Translation Studies PhD / MPhil
- A detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry relevant for Translation Studies.
- The creation and interpretation of new knowledge in Translation Studies, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication.
- A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge in translation as an academic discipline or professional practice.
- The general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems.
The Centre for Translation Studies welcomes applications for research that is underpinned by empirical and/or theoretical methodologies. We have a strong commitment to the development of interdisciplinary approaches and inter-relationships between the academic and the professional.
The University offers two registration points for research degree students, in September and February each year.
Candidates for a research degree should normally possess or expect a good MA degree or, in the case of international students, an equivalent qualification in translation studies, in a language and culture subject, or in another relevant field.
Non-traditional entrants may be considered if they can demonstrate substantial research experience or relevant professional experience / publication. N.B. This applies to exceptional circumstances where an applicant can demonstrate outstanding achievements (substantial publications, long-standing relevant professional experience which includes sustained critical argument, writing, research skills) and where there is a good case for the applicant not having a relevant postgraduate degree that meets the entrance requirements.
Applicants will need to provide 2 academic references and submit a research project proposal which outlines succinctly the nature of the proposed research and which research methods / theories will be used.
Applicants will be interviewed by a selection panel.
Credit for previous study may exceptionally be considered if a student transfers from a recognised PhD programme in TS. Such applicants would normally be considered for direct registration for a PhD degree and will need to provide evidence of previous research equivalent to the requirements for upgrading from MPhil to PhD.
International students will need to demonstrate English competence - a minimum of 7.5 IELTS or equivalent.
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
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
For more information see our main Visa page.
The University offers two registration points for research degree students, in September and February each year.
Duration of Studies
Full-time students are permitted a maximum of four years' registration. Part-time students are permitted a maximum of seven years' registration. Students must submit a thesis and be examined within this period.
As a full-time student, you will spend the majority of your working time in research at the University. You are expected to dedicate yourself full-time to your research. As a part-time student, you are expected to spend the equivalent of two days per week on your research. This period shall not exceed 15 hours of organised daytime study per week.
All research students in the School are initially registered as MPhil/PhD students. Progression to PhD registration is the norm and we envisage that students will normally progress to PhD registration. As a rule the Department has an expectation that all full-time students will be considered for progression from MPhil to PhD registration within the first year of their registration and part-time students should be considered for progression after two years of registration.
Monitoring and review processes
Your progress will be regularly reviewed:
- 6 month report - a preliminary progress report after 6 months of registration, drawn up by the Principal Supervisor in consultation with the second supervisor and agreed with you.
- Annual reports - after twelve months, and annually thereafter; assesses whether sufficient progress has been made; drawn up by the supervisor and discussed with the student; part of the process is a seminar delivered by the student and a self-assessment progress report taking account of feedback received.
- Annual re-registration, subject to satisfactory progress.
If progress is unsatisfactory, the student will normally be withdrawn. Where students are in receipt of a School or University bursary, this too will be terminated. The Department's Senior Tutor for Research manages the reporting process, and deals with other aspects of research students' affairs.
Transfer from MPhil to PhD
- Completion of minimum period of registration (one year for full time and two years for part time students)
- Submission of an application for upgrading which includes:
- aims of the thesis
- a draft abstract
- an outline and chapter summaries
- a bibliography
- a timeline for completion
- one completed chapter which must include the methodology or literature review
- a record of completed skills / research method training
- seminar presentation followed by questions.
Only students whose work is of high enough quality, and whose Research Plans are judged to be viable, may be permitted to upgrade to PhD.
After successful upgrade
After promotion to the PhD category, your remaining time is spent following your Research Plan under the detailed supervision of your panel. You must continue to participate in the research activities of the department by attending research seminars and workshops, and, under the guidance of your panel, attend suitable external seminars, meetings and conferences. You should try to present your work at the Department's workshops and seminars.
Once a student has completed a version of the thesis that can be submitted the supervisor will make arrangements for the appointment of an internal and external examiner. This needs to be done some time before the thesis is submitted (usually three months).
Once the thesis is submitted the supervisor will make arrangements for the viva in consultation with the Senior Tutor. The viva will be chaired by a senior member of the Department and it is also possible for the supervisor to attend as an observer.
