Translation MA - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Translation

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Translation
PGCert Translation

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PPA63007 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Part-time PPA63011 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - School of Literature and Languages

Programme Leader


Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in the area of translation studies and neighbouring disciplines
  • The programme aims to: develop a broad and deep understanding of current and future opportunities and challenges of translation in different markets and contexts
  • provide a solid, all-round translator education fit for the evolving realities of the language industry
  • enable students to become experts in translation as a multilingual, multimodal and sometimes intralingual activity in the digital era, and perform a variety of translation-related tasks (e.g. content writing, post-editing, project management, language engineering)
  • focus specifically on advanced technology, business and creative skills - i.e. the areas of translator education which will enable students to take full advantage of the changing language industry landscape
  • enable students to draw on theoretical knowledge to frame their practice using scholarly and professional writing

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
On completion of the programme students will be able to: demonstrate a thorough understanding of theoretical, professional and ethical issues relevant to translation as a discipline and as an industry/practice affected by digital technologies K PGCert, PGDip, MA
translate and post-edit specialised texts to industry standards and follow best practices grounded in translation scholarship to justify choices and decisions, as well as produce multilingual content by means of writing, re-writing or adapting texts to target audiences in multiple scenarios KCT PGCert, PGDip, MA
become competent users of language/translation technologies (including computer-assisted translation, machine translation, corpus technologies and natural language processing) to support a range of translation-related tasks, during the comprehension, preproduction, production and post-production stages PT PGCert, PGDip, MA
reflect on, analyse, synthesise and evaluate a range of issues relevant to translation as a discipline, practice, profession and industry, with evidence of efficient processing of complex information and problem solving KCT PGCert, PGDip, MA
work independently and contribute to teamwork on extended pieces of work in a sustained way, with or without guidance, and using advanced research skills CPT MA
demonstrate commitment to continuous professional development and independent pursuit of opportunities to engage with various (academia/profession/industry) stakeholders PT PGCert, PGDip, MA

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)


This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over two academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose four optional modules - one in Semester 1 and three in Semester 2.

Professional Translation Practice language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages.

Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose the following compulsory modules in year 1: Professional Translation Practice I, Professional Translation Practice II and Principles and Challenges of Translation and Interpreting. They must choose one optional module in Semester 2.

Professional Translation Practice language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages.

Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose the following compulsory module in year 2: Translation as Human-Machine Interaction.

Professional Translation Practice language options include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English. They require native or near-native competency in English and one of the above languages.

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y There is an optional work placement within TRAM505.
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Translation Studies constitutes a highly porous, interdisciplinary field and, arguably, a highly representative area of adopting global cultural perspectives in both academic pursuits and professional practice. As a relatively young discipline, it is currently reaping the benefits of recent advancements in several paradigmatic turns ¿ cultural, sociological, economic, technological ¿ that seek to explore the wide diversity of translation phenomena in the world. The programme taps into a fulsome tradition of extant research and practice whilst being forward-looking and anticipating future developments. This is achieved by exploring research developed in different parts of the world, by focusing on several language directions, by keeping a healthy balance between north-south/east-west perspectives and by interrogating the boundaries between traditional typologies of translation and/or interpreting, through the prism of technological and social change. The programme is taught in an interactive and collaborative way and students are offered ample opportunities to engage with and learn from diverse perspectives through interaction and teamwork. Given the typical multi-cultural cohorts of the programme, as well as the multi-cultural backgrounds of teaching staff and invited speakers (academics or Language Services Industry experts), the programme also serves as a theatre of comparative analysis in language usage, translation/interpreting practice and norm-supported professional behaviour in the service of inter-social and intra-social communication. The tasks and assessments undertaken across the programme are geared towards fostering the internalisation and confident navigation in the terminology and debates relevant to the above perspectives, thus rendering CTS graduates experts in their respective areas of specialisation.

Employability: Whilst the programme does not have official accreditation, it is designed to equip students with the linguistic, translation, technological, business and interpersonal and soft skills needed for a successful career in the language services industry. Throughout the programme, and under the guidance of professional translators students experience simulations of realistic scenarios and cover different thematic areas, such as news, business, economics, engineering, legal, medical, hospitality and advertisement translation. The above-mentioned thematic areas are covered from a more reflective aspect in theoretical modules, where the properties of textuality and information organisation are examined in greater detail. Practical modules, technology- and business/industry-related modules jointly equip students with transferrable skills needed in prevalent and emerging areas in the industry, such as computer-assisted translation, post-editing of machine translation output, platform-enabled remote collaborative translation, intra-lingual and inter-lingual respeaking, video-mediated remote interpreting, managing translation projects and global supply chains. Students have an opportunity to benefit from insights into best practice and authentic examples in the remit of translation, interpreting and audiovisual translation professions, as shared by invited external speakers: academics, language service experts and representatives of professional associations with whom CTS have long-standing links, including those of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Translation Automation User Society, Globalization and Localization Association, European Language Industry Association. Students can take active part in a dedicated Language Services Industry Careers Fair (in semester 2). Throughout the year, they develop a Professional Engagement Portfolio, where they document work placements and other collaborations with language services providers and extra-curricular activities (such as joining a professional body, attending professional development webinars/workshops, voluntary translation work). The Professional Engagement Portfolio can also be taken as a substantial component of the University¿s Employability Award, thus allowing students to tailor the Employability Award to the Language Industry.

