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: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, or Spanish. At the heart of the Specialised Translation MA lie our weekly practical translation classes between English and one of the languages listed above. If you are a native speaker of English and would like to study translation with two of the above languages, you can choose to replace the Audiovisual and Computer-Assisted Translation and Quality Assurance and Project Management modules with a further two Specialised Translation modules in your second foreign language.

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, with and without the use of translation memory software tools, commercially usable translations of specialised technical and institutional texts, applying insights drawn from linguistics and translation theory as well as from professional practice.

If you are studying the Specialised Translation MA with English and one other language, you will also be attending modules that introduce you to audio-visual and computer-assisted translation, revision, editing, post-editing, quality assurance, and project management skills for translators, and a comprehensive programme of professional development activities. You will also be able to complement the knowledge and skills acquired on the core modules by choosing either Translation as Cultural Practice or International Organisations and Institutional Discourses as an option module. At the end of the course, you will submit an MA Translation Project or an MA Thesis.

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. Your core Specialised Translation modules will involve both direct and inverse translation training between English and Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish or Spanish. The majority of your translation assessments, including the final translation exam, will, however, be conducted into your mother tongue only. All students will translate institutional texts (such as economic, political, legal and EU/UN texts) and technical material, and acquire a wide range of additional skills, including career building and professional development skills, through the remaining core and 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 weekly lectures on the theoretical concepts and principles of translation, introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, guest lectures and workshops delivered by external speakers from industry and international institutions, and the opportunity to take part in a post-graduation mentoring programme.

Course structure

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

Core modules

On these 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, economics, finance, business, politics and law, as well as technical and scientific fields such as medicine, pharmacology, engineering, IT, technical product development and the full range of natural and applied sciences.

While you will be trained to translate specialised material both into and out of your mother tongue, the focus of assessment on both of these modules primarily lies on ‘direct’ (into mother tongue) translation. During the first semester, you will also attend introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, providing you with a basis for performing computer-assisted translation tasks.

This module will introduce you to the nature and particularities of both audio-visual translation (AVT) and computer-assisted translation (CAT). The module will include instruction in industry-standard software for translation and subtitling and divides into two broad areas linked by their technological focus.

The audio-visual translation part of the module will introduce you to the principles and processes of AVT and aims to familiarise you with both the main practical constraints involved in different audio-visual translation modalities and the relevance of translation theory to audio-visual translation. It will also provide you with hands-on experience of professional subtitling software.

The computer-assisted translation part of the module, meanwhile, provides an in-depth introduction to translation memory and practical experience of SDL Trados, one of the main packages in use in the industry. Students will also be given the opportunity to sit the SDL Trados Level 1 Certification examination as part of this module.

*Native speakers of English studying the Specialised Translation MA with two foreign languages will take Specialised Translation 1 and 2 in their second foreign language instead of Audio-visual and Computer-assisted Translation and Quality Assurance and Project Management for Translators.

This module equips you with a solid practical as well as theoretical grounding in two key areas of professional translation-related practice, namely translation quality assurance and translation project management, and divides into two broad areas linked by their focus on (post-)production processes in the translation industry.

The quality assurance part of the module focuses on the assessment and revision of texts translated into English with the aim of preparing such texts for publication. The development of practical editing and post-editing skills, including competent use of standard proofing and editing tools, is supported by consideration of the principles of professional quality assessment and related quality assurance processes.

The project management part of the module, meanwhile, focuses on the principles of project management as applied to the translation industry in a variety of settings, including translation agencies, AVT companies, and in a freelance environment, and enables students to acquire a wide range of transferable skills in project management, client management and financial administration.

*Native speakers of English studying the Specialised Translation MA with two foreign languages will take Specialised Translation 1 and 2 in their second foreign language instead of Audio-visual and Computer-assisted Translation and Quality Assurance and Project Management for Translators.

This module offers a range of seminars and workshops designed to prepare you for your working lives as translators, either in-house or freelance, and is delivered by both academic staff and external speakers with expert knowledge and relevant experience in a range of industry-relevant fields.

Workshops include, for example, marketing yourself as a freelance translator, ethics and professionality, working for international organisations, continuing professional development and working for agencies. The skills, concepts and knowledge that support future employability and reflective practice will be addressed from both a conceptual and practical standpoint.

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.

Option modules

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.

This module examines the ways in which translation, conceived as a cultural practice, can be understood within diverse linguistic, social, professional and historical contexts. It invites you to consider not only the immediate cultural implications of translating between two cultural contexts, but also interrogates the notion that translators are culturally neutral or independent of the processes in which they engage.

The concept of cultural practice is also investigated by looking inwards towards the professional contexts of translation in different societies over history, examining the cultures of the translation profession and how these cultures have impacted on the practice of translation.

The module seeks to provide the conceptual underpinning that equips students with critical reflective insight into their own translation practice through exploring a range of culturally inflected texts and textual practices, both written and oral.

Professional recognition

The University of Westminster is a Higher Education Language partner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, 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 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 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

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

Contact the Course Enquiries Team:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

[email protected]

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

More information

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