Course information

Department

English and Comparative Literature
Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Length

1 year full time or 2 years part time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

This programme responds to the increasing need in a globalised, interconnected world for highly qualified translators who can navigate different genres of text and negotiate the language needs of diverse audiences and industries.

Logos for the Memsource Student Certification Program and Institute of Translators and Interpreters

 

"Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence." 
– George Steiner

Why study MA Translation at Goldsmiths?

  • Based in a truly global city, Goldsmiths is the perfect place to study translation.
  • You’ll learn about the theory and practice of translation, giving you the skills, competencies and expertise to compete for work as a professional translator.
  • You’ll study in a department with expertise in creative writing, linguistics, and literary studies, with the option to tailor your studies and explore areas in other departments relevant to your own interests. 
  • We’ll encourage you to apply for translation work experience opportunities with a range of external organisations or design your own translation work experience best suited to your career development plans.
  • The MA allows you to tailor your studies to your own interests by choosing from three pathways to help you get the most out of your degree.

Pathways

You can choose from the following pathways:

Translation Studies

This pathway is for people who are interested in the technical, legal, business, scientific, medical, financial, creative arts and academic fields and enables you to benefit from dedicated core modules offering a solid grounding in the theory and practice of translation across diverse areas of professional practice.

The Translation Studies pathway also opens up to you the specialist teaching and research expertise offered by subject experts in the Department of English and Comparative Literature in linguistics, comparative literature and literary theory, from discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and language and its interface with issues of gender, ethnicity and identity, to key currents of concern in literary and cultural theory and the role of the text in shifting boundaries of cultural and linguistic identity in a globalised, multicultural world.

Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage

This pathway focuses on translation for museums, galleries, cultural heritage sites, hotels and other tourist destinations. If you choose this pathway, you will benefit from the specialist research and teaching expertise offered by the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship where optional modules focus on a range of topics relating to the tourism, hospitality, cultural development and cultural heritage sectors, from cultural tourism, language, communication and intercultural mediation in museums, galleries and other cultural organisations, to destination management and the development of new tourism products.

Depending on your optional module choices you may also have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in the cultural and creative tourism sector in central London.

English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting

This pathway is aimed at native speakers of Chinese (Mandarin) who have a high level of English-language competence and who wish to increase their understanding of professionally written translation and oral interpreting practice from English to Chinese, to build their intercultural and interpretive skills and to develop their knowledge across a number of English-language subject areas. It is also open to native speakers of English who have a high level of competence in Chinese (Mandarin) and who wish to increase their ability to translate and interpret confidently into Chinese from English and to expand their written and spoken Chinese skills.

The core specialist module for this pathway is co-taught by the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and the Department of English and Comparative Literature and focuses on producing written Chinese translations of a wide range of English-language texts and text types and covers translation across a broad variety of professional domains, from scientific, academic, business and technical texts written in English, to journalism, finance, advertising and marketing, media, literary fiction, poetry, theatre and other creative industries.

Alongside this, and with the help of Chinese and English native speakers, you will develop consecutive and bilateral/liaison interpreting skills for facilitating communication between monolingual speakers of English and Chinese across a range of business, diplomatic, government, community, health and criminal justice contexts.

Peer support

Matching native speakers of English with students for whom English is a foreign language, the peer support groups enable you to discuss the challenges of translation with respect to your own language pair, to seek ideas and fresh insights from your colleagues on how to tackle similar areas of challenge that they are also facing, and to participate in a system of mutual feedback and support.

Through the Goldsmiths Learn a Language scheme, you will have the opportunity to develop foreign language skills, to develop language-specialist support networks, and access opportunities for parallel learning through increased access to native speakers of the full range of languages in operation across the programme.

Memsource translation software

Computer-aided translation software for the MA in Translation is provided by Memsource with training is facilitated by Dr Sarah Maitland, the MA coordinator. All students are given the opportunity to apply for Memsource Student Certification and become part of the active Memsource community.

Through the Memsource Talent Endorsement Program, the top-scoring certified students will be able to compete for paid translation work experience with translation agencies that work with Memsource.

Institute of Translators and Interpreters membership

The MA in Translation is a corporate member of the Institute of Translators and Interpreters (ITI), the only UK-based independent professional membership association for practising translators, interpreters and language service businesses.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Sarah Maitland

What you'll study

Core modules

Core modules on the MA in Translation cover both the theory and practice of translation. These are taught in seminar-based and tutorial small-group sessions and may include an individually supervised translation project.

Students undertaking the translation work experience module will work directly with an external organisation to provide a range of translation and other language services and gain first-hand experience of translation in a professional setting.

You will also undertake a dissertation in which you will either reflect critically on one aspect of the theory and/or practice of translation, or focus on the practice of translation by completing a concrete practical translation project of your choice.

Students on all pathways take the following modules:

Core module Module title Credits
  Translation Theory and Practice 30 credits
  MA Translation Dissertation 60 credits

Your remaining core module will depend on which pathway you choose. Core modules from other translation pathways may be taken as optional modules, subject to availability and eligibility.

