Translation study

Translation is a vital skill in this increasingly globalised world, and uniquely combines professional and academic language skills. Other important skills to have are excellence in writing your mother tongue (after all, translators are professional writers); curiosity; really good organisation; an eye for detail; and a keen interest in other cultures and learning about new subjects. 

We maintain a list of tools for translators, accessible to students and visitors:


If you are interested in developing skills in translation as part of your undergraduate degree, you will find strands allowing you to do so across the range of our language degrees.The Applied Languages degree probably offers the most opportunities for studying translation and interpreting. Our language degrees offer you the opportunity to spend a year abroad, either in one place or split between two universities in different countries. Several of our Year Abroad partners are specialised in translation and interpreting and you will have opportunities to develop your skills there too, while studying in your foreign language of choice. 


Our MA programmes bring together students from all over the world working in a wide range of languages in a vibrant physical and virtual community. The emphasis is on flexibility, application to practice and professional preparation.

Portsmouth's MA Translation Studies degree has been running since 1997. It is a professionally-oriented degree which emphasises applied knowledge, practical skills and employability. It is open to graduate linguists, bilingual graduates in any discipline who would like to move to a career in translation, and also practising translators who would like a postgraduate qualification.

Since 2007 the programme has been available in a Distance Learning mode, which has proven very popular with students who are already working full-time or have other commitments which make on-campus study impractical. The two degrees share the same syllabus.

In May 2011 the MA Translation Studies, both campus and DL, became a member of the European Masters in Translation network.

PhD study

We also have a PhD programme in translation. Supervision is offered by colleagues in the Centre for European and International Studies Research, which was rated the top European Studies research centre in the country in the 2008 RAE. We currently offer doctoral research supervision on topics relating to translation history, linguistics, literary translation, technical communication, audiovisual and performance translation and translator training.

The Centre for European and International Studies Research has an annual competition for doctoral research bursaries covering home/EU fees and maintenance for successful candidates. The deadline usually falls in February. Please see the CEISR website for further details.