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Course overview

Do you have a passion for language and translation? Are you looking for a career in translation, interpreting and language service industry? Do you know translation accounts for nearly 40% of all language-related jobs?

Our translation team specialises in a wide range of subjects, including translation, business and community interpreting, audiovisual translation as well as translation technology.

Through out specialised programme you will:

  • maximise your language skills and prepare yourself to become a well-rounded language professional in the digital age
  • acquire a comprehensive skill set that meets the challenges in the language service industry
  • gain insights into both practical and specialised translation as well as interpreting
  • take part in simulation tasks that are modelled on real-life translation/interpreting assignments
  • complete at least one translation project for an external organisation at the end of your studies
  • use specialised translation and interpreting training suites equipped with the latest training technology, making the learning experience timely and up to date

Why choose this course?

Comprehensive skillset

Acquire a comprehensive skillset for professional translators and interpreters 

Specialist teaching

Learn from specialist teaching staff who have worked in the language service industry and get the support to maintain high-level language proficiency

Range of modules

Choose from a wide range of modules that cover translation, interpreting and translation technology

Hands-on experience

Complete at least one translation project for an external organisation at the end of your studies

Course content

Autumn semester

In term one we aim to build a solid foundation for further and more advanced skills training. To maintain your language proficiency at a higher level, we offer advanced language modules in Chinese and English in addition to translation teaching. We also provide theoretical training to cultivate critical thinking. In this term we introduce both foundational translation skills and consecutive interpreting 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 we build on our existing understanding about translation and interpreting. You can choose a combination of different modules in order to focus on either translation, interpreting or translation technology. For translation, we cover a range of specialised texts that are real-life translation cases. In interpreting we offer both simultaneous and public service interpreting. These two modules, combined with consecutive interpreting in term 1, 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 is allocated to prepare a specialised targeted translation project for submission by the end of August.

You will take 180 credits of modules in total. You will take 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.

Bi-lateral Interpreting between Chinese and English 1

This module introduces different forms of interpreting and the issues that are often encountered by professional interpreters. It offers opportunities to explore the different techniques/skills required for consecutive interpreting. The module is workshop-led in order to maximise practice in class, in which the main difficulties of interpreting will be examined, along with strategies to deal with them.

Translator's Toolbox

This module introduces the basic concepts of computer-assisted translation tools. Key terms and components such as term base, translation memory and translation editor will be covered in detail in practice-based workshops.

Practical Translation

In this module you will select one of the broad translation categories studied on the Introduction to Translation module (literary, non-literary, film) and build up a portfolio of translations in that area. You'll develop the skills of peer- and self-criticism in a workshop setting where your translation work will be improved by peer input.

Introduction to Translation Theory

This module explores the different theoretical approaches to translation that have been prominent in the Western world. The module will examine the history of translation, potentially including Comparative Literature, and different translation and transfer models across a range of genres.

For each theory of translation, a number of case studies will be examined, in a variety of different languages, although proficiency in these languages is not a prerequisite, as we will focus on translation dynamics.

Through this module, you are encouraged to develop a critical and reflective approach to translation practice.

Targeted Translation Project

This module requires you to demonstrate practical translation skills through translation of a text or series of texts (from English into Chinese (or Chinese into English for home students) .

The commentary, which is 12-15,000 words,  should demonstrate how and why the translator uses the theories s/he has learnt to guide the translation and illustrate in detail the skills and techniques s/he has applied in solving the problems occurred during translation. You will work under the guidance of a supervisor. Options for the project include translation, localisation or subtitling.

Non-native speakers of English

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

English for Language Professionals

This module will help you develop your English language skills with particular reference to:

  • lexis, structure and functions
  • receptive and productive skills
  • textual aspects
  • situational constraints, pragmatics and register
  • relevant cultural background
  • sources of information and guidance for the solution of difficulties related to applied concerns.

Non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese

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

Mandarin Discourse Skills for Language Professionals

The overall aim of this module is to enhance your linguistic, pragmatic and cultural awareness by familiarising you with authentic Mandarin Chinese texts relating to culture, society, business, law, science and technology. You will be provided with listening and reading materials such as speeches, interviews, news articles and/or academic articles etc both in class and outside class.

