Institute of Linguists Educational Trust (IoLET) Diploma in Translation [MODULE 1]  CPD

This continuing professional development (CPD) course in practical translation prepares you for the Institute of Linguists Educational Trust (IoLET) Diploma in Translation examination.

The course  consists of three free-standing practical translation modules that can be taken in any order (subject to availability of places in individual language groups). The modules are offered in the following sequence: Module 1 in the Spring Term, Module 2 in the Summer Term and Module 3 in the Autumn Term in preparation for the January exam.

The IoLET's Diploma in Translation is a professional qualification intended for those who, having reached a level of linguistic competence at least equivalent to a good Honours degree, wish to embark on a career in professional translation.

Successful candidates are entitled to use the designation 'Dip Trans' and may be eligible to apply for full membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL).

The course is suitable for:

  • Practising translators who wish to gain a formal translation qualification
  • People who wish to embark on a career in translation
  • Practising or future translators who wish to familiarise themselves with principles of translation theory .

You will work on practical translation assignments, such as past papers and/or papers of a similar length and difficulty. We may also use shorter papers to familiarise you with the requirements of the course or specific text types or domains. The theory module provides a theoretical framework with a practice-related approach.

Although you can take individual modules, we usually recommend taking all available practical modules in order to cover the full range of chosen semi-specialist options.

Certificate of Completion

On successful completion of each module, you receive a Certificate of Completion, which may be used as evidence of Continuing Professional Development.

Please note, fees for taking the IoLET examinations are not included in the course fees. A guide to examination fees is available from the CioL.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Monday 27 January 2014 The course is taught by distance learning rather than scheduled classes. 10 weeks 415.00 CE5003 Enrollment Closed


You should be a native speaker of your target language (the language you translate into). In rare cases, where the language you use daily has taken the place of your mother tongue, you should contact the course director before registering for a course. The University reserves the right to decide whether you have a sufficient level of proficiency to be admitted on a course. 

You are not required to present evidence of formal qualifications to the University or the Institute of Linguists. However, the IoLET stresses that you should have at least one of the following (for full details, see the Institute's Handbook and Advice to Candidates (pdf)):

  • a degree/combined degree in the source language (the language they translate from)
  • a pass in an exam qualifying for CIoL membership, or a qualification recognised by the Institute
  • extensive knowledge of the source language.

You should also have the following:

  • excellent understanding of the source language and target language grammar, including spelling and punctuation (this is an essential prerequisite; the course does not cover grammar)
  • at least an Honours degree level of competence in the source language
  • excellent competence, including writing skills, in the target language
  • an understanding of the source language and the target language cultures
  • an interest in current affairs
  • time-management and organisational skills (these are particularly essential for completing the distance learning modules within the tight timeframe)
  • a high degree of self-discipline and a commitment to the course
  • an ability to assess, and reflect on, your own work.

You will also need to research your texts in terms of background knowledge and, if applicable, specialist terminology.

In order to have a fair chance of passing the exam, you will also need to have, or to develop, the following:

  • an eye for detail
  • an awareness of language usage in different genres, both in the source language and target language
  • background knowledge in your chosen semi-specialised areas
  • an ability to use resources critically.

If you have been living in a source-language environment for some time you need to be particularly aware of, and willing to address, a possible loss of mother-tongue competence, and of interference from the source language.

Further requirements:

  • reliable and regular email access
  • Word 97-2003 or later versions
  • applicants are expected to have informed themselves of the nature of the examination before enrolling on a course. Detailed information, including the Institute's Handbook and Advice to Candidates, is available here.

This course is not suitable for those who wish to practise high-level foreign language skills. It is specifically designed for students who wish to gain the IoLET Diploma in Translation.

What will I learn?

This module is designed to develop your translation skills with a view to the IoLET examination requirements, as well as to good professional practice. While the course is based mainly on practical translation work, relevant theoretical aspects of translation are discussed in the study notes,a handbook for students which includes aspects of translation theory and an annotated bibliography.

Module 1 consists of 6 assignments (past papers from the Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation examination) and two 30-minute telephone, Skype or email tutorials. It follows the pattern of the examination, including two assignments from Unit 1 (general paper), two from Unit 2 (semi-specialist papers Technology, Literature, Business) and two from Unit 3 (Science, Social Science, Law). 

Languages combinations

English - Spanish | Spanish - English
English - French | French - English
English - German | German - English
English - Italian | Italian - English
English - Portuguese | Portuguese - English
English - Dutch | Dutch - English
English - Russian | Russian - English
English - Polish | Polish - English
English - Arabic
English - Turkish
English - Slovak
English - Czech

We reserve the right to change or cancel language combinations according to class size, tutor availability, and other variables beyond our control.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and learning is through written feedback from tutors, tutorials and independent learning supported by the Study Notes, a handbook for students which includes aspects of theory and an annotated bibliography. In addition, you will be able to benefit from peer discussions across languages and cultures in our virtual learning environment.

The assignments are not formally assessed; you will develop your translation competence on the basis of your tutor's feedback. The online discussion forum will provide further opportunities to share ideas, knowledge and experience with other students.

Please note that students bear the cost of telephone tutorials.

Exam registration

The Institute of Linguists' examination is set and assessed by the Institute. The registration period is normally 1 May to 31 August. Other Individual exam centres, including City, may have their own registration deadlines. Students at City receive detailed exam information before the registration period starts.

Exam centres

In the UK, there are three types of examination centres:

  • Teaching centres (ie. course providers) which are registered as examination centres. City University London is a registered examination centre.
  • Institutions that act as examination centres but do not provide preparatory courses. Such centres are also registered with the Institute of Linguists Educational Trust.
  • The IoLET's Open Centre. This is available to independent candidates (i.e. those who are not registered on a course).

If you are currently studying with City, or have studied with City in the past, you can sit the Dip Trans exam at City. Please note that it is your responsibility to find an exam centre if you do not wish to, or are unable to, sit the exam at your teaching centre. You are strongly advised to ensure that they have access to an exam centre before you embark on the course. If you want to sit the examination outside the UK please contact British Council offices or other registered examination centres. A list of registered exam centres can be obtained from the Institute of Linguists' Central Examination Department. For further details about the examinations, please see IoLET's website.

Please note the following:

  • City University London is unable to offer word processing facilities.
  • City University cannot accept external candidates.
  • Exam fees and exam centre fees are incurred by the Institute and by exam centres respectively. These fees, are not included in the course fees.

Recommended Reading

You may find the following texts useful, but they are not required reading.

  • Baker, M (2011) In Other Words, A Coursebook on Translation (2nd edn). London: Routledge
  • Bassnett, S (1998, rpt 2002) Translation Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Munday, J (2012) Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications (3rd edn). London and New York: Routledge.
  • Samuelsson-Brown, G (2012) A Practical Guide for Translators (5th edn). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Application Deadline:

Enrolment opens on 1 October each year and closes two weeks before the start of each module