About the course
Should translated literature be entirely faithful to the original text, or should the translation be creative in its attempt not to lose the poetry of the work? How can translation account for double entendre or other wordplay? Is it possible to translate experimental literature which ignores conventional grammar rules?
Building on the internationally recognised expertise of both our Departments of Language and Linguistics, and our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, our MA Translation and Literature course will allow you to further specialise in literature and general translation. In the second term you will also learn techniques of professional literary translation. You develop your own personal translation skills, allowing you to translate a literary work accurately and creatively from one language to another for your dissertation.
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 learn to translate to and from both languages. You work with native speakers in developing your ability to move accurately and quickly between your chosen language and English.
Explore our hands-on, practical modules, including:
- Principles of Translation
- US and Caribbean literatures in dialogue
- Translation Portfolios
- Technologies of Translation
We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and among the top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings).
If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.
"My year at Essex was just perfect. Lessons were interesting and captivating, the teachers were all professional and talented, we were always having fun. In the year, I learned a lot professionally and personally."
Antonella Alterio, MA Translation and Literature
Our expert staff
Our linguistics staff are internationally renowned. Their books populate the reading lists at other universities. MA teaching staff have extensive experience as translators and interpreters as well as in teaching. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and our programme combines practical skills training with the study of linguistics modules like Pragmatics and Language Rights wherever there is synergy.
Our lecturers come from around the world: France (Sandrine Perrin, Laetitia Vedrenne), Belgium (Dounia Bissar), Germany (Claudia Nehmzow, Emma Hopper), Italy, (Ignazia Posadinu, Daniela Carboni), Brazil (Beatriz de Paiva), Spain (Teresa Torres, Gemma Martinez-Garrido), Cuba (Lexa Olivera-Smith), China (Dan Chen, YanxiWu and Nan Zhao), and the UK (Jessie Mallinson). They will share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation.
Within our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, Professor Karin Littau specialises in book and film history, reception, adaptation and translation studies, and is especially interested in the effects of print, cinematograph, and computers on practices of reading, writing and translation. Dr Clare Finburgh has translated several plays from French into English, and worked as dramaturg for productions of British plays in France, and French works in the UK.
- We regularly use several multimedia language teaching labs equipped with top-of-the-range computers integrating audio-visual projectors and large screens
- Use specialist software such as SDL Trados Studio 2015 , MemoQ and Memsource for technical translation, and WinCaps for Subtitling
- Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
- Meet other language enthusiasts through our student-run Linguistics Society
- Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at the department’s Myth Reading Group
- Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
- Attend our exciting programme of research seminars and other events
If you love literature and languages and would like to learn to translate literature professionally, then our MA Translation and Literature is for you. Takers of our courses in translation can use the skills gained to further their future career in this area.
You 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.
We work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall 2:1.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.5 in writing
Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2016 we have a fortnight-worth of activities for postgraduates (in February and March). These events give you the opportunity to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.