Digital Capabilities: Throughout each programme students learn to use the VLE for real-time in-class learning as well as guided learning and self-study activities so that they can unleash their research potential, systematize their translation solutions or critique existing translation/interpreting solutions. Students are also introduced to and gain proficiency in specific digital tools, including inter alia, computer-aided translation tools, machine translation systems, terminological databases, terminology management tools, subtitling software, sound-editing software and corpus management tools. The teaching approach adopted is eclectic and reflective in that it is not tool-led or tool-focused as such, given that technologies evolve rapidly; rather, the programme adopts an approach whereby students are trained to assess the quality, reliability and contextual understanding of technological solutions to translation projects. This allows them to become confident, expert users of technologies in their fields of specialization, at all stages of a language service-related project: preparation/planning, process language output in different contexts, delivery of final product and evaluation. The use of the afore-mentioned types of technology are an integral part in the professional world as the speed, quality and economic value of language solutions depends on the ability to gather information, assess tried-and-tested translation equivalents and apply methodological abilities that allow optimal communication to occur across language and cultural boundaries. Thus, assessments equip students with the practical skills needed, a thorough appreciation of how technologies impact the interaction of participants and clients, and the ability to articulate (dis)advantages in the use of technological resources and specific workflows in order to achieve output that serves the purpose of communication in a given context.

Sustainability: The programme approaches the theme of sustainability in more focused or more diffuse ways across module combinations and the competences developed throughout the programme. On a more local level, the topics of environmental sustainability, decent work and economic growth and sustainable consumption are addressed in practical translation modules, where students are asked to work with specialised (scientific, technical) or less specialised texts (popular science, media), which overtly address these areas. Students therefore undertake conceptual research before they deliver such texts in another language. Tutors serve as facilitators, also offering their insights from past experience in conceptual research-linguistic output to complement individual and collective perspectives on the topic of sustainability in class. In more theoretical or technology-oriented modules, the theme of sustainability is explored ¿ through hands-on practice, group discussion and independent research ¿ from various angles. Students discover which translation/interpreting digital/business solutions may best serve future tasks, thus consolidating resources, saving time and preparing them for greater volume of work and work diversification in the future (see also employability). They also actively engage with theories and debates on the visibility of cultural and linguistic minorities and on how these may be best served through language mediation, thus reducing inequalities. At the same time, students acquire thorough knowledge of language mediation as a global enabler of economic growth, expression in the creative industries and general wellbeing for clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds (by, say, having access to public services or consumer products in their own language). On a more general yet self-referential level, the topic of sustainability is integrated in the holistic approach to skill development throughout the academic year; each graduate is prepared for a variety of careers where language data, text transfer across cultures and adaptability to changing technological and business contexts are key. This ensures the sustainability of the translation/interpreting profession itself (see also Resourcefulness and Resilience).

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The inter-disciplinary foundations of the programme are undergirded by a social sciences perspective in empirical, evidence-based investigation and by humanities-informed philosophy of reflexivity vis-à-vis the ethical use of communication skills, technology and workflows in language mediation. Such foundations, in combination with the types of assessments employed (see below) simultaneously instil a strong sense of disciplinary identity and confidence in using metalanguage/professional terms as experts in their respective areas of specialisation. The programme allows students to explore the rich diversity of translation phenomena and to develop their problem-solving skills in a supportive learning environment before venturing into the professional world. Given the nature of our programmes and a long-established culture in CTS, the above is complemented by empathic communication and academic or professional candour allowed in small groups of both practical-oriented modules and more theory-oriented modules; experience tells us that such an environment is conducive to learning through trial and error, risk taking and openness to multiple perspectives, without losing sight of desired levels of academic standards or language service provision standards. From early in the programme, students are introduced to the expectations regarding teaching, learning and assessments to facilitate self-efficacy. Timetabling and module optionality encourage agency in planning workloads and tailoring the course according to preferred domain-specific, media-specific and situation-specific types of translation/interpreting. Formative and summative assessments are designed feed forward to assessments within modules and to future modules in the programme, whilst peer feedback fosters empathy and the use of appropriate written and oral communication techniques. Throughout the programme, students have opportunities to develop their critical thinking and their responsiveness to different contexts of language transfer scenarios and phases of a project life-cycle (preparation, process, post-delivery/evaluation). The programme requires individual and collective resourcefulness in developing optimal solutions for simulated translation/interpreting scenarios and in implementing the standards applicable to the provision of a language service.

Additional costs may be incurred within the Dissertation module if the work placement is opted for. This may include expenses, such as travel to and from the work place, any required accommodation and related subsidiary costs.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.