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Translation Theory and Practice MA

The Translation Theory and Practice MA is taught by staff from a wide range of departments at UCL. Students benefit from a flexible programme of study that allows for various pathways and can include practical translation work involving particular language combinations, modules on electronic communication and translation technology, and more theoretical translation studies.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

The programme aims to develop an understanding of translation in its social, cultural and historical contexts, a grasp of the technological environment in which modern commercial and/or literary translating takes place, and, where applicable, practical translation skills involving selected language pairs. The final dissertation project provides an opportunity to produce an extended annotated translation showcasing students' translation interests and abilities.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers several pathways. Each has one core module (30 credits), optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time one year, part-time two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Translation Studies

Options may include the following

  • Advanced Translation including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian languages, Spanish
  • Digital Humanities modules
  • Electronic Publishing modules
  • Gender Studies
  • Interpreting modules
  • Linguistics modules
  • Specialised Translation modules
  • Translation and the Web
  • Translation in History
  • Translation Technology
  • Students may also choose options from across the Centre of Multi-disciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry including African studies, comparative literature, european studies, gender studies


All students complete a 12,000-word dissertation consisting either of an annotated translation or of a critical discussion of theoretical, practical or historical aspects of translation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical translation exercices, case studies and web-based classes, depending on the options chosen. The core modules is assessed by essay coursework. Optional modules are assessed through unseen and written examination, coursework, translation projects and essays.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Translation Theory and Practice MA


All prospective students can apply for the UCL Graduate School Open Scholarships.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


There is an ever-growing demand for highly-trained commercial, literary and other types of translators in the private as well as in the public sector and in international organisations, in Britain and abroad. Other career paths include the media, publishing and education.

First career destinations of recent graduates include:

  • KPMG: Translator
  • Prime Minister's Office: Translation
  • Sage Publications: Account Manager Europe
  • Codex Global: Junior Project Manager
  • Platts: Senior Editor
  • Morgan Stanley: Trading Analyst
  • English Studio: Teacher
  • Deloitte: Consultant
  • Comms Multilingual: Sales Manager

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Senior Editor, Platts (2011)
  • Credit Derivative Trading Analyst, Morgan Stanley (2011)
  • Corporate Fundraiser, UNICEF (2011)
  • Cultural Officer, Ministry of Culture (2013)


The programme provides graduates with a range of vocational skills that enable them to pursue successful careers in the fields of translation and interpreting. Former students have gone on to work as translators for companies such as KPMG, SDL International and Alpha CRC; three graduates from 2012 have set up their own translation business. Graduates also acquire transferable skills that lead them into successful careers in publishing, media, finance, fashion, PR and education; examples include our graduates who are now working for Newsweek, the British Library, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury's and Deloitte.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Located in the heart of multicultural London, UCL provides a uniquely rich environment for studying and researching translation in all its facets, taught by specialist translation staff with a divers range of research interests including translation and the web, theatre translation, and Chinese translation.

The MA is truly interdisciplinary, with access to experts in an unrivalled variety of languages and disciplines from across Europe and further afield. This allows students to customise their own programmes in relation to their language competencies and other academic and professional interests.

UCL translation students are highly valued by the translation industry, with workshops and networking events organised during the year.

Student / staff ratios › 54 staff › 195 taught students › 58 research students

Department: Centre for Multi-disciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry

Degree reviews

Staff review

"I am interested in all aspects of translation, but especially in theoretical and historical topics. In the past I have written about the descriptive study of translation and of the way translators leave traces of their presence in the texts they render. I have also explored particular concepts, such as equivalence or translation norms. On the historical side I have worked on the Early Modern period in Europe, but also on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Current research projects include missionary translation, especially the global enterprise built up by the Jesuits in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and a history of translation in the Low Countries, which is being written in Dutch jointly with colleagues in Holland and Belgium."

Theo Hermans

Translation Theory and Practice MA
Alumni review

"UCL coupled a compelling emphasis on literary translation with the opportunity to learn how to manipulate translation technology. This, to my mind, sets the programme apart. I now feel very at ease with translation technology and I understand why it makes me a better translator. In academic terms, translating changes the way you read and as such I am a better analyst. I am just starting out in a career that I am extremely excited about. Without this degree, making these first steps would be inconceivable. I just would not have the appropriate skills."

Olivia Fairweather

Translation Theory and Practice MA (2014)
Alumni review

"This programme has proved an asset in attracting potential employers. More importantly, it gave me access to the best tools available, helping me to become a better translator."

Melodie Teruel-Vaissiere

Translation Theory & Practice MA (2015)

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for graduates with a language and culture subject who wish to develop practical translation skills alongside an understanding of theoretical aspects of translation, for professional development or further research in this field. A sound knowledge of at least one language other than English is essential.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Translation Theory and Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Translation Theory and Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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