Assessment of the thesis
Theses submitted to the Department are evaluated by two independent examiners, one from City, the other external. The examiners are appointed by the School Board of Studies on the recommendation of the candidate's supervisor. At a date determined by the two examiners, a viva is held, during which the candidate will discuss the thesis with the examiners in the presence of a non-voting chairperson. For more detailed guidance on submission procedure, please consult the Guide for Research Students.
We offer students the opportunity to carry out research in many areas of Translation Studies including: theoretical approaches to translation studies, discourse analysis, translation and gender/identity, translation and cultural history, translation of children's literature, translation pedagogics, specialist and genre translation, applied translation theory, professional aspects of specialized translation in legal translation, audiovisual translation, audio description and access.
The CTS team consists of experts in law & translation, legal translation practice, translation theory, discourse construction & analysis, semiotic & intersemiotic analysis, film production & script writing, (cinematic) audio description and translation pedagogy.
Dr Karen Seago, Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org - translation theory, discourse construction & analysis, semiotic & intersemiotic analysis, translation pedagogy, literary and popular translation.
Richard Delaney, Richard.email@example.com - a barrister and German-English professional legal translator with expertise in UK law, German law, law for translation: legal translation and legal aspects for professional translators.
Christine Kretschmer, firstname.lastname@example.org - audiovisual translation and access (Audio description and subtitling for language learning), AVT industry.
Translation Studies is by nature interdisciplinary and the following staff from the department (and the school / new department) are potential supervisors for interdisciplinary proposals:
- Dr Miguel Mera, Miguel.email@example.com - Music
- Dr Barbara Norden, firstname.lastname@example.org - Creative Writing
- Dr Juliet Steyn, email@example.com - Cultural history
- Dr Jenny Kidd, firstname.lastname@example.org - Audiences, performance, community media, digital media and museums
- Dr Laurence Solkin, email@example.com - Workbased learning.
- Full-time EU: £4,200 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time EU: £2,100 per year (2013 entry)
- Full-time Non EU: £10,000 per year (2013 entry)
- Part-time Non EU: £5,300 per year (2013 entry)
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.
You pay the above fees (which usually increase each year in line with inflation) annually until you are ready to go into 'writing up' status, whereby you are no longer researching your research topic and are solely writing up your thesis for examination. You will not be required to pay further tuition fees but you will be charged the writing-up fee of £300 which will cover you for the duration of the writing-up period (a maximum of 12 months for full-time and 18 months for part-time students).
If a student fails to submit their thesis within the maximum writing-up period, they will be reverted to full registration (full-time or part-time depending on their status before moving to writing up) and will be required to pay the full fees. Students will only be expected to pay for the time taken to complete the thesis and once the thesis has been submitted the remaining proportional fees will be refunded to the student.
Fees are payable upon registration. Details of methods of the payment of tuition fees can be found on the University's website, at www.city.ac.uk/study/why-study-at-city/fees-and-finance/paying-fees.
The University offers doctoral studentships on a competitive basis each year.
Further information can be found at www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/fees/university-doctoral-studentships.
The admission of research students is dependent upon many factors, one of which is the expertise currently available in the School. Intending applicants should therefore check the current research projects and activities on the website before preparing an application.
If it appears that there are academic staff with relevant research interests, then applicants should make an initial inquiry to the Senior Tutor for Research by emailing a copy of their research proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply
In order to apply for a place on the MPhil/PhD programme, please visit the following webpage to download an application form: www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/application. Please submit the following documents to ensure there are no delays processing your application:
- One copy of the completed application form.
- One copy of your research proposal.
- Certified copies of your degree certificates and transcripts.
- Two references - these may be submitted as hard copies in signed and sealed envelopes. If your referees would prefer to email the recommendation letters they can do so, as long as they send them directly to the Administrator from their official work (not private) email account.
- Proof of your English language proficiency (if applicable).
Completed applications may be sent by email or post to the address below:
Quality & Doctoral Administrator
School of Arts & Social Sciences
City University London
Phone: +44 (0)20 7040 8504
N.B. Please note that the maximum size of any individual file you send by email should be 1mb, and that the combined size of all files you email should be less than 2mb. If the size of any files you need to send are larger than this, you should consider re-sizing these, or uploading them to a website rather than sending by email.
