Translation Studies: Translation & Professional Practice MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Translation Studies - Translation & Professional Practice

The MSc in Translation Studies caters to the increasing need for highly skilled and specialist translators across a wide range of industries and settings. It offers ten different advanced languages, and provides an excellent platform to become a professional translator and the essential theoretical foundation to progress to research at doctoral level.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • The programme balances Translation studies theory with practical translation work, meaning you will develop both academic and professional skills, preparing you for the translation profession or PhD research in the field.
  • You will study SDL Trados translation software and hence can complete the MSc with SDL Trados certification.
  • We offer translation classes in a wide range of languages including Catalan, Czech, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
  • You will have access to our excellent technical resources and to our well-stocked library with over 10,000 items including the latest books, multimedia, audio and video language learning materials, language databases and resources.
  • The MSc is highly flexible and offers the opportunity to tailor the programme to your specialist interests or skills.
  • Our workshop and seminar series is second to none, with masterclasses from multi-award-winning translators, presentations from world-renowned scholars and discussion forums with newly qualified freelancers, providing you with plenty of opportunities to network with experts in the field.
  • The small classes mean you develop new skills very quickly whilst working closely with Translation Studies and language scholars pursuing cutting-edge research.
  • Within our strong postgraduate community, students contribute to a wide range of activities including the Glasgow University Postgraduate Translation Studies Research Network, a quarterly Translation Studies newsletter, facebook site and twitter feed.

Programme structure

 Core courses

  • Translation Studies in Theory and Practice
  • Approaches to Translation and the Professional Environment
  • Advanced Translation and Language Study (translation between English and at least one other language)

Optional courses may include

  • Marketing and Translation across Media
  • Literary Translation Studies
  • Subtitling Film and TV
  • Additional Advanced Translation and Language Study courses
  • Additional language study at beginner, non-beginner, intermediate or advanced level
  • Relevant undergraduate Honours courses

Core and optional courses

Semester 1 Core Course: Translation Studies in Theory and Practice

This core theoretical course will provide you with a broad overview of translation theory, history and methodology. It offers an essential foundation for improving your awareness of the translation process and your practical skills as a translator. These classes are taught in mixed-language groups, allowing individuals to benefit from discussing translation with other MSc students who may have varied interests and ambitions.

Semester 2 Core Course: Approaches to Translation and the Professional Environment

This course introduces students to the professional world of translation by exploring key issues in the rewriting of both technical and non-technical texts, whether as a freelancer or agency worker. The non-technical classes include discussions on the translation of marketing and PR texts, children’s books, issues of mistranslation and translator ethics. The technical part of the course comprises an introduction to computer-assisted translation and workshops on SDL Trados software with the opportunity to sit the certification exams.

Advanced Translation and Language Study (ATLS)

All students taking the Translation Studies MSc must follow at least one ATLS pathway in their principal area of foreign language study over the two semesters.

ATLS classes are small groups led by a language-specific tutor. In these you will be able to focus on translation into or out of English from a language of your choice offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures - Catalan, Czech, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You will work in a wide range of genres, from newspaper articles to medical reports, poetry or advertising.


Dissertation/Translation Project

Following successful completion of all programme elements from semesters one and two, students are expected to work on a dissertation or translation project of 12,000-15,000 words over the summer period. This will give you the opportunity to develop your specialist skills and interests, drawing upon the knowledge gained throughout the programme.

You can either undertake independent research in Translation Studies under the guidance of a supervisor, or a substantial piece of practical translation work accompanied by an essay that explores the practical and theoretical translation issues that arise (maximum 60% translation, minimum 40% commentary).


Student testimonials

"I've been really pleased with the structure of the course as well as the quality of the teaching and the opportunity for discussion in all the classes. I especially enjoyed the masterclasses and guest seminars. I also really like the way the ATLS (translation practice) classes are structured, with the chance to choose four of the  translations that we have written and rewrite one for submission. I feel that this gives us a great opportunity to show how we have improved and what we have learned."  Emanuela Falzon Campbell

"The translation studies course is a great balance of theory and practice, so it really prepares you for the world of commercial translation while still providing the theoretical basis for further research."  Rebecca Mackintosh

"Not long after graduation from the MSc in Translation Studies, I was accepted for a 3 month internship in a translation agency in Italy which I applied for through the Glasgow University Careers service. The MSc wasn’t just a piece of paper for me: the analytical skills I learned on the course allowed me to pay greater attention to detail on my internship, an essential skill when it comes to editing and proofreading texts. This may seem an obvious point to make, but having worked with different text types on the course, on my internship I felt I was able to recognise inconsistencies more easily in texts, especially regarding tone and register."  Christopher McKenna

"The MSc in Translation Studies effectively combines theory and practice, offering a unique training course for prospective translators as well as academics."  Aniko Szilagyi

 "I'm glad I chose the course. It is quite challenging and demanding, but I feel like having learnt a lot.  The course covers everything we need to know about the theoretical background but is also great with the language specific classes as we translate different genres and text types every week. I really enjoyed them and I found them to be very helpful. The teaching staff are very approachable and helpful with their feedback and it's great that we get the possibility to meet professionals from the field which we definitely all benefit from."  Jennifer Schirtz

"One of the most important advantages of this course is that it allows you to tailor it to your needs while giving you a solid background in translation theory and the opportunity to translate different types of texts".  Ilonka Zaharieva

Entry requirements

for entry in 2016

You should normally have a 2.1 Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification in a Modern European language or in a related discipline and be able to demonstrate competence in a second language equivalent to European Common Framework C1.

Applicants who wish to study translation into Mandarin should be native Mandarin speakers with a 2.1 Honours degree, or an equivalent in English.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 7.5 with 7.5 in all skills
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
  • Applicants may be asked to attend a pre-sessional course at the University of Glasgow. For information, please contact Hongling Liang

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 191 overall; no sub-test less than 191
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 191 overall; no sub-test less than 191
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 73 in all skills

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£15250


Home and EU
Full time fee£4633
Full time fee£10167


Home and EU
Full time fee£2317
Full time fee£5083

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Driven by the global economy, the last decade or so has seen a massive growth in demand for expert, specialist translators.  You will develop the skills required to work in the industry as well as essential information about setting up as a freelance translator or working for a translation agency. 

You will acquire skills relevant to a variety of careers that may involve translation or require advanced language and communication skills.  These include:

  • Marketing and public relations
  • Careers in writing, including publishing, journalism or technical writing
  • Language teaching
  • International commerce
  • Government work
  • The creative industries, including TV, film, theatre

Graduates have taken up posts in translation agencies in the UK and overseas, work as freelance translators or for translation software companies.  Others have moved into language-related careers in teaching, publishing and global commercial organisations or have decided to study for a PhD.

Those wishing to pursue a career in academia will have studied, discussed and analysed the essential theoretical material required as a foundation for researching in the field of Translation Studies at doctoral level.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now