Each student takes all six of the core modules, and chooses two of the option modules. Each student also produces a portfolio and a dissertation under the supervision of specialists.
Theory and History of Translation
Linguistic and Textual Analysis
Aspects of the Profession
Research Training Seminar
Literary Translation Portfolio
This list may vary year by year
Michaelmas Term (autumn)
Discovering the Other: East-West Encounters in Translation History
Translation Studies Methodologies
Europe and Its Identities: A Cultural History
Medieval and Renaissance Foundations of Western Europe
The Russian Avant-Garde
Hilary Term (spring)
Madness, Nonsense and Identity in Literature
European Cinema and Identity
Don Quixote: Romance, Comedy and the Modern Novel
Food, Drink and European Cultural Identities
The Communist Century: Culture, History, Representations
Postmodernist Literature in East and Central Europe
Each student crafts a portfolio of 8-10 literary texts of their choice, together with short commentaries on the strategies used and how effective these were in reaching their intended goal.
Each student completes a 15-20,000-word dissertation. This dissertation can take the form either of a theoretical analysis of one or more translations, or an experimental translation and commentary, in which a student posits a new way to translate, and demonstrates it.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, and practical workshops. The modules are assessed by essays, presentations and projects. There is no examination.
English is the common language for all our students, and students must have a demonstrably very high level of English to apply. We do our best to accommodate as broad a range of working languages as possible for our student translators. Our students regularly work with the following languages:
Places are limited. Therefore, you are encouraged to contact us as early as possible to check whether your working languages are still available for the coming year. We are happy to accept queries from applicants working with languages not listed here, though we cannot guarantee availability.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at Trinity, please visit the Postgraduate Scholarships Website.
The programme develops eight key competences that build the practical, professional, and theoretical skill base of students:
1. Transfer competence
The ability to identify issues in translating texts, and to formulate strategies to achieve identified goals.
2. Language competence
The ability to use many variations of both the source and target languages to a very high level of competency.
3. Textual competence
The ability to distinguish and reproduce literary genres and styles.
4. Heuristic competence
The ability to gather the linguistic and thematic knowledge needed to translate.
5. Literary-cultural competence
The ability to apply knowledge about differences between source and target cultures, literary movements and genres while producing translations.
6. Professional competence
The ability to gather knowledge and understanding of working in the field of literary translation.
7. Evaluative competence
The ability to assess and evaluate translation choices and translations' impacts.
8. Research competence
The ability to conduct methodical and rigorous research in translation studies.
These competencies enable our students to pursue careers in the fields of translation and interpreting, as well as localisation, project management, editing, and promoting. Recent graduates have gone on to work as translators, editors and project managers, to work for NGOs, and to pursue advanced research in the form of a PhD.
Why study this degree at Trinity?
Located in the heart of multicultural Dublin, Trinity College provides a uniquely rich environment for studying and researching translation. Trinity has fostered many literary giants over the centuries such as Nobel Prize winner, Samuel Beckett, and has one of the best records for teaching languages in the world. Trinity was even the first university in the world to introduce the study of modern continental languages in 1776.
Our students are taught by translation theorists and language specialists with a highly diverse range of research interests. They also have direct contact with practising translators through our Literary Translator in Residence Scheme, and busy programme of events.
The MPhil in Literary Translation offers an unrivalled degree of freedom. Our students customise their own programmes, follow their own research interests in assignments and dissertations, translate what and how they want to translate in portfolios, and focus on honing the professional skills that are most valuable to them.
Trinity students are highly valued by the translation industry. We organise workshops with our industry partners throughout the year, and offer a long list of opportunities to network and collaborate from the beginning until the end of the degree.