Triangle

Course overview

America, China and the United Kingdom are all ranked in the top 6 of the leading global economies. This means Chinese/English translation continues to be a vital area of the language services industry.

If you're looking to build a translation career in this massive market sector, our course will help you develop the skills employers need. Our staff are translation specialists who are experts in: translation, business and community interpreting, audiovisual translation and digital translation technology.

This course will help you:

  • maximise your language skills
  • prepare to become a well-rounded language professional in the digital age
  • build the comprehensive skillset required by employers in the language services industry
  • gain practical experience in simulation tasks based on real-life translation/interpreting assignments
  • build a portfolio through a translation project for an external organisation

Why choose this course?

Build your skillset

Develop the key skills employers demand from translators and interpreters

Specialist teaching

Be taught by highly regarded translation specialists

Range of modules

Pursue the specialisms that interest you most through our wide range of modules

Discover localisation

Build skills in this key growth area

Practical experience

Start your portfolio with a translation project for an external organisation 

Course content

Autumn semester

In term one you will build a solid foundation for more advanced skills training. To maintain your language proficiency at a higher level, we offer advanced language modules in Chinese and English alongside our translation teaching. We also provide theoretical training to cultivate critical thinking. You will also be introduced to foundational translation skills and consecutive interpreting (Bilateral interpreting 1) as two core modules. For translation technology, we offer an introduction to CAT tools (Translator’s Toolbox), where students learn different types of technology-enabled translation activity.

Spring semester

In term two you will deepen your translation and interpreting knowledge and skills. The wide range of optional modules allows you to focus on either translation, interpreting or translation technology.

For translation, we cover a range of specialised texts from real-life translation cases. For interpreting we offer both simultaneous and public service interpreting, which when combined with the bilateral interpreting completed in term one, completes the picture of professional interpreting. For students who wish to focus on technology-enabled translation, we offer localisation and audiovisual translation training. The former simulates practical localisation projects in their life cycle, from briefing, project management to delivery. The latter covers audio description and subtitling tool (WinCap).

Specialist modules

All our modules are taught by specialist staff. Teaching runs from the end of September to the following June. The remainder of the year is spent working on a specialised targeted translation project for submission by the end of August.

You will take 180 credits of modules in total. This comprises of 130 credits of core modules (including the 60 credit Targeted Translation Project). The remainder of your modules will be taken from a selection of optional modules.

Modules

All students

You will take all modules in this group.

Practical Translation

This is a great opportunity to begin to specialise in your favoured translation area. You’ll have the opportunity to select from literary, non-literary or film and begin to build up a portfolio of translations in that area. You’ll also develop peer- and self-criticisms skills in a friendly workshop environment which will see your translation work improve considerably.

Bi-lateral Interpreting between Chinese and English 1

We’ll introduce you to a variety of different techniques and help you build the main skills required to become a successful bi-lateral interpreter. This module focuses on consecutive interpreting, one of the fundamental interpreting activates in professional practice. We’ll also explore some of the obstacles English/Chinese interpreters face and teach you how to navigate around them.

Being a workshop-led module, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice in class and test out the strategies learned.

Introduction to Translation Theory

Build a critical and reflective approach to your translation practice by understanding the varying theories that have been prominent in the Western world. You will study the history of translation, potentially including comparative literature, and different translation and transfer models across a range of genres.

You’ll have the opportunity to examine a number of case studies for each theory of translation, in a variety of different languages. But don’t worry, proficiency in these languages is not a prerequisite, as we will focus on translation dynamics.

Translator's Toolbox

Computer-assisted translation is an area of extreme growth and it’s vital that translators and interpreters have a good understanding of the tools available to them. This module will introduce you to the key concepts, terms and components, such as, term base, translation memory and translation editor in practice-based workshops.

Targeted Translation and Localisation Project 20 credits

This is another good opportunity for you to build a portfolio to share with future employers. You’ll be able to choose between translation, localisation or subtitling.

This project will allow you to demonstrate your practical translation skills through the translation of a text or series of texts. You’ll also produce a commentary, which is around 12-15,000 words demonstrating how and why you’ve used the selected theories.

You will work under the guidance of a supervisor who will be able to advice and support you through the project.

Non-native speakers of English

You will take this module in both the autumn and spring semesters.

English for Language Professionals

Further develop your English language skills focussing on areas which are important for language professionals:

  • lexis, structure and functions
  • receptive and productive skills
  • textual aspects
  • situational constraints, pragmatics and register
  • relevant cultural background
  • corpus research methods for register, genre and discourse analysis.

You’ll also discover a range valuable sources of information and guidance which will benefit you throughout your career.

Non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese

You will take this module in both the autumn and spring semesters.

Mandarin Discourse Skills for Language Professionals

Mandarin Discourse Skills for Language Professionals

Enhance your linguistic, pragmatic and cultural awareness through immersion into authentic Mandarin Chinese texts relating to culture, society, business, law, science and technology.

You’ll also further develop your listening and reading skills by using materials such as speeches, interviews, news articles and/or academic articles, both inside and outside class.

