Course overview

Did you know, there are many opportunities in the translation job market outside of interpreting and literary translation?

Localisation is the future for the translation industry. As products and services are increasingly offered globally, their content, instructions and interfaces need translating for local audiences. Every time you shop online with a global brand, or use international software, you are using localised content.

This MA will give you the knowledge and skills to take advantage of the career opportunities localisation offers translators.

You will learn the key requirements of localisation in different contexts and get a thorough introduction to the technical tools available. You’ll also look at the 'why' of localisation by looking at marketing strategies and business needs. Practical projects will allow you to put theory into practice and produce work to the latest international standards.

This is the first masters degree in the UK offering localisation as a key component. It has been created in response to the changes of the language service industry, where localisation and specialised translation make up more than 70% of the market. We've designed this programme with employability in mind and you will be supported throughout to develop the skills and knowledge needed in industry today.

Languages offered

You should be a native English speaker or have IELTS 7.0 in English. As well as English you will need significant proficiency in at least one of the following languages (see entry requirements for more information):

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Why choose this course?


Gain digital, localisation and language administration skills


Become highly employable with specialist localisation expertise

First in the UK

This is the first of its kind in the UK

A fast growing market

Localisation and specialised translation account for more than 70% of the language industry

Course content

The content of this course has been formulated to help you develop the skills and knowledge in high demand by the industry today.


Introduction to Localisation 20 credits

This module will help you understand the key differences between traditional translation and localisation. We'll introduce you to localisation tools and their use in a variety of contexts, such as academic, practical and business.

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.

Localisation Practice 20 credits

In this module you will participate in real-life localisation projects, to learn advanced IT skills, translation technology, marketing strategies, business execution and language service administration.

Targeted Translation and Localisation Project 60 credits

The Targeted Translation Project is the capstone of the MA degree, demonstrating attainment, knowledge and skill. Your Targeted Translation Project should be an immensely rewarding experience. This project (MLAC4029) consists of the selection, research and writing up of a topic in the field of translation studies, chosen after consultation with the course director and other appropriate members of staff. The appropriate length is 12-15000 words. Each student will be under the guidance of a supervisor. Options may include:

  • an extended translation (3,000 words) presented with a commentary (6-7,000 words)
  • a comparison of existing translations (12-15,000 words)
  • an analysis of the role of translation in a particular culture/country (12-15,000 words)
  • a research project (12-15000 words).
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 Wednesday 24 November 2021.
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.

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.

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.

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.

World Literatures - Texts and Contexts: Introduction to Comparative Literature

This module will allow you to use the short story and other forms of short fiction to explore intercultural relationships. You will discover the discipline of comparative literature using short fiction written in the languages of three of Europe's Empire nations (France, Spain and Portugal), the Arabic tradition and twentieth-century China.

All the texts will be available in English but if you can read any of them in the original languages you are encouraged to do so.

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 Wednesday 24 November 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Supervision

Depending on modules, you will be taught in a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. Where relevant, you'll use professional tools, translation software, and will work in our dedicated translation and interpreting suites.

How you will be assessed

  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Dissertation
  • Presentation

You'll normally be assessed by coursework or by in-class exams. You will also complete a dissertation or a targeted localisation project.

Contact time and study hours

Students will have 6 to 8 contact hours every week during term time, and are expected to undertake independent study (in the form of reading, preparing for classes, writing assignments) for 25-30 hours/week.

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 an arts, humanities or social sciences subject
Additional information

Offer holders should have good linguistic proficiency (English and another language) and computer literacy.

This course may be for you if you have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas: translation, interpreting, English literature, linguistics, language (related) studies (such as English with business; modern language with business), area studies (such as German, French, Spanish, Chinese studies), software development/engineering, media studies and digital humanities.

Language combinations - applicants should have English, and one of the following: 

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish


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 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

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.


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

In the localisation industry there are many job titles (more than 50% of the industry) that most junior translators have never heard of. By the end of your course, these are some of the professions you will be able to consider:

  • Localisation consultant
  • Graphic localiser
  • Software localiser
  • Audio-video translation
  • Translation reviewer
  • Software testing
  • Terminology specialist

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
" When looking for a job after returning to China, I clearly felt that others only understand translation, but I know localisation. "
Wan discovered localisation during her Chinese/English Translation and Interpreting MA (graduated 2020)

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 24 November 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.