About the course
Building on the internationally-recognised expertise of our Departments of Language and Linguistics, and Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, our MA Translation and Literature will introduce you to the techniques of professional literary translation and will develop your own personal translation skills allowing you to translate literary works accurately from one language to another.
Our course involves English and one of: French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. You can be a native or near-native speaker of any of these languages as you will learn to translate to and from both languages. Our modules place a unique emphasis on hands-on practice in translation. You work with native speakers in developing your ability to move accurately and quickly between your chosen language and English. The course combines training in translation skills and the development of your understanding of the use of language in different literary genres. You have the option of concentrating exclusively on the translation of written texts or exploring the use of subtitles in film and video.
If you love literature and languages and would like to learn to translate literature professionally, then our MA Translation and Literature is for you. You will develop a range of key employability skills including researching, writing for specific purposes, and translation. Our course typically leads to a career in translation, but could also lead to a career in education, publishing and administration.
Why study MA Translation and Literature at Essex?
Our Department of Language and Linguistics offers you an outstanding teaching and research environment. In the 2012 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey we received 87 percent overall satisfaction. At Essex you will experience a stimulating, but informal environment giving you many possibilities to pursue your own interests.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), we were rated as producing the highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research of any university in the UK. This means you will be taught, supported and supervised by staff with an international reputation for being at the forefront of research in a wide range of areas. We provide you with the ideal environment for your studies. We have a strong research group culture and run a weekly Departmental Seminar, which regularly features eminent outside speakers.
As a modern languages student you will have access to two multimedia language teaching labs which are equipped with state-of-the-art Melissi Digital Classroom software. This will help train you to interpet, translate and subtitle media in a foreign language. Our labs are also equipped with top of the range computers integrating audio-visual projectors and large screens. Our Open Access Lab has satellite TVs with DVD players so you have plenty of opportunities to watch TV news and programmes in foreign languages to help you practice the skills you are developing. Our media studio is a recording studio equipped like a TV studio with a small audience space; we use this for role plays, news reading, presentations and debates. As a literature student you will have access to our Lakeside Theatre. This gives you the opportunity to write or direct new plays as well see other people’s work and professional touring company’s productions.
A Masters course is an academically rigorous programme during which you explore your subject in depth, reaching a high level of specialist knowledge. You draw on knowledge and skills from your undergraduate study or your professional life to produce work of a high academic standard, informed by current thinking and debate.
A full-time Masters course lasts for twelve months, starting in October, and consists of taught modules during your autumn and spring terms, and normally a research-based dissertation or other project-based work submitted in September. A part-time Masters course lasts for 24 months, normally starting in October, and consists of taught modules spread out over two years, with normally a research-based dissertation or other project-based work submitted in September of the second year. Each of the taught modules you take in the Department of Language and Linguistics counts for 15 credits. The total credit weighting for a Masters course is 180: 120 for taught modules and 60 for the MA dissertation. (If you are from the EU, then our Masters courses are regarded as ‘second-cycle’ qualifications under the Bologna Declaration and consist of 90 ECTS credits).
Core modules must be taken and passed.
Core with options modules selected from limited lists must be taken and passed.
Compulsory modules must be taken.
Compulsory with options modules selected from limited lists must be taken.
Optional modules are selected from course specific lists.
Your postgraduate study at Essex gives you an opportunity to develop your own ideas and interests, and to engage with thinking at the leading edge of your subject as part of the research community in our Department of Language and Linguistics, and our wider academic and professional community.
As a student of linguistics your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures, practical demonstrations and teaching yourself.
Assessment for modules taught by the Department of Language and Linguistics is typically involves written coursework, class tests and practical testing. Most modules that you will take will involve only coursework as assessment. During the summer, you will work on a dissertation that’s included in your final grade.
Teaching methods and styles
Our courses are designed to provide you with an advanced knowledge of contemporary theory and develop your research, writing and build practical skills. The modules you take employ a variety of teaching methods with lectures that inform you, demonstrations that teach you skills and workshops allowing you to develop your writing. Our courses include both compulsory and optional modules, so the course can be tailored to fit your interests and aspirations.
If you are taking a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma you do not need to do a dissertation.
If you are taking a Masters course, your 16,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in depth on your chosen topic from April onwards. This enables you to gain an in depth knowledge of an area that interests you, with close supervision by a member of staff within our Department.
Methods of assessment
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, your eight one-term modules are assessed by coursework and you are also assessed on your 16,000-word dissertation, produced during the summer.
Seminars and conferences
Our Department of Language and Linguistics has a strong research group culture. We run a weekly departmental seminar, attended by both staff and students. These give you exposure to cutting-edge research on topical issues, provide a role model for your own presentations and give you the opportunity to meet up with speakers and discuss your own research and ideas with them.
Given the breadth of our provision within our Department of Language and Linguistics, career prospects for our graduates vary depending on the study undertaken but takers of our courses in translation and interpreting can use the skills gained to further their future career in this area.
A postgraduate qualification is a major achievement and greatly valued by employers. Recent surveys show that higher degree graduates are more likely to obtain jobs at professional or managerial level and less likely to be unemployed. For some jobs a postgraduate qualification may be essential, for others it offers a competitive edge. Our graduates go into a variety of jobs, where the key employability skills and knowledge they have gained through postgraduate study are put to good use.
Our Languages for All programme lets you study a language, alongside your course, at no extra cost. You can take one of 50 taught language modules on a part-time day-time basis, or undertake flexible web-based learning, or opt for a language module taught in the evening. As employers can struggle to find graduates able to speak more than one language, Languages for All places Essex graduates in a very advantageous position.
If you achieve your Masters, you may wish to extend your knowledge with a research degree and many who graduate from Essex choose to stay here for research study. Some of our Masters may be taken as the first part of an Integrated PhD, leading to your PhD after a further three years of full-time study.
Support for postgraduates
Our University has a range of support services designed to help you to achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies. These form a co-ordinated network of support, and are an important part of your overall student experience at Essex.
Our staff operate an 'open door' policy so are available to discuss any concerns with you throughout the year.
Research study opportunities
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. Comprising 24 academic staff, we offer teaching and research supervision in: language acquisition, language learning and language teaching; culture and communication; psycholinguistics; language disorders; sociolinguistics; and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.
Native English speakers
Our applicants should have a 1st, 2:1 or high 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.
Native French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish speakers
Our applicants should have a 1st, 2:1 or high 2:2 degree, or equivalent, which includes English as a major component. If you have a joint honours degree (eg. Business Studies with English), your performance in the English component must be of a good standard.
We also require IELTS 6.5 with 6 in writing or TOEFL iBT 88 for non-native English speakers.