The demand for graduates with high-level language skills has never been higher and this innovative, well-structured course provides participants with a powerful combination of theoretical and practical skills which can be employed in both translation and TESOL-related employment, or in further academic research in these ever-expanding areas. You will be taught by staff with extensive experience in the teaching and practice of translation and TESOL.
We are proud members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). The ITI is the UK's only dedicated association for practising translation and interpreting professionals. Our membership of the ITI allows us to help you to keep abreast of the full range of exciting developments and opportunities in the languages services industry.
The objectives of the MSc in Translation Studies with TESOL are twofold. On the one hand, the course has a strong focus on practical translation and on specific situations in which people communicate with another across cultures. We offer the following language pairings: English and French, Spanish or Chinese, and (subject to demand and availability) Russian or Polish. On the other hand, you will benefit from a sustained focus on contemporary theory and practice in the field of TESOL, with teaching provided by staff who have extensive personal experience of TESOL teaching.
You will undertake extensive practical translation work and you will have considerable flexibility in choosing what areas of translation you wish to specialise in, as you build up a portfolio of translations under the guidance of your tutor. You may also choose to undertake an extended translation as part of your final dissertation and will be given an opportunity to examine some of the key topics in contemporary Translation Studies. You will also follow a course of seminars on TESOL methodologies which will underpin the development of your own teaching practice through classroom observation and peer assessment of your lesson planning and teaching.
Students on the course also examine some major debates surrounding the opportunities and problems that arise when people from different cultures communicate and translate, through seminars led by experts in the field of intercultural communication. There will also be some opportunity for work-based study and exercises, as well as a chance to develop your skills using translation software packages.
If you wish to study for a PhD subsequently, you have the opportunity to demonstrate you have attained a level that prepares you for a higher research degree. For candidates of a suitable level, there is an opportunity to continue in Stirling with a practice-led doctorate involving translation.
Usually, a first or upper second class single or combined Honours degree, or its equivalent in a relevant subject from a university recognised by the University of Stirling. You must have near-native fluency in a language (other than English) for which tuition is provided on this course.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in speaking and listening and no less than 6.5 in reading and writing), or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23.
Modes of study
MSc: 12 months
Diploma: 9 months
Certificate: 9 months
MSc: 27 months
Diploma: 21 months
Certificate: 9 months
You will attend seminars and workshop sessions which will focus on the practical activity of translation, the study of Translation Theories, cultural translation and transfer, and TESOL methodologies. You will also undertake modules in Classroom Observation and Microteaching. In the Spring semester, you will undertake a site visit to one of our partner institutions which engages in cultural translation, broadly construed. Assessment will include essays, reports (which may take the form of written documents, websites or PowerPoint presentations), peer assessment of your teaching practice, and the portfolio of translations which will be developed in Spring and Autumn semesters.
Course start date
Use the online enquiry service to find out more or to request a prospectus.
To apply, please contact Graduate Admissions
Structure and content
The teaching year follows the two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from mid-February to the end of May.
- Portfolio of Translation: During both semesters, you will develop, under guidance from your tutor, your own portfolio of practical translation exercises, relating to your areas of interest. In each semester, the portfolio will consist of four pieces of translation, each approx. 500 words in length. You will also discuss and comment on the issues arising in translating your portfolio in a commentary of around 1,250 words. Employers value the attention to detail, the development of specialist knowledge, and the clarity of the communication skills on display in such translation work.
- Cultural Translation and Transfer: You will engage in seminar discussions with experts in the area of cultural translation and transfer, analysing the opportunities and problems that arise when information is communicated across cultures. You will be assessed by means of essays reflecting on a major topic of debate, as well as reports based on site visits to our partner institutions engaged in cultural translation.
- Methodology: You will develop an in-depth awareness of the most up-to-date theory and practice in the teaching of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as in the teaching of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
- Classroom Observation and Microteaching: In Semester 1, you will develop your critical awareness of contemporary TESOL teaching practice through the observation of highly-experience TESOL practitioners. In Semester 2, you will get the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice by planning, teaching and reflecting on lessons taught to your peers.
- Research Skills: Our innovative Arts Graduate Training modules enable students to build up a portfolio of skills that prepare them for academic and professional life. All graduate students will work with their supervisors to select what’s right for them from a menu of activities. For many of our students a key part of these modules involves participating in work placements and work experience with local businesses, museums and film festivals.
