Best UK MA programme for translation
Thread poster: bauerpro

bauerpro  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
Spanish to English
Feb 3, 2013

Can anyone provide input/personal experience regarding which uni in the UK might have the best MA programme in translation?

I'm a native English speaker with extensive time spent in Latin America, and looking for an MA translation programme, perhaps at Warwick or Durham.

Can anyone provide any advice/recommendations as to what other universities offer solid programmes in translation?

Best regards,



Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:55
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Portsmouth Feb 4, 2013

There are lots of MA programmes available around the UK but I can only really speak from experience about Portsmouth. I am just coming to the end of the distance learning MA from Portsmouth University, and have really enjoyed it. The course is interesting, the tutors are supportive, and you can work at a pace which suits you. I have also visited Sheffield university which seems to have a strong, well-established translation studies department.

Good luck with your search!


Stuart Whittingham (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:55
German to English
+ ...
Wide variety of content Feb 7, 2013


I think the content of Masters courses in Translation Studies varies hugely. I completed mine at Hull in September 2012 and it was very heavily based on translation theory, with a lot of emphasis on literature. Consequently, I spent most of the year reading truly fascinating research, but actually quite a limited amount of time actually translating. There have been some recent changes in staff on the course, so things may now be a little different.

On the other hand, I believe there are MAs (or MScs) where students submit assessed translations on a weekly basis, or where there is a heavy emphasis on CAT tools, business management etc.

So I would suggest that you think carefully about what you want to get out of the course and then examine which courses might offer what you need. Someone wanting to start a freelance translation business would benefit from a quite different syllabus to someone wanting to go on to do a PhD, or someone wanting to translate literature.

Hope that helps!


Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:55
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Heriot Watt Mar 30, 2013

I can highly recommend the university from which I have an MA in interpreting and translation - Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. They do a very good undergraduate programme as well as post grad MScs in translation or interpreting. There are a couple of translation agencies that either I or my friends have got work from based largely on the fact that we attended that university, with actual experience coming second. From what I understand from the MSc course, you can get either a diploma or full MSc - the only difference being whether or not you write a dissertation.


Paul Rankin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:55
French to English
+ ...
Heriot-Watt Mar 30, 2013

Like Charlotte, I also studied at Heriot-Watt and fully agree with everything she said.

It is also worth noting that Heriot-Watt's languages department is a member of CUITI, (conférence international permanente d'instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes). This organisation, in existence since 1960, includes all the top universities training translators and interpreters.

So I would also suggest other UK universities who are members of CUITI.

Good luck


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:55
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Durham Mar 31, 2013

Durham gets my vote, for the quality of the students I've had working with me, with Bath running second a fairly close second. Students from all other universities have consistently been a disappointment. The ones from Durham and Bath have been intelligent and proficient and very soon got up to speed, to the point that I forgot they were students and treated them just like colleagues. Durham's called the Oxbridge of the North and thoroughly deserves the moniker.

Plus which Durham is the most delightful of olde worlde towns, you have get on the train on platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross, and you step off into a beautifully well preserved place, with a castle on a hill that you get glimpses of from unexpected places, and a glorious cathedral that could almost reconvert me back to Christianity, and there's only one set of traffic lights in the old city, with a sign below explaining that you have to stop when the light is red, and there are some fantastic bookshops and loads of teashops selling splendidly sticky stuff like Sticky Devil Toffee Cake, and athletic students rowing along the Wear that winds itself lazily around the hills. And it's the North, (if you miss the stop you end up in Scotland), the locals are really friendly.. If ever I were to move back to England I would want to live there. It's utterly gorgeous but so far off the beaten track there aren't even any tourists to spoil it.


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Best UK MA programme for translation

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