Postgraduate Course

MA Translation and Literature

MA Translation and Literature

Overview

The details
Translation and Literature
October 2019
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

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 is offered with the combination of English and one of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and 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 a leading UK university for language and linguistics research (REF 2014), 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 (REF 2014)

Our Department of Language and Linguistics is ranked among the top 150 Linguistics departments in the world and our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is ranked among the top 200 departments in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2017).

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.

Why we're great.
  • We offer interdisciplinary studies from our Departments of Language and Linguistics, and Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
  • We offer easy access to multimedia language teaching labs and to specialist translation software
  • Our lecturers come from all corners of the world – they impart their expertise in areas of professional translation

Our expert staff

Our lecturers are skilled interpreters and translators, experienced in training students with the necessary skills for professional practice. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

Our lecturers come from around the world including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Cuba, China, and the UK. 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.

Specialist facilities

  • 24-hour self-access to our translation lab dedicated to translation students
  • Use specialist software such as SDL Trados Studio 2015
  • 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
  • Weekly multilingual workshops led by internationally renowned experts from the industry
  • Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost

Your future

If you love literature and languages and would like to acquire professional translation skills, 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.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Native English Speakers

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above, or equivalent, in French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Native French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Speakers

Our applicants should have a 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.

Non-native speakers

In case of non-native speakers, applicants need to have a near native speaker competence in English (level C1-C2) or applicants should have completed their higher education studies in an English speaking country and have an overall grade of 2:1 and above, or equivalent, in French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

Principles of Translation and Interpreting

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.

View Principles of Translation and Interpreting on our Module Directory

Technologies of Translation

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.

View Technologies of Translation on our Module Directory

Dissertation

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.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (French)

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

View Translation Portfolio I (French) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (French)

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

View Translation Portfolio II (French) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (German)

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.

View Translation Portfolio I (German) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (German)

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.

View Translation Portfolio II (German) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (Portuguese)

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.

View Translation Portfolio I (Portuguese) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (Portuguese)

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.

View Translation Portfolio II (Portuguese) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (Spanish)

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.

View Translation Portfolio I (Spanish) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (Spanish)

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.

View Translation Portfolio II (Spanish) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (Italian)

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.

View Translation Portfolio I (Italian) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (Italian)

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.

View Translation Portfolio II (Italian) on our Module Directory

Writing the Novel

What inspires a writer? How do you develop your idea? What about plotting, character, structure and setting? Explore the general principles of developing a novel from initial inspiration to final draft. Undertake practical exercises to find out which writing methods best suit you and your ideas.

View Writing the Novel on our Module Directory

Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography

A new genre of literature has been emerging: moving between fiction, history, traveller's tales, and memoir, it explores the spirit of place. This tradition of “psychogeography” has been most vividly taken up and given a new contemporary twist by writers in the eastern stretches of England, in the work of writers such as Ronald Blythe, W.G. Sebald and Iain Sinclair. This module is concerned with writing on the landscape of this region – the ways the wilder reaches of Essex and Suffolk have been depicted – and allows you to develop your critical and creative writing about place. This module usually involves a walking tour around Colchester where we will have the chance to explore these literary landscapes and experience these worlds for ourselves. Students will incur travel costs of approximately £2.50 for this trip.

View Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography on our Module Directory

Dramatic Structure

Want to write your own stage plays? Have an idea of a screenplay? Learn about the range of contemporary plays and possibilities that exist within contemporary drama. Develop your own work, discussing topics like dialogue, construction of plot and structure of scenes within a supportive and creative environment.

View Dramatic Structure on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio I (Arabic)

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

View Translation Portfolio I (Arabic) on our Module Directory

Translation Portfolio II (Arabic)

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

View Translation Portfolio II (Arabic) on our Module Directory

Audiovisual Translation

What is audiovisual translation? This module will introduce you to the key theoretical concepts and professional practices in audiovisual and multimodal text translation. You will explore key theories and current trends in the field and develop a critical awareness of the practical, linguistic, social and cultural issues associated with audiovisual translation. Practical assignments in subtitling, dubbing and voiceover will help you to apply your knowledge and develop the technical skillss required to work in this specialised field.

View Audiovisual Translation on our Module Directory

Adaptation

How have relations between literature and film changed over the years? Is it a hostile relationship or mutually enriching? How have they adapted to each other? Study the relationship between literature and film from the nineteenth-century to today, where books, movies and comics continually feed off and into each other.

View Adaptation on our Module Directory

Documentary and the Avant-garde: Film, Video, Digital

What do we mean by documentary? How does documentary feed into our ongoing fascination with reality? Examine non-fiction films and more recent hybrids, such as mockumentaries, reality TV and real-life programming. Examine avant-garde filmmaking approaches in relation to how we perceive and question reality and real-life stories.

View Documentary and the Avant-garde: Film, Video, Digital on our Module Directory

Film Workshop

Want to produce fiction films? Eager for hands-on experience, plus an understanding of the theoretical concepts? Our script-to-screen module covers conceptual research, script development, visual language and practical realisation. Work on a group film, receiving technical training on auditioning and directing, lighting for camera, art direction and film editing.

View Film Workshop on our Module Directory

United States Nationalism and Regionalism

How can a nation reach its potential if it will not think of itself as new, independent and important? Study major writers from the nineteenth century onwards. Explore the development of US nationalism and literature. Examine the development of regionalism. Understand how these processes relate to wider transnational considerations.

View United States Nationalism and Regionalism on our Module Directory

Writing Magic

Magic and writing have a close association, in terms of subject, structure and in the creation of literature itself. Magic is a 'pretended' or 'hidden principle', which uses the supernatural and works in the same way as mythic or metaphorical literary writing in seeking to reveal hidden connections and truths. The history of magic, both as a subject for writing, with its colourful characters and events, and in its use of ritual and archetype and with its themes of transformation, offers many possibilities for writing and creativity in theory and practical application.

View Writing Magic on our Module Directory

"There is a Continent Outside My Window" : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue

How do US writers imagine and represent the Caribbean? And vice versa? Deepen knowledge of American literature by examining poetic, fictional, nonfictional and dramatic works in a broader context. Investigate contemporary issues like the American Dream, what it means to be from the Americas, migration, and the question of language.

View "There is a Continent Outside My Window" : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • We use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, workshops and demonstrations
  • Courses include both compulsory and optional modules, so the course can be tailored to fit your interests and aspirations
  • Lab sessions using translation software

Assessment

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

Dissertation

  • Your 16,000-word dissertation allows you to focus i- depth on your chosen topic from April onwards

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,940

You have the opportunity to take part in seminars delivered by DG Interpretation (DG SCIC) and DG Translation at the European Commission during our optional annual trip to Brussels. The additional cost for this is £250, depending on your mode of travel.

International fee

£17,040

You have the opportunity to take part in seminars delivered by DG Interpretation (DG SCIC) and DG Translation at the European Commission during our optional annual trip to Brussels. The additional cost for this is £250, depending on your mode of travel.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you 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

If the dates of our organised events 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.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, October 27, 2018
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

 

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.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of 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. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Two women looking at a PC screen
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.