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Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture  MA


(Please note: To reflect the role of audiovisual translation in the industry and in training, the "MA Translating Popular Culture" has been renamed to MA Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture.)

City's unique Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture course is the only degree in the UK and Europe which offers you the opportunity to specialise as a translation expert in an area of translation and publishing which has seen unprecedented expansion - namely various forms of popular culture.

The programme offers a unique range of modules which provide a comprehensive set of knowledge and skills:

  • Children's fiction
  • Subtitling
  • Crime fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Comics, manga and anime
  • Screenwriting principles and screenplay translation
  • Dubbing and voice-over
  • Translation and audiovisual project management
  • Professional modules in literary translation and publishing.

The Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture MA is one of the most popular audiovisual translation courses in the UK and suitable for anyone wishing to have a career as an audiovisual translator.

Studying Translating Popular Culture

  • The course will give you a theoretical framework for the practical application of translation, working with a wide range of source texts from different popular genres and media
  • You will gain an understanding of the different conventions and styles associated with popular culture in its varied forms and genres, how they are historically and culturally shaped and the impact this has on translation strategies
  • You will develop an awareness of professional standards, norms and translational ethics and to develop your professional identity in relation to the role of translation in the publishing process
  • The course will introduce you to the different research strategies and methodologies, relevant in both professional translation and in academic study.

Language combinations

The MA is offered in a wide range of languages in combination with English, including:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish.

Other languages may be available, and all language pathways are offered subject to demand.

City's Translation centre is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute for Translating and Interpreting.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £8,500
  • Part-time EU: £4,250 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,500
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,750 per year

Start Date:

September 2016

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

You should have an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution in a relevant subject, which may include:

  • Modern foreign languages
  • a philological degree
  • English or foreign literature
  • Translation
  • Comparative literature
  • Film studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Theatre studies
  • Media studies.

You need to demonstrate linguistic competence in your foreign language at a level equivalent to either a first degree, or IELTS 7.0 (in the reading, writing and listening components).

Students who have completed the PG Certificate Principles and Practice in Translation can progress to the MA Audiovisual Translation and Popular Culture. You will need to gain 60 taught credits from specified modules and 60 credits from the dissertation, as outlined below:

  • LAM060 Translating Children's Fiction - 15 credits
  • LAM065 Subtitling - 15 credits
  • LAM062 Translating Crime Fiction - 15 credits
  • LAM063 Translating Science Fiction - 15 credits
  • LAM064 Dissertation - 60 credits

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities.  Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.

English Requirements

If your first language is not English, one of the following qualifications is also required:

  • IELTS: 7.0 in the reading, writing and listening components.

Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

English for Postgraduate Study
Pre-sessional English

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2016
One year full-time, two years part-time.

Course Content

You will take five taught core modules which combine theory with translation practice, as well as a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation which can either be a discursive dissertation on any aspect of popular culture in translation, or an extended translation with reflective commentary.

The core modules introduce you to the theory, text conventions, thematic concerns such as censorship, taboo subjects and language, intentional ambiguity, style and structure of the different genres as well as to subtitling skills and conventions.

You will hone your industry knowledge, professional competencies and specialised translation skills in project work in practical translation, supervised by a translation expert in your chosen popular culture genre and language.

Studying audiovisual translation

Elective modules allow you to explore the translation and publishing industries and aspects of audiovisual and multimodal text translation. The audiovisual translation modules offer focused technical expertise in this area of translation, allowing you to develop an additional strand of specialisation, enhancing your employability. Students may focus on screenwriting and screenplay translation, dubbing and voice-over and audiovisual project management. Those wishing to deepen their knowledge in the context of their dissertation are able to opt for a practical subtitling, dubbing, voice-over or screenplay translation project, or a screenplay adaptation from an existing literary work. Many of our tutors work in London subtitling companies and students benefit from their expertise.

Our professional modules allow students to prepare for a career in literary and/or audiovisual translation through acquiring solid professional and transferable skills, and to gain insight into the publishing industry. The programme is further enhanced through visiting speakers and visits to a range of relevant companies, organisations and events in London.

Course Structure

Core modules

  • Principles and practice of translation theory
  • Translating children's fiction
  • Subtitling
  • Translating crime fiction
  • Translating science fiction
  • Dissertation.

Elective modules

Choose three from:

  • Translating multimodal texts
  • Translation for dubbing and voiceover
  • Principles of screenwriting and the translation of screenplays
  • Translation project management
  • Setting up as a translator
  • International publishing case studies
  • Creating and managing intellectual property

Read the full programme specification.

Teaching and Assessment


We educate you in day/evening lectures and seminars, distance learning and a mixture of intensive teaching blocks blended with individually supervised project work.

The flexible and mixed mode of study prepares you for employment in the translation industry which requires flexibility, the ability to work to extremely tight deadlines (often overnight), a strong reliance on virtual and electronic work environments, independent and self-managed organisation and time management. The ability to conduct independent study and research plays an essential role in the learning process due to its crucial importance in professional translation practice.

You will study in a variety of formats: a combination of lectures, seminar discussion with peers and/or tutors, individual supervisions; written feedback on informal translation assignments; self-assessed exercises; self-assessment and self-evaluation through exercises and tutorials; feedback sessions via webinars, face-to-face tutorials and seminar sessions.


memsource software for our Audiovisual ma degree

We have been granted free access to Memsource Academic Edition


We assess you through coursework consisting of informal and formal assignments including essays, source and target analysis, practical translations, reflective-analytical commentaries, individual translation projects, and individual and collaborative reports.

Read the full 2014 programme specification.


  • Full-time EU: £8,500
  • Part-time EU: £4,250 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,500
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,750 per year


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.


Career Prospects

This MA is designed to make you fit for the market as a properly trained and highly-qualified translation expert. Your career options come in a wide range of jobs in the translation industry.

Suggested Career options:

  • Self-employed translator
  • Staff translator
  • Localisation expert to editor
  • Researcher
  • Project manager.

You may continue to a research degree/doctoral study in any area of translation studies, read more about City's PhD / MPhil Translation Studies.

Application Deadline

Places are limited and we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible, as applications will close when the course is full.

To apply for this MA, please submit the following:

  • One application form (see below for links to apply online)
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
  • A transcript of your Bachelor degree

Please ensure you let us know which language combination you would like to study in the Statement in Support of Application section.

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Apply online

Return address

Please send any hard copy documents to:

Translation Postgraduate Administrator

School of Arts & Social Sciences

City University London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB.

Contact details