- Provides excellent professional training for careers in the language services industry as a rigorous foundation in the academic field of Translation Studies
- Expertise in a host of languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Kurdish, Russian and Spanish
- Opportunity to do a translation work placement or project
- Access to bespoke, free English-language support through INTO University of Exeter
- Dedicated space for study and collaborative work in a refurbished Language Centre
Top 200 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages
QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
Top 15 in UK subject rankings for Modern Languages
The Complete University Guide 2023
£1.1m external research funding awarded
Academic years 2015-2018
Taught by published translators and experienced practitioners, plus specialists in the use of machine translation and computer-assisted translation tools
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.
Must be your mother tongue, or you must be able to demonstrate a native-equivalent knowledge of Chinese, in addition to clear interesting 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.
You should have native or near-native knowledge of the language you wish to translate into, otherwise known as your target language. In addition, you will need to demonstrate a clear interest in translation theory and practice. Please see our English language requirements web pages for details of the level of English we require.
Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile E. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
My tutors on the MA Translation Studies programme are knowledgeable and experienced and not only give me support all the time, but also give me new perspectives to help with translation. I found it so interesting to do translation tasks using Computer Assisted Tools such as Trados.
I have enjoyed every moment of my time with translation students both in and outside classes. Communicating with my classmates, who come from different cultures (e.g. British, Italian, Irish, Polish, Spanish), has been such a joy and has made me more open-minded. In addition, my Greek career mentor was super nice, professional and shared with me his real-world experiences so that I was able to have a better understanding of the language services industry.
I am now working for the University as a part-time intern to undertake some translation and marketing tasks and it is very exciting to gain hands-on experience.
Wang (surname) Dan, from China
MA Translation Studies
The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.
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.
UK fees per year:
£11,000 full-time; £5,500 part-time
International fees per year:
£22,500 full-time; £11,250 part-time
We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students.
For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.
*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.
Teaching and research
Our MA Translation Studies programme is designed to bring together method and practice with a strong focus on practice in how you are both taught and assessed. We offer study in numerous languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Kurd, Russian, Spanish.
Learning and teaching
You will learn from academic experts in Translation Studies and Translation Professionals 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.
Students might craft a pitch to sell their literary translations to a real-life publisher, with a current student securing the translation rights to a literacy text. Students will also get the opportunity to practice creating translation quotes for interacting with clients (or as project managers). For instance, our Spanish students have worked this year interpreting at a conference on combatting gender violence in developing countries.
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 biennial Translation Festival—the only festival of the kind in the UK-- (Michelle Bolduc & Eliana Maestri), takes place in Exeter City Centre and on campus, features authors and translators, interactive translation workshops, attracting not only the university community but also members of the public and school children.
Our department 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.
It was a big decision to quit my job and move to another country for further study. I chose Exeter because it is one of the best universities in the UK for Modern Languages. The Translation Studies course is a combination of theory and practice.
All the lecturers are professional and supportive and as well as lectures there are language-specific workshops where tutors give advice on translation in specific topics. One of our modules The Translation Profession has given me experience of using CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools, which is very useful whether you want to be a freelancer or work for a translation company.
MA Translation Studies
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:
- In-house translators in Translation companies, or in the Translation Department of Multinational companies ranging from Luxury Brands to Legal Firms
- Project Managers at major translation companies across the globe
- European Summary Translators for media companies
- Self-employed Freelance Translators
- University Lecturers
PhD study at Exeter
A number of our graduates have secured funding for their PhDs in Translation Studies and related areas.
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.