The MA programme in Translation combines training of practical translation skills and/or cultural mediation with teaching of translation theories and methods. It is unique in terms of the range of Asian/African language and cultural specializations. The practical translation modules are optional, students who prefer to concentrate on cultural translation, cultural mediation, or translation theory are also welcome. The aim of the programme is to enhance students' methodological and practical skills in translation, preparing them for the professional market as (freelance) translators, other language professionals, or cultural mediators, 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.
Student experience at SOAS is enriched by a range of research seminars at SOAS’ Centre for Translation Studies as well as Student Enterprise activities such as translation work
Drawing on the expertise of highly qualified teachers and researchers at SOAS, the programme offers a range of languages to work with, including
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- 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.
- One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Introducing Translation Studies
Lecturer in Translation Studies and Japanese Language, Nana Sato-Rossberg, explains how the MA Translation Studies prepares students for a career as translators and language professionals.
What does the course involve?
There are compulsory modules on translation theory and methodology. Students can learn theoretical frameworks of translation and also the methodology for analysing and researching translation. As free optional modules, students can take practical translations, machine translation, critical thinking in translation, and other translation-focused modules. The programme also offers various modules from related fields.
What kind of students will the course appeal to?
Any student who can communicate in more than one language and is interested in translation, translation studies, and/or intercultural studies.
What is special about the programme at SOAS?
Our programme is well-balanced, with both theoretical and practical components. Students can learn both theory/methodology and practice at SOAS. We offer practical translation in six language pairs: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Persian, and Swahili both from, and into, English. Students who have a good proficiency in more than one language can take modules for more than one language pair. Students can also take other language classes offered at SOAS, where aspects of translation practice are taught. This flexibility is one of our specialties.
Can you recommend a good book to read on Translation Studies?
- Jeremy Munday, Introduction to Translation Studies (Routledge)
- Anthony Pym, Exploring Translation Theory (Routledge)
- Mona Baker, In Other Words (Routledge)
- Sue-Ann Harding and Ovidi Carbonell Cortes (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture (Routledge)
- Lawrence Venuti, The Translation Studies Reader (Routledge)
What do students do after graduating?
Students progress to a variety of careers: doing a PhD, teaching, work as freelance translators, or as translators or interpreters in businesses, government, or for TV companies.
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.
All students will take the following two core modules:
Students will take modules to the value of 60 credits from List A below
Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from List B below and/or Postgraduate Open Options
List of modules (subject to availability)
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
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
I think the variety at SOAS is one of its strongest aspects – simply being a student at SOAS has taught me a lot about cultures and has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people.