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MA in Professional Translation for European LanguagesEMT Logo

Member of the European Masters in Translation network


ITI logoCorporate Member, Institute of Translation & Interpreting


Develop professional translation skills with French, German, Italian and/or Spanish, to or from English

This exciting course gives you the training and know-how to become a professional translator. (Click here for aims and objectives.)

In practical translation classes you translate between English and French, German, Italian or Spanish. You will get a grounding in several genres – business, legal, technical and/or literary translation, for example – because employers and clients expect specialist expertise. You only translate into your mother tongue (or mother-tongue equivalent), because that’s what you will do in professional life. This means that English native writers can add translation classes from a second foreign language – translating French and Italian texts, say, or German and Spanish texts.

If you wish, you can also take practical interpreting classes: two-way 'liaison interpreting' and one-way 'consecutive interpreting', again between English and French, German, Italian or Spanish.

You also learn the wider skills and knowledge needed for working in translation and interpreting professional studies (including effective job-finding), reference and research skills, and translation studies. Plus information technology and translating, including computer-assisted translation - which is so important to a translator's CV that we've now made it a 'compulsory' module for anyone who doesn't yet have these skills.

The course can be taken full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).

For a content summary, entry requirements and how to apply, plus fees, funding and visa information, please see the web prospectus page for the MA in Professional Translation for European Languages.

Course content

In Semesters 1 and 2, you take a range of taught modules:

  • In Compulsory modules you learn practical translation skills in your main language pair (English to or from French, German, Italian or Spanish), translation and IT / computer-assisted translation, how to work as a translation and interpreting professional, the principles of translation and its role in the world ('translation studies'), and how to research translating and interpreting.
  • Optional modules offer extra translating skills (e.g. an extra language pair for translators into English), liaison and consecutive interpreting, literary translation (one of Newcastle's specialisms), translation and the EU, small-business skills, and lots more.

Then, in the summer, you research a translation-studies Dissertation, or you write a Translation Project (a long translation plus commentary).


The staff are a key strength of this course. We are:

  • Academics in translation studies or other relevant fields
  • Real-world translating and interpreting professionals
  • Specialist translator and interpreter trainers

Most of us fall into two of these categories – and some of us into all three! What's important, however, is that we work together as a closely-knit team. And even more important is that we believe in supporting you as individuals.

The learning experience

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods to help you develop skills and knowledges that are crucial for the translation profession. Staff give intensive input and feedback. However, for you to develop as a professional working with other professionals, we believe that independent and group work are just as important. And while preparing your summer Dissertation or Translation Project, you have regular one-to-one meetings with a staff supervisor. You can make appointments with full-time staff to talk about anything concerned with your studies. Key here is your Personal Tutor,who you'd also meet to discuss any issues to do with welfare and well-being.

Among our facilities are:

 International Links

  • We are a member of the European Master's in Translation (EMT) network, the gold-standard accreditation for translation Master's programmes across Europe. To achieve membership of the EMT network every aspect of our programme has been scrutinised by the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), ensuring you a top-quality professional qualification.
  • Through the EMT membership you will be given priority for an (unpaid) traineeship in the DGT and opportunities to apply for a work placement in the language industry anywhere in Europe.
  • We have a partnership with the translation MA programmes at Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. Each year, for instance, a lecturer from Angers gives guest lectures on the Newcastle MA, and vice versa.
  • We organise annual visits to the EU in Brussels. These typically include information-packed visits to the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) (including talks on how to apply for jobs and internships at the DGT), the European Commission and the European Parliament. See the Course News Archive for information about recent visits.
  • We also organise visits to The Hague, to find about translating and interpreting for international organisations. Typical examples are: the International Court of Justice, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Careers after the MA


On this MA you will learn not only the practical skills but also the professional attitudes, behaviours and techniques you need to work in translating.

We also give you practical guidance on how to get started as a professional translator and interpreter, and in related fields – whether getting an in-company job, setting yourself up as a freelancer, or starting a small business. Lectures by professional translators and interpreters and Newcastle University’s Careers Services give expert advice and support here.

In a survey of recent graduates from this MA 1–2 years after graduation, 100% of the 22 people who replied were in professional jobs:

  • 55% were professional translators. Most were in language-services companies, but some were freelancers. Some were also managing translators, or combining translating with interpreting.

  • 18% were working in other professions using the language skills they had honed on the MA. Some were multi-language experts in companies, and others were language teachers.

  • 27% were in other professions using the general high-level communication skills they had gained on the MA – e.g. working in-company as a public-relations or communications manager, or in general education.

Course news archive

News about staff and students.

Key contact people

  • Degree Programme Director: Dr Myriem El Maizi. E-mail her if you have any questions about the learning content of the course.
  • Postgraduate Officer: Aisling Hood. E-mail her if you have questions about applying for the course, or other administrative matters.


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