Translation Studies with TESOL (MSc)

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc


Available across six in-demand language pairings: English and one of French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Polish and Russian.

A postgraduate degree in Translation Studies with TESOL is of the highest value. Not only will it equip you with professional level translation skills in international dialogues, enabling you to play your part in developing a global community, it will also give you an entry-level teaching qualification with which you can embark on a career in English Language Teaching.

Here in the UK, recent research has shown that the fall in the number of language learners over the past decade has come at a big cost to the economy.

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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.

Key information

  • Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Full-time MSc: 12 months Diploma: 9 months Certificate: 9 months Part-time MSc: 27 months Diploma: 21 months Certificate: 9 months
  • Start date: September entry
  • Course Director: Dr Saihong Li
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Dr Saihong Li School of Arts & Humanities
Division of Literature & Languages
University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467542

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Course objectives

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, German,  Chinese,  Polish and Russian.  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.

In the Translation part of the course, 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. 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. And there will also be some opportunity for work-based study and exercises, including a work-based dissertation, as well as a chance to develop your skills using translation software packages. You may also choose to undertake 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 throughout the course.

The TESOL segment of the course comprises  a module in TESOL methodologies and another in Applied Linguistics, These, in turn, will underpin the development of your own teaching practice through  the third TESOL module, which is devoted to classroom observation and peer assessment of your lesson planning and teaching.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Language competence requirement; a native speaker of or holding a degree in French, German, Spanish,  Chinese, Polish or Russian.


English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with at least 6.0 in speaking and listening and 6.5 in reading and writing
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with a minimum of 60 in reading and writing and 56 in speaking and listening
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with minimum 23 in reading and writing and minimum 20 in speaking and listening

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.


2016/17 Overseas £12,450
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarship finder

Scholarships & funding

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Master's course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on the scholarships is available here.

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The teaching year follows the two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May.  During the summer, students complete a dissertation. 

  • Portfolio of Translation: This module develops critical ability and autonomy in applying theories and approaches to different types of translation texts. This module will also introduce students to the core translation theories, research methods and approaches in Translation Studies. After that, the students will develop, with their tutor, their own portfolio of practical translation exercises, relating to their own interests. The portfolio will consist of four pieces of translation, each approx. 500 words in length. Students will also discuss and comment on the issues arising in translating your portfolio in a commentary of around 1,250 words.

  • 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 a site visit to one of our partner institutions engaged in cultural translation.

  • Terminology and Translation Project Management: This module focuses on introducing students to the theoretical framework of the disciplines of terminology and project management, familiarising them with the practice of terminological research and glossary compilation - both essential adjuncts to the work of a professional translator - and developing the students’ career awareness and enterprise skills.

  • TESOL 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: 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.

  • Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching and Research or Sociolinguistics: Varieties of English: These modules will enhance your awareness of the English language and introduce you to key developments in the field of Applied Linguistics and their relevance to translation and/ or English language teaching.

Delivery and assessment

You will attend seminars and workshop sessions which will focus on translation theories, cultural translation and transfer, but also on the practical activity of translation. Each semester will also include 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), and the portfolio of translation.


Academic Year 2015/16



CTTPP03 Portfolio of Translation (20)

CTTPP01 Cultural Translation and Transfer (20)

TESP002 Methodology (TESOL) (20)


CTTPP04 Terminology and Translation Project Management (20)

TESP006 Microteaching (TESOL) (20)

One of:

TESP009 Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching and Research Programme (20)



LINPP04 Sociolinguistics: Varieties of English (20)


CTTPPD2 Dissertation (60)

Part Time


CTTPP03 Portfolio of Translation (20)

TESP002 Methodology (TESOL) (20)


CTTPP04 Terminology and Translation Project Management (20)

TESP006 Microteaching (TESOL) (20)


CTTPP01 Cultural Translation and Transfer (20)



One of:

TESP009 Corpus Linguistics in Language Teaching and Research Programme (20)


LINPP04 Sociolinguistics: Varieties of English (20)

CTTPPD2 Dissertation (cont. to Summer)


CTTPPD2 Dissertation (60)

Recommended reading

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.

Modes of study


  • MSc: 12 months
  • Diploma: 9 months
  • Certificate: 3 months


  • MSc: 24 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, and cultural translation and transfer. In the Autumn semester, furthermore, you will undertake a site visit to one of our partner institutions which engages in cultural translation, broadly construed. You will also take modules in TESOL methodologies, Applied Linguistics, as well as a  module in Classroom Observation and Microteaching. Assessment will include a portfolio of translations developed over the first two semesters, essays, reports (which may take the form of written documents, websites or PowerPoint presentations), and peer assessment of your teaching practice.

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

In an average week, you can expect to have three two- hour seminars and workshops, some of which will be specific to your language pairing and will take the form of Translation workshops. You can also expect to have one-off lectures, research seminars and at least one site visit over the course of both semesters, both on campus and within the local area. Over the Summer,, 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 library and language labs.

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.


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 - Teaching staff on the course 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.

Our students

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 Depretcurrent MSc Translation with TESOL student.


Our staff

Administrative Staff

  • Alison Scott
  • Sheilah Greig
  • Lesley McIntosh
  • Jane Campbell

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

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.

Industry connections

Our translation course has developed industry links with the translation profession through

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).

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