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This postgraduate certificate enables you to start developing your skills as a translator. You'll engage in authentic translation tasks to develop useful employability skills, explore different approaches to translation and develop an understanding of the links between theory and practice. With a focus on recent research, you'll develop an awareness of the wider cultural, ethical and professional contexts of translation.

Key features of the course

•Engage in authentic translation tasks to develop useful employability skills.

•Choose from French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese or Modern Standard Arabic in combination with English.

•Develop your professional skills with a combination of collaborative activities and peer-reviews.
The Open University is recognised as a HE Language Partner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and is a Corporate Member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI). We are also members of the Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies of the UK and Ireland (APTIS UK).

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

Credit transfer

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

On completion

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.

Entry requirements

•A UK honours degree (preferably a 2:1 or above) or other recognised equivalent qualification1

•Proficiency in your first language at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level C2

•Proficiency in your second language at CEFR level C12

1 If you don't have an honours degree, talk to an advisor.

2 If your first language is English and you've passed an OU level 3 module in your second language, your language proficiency should be suitable, as the exit level of our OU level 3 language courses is CEFR C1.


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!