Through lectures, workshops and self-study you’ll deepen your linguistic understanding in areas which are vital for language professionals:

  • lexis, structure and functions
  • receptive and productive skills
  • textual aspects
  • situational constraints, pragmatics and register
  • relevant cultural background.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021.

You'll take up to 30 credits worth of modules from this group.

We offer the flexibility to take modules from other Departments that complement your interests, with the approval of the Course Director.

Audiovisual Translation: Accessibility

Accessibility is an important consideration in audiovisual translation and this module will introduce you to the key practices involved. You’ll focus on the theory and practice(s) of different aspects of audiovisual translation, with the main focus being on subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and audio description.

You will also examine linguistic, technical, and cultural specificities of audiovisual translation in detail. The module will be delivered in a series of weekly two-hour seminars.

Chinese-English Community Interpreting

Community interpreting is the type of interpreting that takes place where the native speaker is likely to be a member of the public. This can include; education, medical, policing, housing, legal areas and border controls.

Through this module you will develop the skills, techniques and cultural awareness which will allow you to work with professionals and clients from different backgrounds.

To maximise your interpretation practice, this module is delivered in a workshop format allowing plenty of time to hone your new skills.

Bi-lateral Interpreting between Chinese and English 2

Building on the skills gained in Bi-lateral Interpreting Between English and Chinese 1, this module will equip you with the advanced knowledge and skills required to perform professional standard bi-lateral Chinese/English interpreting.

Your main focus will be getting to grips with simultaneous interpreting, but we will also help you develop additional complementary techniques and skills to deal with various challenges in this interpreting practice, including speech effects, time management and use of interpreting technology.

The module is workshop-led to maximise your opportunities for practicing new skills, focusing on two of the most challenging scenarios, speeches and presentations.

To study this module, we expect you to have achieved 63% or more in the core module Bi-lateral Interpreting Between Chinese and English 1.

Translating Texts

This module will introduce you to the translation practices for three of the most common types of text: informative (such as news reports), expressive (such as poetry/drama) and operative (such adverts). You will build on the translation theories explored within other modules and have the opportunity to apply them within your own practice.

You’ll learn through lectures and language-specific workshops. Lectures will present various approaches to translation and within the workshops you’ll put your learning into practice by translating texts and discussing why you’ve chosen a particular method.

All our workshop leaders are specialists in their languages(s) and most have experience of working as a translator.

You will be assessed through one piece of summative coursework where you’ll translate three texts, each with an accompanying commentary.

Technology Tools for Translation

Having a good understanding and working knowledge of translation technology is key for translators, particularly those who hope to work freelance.

We’ll guide you through free translation technology designed for freelancers, including two computer assisted translation (CAT) tools OmegaT and Across, and a project management tool.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

You will learn through a variety of methods including seminars, tutorials and workshops. We aim to keep our groups small to ensure all students have plenty of opportunities to practice their new skills.

Teaching will be delivered in translation and interpreting training suites. Postgraduate courses require a significant level of self-directed study in addition to staff-led learning activities.

How you will be assessed

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Coursework
  • Presentation
  • Exams

Most of the modules combine theory and practice and you will be assessed with a combination of methods.

In order to progress, you shall be required to pass each module with at least 50%. Upon successful completion of the taught modules, you shall write a dissertation over the summer.

Those who complete the taught modules will be allowed to progress to dissertation in the summer.

Your final degree classification will be based on successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stages.

Contact time and study hours

The minimum scheduled contact time you will have is 20 hours per module. The dissertation has a maximum of five hours one-to-one contact time.

As well as your timetabled sessions you’ll carry out extensive self-study. This will include course reading and seminar preparation. As a guide 20 credits (a typical module) is about 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2.1 (or international equivalent) in the fields of English, English studies or translation (for native Chinese speakers), or Chinese language and/or Chinese studies for non-native Chinese speakers.
Additional information

Applicants whose first language is not Chinese should also hold a HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi/Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 6 certificate – applicants may be requested to attend a video interview as part of the application process.

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

All listed fees are per year of study.

Qualification Masters
Home / UK £9,250
International £21,000

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts.

For voluntary placements (such as work experience or teaching in schools) you will need to pay your own travel and subsistence.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Upon graduation, you will have the communication skills necessary to pursue a career in any area that requires an in-depth knowledge of contemporary China and the Chinese language, such as large multi-national corporations operating in China, as well as Chinese companies operating outside of the country.

You will also be ideally placed to embark on a research career. Either within the UK where contemporary China is a rapidly expanding area of interest or at a Chinese research institution.

Over the years our graduates have embarked on various careers within the language services industry, including in-house and freelance translators and interpreters, technical copywriters and translation project managers.

Career progression

78.4 % of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,045*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" I found both of the modules challenging yet fulfilling, allowing myself to get prepared for the practical interpreting at work. Realising that hands-on experience would be helpful, I grasped the opportunity to interpret for visiting Chinese students, which enhanced my interpreting skills, etiquette and crisis management in real world interpretation. "
Yixin Chen

Related courses

This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.