MA Translation & Professional Language Skills
Qualifications and durations
- Full-time MA 1 year (includes 3 months to submit dissertation)
- French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish
This programme is designed to prepare linguists for careers in several areas of specialised language work in which there is a rapidly growing demand for highly trained speakers of English, both in the UK and abroad.
These include translation, editing and revision, précis writing, public service and commercial interpreting and proofreading. The programme also covers real-world skills such as translation management and setting up in business as a translator.
Placements are normally organised during the year with the language services of international organisations, government departments or translation companies.
Why study with us?
- Team of highly experienced professional staff
- State of the art digital interpreting suites provide excellent teaching and practice space.
- Small class sizes provide high levels of student and teacher contact.
- Work placements in translating are often an option during the programme and provide invaluable practical experience.
- Motivated and multi-national student cohort offers a diverse and stimulating learning environment.
- Students are exposed to realistic training from experienced translation and interpreting trainers which prepares them for work after graduation.
- The University and city of Bath offer ample exposure for non-native students to the English language and culture of the UK.
- Editing and revision (core unit)
- Professional translation (core unit)
- Proofreading (optional unit)
- Translation management (optional unit)
- Public speaking (optional unit)
- Editing and revision (core unit)
- Professional translation (core unit)
- Précis writing for UN (optional unit)
- Enterprise skills (optional unit)
- Using technology in the T&I Industry (optional unit)
- Public service and commercial interpreting (optional unit)
- 15,000 word thesis: annotated translation or a project type
If you are interested in taking the German-only or Italian-only pathway, you will not be able to take the Precis writing for the UN unit (as German and Italian are not UN languages), therefore you will have to take all the other units listed below. If you have any queries about this then you can contact us.
View programme catalogue for further information.
Through our extensive network of contacts, we try to organise placements for all students with the language services of international organisations, government departments or translation companies.
They provide an invaluable insight into the work of professional linguists and are valued highly by employers. They are not however compulsory and are not always guaranteed.
Our students have previously undertaken placements in:
- United Nations
- Institutions of the European Union
- Council of Europe
Learning and teaching
Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.
Teaching takes the form of lectures, classes and seminars. Lectures are quite formal, whereas classes and seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion.
We also use the software MemoQ for the delivery of the unit, Using Technology in the Translation & Interpreting Industry; this is one of the leading tools in the industry.
Methods of assessment
Assessment consists of a combination of coursework essays, class exercises, translations, projects, oral presentations and examinations.
We also place strong emphasis on developing presentation and discussion/communication skills which, in many units, is part of the assessed work.
We have a worldwide reputation for training professional translators and conference interpreters. This programme draws on that expertise and extends into new and specialised areas of language work where there is a great demand for highly trained linguists with English as their first or ‘A’ language.
This programme has been established following feedback from a wide range of employers, including the Association of Translation Companies, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and numerous UN agencies.
Organisations are keen to recruit the linguists we produce.
- First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university.
- English as the first language - Candidates with English as their first language are those who have completed primary and secondary education in an English-speaking country (other criteria may be applied on a case by case basis, such as bi-lingual ability).
- Applicants need to offer one or two of the languages taught in the Department (French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish).
- Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.
How to apply
You can must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.
- Deposit of £250, payable upon receipt of an offer of a place to study (the deposit is offset against your course fees).
- Tuition fees
- Estimated Living Expenses including a Sample Budget Guide
- Cost of attending voluntary placements, including travel, meals and accommodation
Potential sources of funding
All applicants will be further assessed for their suitability before acceptance to this programme (you will be contacted individually regarding this process).
We suggest you apply before the following dates if you wish to study this programme:
- 31 May 2016
- Funding deadlines for Studentships and Scholarships
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3037
Experts from our department are publishing regularly in the most highly ranked international journals.
Our academic expertise and research activities are organised into three broad Research Clusters:
- Conflict, Security & International Order
- Governance, Citizenship & Policy
- Memory, History & Identity
Many staff are internationally leading scholars in their field. We are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.
Projects are funded by a variety of bodies such as:
- Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- European Commission Framework Programme
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Stimulating cutting edge research
Our diversity and the disciplinary mix of political science, political theory, policy analysis, social anthropology, political sociology and others make for a very stimulating environment for students to develop their own research projects.
The integration of our research community is further enhanced through the International Relations & European Politics (IREP) postgraduate group.
The Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS) is one of the largest departments in the University.
Many staff are leading scholars in their field and are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.
International and industrial links
- Our department has links with 22 Erasmus partner institutions, as well as universities in Russia and Mexico.
- Research students regularly engage in fieldwork abroad, especially in the countries of the European Union, but also in Russia, Latin America and the United States.
- Students on the Euromasters programme study at two or three different sites in either Europe or the USA.
- In the case of the MA Interpreting & Translating and the MA Translation & Professional Language Skills, a number of work placements in Western Europe are made available to students in the language services of international organisations, government departments and commercial enterprises.
Our graduate prospects have been consistently ranked among the best in the UK.
Our wide-range of programmes enables graduates to find employment in many different fields. Some examples include:
- Diplomatic service
- International organisations
- Multinational corporations
- Policy-forming institutes
- The language services of the United Nations and European Union
Many of our undergraduate programmes include a year abroad or placement year. These are highly valued by employers and will give you an edge in the competitive job market when you graduate.
- Specialist interpreting laboratories
- Language laboratories
- Online international TV streaming service
- Self Access Language Centre (SALC)
- European Community and European Union publications
- Extensive local archive collections relating to research programmes in French and German politics
- Departmental film library
Our Foreign Languages Centre offers a wide range of language courses at different level that students can also choose to follow.
The Academic Skills Centre (ASC) provides Academic English classes and support for international students.