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This qualification is an exciting opportunity to start developing your skills as a translator, introducing you to the skills and knowledge needed 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. 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

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

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

On successful completion of the required module you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Translation entitling you to use the letters PG Cert 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
For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

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 certificate. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, please contact us for advice before registering on a module.

You will need to study and complete Introduction to translation theory and practice (L801) There is no credit transfer possible for the Postgraduate Certificate in Translation.

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.


Minimum - 8 months.

This qualification is designed for 20 hours per week to study part-time. It can be completed in a minimum of eight months.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
There is an increasing global demand for translators and language specialists, and this postgraduate certificate will provide an introduction to the knowledge and skills that are needed for 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 qualification will introduce you to the professional skills and provide you with a basic understanding of 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, you might also want to consider the Postgraduate Diploma or 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 60 credits as follows:

Compulsory module Credits
Introduction to translation theory and practice (L801) 60

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 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!