MA Translation


Program Description

This Masters degree has been designed to:

  • provide students with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline of Translation Studies;
  • enable students to develop the skills upon which professional translator competence is predicated -provide students with opportunities to advance their expertise in their principal non-native language;
  • provide students with opportunities for further language-training;
  • provide students with appropriate opportunities in professionally-based practice;
  • enable students to develop the higher-level cognitive and research skills necessary for further study at a doctoral level.


Career Development

The programme includes specialist training in translation technologies and offers opportunities for work experience.

Internationally Renowned Experts

Research in Modern Languages at Queen's was ranked 3rd in REF 2014 for Research Intensity and 5th for Grade Point Average, with particular strengths in literary studies, translation and interpreting linguistics, postcolonial studies, visual cultures, digital humanities and medical humanities. The School hosts several large research projects across all the language areas, funded by the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust and Horizon 2020.

Focus definition

Course Structure

The degree is structured in such a way that students can deepen their understanding of key aspects of translation theory and/or choose to concentrate on more practice-based activities. Delivered through a combination of seminars, workshops, guided private study, a programme of visiting speakers and appropriate professional practice, the structure of the degree will enable students to work towards both of these objectives, or to focus more intensively on one of them. In addition to the elements for which they are enrolled, students are encouraged to audit as many other elements of the programme as they wish.


  • Audio-Visual Translation
  • Business of Translation (Compulsory)
  • Literary Translation
  • Principles of Community Interpreting
  • Specialist Translation: Legal, Scientific and Medical Texts
  • The Identity of the Translator
  • Theory and Practice of Translation (Compulsory)
  • Translation and Journalism
  • Translation in Digital Contexts
  • Translating for Performance
  • Meaning, Sense and Translation
  • Dissertation

Teaching Times

Late afternoon and evening, normally Monday and Tuesday, and a weekend workshop in translation technologies in Semester 1.

Career Prospects

Graduates can pursue careers in a range of areas where translation skills are required, eg academic, creative writing, translation and interpreting industry, public policy, business and commerce and journalism.

Learning and Teaching

Compulsory modules provide all students with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of translation (Theory and Practice of Translation) as well as equipping them with the skills and knowledge of the translation industry needed to thrive as a professional translator upon completion of the course (The Business of Translation). The wide range of elective modules offered ensures that students are able to direct the focus of their studies according to their own interests and goals.

The programme is distinguished by a strong emphasis on practical work and weekly translation workshops are provided in a wide range of languages including: Spanish, Russian, Polish, French, German, Arabic and Chinese. They are led by expert tutors and provide an opportunity for developing advanced language knowledge and building a high level of translation competence through hands-on work where theoretical ideas can be put into practice. Students may attend as many weekly workshops as they wish and are also welcome to conduct practice-based research for all assignments, including the summer dissertation.

Our teaching approach emphasises the development of intellectual independence through regular small-group discussions with both peers and staff throughout the programme. Classroom discussions often build on insights from speakers in our weekly seminar series, giving students space to critically reflect on and respond to cutting-edge research in the field. Other enrichment events are also regularly organised with external contributors to further broaden the range of ideas to which students are exposed; events held in recent years include a special session on Translation and Music, organised in collaboration with the QUB Music department, and a hands-on workshop on games localisation, organised in collaboration with a leading localisation firm.

Finally, our multilingual classrooms also provide valuable opportunities for the development of broader intercultural communication skills. Support for the development of postgraduate-level research skills is provided in regular writing workshops and a weekly ‘Dissertation Forum’ held in semester two, specifically designed to ensure students are well prepared for their independent research project over the summer months. This is in addition to the wide range of academic training courses available to all students through the QUB Graduate School.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Essays
  • Translations and commentaries
  • Research projects

Entrance requirements


Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant subject.

A 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be acceptable with relevant professional experience. Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard may be considered if they can demonstrate a minimum of three years’ relevant professional experience. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information. If you would like further informal advice, please contact course convenor Professor David Johnston at

All applicants wishing to take language components of the programme must demonstrate a high level of foreign-language proficiency.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £6,140
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,900
Other (non-UK) EU £6,140
International £16,900

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Translation costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020) in the top 140 in the wo ... Read More

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020) in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020), and a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, combining excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos. Read less