Introduction

If you have a flair and ear for languages, you may want to study and put your skills to good use in new situations and settings. With demand growing for qualified graduates, a Translation Studies MSc can open doors to a range of exciting international and national careers as well as self-employment options globally.

This programme is studied on campus.

Demand for professional translation and interpreting skills is at an all-time high. Equip yourself with the expert practical knowledge and advanced linguistic and cross-cultural communication skills to enter professional life as a translator or an interpreter and benefit from a rewarding and varied career choice.

We offer a broad programme that gives greater flexibility and greater choice to tailor things around your own individual linguistic skills and, just as importantly, around your career aspirations too.

Languages on offer include Arabic, French, Gaelic, German, Irish, Mandarin, Spanish and Welsh. Other languages may be offered based on demand. One of the distinguishing features is that you will have the opportunity to specialise in more than one language pairing, should you want to. This is something that could make you a more attractive candidate to a wider range of future employers. In honing your language knowledge, you will enhance your analytical skills which underpin all language work.

The year is structured around two core courses and seven option courses, together with a dissertation/translation project completed in the summer term.

Core courses are designed to help you to familiarise yourself with the techniques and strategies involved in translating different types of texts (expository, narrative, argumentative, vocative) and with different degrees of specialisation, in a range of subject matters (business, legal, medical) at a professional level, as well as an awareness of the key theories and approaches that have been developed in Translation Studies. You will also develop the ability to critique and engage with foundational theoretical texts.

Our option courses bring you the opportunity to perfect your skills in more specialized areas such as translation technologies, liaison interpreting, inter-cultural skills and professional skills for translators; proof-reading, editing, reviewing and issues in literary translation are covered too.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Language - Specific Translation Portfolio (LN5008) - 30 Credit Points

The course is based on supervision of practical experience. Students and supervisors select texts to be translated and discuss approaches and other practical issues. The remainder of the course is dedicated to self-directed study, in which the students compile a portfolio of work. Feedback on the portfolio is discussed in detail with the supervisor. Additional translations are set beyond the portfolio itself, giving students the opportunity to enhance and polish their skills with a wider range of materials. Students will normally be translating one document per week and will receive oral feedback.

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Key Concepts and Methods in Translation Studies (LN5009) - 30 Credit Points

The course introduces and critically evaluates some of the major concepts in translation theory, focusing on their application to translation practice. It analyses translation as a social and cultural phenomenon. Students will develop the skills necessary to reflect critically on their own translation practice in order to enhance its breadth and sophistication. In the second semester, the course will also provide training in research methodology in preparation for the dissertation.

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Editing, Proofreading and Reviewing for Translators (LN5015) - 15 Credit Points

This course equips students to edit, revise and review translated documents in a professional context. Topics will include study of and practice in stylistic, structural and content editing; quality assurance processes expected in professional-standard translating; a critical understanding of the role of the editor/reviser/proof-reader and reviewer in a professional context and of all stages of the editing and reviewing process.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Language - Specific Translation Portfolio (LN5008) - 30 Credit Points

The course is based on supervision of practical experience. Students and supervisors select texts to be translated and discuss approaches and other practical issues. The remainder of the course is dedicated to self-directed study, in which the students compile a portfolio of work. Feedback on the portfolio is discussed in detail with the supervisor. Additional translations are set beyond the portfolio itself, giving students the opportunity to enhance and polish their skills with a wider range of materials. Students will normally be translating one document per week and will receive oral feedback.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Plus 3 courses from the below:

Intercultural Communication (LN5510) - 15 Credit Points

In this course a range of theories for exploring cultural norms and practices will be explored. Cultural Dimension Theory, Cross Cultural Pragmatics and Language socialization will be considered core areas of study. Other areas of relevance that will be covered and discussed include: Social Identity Theory and Language, English as a Lingua France—the effects of Globalisation on language policy and communication, Intercultural Communication in Specific Professional Contexts, Intercultural Communication in Health Care—The case of migrant patients and native speaker Doctors/health care staff, Intercultural Communication in Business Meetings—overcoming cultural barriers and negotiating meaning.

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Additional Language - Specific Translation Portfolio (LN5512) - 15 Credit Points

This course is based on supervision of practical experience. Students and supervisors will select texts to be translated and discuss approaches and other practical issues. The remainder of the course is dedicated to self-directed study, in which students compile a portfolio of work. Feedback on the portfolio is discussed in detail with the supervisor. Additional translations are set beyond the portfolio itself, giving students the opportunity to enhance and polish their skills with a wider range of materials. Students will normally be translating one document per week and will receive oral feedback.

View detailed information about this course

Literary Translation (LN5513) - 15 Credit Points

The course combines practical, theoretical and analytical work, to enable students to engage with the concepts involved in literary translation, in terms of both theory and practice. Students will study theory and criticism of literary translations and will explore the dynamics between existing translations and their source texts. Students will also be engaged in translating creative writing and commenting on their own practice and choices.