Subject to successful completion of all elements of the assessment in both Semesters, you will choose one of the following as your dissertation project:
- an extended piece of translation and related research and commentary based on it;
- a ‘traditional’ dissertation on a topic drawn from Translation Theories;
- a ‘traditional’ dissertation focusing on a topic drawn from the field of Cultural Translation. You are expected to begin collating materials during the Spring. The main writing period will follow on from the end of teaching in May, and all dissertations are submitted at the end of August.
Delivery and assessment
You will attend seminars and workshop sessions which will focus on the practical activity of translation, the study of Translation Theories, cultural translation and transfer, and TESOL methodologies. You will also undertake modules in Classroom Observation and Microteaching. In Semester 1, you will undertake a site visit to one of our partner institutions which engages in cultural translation, broadly construed. Assessment will include essays, reports (which may take the form of written documents, websites or PowerPoint presentations), peer assessment of your teaching practice, and the portfolio of translations which will be developed in Semesters 1 and 2.
You will be provided with detailed lists of set reading, and suggested further works to consult, at the start of each semester. In the Translation modules, these will vary depending on the language strand you are following. The core Translation text that is used by all students, regardless of language, is Mona Baker’s In Other Words. A Coursebook on Translation (London: Routledge, 2011). Our reading lists are revised every year to ensure that you are provided with the most up-to-date research in the fields of linguistic and cultural translation, as well as TESOL.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
In an average week, you can expect to have four-six hours of seminars and workshops, some of which will be specific to your language pairing and will take the form of Translation workshops. Depending on the activities you undertake as part of our Graduate Training Skills modules, you may also have lectures or seminars to audit, and you can expect to have one-off lectures, research seminars and site visits over the course of both Semesters, both on campus and within the local area. In the Summer months, you will have regular meetings with your dissertation supervisor and, throughout the year, you will also have access to the University’s state-of-the-art language labs.
- (Autumn & Spring) – Portfolio of Work (ARTP03)
- Methodology I (TESP01)
- Classroom Observation (TESP03)
- Cultural Translation and Transfer (CTTP02)
- Methodology II (TESP02)
- Microteaching (TESP04)
- Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities (ARTP02)
- Dissertation (CTTPD2)
Why study Translation Studies with TESOL (MSc)- offered with English and French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian or Polish at Stirling?
Dr Cristina Johnston
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, around half of the research submitted from the subject areas that now make up the School of Arts and Humanities was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent in quality, with over 10% of that research placed in the highest (world-leading) category. 85% of the assessed research from the Arts and Humanities was judged to be recognised internationally.
Recognising Achievement in Teaching Excellence 2012 - http://stirlingstudentsunion.com/files/rate-booklet-may-12-web.pdf. Teaching staff on the programme have been nominated for a number of RATE awards since they were launched at Stirling, and the Programme Director was the recipient of the University’s first ever RATE Award for Overall Teaching Excellence in 2010-11.
This course was not only interesting; it was also a great learning experience and taught me how versatile translation studies can be within a variety of working environments.
William Kerr, recent MSc Translation with TESOL graduate
The amount of feedback given is impressive and aims towards improving the work to be done. Our tutors are definitely involved in supporting us to gain confidence and the competences required.
Brigitte Depret, current MSc Translation with TESOL student.
Dr Cristina Johnston
Our MSc in Translation Studies with TESOL opens up a range of opportunities across diverse sectors where linguistic fluency and language teaching are key. It offers a fantastic gateway into a career in Translation, whether you want to work freelance or in-house, specialising in business or tourism or literary translation, and there’s much more that you could end up doing with a qualification in Translation.
In a world of globalisation, criss-crossing travel and trade routes, and multi-lingual, multi-platform media, your high-level Translation skills, your close attention to detail and your ability to work to client deadlines will set you apart from the crowd. Whether you’re interested in developing a career in Europe, or working for one of the many international companies with offices in Scotland and the UK, this is the course for you.
At the same time, the course prepares you for a dynamic career teaching English to speakers of other languages, in the UK or beyond. You will be fully-equipped with an in-depth understanding of the challenges of the language classroom, and will be able to build on your own combined experience as a student of languages and of language teaching to provide a supportive and productive language learning environment for your own students.
In short, our course will enable you to play an active role in the development of a global community, putting your language skills to excellent use in fostering international dialogue, exchange and cooperation.