Translation is about people as much as it is about texts. Translators are change-makers through the texts they produce. The online MA Translation prepares you to find your individual voice as a translator, become a confident user of translation technologies, explore ethical questions in relation to clients and colleagues, and develop your entrepreneurial skills. The programme is offered in French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and translation is primarily from these languages into English.

The MA Translation belongs to a highly select group of global programmes that are formally validated by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL). They describe the programme as:

'A programme embedded in both academic and professional contexts that delivers an excellent preparation for linguists seeking a career in translation. Drawing on current practice, emerging trends and future language specialisms, the programme anticipates developments in the translation industry which will affect the working lives of aspiring translators. Students embarking on the programme can be confident that they will emerge equipped with the professional skills and knowledge they need to be work-ready to enter the translation industry.'

The programme is also a corporate member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).

In this online programme, teaching and learning primarily happen in asynchronous, interactive seminar groups, led by specialists in language and community, CAT tools and MT, subtitling, multilingualism, poetry, theory, translation as a service, and video game localisation and accessibility. Several tutors have extensive industry experience and continue to work as translators alongside their activities on the programme. Our library holds a very wide range of e-books and e-journals on translation.

Our student body is exceptionally diverse. Some have recently completed their undergraduate degree; others have professional experience in the language industry or elsewhere and are looking for a career change. Asynchronous learning is particularly suited to students with family or work commitments alongside their study.

In addition to asynchronous core unit components, academic and personal tutors offer non-compulsory synchronous meetings, and synchronous interaction between students is facilitated through a virtual common room. We organise a programme of online talks and seminars each year, and while you are not required to come to campus, you are just as much a member of the University as any other student, and we would be delighted to welcome you to Bristol if you wanted to visit.

Programme structure

For the diploma element of the programme you must complete six taught units, consisting of compulsory and optional units.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our Postgraduate Diploma in Translation.

In order to obtain the MA, you must complete a dissertation. The dissertation unit is open to any student who has successfully completed the diploma element of the course with an average mark of 50% or above. The dissertation may be practice-based (an annotated translation of a previously untranslated text), or a research-based dissertation on an aspect of translation or translation theory.

Students enrolled part-time must take at least 40 credits per year. This programme is delivered via distance learning. No on-campus attendance is required.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Translation.

Entry requirements

Upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant language (French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish), or any other subject, provided the language(s) qualifications of study are equivalent to a minimum score of C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered. Applicants without the necessary academic linguistic background will be asked to complete a translation test. Applicants with a lower class of degree with relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

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

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time (MA)
£10,100 per year
UK: part-time (two years) (MA)
£5,050 per year
UK: part-time (three years) (MA)
£3,367 per year
Overseas: full-time (MA)
£29,000 per year
Overseas: part-time (two years) (MA)
£14,500 per year
Overseas: part-time (three years) (MA)
£9,667 per year
UK: full-time (PGDip)
£6,700 per year
UK: part-time (two years) (PGDip)
£3,350 per year
UK: part-time (three years) (PGDip)
£2,233 per year
Overseas: full-time (PGDip)
£17,200 per year
Overseas: part-time (two years) (PGDip)
£8,600 per year
Overseas: part-time (three years) (PGDip)
£5,733 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount. 

Bristol Master's Scholarship 

£2,000 scholarships available for UK students from underrepresented groups applying for full-time master's programmes. Find out more about the Bristol Master's Scholarships and check your eligibility to apply

Funding for 2023/24

Funding and studentship opportunities are listed on the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

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

Career prospects

Benefitting from the strong growth of the language industry overall, recent graduates have successfully established themselves as translators, transcreators, localisers, terminology managers, interlingual consultants and language project managers.

Graduates who went into literary translation have enjoyed crafting, publishing, and publicising their new books.

Some students who complete the programme continue to doctoral study.