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Translation Technology (LN5521) - 15 Credit Points

This course equips students with a critical appreciation of the role that technology can play in certain domains of translation, and equips them to use such technologies in a variety of contexts. Students will use different software/cloud-based technologies to construct termbases, translation memories, deliver translated texts and make use of the various quality-assurance tools and task reports that such technology offers. The course will also explore machine translation technologies, and the import and export of files between different software/cloud packages.

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Professional Skills for Translators (LN5522) - 15 Credit Points

The course introduces and critically discusses the roles and processes involved in professional translation. Topics studied will vary from year to year, but are likely to include at least some of the following: project management, marketing one’s services as a freelance translator; career and entrepreneurial opportunities for language specialists; fee structures and pricing for freelance translators; working for agencies and large organizations; professional ethics; client communication; pitching translation projects to publishers; evaluation of networking, professional organizations and CPD opportunities for translators; translation and the law.

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Interpreting (LN5528) - 15 Credit Points

The course develops and equips students with language skills and knowledge involved in professional practice. Topics studied will include the following: note-taking, bilateral interpreting, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

MSc students also write a dissertation/translation project of 12-14,000 words.

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Translation Studies (LN5907) - 60 Credit Points

In this course, with guidance and supervision, students will present one of the following: an extended critical empirical study of, or sustained argument on an aspect of translation or interpreting studies; a critical evaluation of an existing published translation of appropriate length and complexity; a suitably extensive and challenging original translation with accompanying critical commentary.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

We use a variety of assessment methods matched to individual courses and different learning styles. The academic rigour of continuous assessments and oral examinations is accompanied by a focus on professional and practical relevance. Many of the courses are assessed by means of exercises that are designed to mirror the professional environment. Some courses are assessed by means of a portfolio of translations that students accumulate throughout the year.

Why Study Translation Studies?

  • Develop the intellectual and practical skills needed to translate not just the language but to convey inter-cultural understanding.
  • Be able to negotiate and bridge cultural difference in different contexts for a variety of clients or stakeholders.
  • Acquire practical ability to translate with the help of technology, to proofread, edit and review.
  • You are taught by professionals in translation and interpreting with a strong career history and global research capability in translation and interpreting.
  • The language industry is one of the sectors in which high-quality jobs are being created worldwide, with attractive job opportunities for graduates with the right qualifications.
  • The programme can also be used to progress an academic, research-based career and be part of a journey towards gaining a PhD.
  • There is an excellent balance between theory and practice using a range of teaching methods.
  • This programme has close links with professional organisations.
  • The University of Aberdeen is an educational partner of the European Graduate Placement Scheme (EGPS) which aims to provide MSc Translation Students with the practical skills, knowledge and understanding they need to enter employment after graduation.
  • Our School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture is internationally recognised for its outstanding research performance. In English and Linguistics, 90% of our research was rated world leading and internationally excellent (3*/4*).  In Modern Languages, 62% of our research was rated world-leading and internationally excellent (3*/4*) (REF 2014).

Entry Requirements

The degree is designed for students from a range of undergraduate degree backgrounds, including; language, linguistics, communication, business studies, law or legal studies. Students can take this programme as a diploma, a stand-alone one-year or two-year part-time Master’s degree, or as a first step towards a MPhil or PhD (subject to admission to a further degree programme either at Aberdeen or elsewhere).

Prospective students requiring a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to secure a place.

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Students are required to have a good 2.1 degree in one or more of the languages offered in Aberdeen’s Translation.
Qualifications for entry: A degree at 2.1 or above, or equivalent, in an appropriate discipline.

Adding a CV to your application is optional.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Given the increasing internationalisation of government, business and other employment sectors, high-level skills in different languages will be vital to have in the future.

Whether you aim to work in an international organisation or company, in publishing, as a freelance translator, or in academic research, you will find this MSc is as practical as it is academically rigorous. And with a programme like this, you will leave with a significant skills advantage across a number of potential job roles.

The Fields of science, law, industry, finance, government, education and media are all now more globally connected and interactive. We live in a digital age where communications travel at the speed of light. It’s a world where institutions, companies and individuals need to translate their communications accurately and appropriately from one language and culture to another.

It’s a world where the focused skills that we help you acquire can become highly prized. This MSc can help open up a fast-moving, highly rewarding world for you.

Career Opportunities

  • Editor
  • Lecturer
  • Professional Translator (Freelance, In-House)
  • Project Manager
  • Proofreader
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

Accreditation

This degree holds accreditation from

Study Two or More Languages

You can specialise in more than one  one language to widen not just your employability but your life experience of different countries and cultures

Our Experts

Other Expert
Dr Moray Watson
Programme Coordinator
Dr Maria Sanchez-Ortiz

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Virtual Learning environment MyAberdeen

This the University’s virtual learning environment. This is where you will find learning materials and resources associated with your courses and where you will be notified of any announcements about your courses or the University.

University Language Centre

Home to state-of-the-art comprising audio-video facilities.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB