MA Translation

Duration: One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Entry Requirements: Upper second class or above honours degree (or equivalent); fluency in the specified African or Asian language at least to the level of that imparted by the first degree in that language.

Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications are usually invited to interview.

Start of programme: September intake only.

Mode of Attendance: Full-Time or Part-Time.

The MA programme in Translation combines training of practical translation skills with the teaching of translation theories and methods. It is unique in terms of the range of Asian/African language specializations. The aim of the programme is to enhance students' methodological and practical skills in translation, preparing them for the professional market as (freelance) translators or other language professionals while providing an intellectual perspective on the discipline of translation studies, which could be the foundation for further MPhil/PhD research.

Students have access to a wealth of resources for the study and practice of translation available in the SOAS Library and nearby institutions such as the University of London Library, the UCL Library, the British Library, as well as the BBC World Service and many others.


Drawing on the expertise of highly qualified teachers and researchers at SOAS, the programme offers a range of languages to work with, including:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese,
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Swahili


Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Students should follow the programme structure set out below.

Compulsory Modules

Students must take the modules below.

  • Translation Theory 15PLIH047 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Translation Studies and Methodology 15PJKH017 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Dissertation in Linguistics (Translation Theory) 15PLIC994 (60 credits) Full Year

List A - Optional Modules

Students must take a minimum of 60 credits from the list below.

  • Practical Translation Arabic into English 15PLIH052 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Practical Translation English into Arabic 15PLIH053 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Practical Translation Persian into English 15PNMH009 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Practical Translation English into Persian 15PNMH010 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Practical Translation Swahili into English 15PAFH014 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Practical Translation: Chinese to English 15PCHH004 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Practical Translation: English to Chinese 15PCHH005 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Practical Translation: Japanese into English 15PJKH003 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Practical Translation: English into Japanese 15PJKH002 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Practical Translation: English into Korean 15PJKC002 (15 credits) Full Year
  • Translating Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH018 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Translation of Journalistic Texts from and into Chinese 15PLIH035 (15 credits) Term 2
  • The Qur'an: Language, Style and Translation in English 15PNMC142 (30credits) Full Year
  • Translation Technology 15PLIH049 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Concepts and Practice of Subtitling 15PLIH048 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Translating Cultures 1 15PJKH019 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Translating Cultures 2 15PJKH020 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Conference Interpreting (English/Chinese) 15PLIH051 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Directed Readings in Linguistics/the Structure of Language A 15PLIH001 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Directed Readings in Linguistics/the Structure of Language B 15PLIH002 (15 credits) Term 2

Optional Modules - List B

Depending on the credits taken in list A, students can take 30 credits from the list below OR a language acquisition module.

  • Literature in African languages 15PAFC124 (30credits) Full Year
  • Directed Readings in an African Language 15PAFC147 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 (15 credits) Term 1
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC004 (30credits) Full Year
  • Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 (30credits) Full Year
  • Topics in the History and Structure of the Korean Language 15PEAC060 (30credits) Full Year
  • Readings in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH021 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Readings in Modern Japanese Literature 15PJKC003 (30credits) Full Year
  • Introduction to the Study of Language 15PLIC008 (30credits) Full Year
  • Topics in Lexical Semantics (MA) 15PLIH003 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Topics in the Structure of Chinese (Masters) 15PLIH009 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Issues in Semantics (Masters) 15PLIH012 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Historical Linguistics (Masters) 15PLIH020 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Applied Language Documentation and Description 15PLIH024 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Language Planning and Policy 15PLIH032 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Syntax (Masters) 15PLIH040 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Phonology (Masters) 15PLIH041 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Phonetics (PG) 15PLIH045 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media and Cultural Studies 15PMSC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Islamic Texts 15PNMC144 (30credits) Full Year
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Last updated January 23, 2019
This course is Campus based
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1 - 3 years
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
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