Through lectures, workshops and a self-study module you will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the following aspects related to Mandarin Chinese language in semi-specialised contexts:

  • lexis, structure and functions;
  • receptive and productive skills;
  • textual aspects;
  • situational constraints, pragmatics and register;
  • relevant cultural background;
  • sources of information and guidance for the solution of difficulties related to applied concerns.
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 Friday 30 April 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

This module will allow you to discover accessibility practices. It focuses 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.

Translating Texts

You will be introduced to text types and the different translation approaches to them before applying these ideas in your own translations. This part of the module will be co-taught by specialists in the relevant languages.

Bi-lateral Interpreting between Chinese and English 2

This module aims to equip students with the advanced knowledge and skills required to provide professional standard Bi-lateral interpreting between English and Chinese.

It focuses on simultaneous interpreting training and delivery core skills pertaining to this interpreting activity. Key interpreting techniques and skills covered include projecting the speaker and delivering intended speech effects.

Techniques are developed for communication with the audience as well as the ability to use specialised simultaneous interpreting equipment.

The module is workshop-led to maximise practice in class, focusing on two of the most challenging scenarios - speeches and presentations.

You must have achieved 63% of more in the core module Bi-lateral Interpreting between Chinese and English 1 to be able to take this module.

Chinese-English Community Interpreting

This module will allow you to acquire skills and knowledge of community interpreting between English and Chinese. The module focuses on different aspects of community interpreting and covers the mode of communication in different settings. Techniques and cultural awareness are to be developed to work with professionals and clients from different backgrounds. The module will be delivered in the form of workshop to maximise the amount of practice for students. The linguistic, technical, and cultural specificities of community interpreting will be explored in detail.

Technology Tools for Translation

This module will enable you to acquire key skills and knowledge to work as freelance translators.

The module focuses on the use of free translation tools designed for and developed by freelancers, including two computer assisted translation (CAT) tools- OmegaT and Across, and a project management.

Professional awareness is developed to help you understand the nature, requirements and resources of freelance translation.

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 Friday 30 April 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

We are preparing your tutorials, laboratory classes, workshops and seminars so that you can study and discuss your subjects with your tutors and fellow students in stimulating and enjoyable ways. While we will keep some elements of online course delivery, particularly while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place or where this enhances course delivery, teaching is being planned to take place in-person wherever possible. This will be subject to government guidance remaining unchanged.

We will use the best of digital technologies to support both your in-person and online teaching. We will provide live, interactive online sessions, alongside pre-recorded teaching materials so that you can work through them at your own pace. While the mix of in-person and digital teaching will vary by course, we aim to increase the proportion of in-person teaching in the spring term.

  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

The programme is structured around core modules in translation and interpreting. Use of translation technology is included to create a comprehensive skillset that all modern language professionals have.

We teach in small-group workshops so that students can maximise their practice. The programme combines practical, technological and theoretical training in translation and bilateral interpreting between English and Chinese.

How you will be assessed

All assessments in the 2021/22 academic year will be delivered online unless there is a professional accreditation requirement or a specific need for on-campus delivery and in-person invigilation.

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Coursework
  • Presentation

Most of our modules combine theory and practice. You will be assessed with a combination of activities to ensure that you achieve the learning objective.

You must pass each module with at least 50% to progress.

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 2021 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

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

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

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MA
Home / UK £8,500
International £20,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who 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 Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies, which you would need to factor into your budget.

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.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

The emergence of China as a global economic superpower means that there is now a demand for graduate students in and outside China who have the necessary knowledge to understand contemporary China and her role in an international context.

This course has been designed to develop professional translators between English and Chinese and interpreters mediating between the languages. It is also suitable for Chinese teachers of English wishing to enhance their qualifications.

Transferable skills

  • Communication skills: You will also 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.
  • Research skills: In addition, you will 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.

Careers

We have had quite some success stories among our graduates. Many of them have been working in language-related fields and language service industry. Over the years our graduates have embarked on various career trajectories in the language service industry, including in-house and freelance translators and interpreters, technical copy writer 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

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Friday 30 April 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.