The MA in Translation Studies provides expert training in the knowledge and skills required to become a professional translator and mediate effectively between languages and cultures.
Our programme is part of the European Masters in Translation (EMT) Network established by the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) at the European Commission. This is a quality label awarded to higher education programmes that meet agreed professional standards and market demands, which ensures that students are equipped with both transferrable and specialist skills to enable and enhance communication in multiple contexts.
Drawing on wide-ranging expertise in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (SLLC), in collaboration with the Department of Modern Irish, the course allows you to focus on translation between English and one or more of the following languages:
The core component of the course offers an introduction to contemporary translation theory and practice, with seminars and hands-on workshops focused on developing general and language-specific translation and intercultural communication skills. Working individually and in groups, and supported by expert tutors, students will receive training in the key methods, strategies, processes, and tools involved in the provision of professional language services. Through a broad range of elective modules, students have the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in diverse areas of practice and research, which they can further develop through a dedicated research piece at the end of the programme.
The taught element (or Part I) of this programme takes place on the main UCC campus from September to April. Depending on your chosen language combination, you can expect around 12-15 contact hours per week during term time. Guided self-study and small-group practice will be an important part of the practical translation training.
As well as the taught elements of the course, you are expected to complete a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation. The research dissertation element of the course (Part II) is supported by one-to-one tutorials.
The part-time option is taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Language and Translation Software
As part of the course, students will be introduced to a range of industry-leading language and translation software, including Trados Studio, Phrase, Wordfast, memoQ, and Sketch Engine. We would like to thank our technology partners for granting us access to their platforms through their academic programmes.
The MA in Translation Studies is a full-time or part-time programme running for 12 months or 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Students complete 90 credits as follows:
LL6014 Translation and Professional Communication Skills (5 credits)
LL6018 Contemporary Translation Theory and Practice (10 credits)
LL6020 Work-integrated Learning in Translation (10 credits)
LL6026 Introduction to Translation Technologies (5 credits)
Elective Modules (30 credits)
Students must complete a minimum of 10 credits from Group A. Only the language(s) approved at the application stage may be selected.
Group A: Advanced Translation Skills
AS6215 Translation in Contemporary Japanese Culture & Current Affairs (10 credits)
AS6400 Translation in Contemporary Korean Culture & Current Affairs (10 credits)
CH6400 Translation Studies: Asian Studies (Chinese) (10 credits)
FR6503 Advanced French Translation Skills (10 credits)
GA6020 Advanced Translation Skills (Irish) (10 credits)
GE6014 German-English-German Translation: Methods & Practice (10 credits)
HS6003 Advanced Spanish Translation Skills (10 credits)
IT6101 Translation: Methods and Practice (10 credits)
LL6030 Translation Project (General) (10 credits)
LL6035 Translation Project (General) (5 credits)
Group B: Language-Specific Training
FR6505 Theory, Methodology & Practice of Consecutive & Simultaneous Interpreting (5 credits)
FR6702 French for Listening Purposes: Proficiency Level (5 credits)
GA6001 Scríobh Acadúil na Gaeilge (10 credits)
GE6020 Questions of Adaptation and Adoption (10 credits)
HS6006 Advanced Spanish Language for Professional Purposes (10 credits)
IT6003 Advanced Italian Language for Professional Purposes (10 credits)
Group C: Specialised Translation Practices
LL6008 Mobility, Plurilingualism & Intercultural Communication (10 credits)
LL6013 Introduction to the Localisation Industry (5 credits)
LL6023 What Gets Lost: Poetry and Translation (10 credits)
LL6025 Introduction to Audio-visual Translation Studies (5 credits)
LL6027 Genres in Translation (5 credits)
LL6028 Translation in the European Union (5 credits)
LL6029 Introduction to Community, Liaison & Public Service Interpreting (5 credits)
LL6033 Corpus-based Approaches to Translation Practice and Research (5 credits)
LL6036 Introduction to Terminology (5 credits)
Part II (30 credits)
LL6031 Extended Translation Project (30 credits) or
LL6032 Dissertation in Translation Studies (30 credits)
Please see the University Calendar (MA Translation Studies) for course details & learning outcomes.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Applicants should normally have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) in languages or a language-related area of study, with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in the chosen language(s). Students with native proficiency in a language for which they are applying should normally have an Honours primary degree with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a relevant discipline (Applied Languages, Linguistics, Philology or another discipline in which they wish to specialise as a translator).
Students with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) will be considered, subject to adequate proof of language proficiency as assessed by the programme coordinators. They may also be required to present themselves for an interview or language assessment test.
Specific language requirements for Asian Studies are as follows:
Chinese language candidates should hold an HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 5 certificate (or certified equivalent).
Japanese language candidates should have a Japanese level equivalent to the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2.
Korean language candidates should have a Korean level equivalent to the TOPIK II (Test of Proficiency in Korean), level 5-6.
Applicants must indicate their chosen language(s) at the application stage. Please note that translation work will always take place in combination with English.
Applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the course committee. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.
International Master's Pathway – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills
There is an alternative entry route for international applicants via the International Master's Pathway (IMP) – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills (NFQ, Level 8). See the IMP page for more information.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please indicate your level of language expertise in the language(s) offered by this programme and include details of any relevant qualifications, skills and experiences to date.
Candidates may choose one or two languages for the MA in Translation Studies. Please indicate your chosen language or languages from the following: Chinese, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Marks for Part I of the course are derived from continuous assessment of essays, presentations, practical translation work, take-home or online assignments, timed class tests, translation projects, terminology projects and interpreting tests. Full details and regulations governing assessments for the course are contained in the online Marks and Standards Book and for each module in the Book of Modules
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Start Date: 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
Thanks to our programme's focus on fostering high-level professional communication skills, graduates of the MA in Translation Studies find employment in Ireland and abroad in a broad range of fields:
Within the language industry, working as freelancers or in-house for language service providers in a number of roles: translators, interpreters, post-editors, project managers, language specialists, localisation testers, terminologists, subtitlers, videogame localisers, etc.
In supranational organisations (e.g. EU institutions)
With global companies (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, etc.)
In a wide range of related areas such as content creation, technical writing, marketing and sales, publishing, journalism, etc.