MA Translation Studies

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


Why study Translation Studies at Exeter?

Michelle Bolduc, Director and Professor of Translation Studies, explains how MA Translation Studies at Exeter prepares you for a career in the language services industry. View full size.

Meet our students

Meet our students and alumni.

The MA in Translation Studies provides excellent professional training for careers in the language services industry as well as a rigorous foundation in the academic field of Translation Studies. Our areas of language expertise include Chinese languageEuropean languages (French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish) and in collaboration with the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Arabic and Kurdish.

Translation Studies at Exeter offers significant flexibility, with optional modules that allow you to tailor your programme of study to meet your individual career and professional goals.

You have the option to take a Translation Work Placement/Project module, enabling you to learn about the translation profession through work. By gaining hands-on experience in the language services sector you will develop essential employability and interpersonal skills.

From September 2018 we are introducing an exciting new optional module, Introduction to Interpreting: Consecutive and Liaison, which enables you to learn how to express yourself in interpreting contexts with precision and accuracy.

The University of Exeter provides a first-class research and teaching environment in Translation Studies, with a dedicated core of academic staff as well as guest lecturers and mentoring by leading industry professionals. The course emphasises professional training in the skills and tools (including CAT, or computer-assisted translation) used in the field.

The city of Exeter is a very safe place to live and study, but is just 2.5 hours from London. The region boasts some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in the UK.

Chartered Institute of Linguistics partnership

We are proud to be partnered with and are one of the preferred education providers of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIOL), and our MA programme is one of very few in the country that may give you exemption from taking one Unit of the CIOL Diploma in Translation, one third of the required examinations for this gold standard professional qualification.

Read our blog

We have recently launched a new Translation Studies blog where we will be publishing articles that could help you get a head-start in the industry. We will be exploring topics ranging from translation careers to why Translation Studies is important.

Programme structure

Students on the MA Translation Studies take a selection of modules amounting to 180 credits in total. This includes a compulsory Translation Dissertation (60 credits) and two compulsory modules: Translation Theory (30 credits) and The Practice of Translation (30 credits). The remaining 60 credits are chosen from our optional modules, see below.

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.

Work placement

The programme offers an optional Translation Work Placement/Project module which provides the experience of learning about translation as a profession through work. By gaining hands-on knowledge of the field of translation and the language services industry, you will develop essential employability and interpersonal skills that relate to your degree and future career.

This valuable module offers you the chance to find and organise your own work placement or project in line with your individual professional goals, either in the UK or abroad. With the assistance of a Work Placement Co-ordinator who works directly with our MA Translation Studies students, we provide you with the tools -- the preparation, support, and approval -- necessary to gain significant professional experience in the language services industry.

You may find a work placement as an in-house translator, project manager, or translation checker, to name just a few examples. You may also choose to be engaged in translation projects for the local, regional, or global language services field. 

Learning and teaching

Our MA 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. You will also have a personal tutor to help guide you throughout your programme of study.

The University Library on the Streatham Campus offers a broad collection of foundational works and academic journals in Translation Studies, in both print and electronic forms.

All modules have robust Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) pages, which contain additional resources for students in Translation Studies.


Our MA Translation Studies students have a dedicated space for study and collaborative work in the newly refurbished Foreign Language Centre. This reserved space also gives you access to computers with translation memory software and Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tools including SDL Trados 2017, 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 specialist holdings from St Jerome and John Benjamins’ Translation Studies Library.


To succeed in the translation industry you will need a range of practical expertise as well as excellent language skills. Our MA in Translation Studies 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 graduates have become freelance translators with their own businesses; they have found employment as in-house translators and project managers in translation companies as well as in international businesses; they have also entered other language-related professions, including publishing, journalism, public relations or language teaching. In addition, they have chosen to pursue further advanced study in doctoral programmes.

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 practise 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 Studies and related areas, and others have set up their own freelance translation businesses.

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 webpages.

Entry requirements

 Chinese language

A first degree, normally 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. The programme is also available to prospective students with advanced English-language competency from such fields as Accounting, Business and Engineering. Please see our English language requirements pages for details of the level of English we require.

European languages (French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish)

Normally a minimum 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. Please see 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 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £8,750 full-time; £4,375 part-time
  • International: £18,500 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 £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online
Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

MA Translation Studies Programme Director

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


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Translation! Festival

The Translation! Festival at Exeter is a celebration of languages and cultures from around the world. Watch the video to find out more. View full size.

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