements pages for details the level of English we require.

European languages

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or international equivalent, from a recognised institution in a field related to translation, such as language, literature, linguistics or philology. In addition, you will need to demonstrate a clear interest in translation theory and practice.

You should have native or near-native knowledge of the language you wish to translate into, otherwise known as your target language. If you wish to study the Literary Translation pathway, you must have a native or equivalent knowledge of English, as this is the only target language offered.

If your target language is not English for the Specialist or Research pathways, you will need to satisfy our English language requirements. Our English language requirements pages for details the level of English we require.

Applications from students who do not meet the standard requirements will be considered on their merits.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

  • UK/EU: £7,500 full-time; £3,750 part-time
  • International: £16,500 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Current available funding

Contact us

MA Translation Programme Director

Professor Michelle Bolduc
Tel: +44 (0)1392 724220

College of Humanities Postgraduate taught enquiries

Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306