Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Clearing and Adjustment
  10. Ask a student
  11. Coronavirus and studying at City
  1. Research degrees
Study at City

PhD / MPhil Translation

We are not currently accepting applications for this programme.

Key information

Start date

We are not currently accepting applications for this programme.




Full-time: £4,500

Part-time: £2,250


Full-time: £12,000

Part-time: £6,000


On this PhD or MPhil in Translation, we aim to give you:

  • A detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry relevant for Translation
  • The creation and interpretation of new knowledge in Translation, 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.

We have a strong commitment to the development of interdisciplinary approaches and inter-relationships between the academic and the professional.

Take a look at some of our current and past research students.


Entry requirements

  • You should possess or expect a good MA degree in a relevant field
  • International students should hold 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.

You will need to:

  • Provide two academic references
  • Submit a research project proposal succinctly outlining 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.

English requirements

Candidates whose first language is not English will be required to show evidence of a high standard of written and spoken fluency. Examples of this include:

  • A degree from a British university
  • A minimum overall score of 7.5 and no less than 7.0 in any of the subtests (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) administered by the British Council

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 six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.


You will be initially registered as an MPhil/PhD student. We envisage that you will normally progress to PhD registration within a the first year for full-time and after two years for part-time students.

As a full-time student, you will spend the majority of your working time in research at City. 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.

Monitoring and review processes

  • Six month report - a preliminary progress report after six months of registration, drawn up by the Principal Supervisor in consultation with the second supervisor and agreed with you
  • Annual reports - after 12 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.

The Department's Senior Tutor for Research manages the reporting process, and deals with other aspects of research students' affairs. If your progress isn't satisfactory you may be withdrawn, any School or City bursary will also be terminated.

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.

Examination arrangements

Once you have a version of your thesis to submit, your 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.

Research Areas

We offer students the opportunity to carry out research in the following areas of Translation including: theoretical approaches to translation, discourse analysis, translation and gender/identity, translation and cultural history, translation of children's literature, translation pedagogics, genre translation (especially crime fiction).

The team consists of experts in translation theory, discourse construction & analysis, semiotic & intersemiotic analysis, literary translation and translation pedagogy.

Studying Translation is by nature interdisciplinary and the following staff from the school are potential supervisors for interdisciplinary proposals:

Funding options

Fees 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 stated 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 City's website, at


University Funding

City offers doctoral studentships on a competitive basis each year. Find out more about the doctoral studentships.




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.

Training Provision

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 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 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 that is available nationally and internationally (such as summer schools, colloquia etc).

Translation 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 in the Student hub.

Research Environment

The Department expects research students to participate in the following activities:

  • Meetings with supervisors
  • Departmental Research Seminars
  • Research Student Seminars
  • Research Student Meetings
  • 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.

Research Studies Workshops

Research students should attend the series of Research Studies workshops run by City; 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 research student induction programme. Advice on wider career planning issues is provided by the City 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.

National/International Conferences

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.

How to apply

Preliminary Enquiries

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

How to Apply

We are not presently accepting applications.

To apply online, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy of your research proposal.
  • Copies of your degree certificates and transcripts.
  • Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two academic referees (or one academic and one professional referee where appropriate).
  • Proof of your English language proficiency (if applicable).

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.

Find out more about how to prepare your research proposal.