Course overview

America, China and the United Kingdom are all ranked in the top six 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, the Chinese/English Translation and Interpreting MA 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?

Gain key skills

Develop the key skills employers demand from translators and interpreters

Experienced teachers

Be taught by highly regarded translation specialists

Wide range of modules

Follow the areas that interest you most through your module selection

Discover localisation

Build skills in this key growth area

Practical experience

Start a portfolio with a real-life translation project for a professional organisation or company

Course content

You will take 120 credits of modules in total. This comprises core modules, the 60 credit Targeted Translation Project and the remainder of your modules will be taken from a selection of optional modules.

Autumn semester

You will be introduced to foundational translation skills and consecutive interpreting (Bilateral interpreting 1) as two core modules. We offer an introduction to translation technology, focussing on CAT tools (Translator’s Toolbox) where students learn different types of technology-enabled translation activities.

To maintain your language proficiency at a higher level, you'll study advanced language modules in Chinese or English. 

We also provide training to encourage critical thinking. 

Spring semester

You will deepen your knowledge and skills in your area of interest (from the three areas below) through your choice of optional modules.  

  • Translation - study a range of specialised texts from real life translation cases.
  • Interpreting - study both, simultaneous and public service interpreting, which when combined with the bilateral interpreting completed in term one, completes the picture of professional interpreting.
  • Translation technology - study 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.


All students

You will take all modules in this group.

Practical Translation 20 credits

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 10 credits

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 20 credits

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 20 credits

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 / Localisation Project 60 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 20 credits

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 20 credits

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 05 May 2022.

You'll take up to 30 credits worth of modules from this group. You may also choose modules from other departments which complement your interests, with the approval of the Course Director.

Audiovisual Translation: Accessibility 20 credits

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 10 credits

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 10 credits

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 20 credits

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 10 credits

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.

Language modules 10 credits

Whether you’re interested in opening up career opportunities around the world, giving your studies a boost by gaining access to research in other languages or simply planning to travel after your studies, developing foreign language skills will help you stand out from the crowd.

We offer nine languages and you can start as a beginner or at a more advanced level.

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

You may also choose from the following foreign language-related modules:

  • Language and Language Learning
  • Culture of Arabic Language
  • Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages
  • Exploring Intercultural Awareness

Find out more about learning a language alongside your studies

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 05 May 2022.

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 will write a dissertation over 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.


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

How to apply


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 may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

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.


School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies Masters Scholarships

These financial awards are for students who intend to do an on-site Masters in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies (CLAS) before progressing to a PhD. The scholarships cover:

Find out more about the School of CLAS Masters Scholarships.

Routes into Masters Scholarships

Aimed at UK-based students intending to progress on to PhD research. The scholarships cover:

Find out more about the Routes into Masters Scholarships.

Other ways to fund your fund your postgraduate course

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


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 05 May 2022. 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.