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This qualification is an exciting opportunity to develop your skills as a translator, equipping you to work in the fast-growing Translation Services industry. You will experiment with different genres through practical, inspiring translation activities, and hone your practice through peer review. You will gain hands-on experience of using tools necessary to operate in this rapidly-evolving area (e.g. audio-visual translation or cloud-based translation tools). Your work will be underpinned by an understanding of translations theories and debates.

Key features of the course
• Engage in authentic translation tasks to develop useful employability skills
• Choose from French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese or Arabic in combination with English

• Participate in online open translation projects, with a certain degree of freedom to choose what you translate, and the opportunity to connect with established translation communities

• Develop your professional skills with a combination of collaborative activities and peer-reviews.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Trans (Open) after your name.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
If you've successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Entry requirements

To register for this postgraduate study, you should normally hold a UK honours degree or recognised equivalent from another country. You should be aware that a degree classification of at least 2:1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing this postgraduate diploma. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, please contact us for advice before registering on a module. You might want to register for the Postgraduate Certificate in Translation first, to develop and demonstrate your ability to study at postgraduate level.

You will need to study and complete the Stage 1 module Introduction to translation theory and practice (L801) before moving on to Stage 2 with Translation practice (L802). You might be able to start at Stage 2 if credit transfer of 60-credits counted towards Stage 1 has been approved.

You can study French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or Arabic in combination with English. One of your languages (English or your other language) needs to be at a native or near-native level of proficiency (level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), whilst the other must be at least at level C1 (Proficient user) of the CEFR. You will be required to self-certify that you have the required linguistic competence in the two languages you chose for the qualification.

This module has been specially selected for presentation in a different online learning platform to other undergraduate modules that you may have studied with The Open University. We are using this new learning platform because we wish to enhance your learning experience. Early tests with students have shown that it is easy to navigate, provides excellent presentation of the learning materials and allows the module team to better support your learning.


16 months – 4 years.

This qualification is designed for 20 hours per week to study part-time. It can be completed in a minimum of 16 months, and up to a maximum of four years.

Number of credits

120 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
There is an increasing global demand for translators and language specialists, and this qualification will provide you with the knowledge and skills to embark on a career as a translator. This is an immensely rewarding profession for those with an interest in languages and communication, and encompasses a wide and growing range of areas, including audio-visual translation, advertising or website localisation, as well as semi-specialised and specialised translation.

If you wish to pursue a career as a translator, be it as an in-house translator or freelance, this postgraduate diploma will equip you with necessary professional skills and familiarity with the professional tools you will need in this fast-moving field. You will also acquire a raft of highly valued transferable communication and collaborative skills such as peer reviewing and team working, which are useful in a range of occupations in the communications sector.

If you already have a career in the translation field and are seeking a further qualification as a way to develop your career or as a means to update your skills, then this postgraduate diploma could prove invaluable, and you may also consider progressing to the MA in Translation.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught


To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits
Introduction to translation theory and practice (L801) 60 Translation in practice (L802) 60

Modules should be studied in the order listed above.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!