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MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling

Why we're great

  • We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world
  • Work in our brand-new interpreter training lab and UN-style conference interpreting booths
  • Our staff are internationally renowned – their books dominate the reading lists at other universities

Course options

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Language and Linguistics
Fee (Home/EU): £5,950
Fee (International): £14,950

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

Our MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling is the first of its kind to offer written translation, oral interpreting and film and video subtitling within a single course. This complete and integrated approach to language services provides you with the expertise to work in business, film, TV or tourism.

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 in a variety of contexts.

Explore our hands-on, practical modules, including:

  • Principles of Translations and Interpreting
  • Translation Portfolios
  • Interpreting practice
  • Technologies of Translation,
  • Subtitling software

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.

"I loved the combination of all three practices because it provided a lot of variety and expanded my expertise in not one but several linguistic fields. I also found that it struck the perfect balance between theory and practice. My classes focused largely on collaborative learning in small groups which attributed to a dynamic, engaging and interesting learning environment."

Jenny Higgs, MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling.

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.

Specialist facilities

  • Our new interpreting lab provides you with simultaneous interpreting booths in a professional business setting for both classwork and practice
  • You also have access to LTB 6, a conference facility for up to 350 people with simultaneous interpreting booths, for interpreting live conferences and lectures
  • We regularly use two 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 and MemoQ for technical translation, Televic and Bräler equipment for Interpreting and WinCaps for Subtitling
  • Use our professional recording studios to video record a small audience or for presentations
  • Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
  • Attend our exciting programme of research seminars and other events

Santander Scholarship 2015-16

Applying from Latin America? A €5000 scholarship, funded by Santander Group, is available for this course on the basis of your academic merit.

Your future

This course can lead to you having a career in tourism, business or in international organisations . You will gain key employability skills such as researching, writing for specific purposes, translation, interpreting and subtitling.

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.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation assignments and tasks that develop your ability to translate between English and German. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation assignments and tasks that develop your ability to translate between English and German. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Develop the practical skills and techniques to interpret between English and German. Learn to follow and convey the logical development and essential meaning of a speech. Devise your own note-taking system and build your public speaking for future interpretation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Develop the practical skills and techniques to interpret between English and German. Learn to follow and convey the logical development and essential meaning of a speech. Devise your own note-taking system and build your public speaking for future interpretation work.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Portuguese. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Portuguese. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Learn the practical skills and techniques to interpret between English and Portuguese. Develop your interpretation abilities through assignments and tasks based on real-life situations. Devise your own note-taking system and build your public speaking for future interpretation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Build on your existing abilities to interpret between English and Portuguese. Focus on skills like active listening, information processing and communicating with speakers and clients. Take part in a mock conference, with your performance filmed so you can evaluate yourself and improve.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Spanish. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Spanish. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Learn the practical skills and techniques to interpret between English and Spanish. Develop your interpretation abilities through assignments and tasks based on real-life situations. Devise your own note-taking system and build your public speaking for future interpretation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Build on your existing abilities to interpret between English and Spanish. Focus on skills like active listening, information processing and communicating with speakers and clients. Take part in a mock conference, with your performance filmed so you can evaluate yourself and improve.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Italian. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional translator? Undertake translation of a variety of texts to develop your ability to translate between English and Italian. Build your practical understanding of preparing for translation and develop techniques that will aid your future translation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Learn the practical skills and techniques to interpret between English and Italian. Develop your interpretation abilities through assignments and tasks based on real-life situations. Devise your own note-taking system and build your public speaking for future interpretation work.

Do you want to be a professional interpreter? Build on your existing abilities to interpret between English and Italian. Focus on skills like active listening, information processing and communicating with speakers and clients. Take part in a mock conference, with your performance filmed so you can evaluate yourself and improve.

What are your responsibilities when translating or interpreting professionally? What are the contexts in which interpreting can take place? And what tools are available to assist you when translating or interpreting? Examine the issues that face professional translators and interpreters alongside the theoretical concepts and considerations.

Want hands-on experience of the key technologies that aid translation today? Become a confident user of CAT (computer aided translation) in the translation environment. Practice and develop your translation and editing skills via our practical workshops, so that you are familiar with all stages of the translation process.

Want to produce accurate and reader-friendly interlingual subtitles? How do you recognise good subtitling? What skills does it require? Develop your understanding of the subtitling process. Learn to use the spotting and word-processing functions of professional subtitling software, while building your proof reading and editing skills.

Want to consolidate your practical language skills by conducting a project investigating translation, interpreting or subtitling? Work with a supervisor to define specific research questions. Search existing studies for information about your topic. Reflect on the processes involved and learn how to write an extended report on your findings.

From a human rights perspective, what kinds of conflicts occur around languages? Are there linguistic human rights? What are they? How do governments, lawmakers, schools, courts and international organisations identify and treat language problems? Can language planners and policymakers address conflicts involving indigenous peoples, national minorities, ethnic or racial groups?

What is the distinction between a speaker's words and what a speaker might mean by those words? We examine the relationship between language and the world, and the sort of knowledge we need to have to understand language in use.

Teaching

  • Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations and learning by teaching others
  • We run a weekly departmental seminar, attended by both staff and students

Assessment

  • Your eight one-term modules are assessed by coursework and you are also assessed on your dissertation

Dissertation

  • Your 16,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in-depth on your chosen topic from April onwards
  • Close supervision by a member of staff within our Department

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

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.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk 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 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing

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Visit us

Open days

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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

Applying

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.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.