About this course
Learn how to communicate across different languages and cultures on this MA in Translation and Professional Communication Skills. On this UK master’s degree you'll gain specialist knowledge in translation, mediation and interpreting. You'll be well prepared for a career in multicultural and multilingual settings.
This course is now closed to new applications for 2023 entry.
Each year we get many high-quality applications and places for many of our courses are very competitive.
Search similar degrees for 2024 entry by browsing our course finder.
For the 2022 to 2023 academic year this course is only available for translation between English and Chinese.
On this UK master’s course at the University of Southampton, you'll get to choose from range of specialist modules, including:
- professional writing and editing
This master’s degree in translation and professional communication skills combines theoretical learning with practical exercises to develop skills you’ll need for a range of multilingual and multicultural environments. As well as working with translation theorists and practitioners, you'll study with experts in cultural and literary studies, history, ethnography and anthropology.
You’ll also get the chance to use software such as Trados and memoQ - widely used in language-related professions - and familiarise yourself with industry-standard interpreting equipment.
An optional placement module will give you the chance to apply what you’ve learnt to a work environment of your choice.
As a postgraduate student, you’ll be a member of the dynamic research environment here at Southampton. You’ll improve your knowledge through events hosted by the:
- Centre for Transnational Studies
- Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies
- Centre for Global Englishes
The course lead is Dr James Minney, Head of Department in Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton.
Dr Minney’s research interests include regional languages in France, in particular Flemish in French Flanders. He also focuses on translation theory and practice, questions of language and identity in wider contexts, and non-standard varieties of French. Find out more on Dr Minney’s staff profile page.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
- a 2:1 in a humanities or social science subject
- a high level of proficiency in English and Chinese
For the 2021 to 2022 academic year this course is only available for translation between English and Chinese.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
In the first semester of this translation degree, we’ll introduce you to key translation theory, which you will then have the opportunity to use in an applied translation module in semester 2.
You’ll also choose one or two options in each semester from a selection of modules, focused on language, culture and/or professional writing.
You can also choose a work placement module, giving you the chance to apply your practical skills in an work-based setting.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
MA Dissertation (Languages & Cultures and Translation & Professional Communication Skills)
The dissertation is an extended piece of work of 15,000 words, which results from independent research on a topic in Languages & Cultures or Translation & Professional Communication Skills. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to explore a topic of ...
Research Skills (Dissertation Preparation)
The purpose of this module is to help you prepare your Masters dissertation in Languages & Cultures or Translation & Professional Communication Skills, including the oral presentation that forms part of its assessment. The emphasis is on skills required f...
This module aims to give students a comprehensive introduction to two of the most commonly used computer assisted translation tools, Trados and MemoQ. The module will blend hands-on experience with an understanding of how the tools work, thus future proo...
Translation: Theory and Practice
Translation plays a major role in the exchange and circulation of practical information and culture production. This means that even if they do not enter the translation profession, in a society that is increasingly global, Modern Linguists are frequently...
You must also choose from the following modules:
This module will introduce you to the different types of audiovisual translation and the various kinds of subtitles produced nowadays. You will learn about the interaction between text and image and the technical issues and constraints involved in creatin...
Language and Intercultural Communication
This module will combine a theoretical understanding of intercultural communication with reflections and evaluations of your own intercultural experiences and applications of this to pedagogic settings and other practical settings.
Memory in National and Transnational Contexts
Whether in the form of monuments, stories or rituals a desire to remember seems to be everywhere in most if not all contemporary nation states. In some respect this has been fuelled by the continually evolving international situation, which has posed a se...
Narrative Non-Fiction: From Literary Journalism to Memoir
Writing is inherently an interdisciplinary art. From novelists to poets to narrative non-fiction writers, writers tend to delve into fields that are not their own. Ian McEwan shadows neurologists for several years as he was researching Saturday; Hilary Ma...
Nation, Culture, Power
This module offers an in-depth exploration of three concepts that have shaped the modern world: nation, culture, and power. Drawing on staff expertise in cultural and critical theory, the module will investigate the key questions that worldwide thinkers a...
This module will give you the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge and practical skills which you have been acquiring and developing throughout your programme of study in a work environment. Please note, although programme staff are able to sup...
Public Service Interpreting
This module will provide students with both a practical and theoretical insight into the role of a Public Service Interpreter. Beginning with a general introduction to interpreting, it will go on to focus more in depth on the wide range of issues and chal...
The Art and Craft of Fiction
This module offers advanced training in the writing of fiction, and does so in a wider international context than the usual selection of UK and possibly US texts allows. Instead of basing our examples of good practice only in British and American fiction,...
Transnational Movement in the Age of Globalisation
The module investigates transnational approaches to migration and global mobility. It combines a theoretical emphasis in the first part with one based on specific empirical case studies and methodological issues in the second.
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- optional work placement
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
We’ll assess you through:
- coursework and lab reports
- a dissertation
- individual and group projects
- practical translation tasks
You’ll need to write a 15,000-word dissertation and will need to finish this during your own time in the summer.
The dissertation is a chance for you to develop your research skills and show your expertise in a particular specialism.
A supervisor will be available to offer you help and advice when you write your dissertation.
The programme will give you the analysis, communication and critical thinking skills to do well in a wide range of careers. You’ll learn about what working across cultures entails, so you’ll be well suited to work in multicultural and multilingual environments.
If you want to continue an academic career, you’ll benefit from our department’s track record in securing places and funding for postgraduate research.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £22,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Humanities Postgraduate Global Talent Scholarship
Twenty scholarships of £5,000 are available to international students joining our postgraduate master’s courses at the School of Humanities in September 2023.
Find out more about the Southampton Humanities Postgraduate Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship
Ten scholarships of £10,000 each are available to international students studying for an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate master’s degree in Arts and Humanities.
Find out more about the Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
The deadline for applying for your course for the 2023 year of entry depends on where you’re domiciled (where your permanent home is and where you have the closest ties).
This is because:
* students from different countries tend to apply at different times of year
* we want a diverse and balanced mix of international students with exceptional academic ability
Place of domicile deadline:
- China-domiciled applicants: Wednesday 21 December 2022 (Midday UK time)
- Rest of World-domiciled applicants (except the UK): Wednesday 31 May 2023 (Midday UK time)
- The UK (and others eligible for home fees): Friday 7 July 2023 (Midday UK time)
Applications for 2023 will be closing to those permanently domiciled in China on 21 December 2022. The deadline for applicants domiciled in other countries may still move to:
* an earlier date if we have already received enough applications before the deadline
* a later date if there are still places available on the deadline
We receive many high-quality applications, so places for many of our courses are very competitive.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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