Translation Studies PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

This programme offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in the field of Translation Studies. As well as campus-based opportunities, you can also study by distance learning.

Research strengths include: literary translation and reception; the history of translation; translation stylistics; corpus-based translation studies; translation and language change; adaptation; and genre and translation. 

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The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. 

Profiles of our current Translation Studies doctoral researchers

Why study this course

  • The department celebrated excellent Research Assessment Exercise 2014 results  75% of research at the University of Birmingham for Modern Languages and Linguistics was top 4* rated ‘world-leading’ or  rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’.
  • Birmingham’s Modern Languages postgraduates develop excellent communication skills, whilst cultural awareness and foreign language skills are highly sought after by employers. Postgraduates in Modern Languages also have a range of transferable skills including the ability to gather and interpret information, organisational skills and the ability to work well with others. Such skills can be used in a variety of occupations.
  • Our programmes are challenging and rewarding, and offer the opportunity to gain a highly respected qualification. Each of our disciplines is a close-knit community, which attaches great importance to friendly and informal relations between staff and students. There are various social activities and events within each field, including research seminars, symposia, group meals, trips and cultural and sporting events. You will also have the opportunity to present papers and work in progress at the postgraduate-led School Postgraduate Forum and Graduate Centre for Europe.
  • The Birmingham Centre for Translation brings together staff and students from across the College of Arts and Law with research and teaching interests in Translation Studies.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2017/18:

  • Home / EU £4,180 full-time; £2,090 part-time*
  • Overseas: £15,210 full-time

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2017.

The above fee quoted is for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually also need to hold a good Masters qualification.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Research for this subject area takes place within the Department of Modern Languages. When you select ‘Apply Now’ you will need to select your preferred mode of study from the Modern Languages choices available. If you are applying to start before September 2016, please select 2015/16 as your study year; otherwise, select 2016/17.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Dr Hilary Brown: history of translation in Enlightenment Europe; female translators; literary translation, especially the work of ‘author-translators.'

Dr Angela Kershaw: reception of literary translation in the contemporary UK book market; translation and reception of contemporary French fiction about the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Dr Sofia Malamatidou: corpus-based translation studies, translation and language change, scientific translation and textual and intertextual analyses of translated texts.

Dr Gideon Nisbet:  representation of ancient Greece and Rome to reading and viewing publics, particularly in contemporary popular media; the role of translation and non-fiction in explaining antiquity to non-elite audiences.

Dr Natalia Rulyova:  20th Century Russian poetry (Joseph Brodsky's poetry and auto-translations); genre and translation.

Dr Gabriela Saldanha: translator style, reception of literary translations in the UK book market, translation and gender, corpus-based translation studies.

Dr Diana Spencer: Rome’s reception of Greece, including language and genre translation issues; the reception of Rome in the post-Classical world.

Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos: translation/adaptation of classical literature by women writers; the reception of classical literature and myth in contemporary writing by women.

Professor Michael Toolan: stylistic analysis of literary translations. 

Dr Andrew Watts: nineteenth-century French literature and film adaptation; contemporary ‘re-imaginings’ of nineteenth-century literature.

Dr Monica Borg: translation and interpreting studies, cross-cultural aspects of translation and the history of translation and interpreting practices.

Clelia Boscolo: translation studies and translation pedagogy.

Dr Anissa Daoudi: Translation and new media, with particular reference to the Arabic-speaking region; translation and popular culture; gender and language use in the context of translation. 

Dr Xiaohui Yuan: intercultural pragmatics in translation and interpreting, interpreter’s roles and neutrality, user response to translated texts and audio-visual translation, using translation and interpreting in mediation, and cultural influence on mediation

The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

University of the Year for employability

Birmingham's Modern Languages postgraduates develop excellent communication skills, whilst cultural awareness and foreign language skills are highly sought after by employers. Postgraduates in Modern Languages also have a range of transferable skills including the ability to gather and interpret information, organisational skills and the ability to work well with others. Such skills can be used in a variety of occupations.

Over the past five years, over 90% of Modern Languages postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our language graduates train to become professional linguists such as translators and interpreters. Other graduates enter employment where their language skills may be advantageous but not central to their role - for example, within international organisations or in the travel and hospitality industry - and some go on to teaching or lecturing positions. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Berlitz Language Centre; TransPerfect Global Business Solutions; KPMG; University of Birmingham; University of Cambridge; and University of Oxford.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.