Studying MA In Translation in UK - best institutions for distance-learning
Thread poster: vljp
Feb 2, 2012


I'm thinking of taking a sabbatical from my City job to do an MA in translation this coming academic year. I have a degree in Italian & Spanish from the University of Bristol from 2003, so that was my first thought for an MA as well, but it's expensive - £6000 full-time. Does anyone have any recommendations for other university MA Translation courses? I've investigated City University as well, but all the others I can find seem to be campus-based, and in any case I can't seem to find a good assessment of teaching quality across the different institutions out there.

My driver for wanting to do the MA is partly for fun - I adored my translation modules at university, particularly literary translation, and miss using my languages - but also to give me more insight into the practicalities of being a translator, to see if I could actually make the career change.



Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:28
Italian to English
Trying to help Feb 2, 2012

Hi Vjlp

Welcome to the site.
In a very quick search, I found another course at Portsmouth:,129531,en.pdf which you might like to investigate.

It could be worth exploring the Professional Development, Getting Established and Translation in the UK forums, (using relevant keywords) to find previous tips and discussions on this subject.

Not having a specific translation degree myself, I confess to being a little sceptical about the advantages (compared with actual experience) and for an "insight into the practicalities of being a translator" I doubt whether you could find a better resource than this site.

It will raise a few eyebrows here to read your idea of moving from the city to literary translation as a career move! Embarking on literary translation "for fun" is much more realistic and, if you're good - and in the right language pairs - you might be very lucky and break into the highly select group of translators used by publishers. The number of literary works translated from Spanish and Italian into English, however, is miniscule compared with those translated in the reverse direction.
Good luck - and if you need further advice, do please ask (here in public or privately by e-mail via individual profiles).



XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:28
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Another thought Feb 2, 2012

Russell's suggestions are all good. I'm afraid I can't advise on an M.A. course but another idea might be to do the Chartered Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation. I did mine nearly 20 years ago so I'm afraid I have no idea of fees, but I wouldn't imagine it costs anything near £6,000 and I believe it is a course you can also do remotely these days (?). Someone on this forum might be able to advise you. When I did the course I was working in shipping and trade (nothing to do with translation at all) and was only using my Russian. I was sad I'd let my Spanish go and signed up for night classes at City University, literally 'for fun', I also sat the exams for the sake of a day out of the office. I'd never even thought about becoming a translator. Four years later I jacked in my job and became... a translatoricon_smile.gif The point of the story is that the Dip. Trans. satisfied my need to 'dip my toe' back into translation (which I'd done at university) and revive my Spanish. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

[Edited at 2012-02-02 20:12 GMT]


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Studying MA In Translation in UK - best institutions for distance-learning

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