M.A. Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • GBP14900 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English
Durham University | Durham, United Kingdom
This course is ideal both for prospective professional translators and for those wishing to go on to further academic study, and it is internationally well respected for both of those purposes. The course is designed for both native speakers of Arabic, and speakers of English who have near-native competence in Arabic.

Description of Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting


This course is ideal both for prospective professional translators and for those wishing to go on to further academic study, and it is internationally well respected for both of those purposes. The course is designed for both native speakers of Arabic, and speakers of English who have near-native competence in Arabic.

The MA lasts for twelve months and it combines training in English to Arabic and Arabic to English translation with a special consideration of the theoretical issues involved in the process of translation. The MA modules are mainly taught in the Department of Arabic. Translation Theory and Research Methods and Resources (RMR) are offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC).

The main emphasis of this programme is on the development of practical translation and interpreting skills, which are reinforced by the provision of a general introduction to translation theory, as well as to more general academic, research and bibliographical techniques. On the practical side, students attend on average six hours of language and interpreting classes per week during the first two terms of the year. These classes, which are spread over three separate modules, are held in small groups, and alternate between Arabic>English and English>Arabic work. The classes are prepared for by independent learning in the form of preparation and reading (131 hours per module). The structure of the classes allows for extensive student participation, and for the provision of timely feedback on students’ home assignments in an interactive environment.

The practical orientation of these classes is supplemented and reinforced by the Translation Theory module, taught on a School-wide basis, which typically involves an average of one hour’s attendance per week at either a lecture or a seminar. This should be supported by 282 hours of preparation and reading.

In addition, students receive instruction in general academic, presentational and bibliographical skills through participation in the School-based RMR module. The RMR operates through a series of 6 classes of c. 2 hours delivered over the first two terms, supplemented by introductory sessions at the beginning of the year. It should be supported by 282 hours of independent learning. Some of the RMR classes are largely lecture-based, while others are more interactive and taught in smaller groups; this depends on whether the emphasis is on communicating information (for example about resources available) or on practising skills (for example presentation skills).

Over the final few months of the programme, students are able to apply the skills and theory learned over the year to a larger project (either a dissertation or an extended, annotated translation) in a more independent way. For this, each student is allocated a supervisor, who provides up to five hours of supervision / consultation on an individual basis. This exercise enables the student to apply the results of their studies during the year to a text or topic of particular interest to themselves (595 hours of independent study).

In addition to the formal provision detailed above, all students have access to the MA Course Director and to other members of the teaching staff during weekly office hours. Feedback on formative course assignments may also be provided to students on an individual basis outside these hours. Outside their particular programme, all students are also strongly encouraged to participate in other activities of the School and Department (for example research seminars) as appropriate.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline June
Tuition fee
  • GBP 14900 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 6100 Year (EEA)
Start date October  2015
Duration full-time 12 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months

Course Content

Course structure

The MA involves a combination of core modules, which are taken by all students, plus a number of optional modules, where students have a choice.
The course structure of the MA is as follows:

Core Courses: obligatory for all students

  • Research Skills for Translation Studies (15 UCUs)
  • Translation Theory (30 UCUs)
  • Translation practica Arabic>English, English>Arabic (30 UCUs)
  • Dissertation (60 UCUs)

Optional Modules 1

Students choose one course from the following options:

  • Editorial Techniques (15 UCUs)
  • Introduction to Interpreting Studies (15 UCUs)
  • Translation Ethics (15 UCUs)
  • Translation Memories (15 UCUs)
  • Intercultural Project Management (15UCUs)

Optional Modules 2

Students choose two courses from the following options:

  • Business and Technical Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
  • Legal Translation, Arabic>English, English>Arabic (15 UCUs)
  • Interpreting (15 UCUs).

English Language Requirements

IELTS take IELTS test
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting

Subjects required, level and grade

Applicants will be expected to have a BA degree (upper-second class degree or equivalent, that is, 60% or above overall) in a relevant subject, such as language, literature or linguistics. If you hold your degree in a non-language-related field, you may be admitted provided you can demonstrate that you have the required competence in English and Arabic.

We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications and further information on English language requirements, please contact ourInternational Office or visit our website.

We will require two academic letters of reference. If these are not uploaded with your application, we will contact your referees directly. It would be useful if you could inform your referees to let them know that they will be approached for references by Durham University

Work Experience for Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting

No work experience is required.

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Durham University, United Kingdom

United Kingdom Established in 1832, Durham University is the third oldest university in England and one of the world’s leading centres of scholarship and learning. The University has two sites; Durham City, where 13 of the University’s colleges are based, and Queen’s Campus at Stockton, which is home to our remaining two colleges. Both locations offer a range of academic facilities, innovative modern buildings with all the amenities you will need for the best possible student experience.

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