MA Translation and Interpreting Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

Our MA Translation and Interpreting Studies programme is ideal if you are considering a career in language services. It aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to work in translation or in other professions that require expertise in intercultural communication. 

You will learn about a wide range of specialisations, including:

  • commercial translation
  • audio-visual translation
  • transcreation
  • literary translation
  • translation project management
  • technical translation
  • translating for international organisations. 

You may also choose to develop skills in dialogue interpreting for business and public services.

As aspiring professionals in language services and communication, all students on this programme are expected to have a very high level of proficiency in English and one or more other languages (corresponding to the C2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

To complete all course units successfully, you must be able to read and understand complex texts in a variety of genres in English, and to be able to write analytical and critical essays that are logically structured and cogently argued in English. 

For your practical translation course units, you may choose to work with English and any other language(s), if you have the requisite proficiency in those languages. If English is your strongest language (sometimes described as your 'native language'), you'll translate into English from one or two other languages. If English is your second language, you'll translate out of English into your strongest language.

We provide specialised translation tuition for any language combination, with English. We offer dialogue interpreting tuition for a subset of those combinations, usually English and Arabic; English and Chinese; English and French; English and German; English and Spanish.

Practical training is also provided in translation technologies, including subtitling tools, translation memory, terminology management, and machine translation.

We also offer comprehensive options in research training, for those who wish to prepare for doctoral study in translation or interpreting studies.

Aims

We aim to:

  • equip you with the knowledge and skills for a career in translation and/or interpreting or in other professions which require expertise in cross-cultural communication;
  • equip you for further study and research;
  • provide specialist training in various types of translation and/or interpreting activity, including the use of technology in translation, interpreting and related activities;
  • provide a gradual transition into the world of work through practical, real-life translation and/or interpreting tasks, according to the chosen pathway.

On successful completion of the course, you will have demonstrated an understanding of:

  • translation and interpreting studies as an academic discipline and the various perspectives from which different scholars have attempted to develop theories of translation and interpreting;
  • the role of translation and interpreting in solving interlingual and intercultural communication problems;
  • the interdisciplinary nature of translation and interpreting studies and the exchange of empirical and theoretical approaches between translation/interpreting studies and other disciplines;
  • research issues in interpreting and translation, including recent approaches, current problems, and potential future developments;
  • the relationship between translation, interpreting and other aspects of language use and communication, including language patterning, textual organisation and the semiotics of verbal and non-verbal communication;
  • specific translation and/or interpreting practices and the role of the translator and/or interpreter in various sectors of economic activity including audiovisual media, publishing, localisation, commercial and international organisations, depending on the chosen pathway.

Teaching and learning

Our programme combines independent and guided study. You will learn through a variety of teaching methods, including interactive seminars and small-group tutorials.

Coursework and assessment

All course units are assessed by coursework rather than written examination. Interpreting skills are also assessed through interpreting examinations.

You will complete various coursework tasks to demonstrate your learning. These include translations, text analyses, critical essays, oral presentations, reflective reports and other practical tasks like subtitling film clips and compiling termbases.

Following two semesters of taught course units, MA students write a dissertation of 12-15,000 words. The dissertation can be a traditional research dissertation or a translation dissertation consisting of an extended translation or subtitling assignment and an accompanying critical analysis.

Course unit details

You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to a research dissertation.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation ELAN60330 60 Mandatory
Introduction to Translation and Interpreting studies ELAN64001 15 Mandatory
Audiovisual Translation ELAN60172 15 Optional
Literary Translation: Contexts and Challenges ELAN60181 15 Optional
Commercial Translation ELAN60292 15 Optional
Translation Technologies ELAN60961 15 Optional
Public Service Interpreting ELAN61142 15 Optional
Dialogue Interpreting for Business ELAN63111 15 Optional
Translation Project Management and Professional Ethics ELAN72072 15 Optional
Research Methods in Translation and Intercultural Studies ICOM70201 15 Optional
Research Development Seminar ICOM70302 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units

Course collaborators

We collaborate on translator training initiatives with the UK's Association of Translation Companies, the Northwest Translators Network, the World Intellectual Property Organization and other professional translator associations. 

We participate in University partnerships to give students access to the latest software from RWS (formerly SDL), Kilgray (MemoQ), Memsource and Lilt, among others. 

The MA programme is also informed by our ongoing research partnerships with several cultural and commercial organisations.

What our students say

I couldn't have gained a job without this MA, so the course will definitely enhance my career prospects as a translator.

The course has taught me to refine my time management and organisation skills and really strengthen my research skills.

Other general employability skills I've developed as a result of this course are my general writing and communication skills, flexibility, adaptability, self-reliance and self-confidence.

Megan Smith

The theory-related units provided me with different views about translation, translation works and the translation industry, benefiting me in solving some problems at work. The practice-related units, such as literature translation, international organisation translation, and consecutive interpreting, were a good foundation for me to be a practitioner in the localisation industry.

Guo Yu, MA Translation and Interpreting Studies, Currently working in Game Localisation Management

Facilities

The University of Manchester has the largest single-site university library in the UK and a world-leading collection of translation studies publications.

The University Language Centre is an excellent source of multimedia resources in over 80 languages.

You will have access to industry-standard translation and subtitling software.

As a student of the SALC Graduate School, you'll have access to a dedicated postgraduate space where you can meet, organise events and participate in a thriving academic community.

Find out more about our Facilities .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk