Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £8,500 *
International Fees £14,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The Specialised Translation MA is open to native and non-native speakers of English, who combine English with any of the following languages: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish or Spanish. If you are a native speaker of English, you can elect to study translation with one or two of the above source languages. If you are a non-native speaker of English, you will study translation both from English into your first language and from your first language into English.

The Specialised Translation MA will prepare you for a career in the translation market. Building on your existing language skills, you will learn how to research specialised subjects to produce commercially usable translations of specialised technical and institutional texts, applying insights drawn from the study of linguistics and translation theory as well as from professional practice. You will complete a Translation Project or a Research Thesis. You will also be able to choose from a range of option modules that will, for example, give you an introduction to editing and revision, audiovisual translation, or computer-assisted translation, or enable you to acquire a working knowledge of another language for translation purposes.

You will be able to benefit from our wide range of resources, including an extensive collection of volumes and electronic materials in our library, specialised software applications, and additional resources made available through the University's Virtual Learning Environment. Our teaching staff include full and part-time lecturers, all with professional expertise in translation and other specialist fields. You will be allocated a personal tutor and be given academic guidance by the course team.

The course emphasis is on practical training in translation, developing your skills to a high level and learning about the professional environment. If you are a native speaker of English, your core modules will involve translation from either one or two main source languages, chosen from Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

If you are a native speaker of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish or Spanish, your core modules will cover translation from and into your native language (commonly referred to as your 'first' or 'main' language). All students will translate institutional texts (such as economic, political, legal and EU texts) and technical material, and learn new relevant skills through the option modules.

You will also complete a research-based MA Thesis or an MA Translation Project (an extended translation with a preface and annotations).Your studies are further supported by blended learning provision on developing your professionalism, weekly lectures on the theoretical concepts and principles of translation, introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, and guest lectures and workshops delivered by external speakers from industry and international institutions.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

You will be introduced to specialist texts of the kind you will be expected to handle in a professional context. These will cover international and government institutions, as well as the fields of economics, finance, business, politics and law. The module also includes a Professional Development component comprising blended learning provision on developing your professionalism, introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, and guest lectures and workshops delivered by external speakers from industry and international institutions.

You will be introduced to a wide range of specialist texts relating to technology science, medicine and neighbouring fields of the kind you will be expected to handle in a professional context.

These modules differ from the Main Language modules only in that you will be translating into English as a second language for information purposes.

The MA Translation Project is a 6,000–8,000-word extended translation on a subject of your choice, accompanied by a preface and a set of annotations on the translation challenges involved. Preparation for writing the preface and annotations will be provided by a series of lectures throughout the course. The MA Thesis is a piece of scholarly research,12,000–15,000 words long, into a translation-related topic. You will attend regular research methodology and work-in-progress sessions. You will also receive individual supervision for both the Project and the Thesis and attend weekly Principles and Concepts of Translation and Interpreting lectures.

Native speakers of English studying the course with two foreign languages will take the core Main Language Translation modules in both languages of study. Native speakers of English studying the course with one foreign language will take the core Main Language Translation modules in their chosen language of study as well as Editing: Principles and Practices and Computer-assisted Translation (see option modules below) as additional core modules and choose their option modules from the remaining range of options.

Option modules

This module will introduce you to the theories of genre and discourse analysis; audience design, purpose and style; rhetoric and persuasion; text types, text structures, and grammatical and lexical features. Texts are selected from a wide range of sources, typifying different styles, levels of formality, registers, audiences, purposes and specialisations.

The CAT module will introduce you to the field of computer-assisted translation (translation memory and machine translation), and provide practical experience of a range of common tools and software packages currently available.

*For native speakers of English studying translation with one source language only, these modules are core. You will choose your option modules from the range of non-core options for your pathway.

This module will introduce you to translation criticism and quality reporting, translation editing and revision, post-editing, and proofreading. You will develop a wide range of practical editing and revision skills, learn about professional quality assurance processes, and explore both scholarly and industry debates around issues of translation quality.

*For native speakers of English studying translation with one source language only, these modules are core. You will choose your option modules from the range of non-core options for your pathway.

You will be introduced to the different theories of cross-cultural interaction and of intercultural competence. The module also looks closely at the application of these theories to specific issues in professional contexts, such as translation, cross-cultural skills and knowledge transfer, and the cross-cultural implications of globalisation.

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the interaction between language, discourse and power, as it is projected in an institutional communication context. The module is designed to help linguists and communicators to analyse a number of social interactions (speeches, interviews, etc.), institutional discourses (European Union and United Nations) and to reflect on their own discourse building competences in a professional institutional context. The module supports linguists and communicators in understanding how institutional narratives are created and developed.

The module will introduce you to various types of audiovisual translation (such as dubbing, subtitling, and voice-over). You will learn about the practical constraints and conceptual frameworks of different audiovisual translation modalities. The module also includes hands-on translation experience and training in how to use commercial subtitling software.

Using real-world scenarios, this module will introduce you to the principles and processes of managing large translation projects in the language services industry. You will develop a wide range of hard and soft skills that will prepare you for a variety of in-house career paths.

This module will cover concepts and issues in sociolinguistics, such as class, gender, ethnicity, multilingual communities, language variation, choice, planning, change, decline and death, and language in face-to-face interaction.

Over the year, you will be introduced gradually to a language that is cognate with your main language. You will gain an overview of the language based on grammar and syntax, and source language texts. As the year progresses, you will learn to translate graded technical and non-technical texts.

This module opens up the understanding of ‘translation’ to include the transmission and interpretation of values, beliefs, histories and narratives not only across linguistic, cultural or geographical boundaries, but also, for example, from one medium or time period to another. By reading the works of key theorists from around the world in the intersecting fields of translation and cultural studies, the module aims to enhance your understanding of how historical and contemporary cultural interactions can be examined through a translational paradigm.

Professional recognition

The University of Westminster is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, the Conférence Internationale permanente d’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes (CIUTI), Elia Exchange, and the UN MoU Network, a group of international signatories to a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations on cooperation in the training of language professionals for the UN language competitive examinations.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer

You should have a good first degree in modern languages or another subject. Mature linguists without a degree, but with sufficient experience in a relevant area, are also invited to apply.

We will interview you in person or on the telephone and set you a translation test to check your suitability for the course.

The course is open to native speakers of Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish.

You will need fluent written and spoken English and, if English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with 7 in writing). Most successful applicants will have met the IELTS requirement when they submit their application as excellent English language skills are fundamentally important.

It is vital that all applicants who do not have English as their first language provide clear details on their application form of the English language qualifications they have achieved and/or the date when they will be taking their IELTS test.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

Typical offer

You should have a good first degree in modern languages or another subject. Mature linguists without a degree, but with sufficient experience in a relevant area, are also invited to apply.

We will interview you in person or on the telephone and set you a translation test to check your suitability for the course.

The course is open to native speakers of Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish.

You will need fluent written and spoken English and, if English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with 7 in writing). Most successful applicants will have met the IELTS requirement when they submit their application as excellent English language skills are fundamentally important.

It is vital that all applicants who do not have English as their first language provide clear details on their application form of the English language qualifications they have achieved and/or the date when they will be taking their IELTS test.

More information

Careers

The Specialised Translation MA has an excellent graduate employment record. Many of our graduates work as in-house translators in international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Commission, or within translation companies both in the UK and across many other countries all over the world.

Other graduates work as freelance translators, or as translation project managers, subtitlers, editors, revisers, proofreaders, or terminologists.

Our membership of the European Graduate Placement Scheme and Elia Exchange ensures that we can assist our students in securing high-quality work placements both during the course and following graduation. We are also a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and have a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations on cooperation in the training of language professionals for the UN language competitive examinations.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

What our students say

Herdis Engels

Herdis Engels

This MA course has broadened my horizons concerning translation theory and it has increased my confidence in my professional skills. I think the course is the perfect mix of practice and theory, it offers heaps of opportunities to start building a network, to gain additional insights and get information on how the industry works.

It simply gives students a solid base to start from after graduation, be it as a freelance translator or as an employed professional.

Keith Baddeley

Keith Baddeley

I had a wonderful year at Westminster and after graduating from the MA, I not only launched my career as a freelance linguist, offering Spanish and French to English translation, as well as editing and proofreading services, but also returned to Westminster to take the Subsidiary Language module as a stand-alone course to learn Romanian from scratch for translation purposes.

Andrea Krauss

Andrea Krauss

Coming to London to do my MA in Specialised Translation at the University of Westminster was definitely the right choice for me. I was really impressed by the high-standard lectures that provided me with the skillset needed to become a successful translator.

Thanks to the number of excellent events organised by the university, students were able to meet and network with prospective employers and other professionals in the industry.

Find out more

Translation and Interpreting webinar

Languages at University of Westminster

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £8,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £14,000 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

Our Regent Campus is composed of three sites all situated on and around one of the most famous and vibrant streets in London. The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities is based at 309 Regent Street and includes recently refurbished social spaces and gym facilities. Students in the faculty are also taught at our Wells Street site. Westminster Law School resides at Little Titchfield Street. Alongside a full mock courtroom, hi-tech learning spaces and a pro-bono clinic, it also houses our state-of-the-art, 382-seat lecture theatre. For more details, visit our locations page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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