MA in Translation

The Lancaster University MA in Translation is a qualification that will facilitate your entry into the translating profession. It is also suitable for practising translators who do not have, but wish to gain, formal qualifications.  

We combine language-specific practice in either one or two languages in addition to English. Students may specialise in translation between German-English; English-German; French-English; English-French; Spanish-English; English-Spanish; Chinese-English; English-Chinese.

The MA is available as a full-time or part-time course. Entry requirements are a 2.1 or first class degree or equivalent, although relevant professional experience may also be taken into consideration. The IELTS requirement is 6.5.

The MA enables students to build effective translation strategies, understand theories and methodologies of translation, and develop advanced research skills specific to Modern Languages.

Drawing on the expertise of highly qualified linguists and researchers, the MA aims to enhance students’ practical skills in translation, providing an intellectual perspective on the discipline of translation studies, as well as a range of opportunities to specialise.

The preparation and practical experience provided for entry into the translation profession is a real strength of the Lancaster MA in Translation. A placement module offers valuable professional experience, while the translation project and Independent Study Unit provide opportunities for our students to pursue their particular interest. Optional modules include the popular 'Introduction to Liaison Interpreting' module, as well as a range of modules offered by the Department of English Language and Linguistics.

The MA comprises a range of core and optional modules:

DELC401 Research Skills for Modern Linguists (10 credits)

This module provides students with a range of research skills specific to Modern Languages that will support students in researching and writing their dissertation. Topics include: Beginning Research; The Academic Research Process; Mapping a Research Project; Abstract Writing; Resource Evaluation; Research Paper attendance; Working with Theory; Advanced Presentation Techniques; Postgraduate Conference

DELC416 Academic and Practical Methods in Translation (30 credits)

This core module explores theories and methodologies of translation. Topics covered include: Translation in historical context, Equivalence and Target-language relation; Translation types and strategies; Cultural Factors; Communication and Cognitive Factors; Translation Ethics; Translation Tools.; Translation Software; Translation Quality and Proof-reading; Professional Environment.

DELC420 Translation Project (80 credits)

The translation project provides an opportunity to specialise in a topic that interests the student and will be supervised 1-1 by a member of staff with relevant expertise from the Department of Languages and Cultures. The 15000 word project should include a 5000 word translation of a text selected by the student, with guidance from the supervisor. Translation notes should be provided in footnotes. A 5000 word critical commentary on the methodological approach and theoretical frame for the translation should be included.

Students may select a further 60 credits from the following modules:

DELC402 Reading Theoretically (20 credits)

What are the main approaches through which we read important texts of literature? How can 'literary theory' help us to access different literary texts? How have well-known theorists and critics practised 'reading theoretically'? How do we constructively draw on their work, for our own projects? This course introduces students to some of the major currents in literary theory – feminism, Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, cultural analysis, comparative literature – through texts of well-known theorists. The texts are selected to show theorists 'at work': each of them is an example of a theoretical analysis of an important literary work from a different genre (poetry, novel, essay, novella, the bible). Students are required to read these works (in the original language, where possible) and develop their own standpoint towards the primary and secondary texts. In the classroom, a lecture will introduce students to the context of each text. The main part of each session will be dedicated to the development of critical reading skills and analytical debate of the text. These will then feed into a mini-conference that will complete the course.

DELC422 Translating in a Professional Context (20 credits)

This placement module enables students to gain professional experience and to reflect critically on that experience. The module constitutes a structured period of work-based learning. The work placement will provide the opportunity for students to take responsibility for their learning experience in a language-related professional environment. We organise placements for students in reputable language services companies in the UK. Students are also encouraged to source their own placements, subject to departmental approval. Work placements provide an invaluable insight into the work of professional linguists, are valued highly by employers and greatly enhance students' employability in a competitive market. Students also benefit from mentoring and support from experienced professionals.

DELC423 Introduction to Liaison Interpreting (20 credits)

This module complements the skills developed in the Translation studies elements of the MA and confronts students with the daily requirements of a professional translator/interpreter. It aims to provide students with the basic skills involved in understanding a message and conveying it orally into another language. Students will consolidate and expand their linguistic command of different fields with regards to style, register, communication requirements and technical skills. It will prepare them to deal with the specific pressure that unfolds in different interpreting situations.

DELC424 Independent Study Unit (20 credits)

The Independent Study Unit (ISU) offers students the option to replace one of their taught modules (excluding the compulsory modules) with an ISU studied in Lent Term. ISUs offer a period of directed, but independent reading in an area chosen by the student and in which the department is able to provide supervision.

Students may take one of the following modules offered by the Department of Linguistics and English Language as part of their MA in Translation:

Term 1

LING439 Cognitive Linguistics

LING421 Corpus Linguistics

LING442 Introduction to Discourse Studies

LING434 Pragmatics

LING435 Sociolinguistics

Term 2

LING440 Critical Discourse Analysis

LING416 Sociophonetics

LING450 Stylistics