SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

MA Translation

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

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2018 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 a first degree in that language.
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications are usually invited to interview.

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


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 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.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Translation Theory 15PLIH047 15 Term 1
Translation Studies and Methodology 15PJKH017 15 Term 2
Dissertation in Linguistics (Translation Theory) 15PLIC994 60 Full Year
List A - Optional Modules

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

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

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Directed Readings in an African Langauage 15PAFC147 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 1
Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC002 30 Full Year
Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation 15PCHC004 30 Full Year
Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 30 Full Year
Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 30 Full Year
Topics in the History and Structure of the Korean Language 15PEAC060 30 Full Year
Readings in Korean Literature (Masters) 15PJKH021 15 Term 2
Readings in Modern Japanese Literature 15PJKC003 30 Full Year
Introduction to the Study of Language 15PLIC008 30 Full Year
Topics in Lexical Semantics (MA) 15PLIH003 15 Term 1
Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 15 Term 1
Topics in the Structure of Chinese (Masters) 15PLIH009 15 Term 1
Issues in Semantics (Masters) 15PLIH012 15 Term 2
Historical Linguistics (Masters) 15PLIH020 15 Term 1
Applied Language Documentation and Description 15PLIH024 15 Term 1
Language Planning and Policy 15PLIH032 15 Term 2
Syntax (Masters) 15PLIH040 15 Term 1
Phonology (Masters) 15PLIH041 15 Term 1
Phonetics (PG) 15PLIH045 15 Term 2
Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media and Cultural Studies 15PMSC002 30 Full Year
Islamic Texts 15PNMC144 30 Full Year


This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

  • Understand translation processes intellectually
  • Understand how theory and practice are related
  • Understand how translation methodology can be applied in practice
  • Understand how the learning outcomes can be used in industry
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Cognitive processes of understanding languages and cultures
  • How translation relates to cross-cultual communication and international politics
  • Critical analyses of translations
Subject-based practical skills
  • Translation skills
  • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • Language skills
  • Openness to understand different value systems
Transferrable skills
  • Communication skills
  • Understanding of other languages and cultures
  • General IT skills and translation-related IT skills

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


Our graduates find employment both in the United Kingdom and around the world. They will work with:

  • Translation agencies
  • Multinational companies
  • International organizations
  • Education institutions

They can also pursue further MPhil/PhD research in translation studies at SOAS or other academic institutions.

A Student's Perspective

Studying at SOAS is an absolute joy as well as an enriching experience. I am being taught by two of the most inspirational teachers I have ever met and they challenge me to ‘unpack’ and think more deeply about the issues that I am enthusiastic about.

Bobby Danial


Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
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    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

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