Course information

Department

English and Creative Writing
Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more

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

With its flexible language pair system, this linguistically and culturally diverse MA programme attracts students from around the world. Our trainee translators are supported to pursue a range of language combinations, and past students have completed translation projects and assessments in the following language pairs: 

  • English to Arabic
  • English to Chinese
  • English to Dutch
  • English to French
  • English to German
  • English to Italian
  • English to Polish
  • English to Spanish
  • English to Swedish
  • English to Ukrainian
  • Chinese to English
  • French to English
  • Spanish to English 

A community of linguists

You will be part of a supportive community of linguists. We help you develop peer support groups and offer language learning schemes where you can meet other students, develop your language skills, and help each other solve common problems.

Through the Goldsmiths “Learn a Language” scheme, you will be able to develop foreign language skills and create your own language-specialist support networks. You will be able to meet native speakers of a range of different languages and share your own language skills with others.

Research and real-world practice

At the end of the MA, you will not be asked to complete a viva voce examination. Instead, you will complete an independent translation research project, with the option of a practical translation relevant to your career goals. Past students have used this as an opportunity to localise a videogame, subtitle a video, or translate a chapter of a book for pitching to publishers. 

Computer-aided translation software for the degree is provided by Memsource, with training facilitated by the programme convenor, Dr Sarah Maitland, who is a Memsource Certified Trainer and Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies. All students are given the opportunity to apply for Student Certification free of charge, and become part of an active community. Through the Memsource Talent Endorsement Program, the top-scoring certified students will be eligible to compete for paid translation work experience. 

Employability and professional development

We’ll help you build your employability skills and kickstart your continuous professional development. All students are encouraged to apply for placement and internship opportunities, and have access to an optional work experience module. 

The MA in Translation is a 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. The programme is also a member of the Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies of the UK and Ireland (APTIS).

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Programme Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, Dr Sarah Maitland.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules on this programme offer a solid grounding in the theory and practice of translation across diverse areas of professional practice. These are taught in seminar-based and tutorial small-group sessions and may include an individually supervised translation project.

You will also have access to 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.

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.

Compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Thinking Translation: Introduction to Translation Theory 30 credits
  MA Translation Dissertation 60 credits
  Becoming a Translator 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.

Please note that not all modules may be available every year, and that new ones may be introduced.

English and Comparative Literature

English and Comparative Literature options Module title Credits
  Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits
  Translation Work Experience 30 credits
  Becoming a Translator 30 credits
  Between Languages: Multilingualism and Translation in Contemporary Literature 30 credits
  Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits
  English in a Multilingual World 30 credits
  Language in its Sociocultural Context 30 CATS
  Intercultural Discourse & Communication 30 credits
  Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics 30 credits
  Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits
  English as a Lingua Franca and Language Teaching 30 credits

Educational Studies

Educational Studies options Module title Credits
  Children’s Literature, Culture and Diversity 30 credits

Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship options Module title Credits
  Cultural and Creative Tourism 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. 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.

What our students say

Maria del Pilar Izquierdo Bellido

The MA Translation allowed me to build the connections and knowledge necessary in order to start a career as a freelance translator

The MA Translation allowed me to build the connections and knowledge necessary in order to start a career as a freelance translator and later to secure a permanent position in the industry as a Translation Project Coordinator.

The course covers both theoretical and practical aspects of translation, building from the basics in translation studies to work experience and opportunities for specialisation. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on continuous professional and academic development which, if students take advantage of, will equip them with a good foundation and comprehensive portfolio for their budding career.

I would encourage all students to take part in the networking opportunities that the course and the English and Creative Writing (ECW) department offers and to reach out to Dr Maitland and other tutors to take on their advice and expertise.

LinkedIn profile

Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) profile

Martina Renna

The entire course has offered me the highest level of preparation in every field related to translation, as well as a work experience with a real publishing house.

The year spent at Goldsmiths attending the MA in Translation has been the most empowering and satisfying of my academic career. I started this journey as a student passionate about foreign languages and I ended it as a professional in the field of translation willing to find a place in the world of academia. This is particularly thanks to our tutor Sarah Maitland who let us plunge completely into the world of translation, offering us a complete and passionate view of the job of the translator.

The entire course has offered me the highest level of preparation in every field related to translation, as well as a work experience with a real publishing house. Moreover, because of the high degree of multiculturalism of the MA I found myself in a class of people coming from all around the world. This has opened my mind on different cultures motivating me to try harder and harder. We built a very stimulating and happy environment creating a family along the way. Thank you Goldsmiths!

Geneva Martell

Goldsmiths has definitely taught me that no matter how hard things may get, there is always a solution and a way to overcome them.

I absolutely loved studying at Goldsmiths more than I did when I studied my BA, there is definitely a comforting environment about them. The people I met on my course and my tutors have made it the most enjoyable academic year, always supporting you, where you feel like you are a part of a familiar community.

This year has developed my understanding academically and linguistically, where I have decided to pursue a Secondary PGCE – Modern Languages at Goldsmiths again. Goldsmiths has definitely taught me that no matter how hard things may get, there is always a solution and a way to overcome them. I think the best thing about an MA in Translation, has to be the work experience, your fellow partners and the tutors who are with you all the way.

See more profiles for this programme

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 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 (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 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

Annual tuition fees

The fees for 2021 will be made available soon, but for reference these were the fees for 2020.

  • Home - full-time: £8640
  • Home - part-time: £4320
  • EU - full-time: £8640
  • EU - part-time: £4320
  • International - full-time: £14760

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. 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. Your personal statement should describe:
    • why you are applying to the MA 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

          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 work experience 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 work experience 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 work experience placement.

While not all work experience placements may be available every year, and new ones may be introduced, the following are some of the opportunities 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:

Open Art es una asociación cultural sin fines de lucro comprometida con la creatividad, la interculturalidad y la solidaridad con el objetivo de levantar puentes entre culturas a través del arte y la intervención social. Trabajamos con entidades nacionales e internacionales buscando que nuestras obras lleguen cada vez a más público. Nuestros proyectos audiovisuales de enorme valor artístico y social han tenido gran impacto internacional. Videovalores por ejemplo reúne 44 cortometrajes, 32 participantes, 15 países.

Out of the Wings

Out of the Wings began in 2008 as a three-year collaboration between King’s College London, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Oxford. The project aimed to make the riches of the theatres of Spain and Spanish America accessible to English-speaking researchers and theatre professionals. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the project’s many outcomes included an unrivalled database of theatre texts from Spain and Latin America, a series of seminars, lectures, publications, involvement in many theatre readings and productions, and an ongoing legacy of work and research into the field. Today, Out of the Wings at King’s is a collective of theatre-makers, researchers, translators and academics with a shared love of theatre and the possibilities of cross-border collaboration and exchange that are released when works for the stage are translated for new audiences.

Through monthly table readings and an annual festival of Spanish and Latin American theatre in English translation, Out of the Wings aims to build capacity and create opportunities for networking, exchange and professional development.

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 in Translation 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, and through our memberships of the ITI and APTIS, and affiliation with Memsource, you will be offered opportunities to engage 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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