When this information is received the application will be assessed by the relevant academic staff. Further information or an interview may be required. The applicant will be contacted if this is the case. The outcome will be reported to the applicant as soon as is practicable.
Writing Your Research Proposal
The research proposal should detail the key question for the proposed thesis, the aim of the investigation, reflect on the existing literature on the subject and indicate how the student will advance existing knowledge on the problem. The proposal should clearly demonstrate their theoretical background, proposed methodology and context of investigation, as well as plan of work. It should not exceed 4 pages in length.
Students will be appointed two supervisors who will ensure that the research project is within the scope of the Department's resources. They will guide the student to ensure that the research topic is manageable within the period of candidature.
Students will complete annual reports, submit evidence of progress to an up-grading panel and present a research seminar.
Each student's needs will be assessed by the Senior Tutor Research and the supervisory team. Students whose academic qualifications and background are in a cognate area to Translation Studies will attend the Translation Research Method Seminars from either the MA Legal Translation or the MA Audiovisual Translation, depending on their specialist orientation.
All students will attend the University Induction programme which covers Research Methods Training, Computer and Library Facilities, University Regulations for Research and a discussion on research students' needs, and the departmental module in Research Skills offered by CPM. Students whose work has a sociological / social sciences element will be referred to the research method training offered by Social Sciences.
Research students can also make use of the Learning Development Centre research training programme, the research workshop series that contains workshops of interest to research students and other centrally provided forms of researcher development.
The Enterprise Training team within Research and Enterprise also offer training events and programmes.
The Researcher Development section of the Staff Development web pages provides links to courses run by other London universities which research staff from City can attend. The Researcher Development pages also provide links to a range of opportunities including an online tool providing leadership development for principal investigators.
Vitae, a national organisation which aims to realise the potential of researchers, provides a wealth of online support tools, information and guidance for both research staff and research students.
Further individual training needs will be met through tailor-made provision designed by the supervisory team, and guidance will be given on research student support in Translation Studies that is available nationally and internationally (such as summer schools, colloquia etc).
Translation Studies has an active inter-institutional community promoting research students. Regular Translation Research Summer Schools are held in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Information on central provision for doctoral students can be found at www.city.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/development.
The Department expects research students to participate in the following activities:
- Meetings with supervisors
- Departmental Research Seminars
- Research Student Seminars
- Research Student Meetings
- University Research Studies Workshops
- National and International meetings and conferences
- Writing conference papers, where appropriate.
Department Research Seminars and Workshops
In addition to dedicated seminars for research students the Department runs a regular series of Plenary Lectures in Translation (three times a year) and interdisciplinary research seminars for all members of staff and research students. The seminars involve presentations by speakers from other Departments and universities, and speakers are drawn from a wide range of subject areas. As a rule we expect all our research students to participate fully in these seminars and we also encourage them to make presentations during the course of their studies.
Research Student Seminars
The research students have an established programme of presenting their work to each other. The aim of these sessions is to provide a space for students to become comfortable with the public presentation of their work in an informal and supportive atmosphere.
The seminars provide a forum for students to discuss their plans for research and to discuss with other students and staff issues relevant to their studies.
University Research Studies Workshops
Research students should attend the series of Research Studies workshops run by the University; these cover such matters as making presentations, planning a research project, preparing for submission of the thesis, and other vital skills. Previous sessions have included 'How to work effectively with your supervisor' and 'What to expect from your viva', and build upon the University research student induction programme. Advice on wider career planning issues is provided by the University careers service.
Interdisciplinary Research Seminars
The interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer centre CULTRA is located in the department and runs a series of regular research seminars. The seminars involve presentations by members of the Department, academics from other Departments and visiting academics. Seminars run once a month during term time on Wednesday afternoons.
With the support of their supervisors, students may apply to the Department Research Committee for funding to attend a conference to make a presentation on their work. From time to time supervisors may recommend attendance at a conference, without a paper being presented. Each case is decided on its merits, and funding cannot, therefore, be guaranteed. Once support has been agreed you will need to provide receipts to support your claims for support. The Head of Department needs to sign all expense forms before they are submitted to the School Office.