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Translating Popular Culture (Audiovisual Translation)  MA


City's unique Translating 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:

  • crime fiction
  • fantasy
  • children's fiction
  • comics, manga and anime
  • subtitling, dubbing and voice-over

Our Translating Popular Culture MA is one of the most popular audiovisual translation courses in the UK and is a fantastic choice for anyone wishing to have a career as an audiovisual translator.

Popular Culture and Audiovisual Translation Course Information

The course aims to:

  • 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
  • Give you 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
  • Develop your 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
  • 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
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish.

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


UK/EU students who apply for this course will be eligible for a £1,000 scholarship on a first-come first-served basis. All UK/EU applicants to this course will be automatically considered for this scholarship.

International students can apply for the School of Arts and Social Sciences International Excellence Scholarship for this course.

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: £8,000 (2014 entry)
  • Part-time EU: £4,000 (2014 entry) (per year)
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,000 (2014 entry)
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,500 (2014 entry) (per year)

Start Date:

22nd September 2014

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 Translating 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
  • LAM061 Translating Multimodal Texts - 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 at City, 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 a part-time course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
22nd September 2014
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 10,000-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 censorhip, taboo subjects and language, intentional ambiguity, style and structure of the different genres.

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 translation. The audiovisual translation modules offer more focused technical expertise in areas such as subtitling and dubbing, allowing you to develop an additional strand of specialisation, enhancing your employability.

The work-oriented learning modules offer relevant knowledge about the market and the industry and develop professional, soft and transferable skills and experience.

Course Structure

Core modules

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

Elective modules

Choose three from:

  • Principles and techniques of subtitling
  • Interlingual subtitling
  • Translation for dubbing and voiceover
  • Principles of screenwriting and the translation of screenplays
  • Audiovisual project management
  • Setting up as a translator
  • Publishing as a business
  • Project acquisition and list management.

Read the full 2014 programme specification.

Teaching and Assessment


We teach 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.


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: £8,000 (2014 entry)
  • Part-time EU: £4,000 (2014 entry) (per year)
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,000 (2014 entry)
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,500 (2014 entry) (per year)


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


UK/EU students who apply for this course will be eligible for a £1,000 scholarship on a first-come first-served basis. All UK/EU applicants to this course will be automatically considered for this scholarship.

International students can apply for the School of Arts and Social Sciences International Excellence Scholarship for this course.


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, ranging from self-employed translator, staff translator or localisation expert to editor, researcher, or project manager.

You may continue to a research degree/doctoral study in any area of 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)
  • two references, one of which should be from an academic referee
  • 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.

Apply online

Return address

Please send any hard copy documents to: Translation Postgraduate Administrator, School of Arts, City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB. Email