Translation Studies MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

At the UCL Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS), we enjoy an international reputation for the quality of our research and teaching in a wide range of translation and interpreting-related subjects, as well as translation technology.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£6,035
£3,015
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£28,100
£14,050
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A Master’s degree with Merit (ideally Distinction) in translation studies, in a language and culture subject or other relevant field from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Admission is dependent on the submission of a detailed research project proposal and applicants must have the agreement of their potential supervisor before submitting a formal application.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Research proposals which engage with theoretical, linguistic and technical aspects of translation and interpreting are welcomed. Examples of current research projects undertaken by PhD students in Translation Studies include the translation of humour in video games, the subtitling of gender stereotypes, translating British and American science fiction, exploring the notion of reflexivity in translation, and translating political speeches.

How to apply:

As a first step, please complete the Online Enquiry Form, which will be considered at our next regular PhD supervisors meeting. PhD places are tightly limited and we are only able to encourage those with outstanding research proposals to move ahead to a formal application to UCL. Please therefore take care to present a fully developed 500-word summary of your project as part of this enquiry. Further information on writing research proposals can be found in the 'Need to Know' box on our Postgraduate Research page. Please do not apply formally to UCL until you have received a response regarding your initial enquiry.

Who this course is for

This MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in conducting multi-disciplinary research, who may have completed post-graduate training or study and want to develop an advanced critical analysis in a specific translation research area. The programme is for applicants with a background or interest in translation theory and history; audio visual translation; literary translation and performance; translation technology; languages and interpreting. It is suitable for both recent Masters graduates as well as early or mid-career professionals.

What this course will give you

Located in the heart of multicultural London, UCL provides a uniquely rich environment for researching translation and interpreting in all its facets. Doctoral students can draw on a broad and diverse range of expertise from the Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS), the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII) and the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS).

Students are supported by a dynamic research culture, a stimulating environment and excellent opportunities for research training. UCL runs numerous seminar series and guest lectures, and researchers have access to state-of-the-art translation technology as well as world-class libraries, including those at UCL itself, the British Library, the School of Advanced Study, and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

The foundation of your career

The programme provides students with a range of professional and academic skills that will enable them to pursue careers in translation, higher education, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, international bodies, and other institutions around the world.

Recent PhD graduates have gone on to pursue postdoctoral study, have obtained lectureships in translation studies at reputable universities in the UK and abroad (Australia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan), and have joined companies such as British Telecom, Expedia and Paramount.

Employability

With the research training and experience gained during the PhD, students are excellently placed to pursue a career in the fields of academia and professional translating and interpreting.

Translation PhD students will acquire extensive transferable skills, including the ability to analyse and process vast amounts of data, to teach courses in their field of expertise, to present research to small and large audiences, to network with diverse groups. This ample and highly adaptable skill base gives students an unparalleled edge and employment opportunities.
 

Networking

UCL is extremely well positioned to offer students opportunities for networking and to establish academic and professional contacts. Supervision and mentorship is available from world-leading researchers, with 83% of SELCS-CMII research activity being graded 4* ‘world leading’ and 3* ‘internationally excellent’ in the REF 2021.

PhD students are actively involved in attending and organising seminar series and guest lectures, and have the opportunity to liaise with world-renowned scholars and experts in the field of translation and interpreting. Students have opportunities to engage in numerous projects involving research such as Global Health and Crisis Translation, Audio-visual Translation, as well as translation technology and theory.

Teaching and learning

Research students undertake relevant induction sessions and can take advantage of the Doctoral Skills Development Programme. PhD students meet regularly in term time with their supervisors and may be offered opportunities to gain valuable teaching experience and participate in reading groups and conferences.

To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

PhD students should treat their research programme as a full-time job, which equates roughly to 35 hours per week, or 15 hours for Part-time students. Students agree to a timetable of regular meetings with the Principal Supervisor to effectively manage the progression of project aims. This is flexible, at some points it may be necessary to meet more or less often.

Full-time students can expect to meet supervisors every two weeks during the academic year, and part-time students every four weeks. If a student has external funding, they should also ensure they meet the Terms & Conditions of the funder.

Research areas and structure

UCL offers expertise in translation technology, audiovisual translation, localisation, literary and theatre translation, history of translation, translator and interpreting training, technical and scientific translation, translation and accessibility to the media, translation theory.

Research environment

Research students are encouraged to participate in research seminars and networks across and outside SELCS-CMII. Students contribute significantly to the research environment through the organisation of annual conferences, and participation in seminars and online journals. 

Our Transcluster, a suite of 60 IT stations, is equipped with cutting-edge eye-tracking equipment and programmes, developed specifically for CenTraS staff and research students. Students can access special collections at UCL and other world-class libraries (Senate House and British Library) within walking distance of campus. As well as access to research support in the form of academic skills courses, student-led workshops and reading groups.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis

In the first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback and be given the opportunity to present your research to UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students

In the second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100 £14,050

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

The wealth of departmental seminars / colloquiums / symposiums and student organised work in progress sessions give ample opportunities to present research, receive feedback and participate in discussion.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more details about departmental funding available to postgraduate research students in the department, please refer to our Funding, Scholarships and Prizes (Research) webpage.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Quirk PhD Scholarship

Deadline: 26 January 2024
Value: Fees and maintenance (3yrs)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.