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

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 

Specialised Pathways

You will have the opportunity to tailor the degree to your interests by choosing one of three pathways: Translation Studies; Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage; or English-Chinese Translation. Each of these will teach you about translating in the kind of industries you’d eventually like to work in. They will also give you access to specialist teaching and research from other Goldsmiths departments, such as English and Comparative Literature, the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, and the Confucius Institute. Find out more about each of these specialisations in the “What you’ll study” section below.

A community of linguists

No matter the pathway, 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

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
  Thinking Translation: Introduction to Translation Theory 30 credits
  MA Translation Dissertation 60 credits

Pathways

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

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.

Translation studies core module Module title Credits
  Becoming a Translator 30 credits

Cultural tourism, hospitality, and cultural heritage pathway 

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.

Cultural tourism, hospitality, and cultural heritage core module Module title Credits
  Translation for the Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage Sectors 30 credits

English-Chinese translation and interpreting pathway

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.

English-Chinese translation and interpreting core module 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.

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 Module title Credits
  Theories of Literature & Culture 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
  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
  Analysing Discourse & Identity in Spoken Interaction 30 credits
  English as a Lingua Franca and Language Teaching 30 credits

Educational Studies

Options from Educational Studies Module title Credits
  Children’s Literature, Culture and 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 – 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 2019-20 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 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

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8640
  • Home/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.

 

 

What our students say

Giuseppina

"The most positive experience was meeting people that are fully involved in the translation environment."

"The most positive experience during my MA was meeting people that are fully involved in the translation environment. We had experts coming from Asymptote, translation agencies and even other countries, such as Spain, to share with us their knowledge. What was absolutely fantastic for me was meeting Dr Andrew Walsh from Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, who shared with us his experience in gastronomic, literal and football translation. Further, he gave us some advice on how to behave in the translation world and to handle pressure and time constraints.

The absolute surprise and benefit was to develop my professionalisation step-by-step throughout the modules. The first module was based on translation theories and it was extraordinary to see how those theories were applicable to every text (technical or literal) we analysed. Having started a work experience placement soon after the end of the modules, thanks to Dr Sarah Maitland, I discovered how much translation studies has helped me to build my translation process and my research work."

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