Translation Studies pathway Module title Credits
  Becoming a Translator 30 credits
Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage pathway Module title Credits
  Translation for the Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage Sectors 30 credits
English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting pathway Module title Credits
  Advanced English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting 30 credits

Optional Modules

In addition, you are able to choose from a range of optional modules, which allows you to explore your interests and to gain specialist knowledge relating to your future career plans. This could include modules from within the Department of English and Comparative Literature, or from other departments such as the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Media and Communications.

While not all of these modules may be available every year, and new ones may be introduced, the following modules are particularly relevant as optional choices for translation students:

English and Comparative Literature

English and Comparative Literature Module title Credits
  How to Read in Translation 30 credits
  Translation Work Experience 30 credits
  Becoming a Translator 30 credits
  Translation for the Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage Sectors 30 credits
  Advanced English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting 30 credits
  Between Languages: Multilingualism and Translation in Contemporary Literature 30 credits
  Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits
  Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits
  Translation Work Experience 30 credits

Educational Studies

Options from Educational Studies Module title Credits
  Children's Literature and Cultural Diversity 30 credits

Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Options Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship Module title Credits
  Cultural and Creative Tourism 30 credits
  Museums and Galleries as Creative Entrepreneurs 30 credits
  Museums and Galleries as Creative Entrepreneurs – Communicating Culture 30 credits
  Cultural and Creative Tourism 30 credits
  Interpretation, Education and Communication in the Art Museum 30 credits
  Tourism in Asia 30 credits
  Cultural Relations and Diplomacy I: Foundations 30 credits
  Cultural Relations and Diplomacy II: Explorations 30 credits

You may also wish to look at the complete list of postgraduate programmes available across the College offering modules which may be taken as optional choices as part of your MA in Translation.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to the programme or relevant equivalent experience. 

You will also need to provide a personal statement (in English) in which you describe:

  • why you are applying to the MA in Translation and what you hope to achieve if successful
  • your native or near-native fluency in at least one other language in addition to English. You should describe: any translations you may have undertaken and the purpose and context in which you undertook these; any experience you have of reading, speaking and writing in at least one other language in addition to English; and/or any relevant academic, professional or voluntary work experience. You may wish to attach any samples of writing in at least one other language in addition to English and/or any translations you may have produced
  • your assessment of your ability to translate into the language in which you are dominant from the language(s) you have learned in addition to your native language

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

This programme is eligible for one of the department's fee waivers. Find out more about how to apply.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • An electronic copy of your reference on letter headed paper, or alternatively the email address of your referee who we can request a reference from. It is preferred that you use an academic reference, however in cases where applicants are unable to provide one, a professional reference is acceptable.
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline. 

Selection process

As part of the selection process, you may be invited to an informal interview with the Programme Convenor.

Find out more about applying.

Placements

Translation work experience placements

Students taking the ‘Translation work experience’ module as one of their Spring optional choices will benefit from the opportunity to apply for a 10-week placement with an external organisation or to create their own 10-week translation work experience programme that best suits their career development plans. Students are encouraged to opt for a remote-working telecommuting placement that best reflects the professional translator’s own working patterns, establishing links with clients, developing translations, and submitting work remotely, through the Internet. This module is supported by a series of on-campus sessions designed to help students problem-solve, project manage and identify skills development opportunities throughout their placement.

While not all placements may be available every year, and new ones may be introduced, the following are some of the placement options translation students may wish to consider:

European Forum for Restorative Justice

The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) aims to help establish and develop victim-offender mediation and other restorative justice practices. The EFRJ focuses on the application of restorative justice to criminal matters but other areas, such as family, school and community mediation, are not excluded.

The EFRJ offers remote-working translation work experience placements to students translating out of English and into any European language.

Open Art Association

Open Art Association offers remote-working work experience placements to students translating out of and into Spanish.

The Pertinent Press

Oxford Legal Publishing Limited is a start-up publishing company. Its imprint, The Pertinent Press, publishes texts on philosophy, history, politics, theology and cultural studies. With a number of Italian and French authors it would like to introduce to the English-speaking book market, Oxford Legal Publishing offers students the opportunity to work on a range of texts written originally in Italian and French, with a very real possibility of publishing the translation of books in English.

Oxford Legal Publishing and The Pertinent Press currently offer remote-working work experience placements to students pursuing two language combinations: Italian>English and French>English. 

Careers

Skills

The MA Migration and Mobility provides you with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in translation. The interdisciplinary optional module choices allow you to tailor your studies according to your career plans. Through fortnightly academic and professional development workshops, guided mentoring and regular practical translation assignments, you'll develop professional behaviours and leadership skills to build your translation portfolio and prepare for the translation industry. 

Careers

This degree will equip graduates with the skills and expertise to compete for work as professional translators across the public and private sectors, both in the UK and abroad. The possibility of taking optional modules from other departments means that you can supplement your translator training with knowledge of the arts, media, communications, marketing and publishing industries.

As part of the programme, you'll be brought face-to-face with representatives from across the language service industry, from translation agencies and multinational corporations where translations are commissioned or where in-house translators are employed, to international organisations with in-house translation departments, freelance translators and other language professionals.

 

 

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