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Translation Studies (MA)

1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

Course Aims

This course offers knowledge and expertise for students wishing to pursue a career as professional translators in the public and private sectors, or who are interested in the study of translation. Training in translation also prepares students for careers in other language-related professions, including journalism, public relations or language teaching.

Translation Studies

Specifically, the programme aims to:

Special Features

Course Description

Our highly successful MA Translation Studies attracts a wide range of well-qualified international and home students each year. It offers core training in the theory and practice of translation before allowing them to specialise in specific pathways as they choose from our broad range of optional modules. On our course, students work with academic staff, professional translators and employers. They can work between any language pairing on a programme designed to comply with the European Master’s in Translation guidelines produced by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation. Our graduates from the MA Translation Studies have gone on to a variety of successful careers: further study in the form of a PhD, working as an in-house translator for a large corporation, working as a free-lance translator, working for government agencies and working for international institutions such as the United Nations World Health Organization.

The programme offers a balanced combination of theory and practice modules.

Part one consists of two compulsory modules:

The following optional modules are available:

Part two of the course requires either a research-based dissertation of 20,000 words or an annotated translation project comprising a translation of approximately 8,000 words in the source text and 12,000 words of reflective commentary.

Student Testimonials

I think that the fact that this course offers a mixture of practical and theoretical modules and of course that graduates of this postgraduate scheme will leave with the skills to translate between any language pairs and not being limited to certain languages make this course very attractive. The fact that the course is accredited is also something very appealing. The staff are always friendly and approachable and are willing to give you that extra bit of help or support.

Alison Mewes, Translation Studies student

Having taken the Specialised Translation Module in Medical and Pharmaceutical texts here at Cardiff, I decided that it would be very advantageous to take the Work Placement module with an employer in the medical field. Working between Russian, Ukranian, German and English, my plan for the Training Module was to improve my translation skills and gain experience in the professional world. As I have discovered, demands for experience and comprehension of medical language are often stressed by the employer when you want to become a specialized medical translator. On completion of my placement I felt more confident to apply my theoretical knowledge in practice and reflect critically on my work. I learned how to deal with confidential information in a professional manner, present my ideas clearly and use my organisation skills to help me work more efficiently. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Yevheniya Polovyk, Translation Studies student


Career Prospects

Our graduates enter a variety of professions: freelance translation, in-house translation for a large corporation, PhD study, Government administration, University administration, a range of roles in large trans-national organisations such as the United Nations World Health Organisation.

Entry Requirements

Candidates should possess or expect to obtain a relevant undergraduate languages degree at a minimum of upper second class honours (2:1) level. It is particularly suitable for graduates in language, translation studies, literature and disciplines broadly conceived to have a humanities focus. Applicants with alternative undergraduate degree backgrounds will be given the opportunity to demonstrate that they possess the appropriate linguistic skills and competences for the programme in the context of the written language test and interview.

Non-native speakers of English are expected to have a recognised English-language qualification (e.g. IELTS with a total score of 7 and no subsection below 6.5), as the minimum requirement to be invited to interview. Written and oral competence in English will also be tested at interview.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • International Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Alex Ford (PG)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0824 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4946 


School Website:

More information

Funding Available

There are current funding opportunities for this course. Click here.