Institute of Linguists Educational Trust (IoLET) Diploma in Translation  CPD

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Monday 16 January 2017 The course is taught by distance learning rather than scheduled classes. 10 weeks £435.00 (Module 1) CE5003 Apply Now
Monday 24 April 2017 The course is taught by distance learning rather than scheduled classes. 10 weeks £435.00 (Module 2) CE5004 Apply Now

Course Content

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

The IoLET 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 exam 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 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.
Each module consists of 6 assignments and two 30-minute telephone, Skype or email tutorials.

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

You will work on practical translation assignments, familiarising yourself with the text types used in the examination and with the challenges they pose. We may also use shorter text to familiarise you with the requirements of the course or specific text types or domains. Although you can take individual modules only, we usually recommend taking all available practical modules in order to explore the available semi-specialist options and to progress translation competence.

Certificate of Participation

On successful completion of each module, you receive a Certificate of Participation, which may be used as evidence of continuing professional development.

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

Why Choose a City Short Course?

The IoLET Diploma in Translation short course from City is a tailored programme for developing your practical translation skills.

Taught online over 10 weeks, these exam preparation modules offer flexibility combined with expert tuition.


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 institution 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 institution 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.

  • 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 language skills. It is specifically designed for students who wish to gain the IoLET Diploma in Translation.

What will I learn?

All modules are 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, an overview of relevant theoretical aspects of translation is available in the study notes, a handbook for students which includes aspects of translation theory and an annotated bibliography.

Each module consists of 6 assignments of the type used in the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation examination, and two 30-minute telephone, Skype or email tutorials. Each module follows the pattern of the examination, normally including two assignments each from the three units covered in the examination: general texts; semi-specialized texts (1) from the fields of Technology, Literature and Business, and (2) Science, Social Science and 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
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 Chartered Institute of Linguists' examination is set and assessed by the Institute. The registration period is normally 1 May to 31 August. 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

If you are currently studying with City, or have studied with City in the past, you maybe able to sit the Dip Trans exam at City. Please note that it is exam candidates responsibility to secure a place at an exam centre. For further details about the examinations, including exam centres in and outside the UK, please visit the Chartered Institute of Linguists' website.

Please note the following:

  • City, University of London is unable to offer word processing facilities.
  • City, University of London 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.
  • Samuelsson-Brown, G (2012) A Practical Guide for Translators (5th edn). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Colina, S (2015) Fundamentals of Translation. Cambridge University Press.
  • Munday, J (2016) Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications (4th edn). London and New York: Routledge.

Application Deadline:

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