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Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD, MPhil
Programme length MPhil: one year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2019 January 2020

Programme overview

The School of Modern Languages has broad expertise in literary translation and translation history, including the middle ages, the early modern period, and the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular research strengths in translation studies include audiovisual translation, especially subtitling and games localization; translation technologies, especially machine translation and post-editing; translation history; literary translation, including poetry, drama, fiction, practice-oriented research; censorship in translation. Languages include Catalan, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

The school's translation activities benefit from extensive collaborations with outside institutions and networks. The current subject lead for translation, Dr Carol O'Sullivan, is a former board member of the European Society for Translation Studies, a former member of the steering group of Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies (ARTIS) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Translation Studies. The Penguin Archive, housed at the University, offers an important resource for research in translation publishing.

We welcome applications from students wishing to pursue tailor-made research to master's or doctoral level in any of the above areas. Our postgraduates are fully integrated in a professionally and personally supportive departmental community. We encourage you to attend and give papers at school and University research events, as well as national and international conferences. Funding is available to support field work and participation in external events. We support you in developing a full range of academic skills, including teaching.

Our research facilities foster interdisciplinary collaboration between all departments through research seminars and other events, and include the Multimedia Centre: a specialist language centre comprising a language laboratory, media suite, a library of foreign films, newspapers and magazines, and an 18-seat screening room.

Fees for 2019/20

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2019/20

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2019. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Further information about the school's research groups can be found on the School of Modern Languages web pages.


Graduates from this programme progress to careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of translation; some graduates may take up careers in freelance translating and interpreting.

Staff profiles

Dr Marianne Ailes, (Senior Lecturer), Editing and translating in relation to chansons de geste and early vernacular chronicles; intertextuality; literature of the crusades; medieval French literature; the French of England; the perception and depiction of the Other.

Dr Rebecca Kosick, (Lecturer), Intermedial translation and translation in the visual and plastic arts; literary translation; poetics and translation; theories and philosophies of translation; translation and material culture

Dr Lucas Nunes Vieira, (Lecturer), corpus-based translation studies; professional issues in translation; translation and editing processes, with particular emphasis on post-editing of machine translation; translation technology

Dr Carol O'Sullivan, (Senior Lecturer), Audiovisual translation, especially subtitling; censorship in translation; history of screen translation; literary translation; translation history.

Dr Bradley Stephens, (Senior Lecturer), Popular culture and adaptation of the French novel; theories and practices of adaptation.

Professor Robert Vilain, (Professor), Poetry, modernism and the avant garde; text and image; translation of and in 19th- and 20th-century German and Austrian literature.

Dr Xiaochun Zhang, (Lecturer), games localization; translation into Chinese; translation of Chinese culture

How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2019 start: 1 August 2019
January 2020 start: 1 December 2019

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • Modern Languages and Linguistics:
  • 29% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 38% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 26% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 7% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB


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