Frequently asked questions about the MATIS programme
We have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by MATIS applicants. If you have a query, please check to see if it has been answered here. If it is not included below, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
- What are the standard entry requirements for MATIS?
- I do not hold an Upper Second Class Honours degree. Will my application be considered?
- I do not hold an undergraduate degree in a language-related field and/or do not have a formal qualification in any foreign language. Will my application be considered?
- My English language test score narrowly fails to meet your English proficiency entry requirement but I am very interested in the programme. Will I be offered a place?
- I would like to apply now but I only meet some of the entry requirements. I have not completed my undergraduate degree and/or have not taken my English language test yet. Can I still apply?
- Is there an application deadline I should be aware of?
- Do I need to take a translation test as part of the application process?
- Do I need to take an interpreting test as part of the application process?
- How can I apply to the programme?
- I need to submit two references to apply to your programme. Do they both need to be academic references?
- What is the difference between the MA and the PG Diploma in Translation and Interpreting Studies?
- Can I apply to the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation and Interpreting Studies?
- What happens after I submit my application?
- Will MATIS allow me to work with two language pairs?
- Is my choice of specialist course units restricted in any way?
- What is the ratio of theory to practice in the MATIS programme?
- How many teaching/contact hours will I have in my MA?
- You will need an Upper Second class Honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject.
- Applicants must have excellent competence in English and at least one other language.
- Students whose first language is not English must meet our English language requirements. They are:
- an IELTS score of 7.0 or higher overall, with a score of 7.0 in the writing component
- a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test) or 100 (internet-based test) or higher overall, with a score of 5.5 in the TWE component (or 25 in the writing component for internet-based test)
- a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 or higher overall, with a score of 70 in the writing component.
Q2. I do not hold an Upper Second Class Honours degree. Will my application be considered?
If you gained your qualifications a number of years ago and have accrued relevant work and/or life experience, we will be happy to assess your application. You may be required to demonstrate your abilities in an interview or translation test. Should you be accepted, you may only be allowed to register for a Postgraduate Diploma in the first instance. If you perform well during the first semester, you may be granted permission to upgrade your registration and study towards an MA degree.
Q3. I do not hold an undergraduate degree in a language-related field and/or do not have a formal qualification in any foreign language. Will my application be considered?
Yes but you will need to demonstrate degree-level competence in English and one other language. If you do not have a formal qualification in your foreign language(s) or if your qualification is deemed to fall below the standard required, you will be invited to demonstrate your abilities via a translation test.
Applicants without an undergraduate degree in linguistics, translation or modern languages should note the following. As with all other MA programmes in the UK, MATIS contains a theoretical component. For some assignments, students are required to be familiar with key technical terms from the fields of linguistics and/or other language-related disciplines. There is no expectation that MATIS students should have previous knowledge of such terms and concepts when joining the course. However, we do expect MATIS applicants without an undergraduate degree in linguistics, translation or modern languages to be prepared to engage in additional reading of key texts during the first semester of their programme.
Your success as a postgraduate student in the UK largely depends on your English proficiency. You must have excellent comprehension and production skills and be able to write academic English to a satisfactory standard to enjoy your postgraduate experience in the UK. In setting our entry language requirements, we are aware that doing an MA in the UK is an important investment of time and money, so we cannot offer you a place unless we think you have the level of proficiency required to start the programme. You are advised to take the English test as early as possible.
Q5. I would like to apply now but I only meet some of the entry requirements. I have not completed my undergraduate degree and/or have not taken my English language test yet. Can I still apply?
If you have not already completed your current programme of study you may apply; you will be made a conditional offer of a place. As soon as you satisfy the condition(s) attached to your offer and send us the necessary documentation, your offer will become unconditional. As long as we receive the documentation before registration week (normally the third week of September), you should be able to start your MA as planned. If you have not yet taken your English language test, your application will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed until you have done so. Please note that we do not make offers conditional on you satisfying the English language requirement in a future test. To receive an offer of a place on the course you must have already satisifed the English language requirement.
Q6. Is there an application deadline I should be aware of?
There is no official closing date for applications, although you are advised to apply as early as possible; some languages are oversubscribed and places will fill up. Students intending to apply for funding need to be aware of the closing dates of funding competitions. It is usually a condition of such bodies that you hold at least a provisional offer of a place to study at the University before you apply for a studentship, scholarship or award. In these cases, it is especially important for you to apply as early as possible.
Q7. Do I need to take a translation test as part of the application process?
No, but you will need to meet our standard entry requirements, which rank among the most demanding for any MA programme in the UK. Translation tests are only required, at the programme director's discretion, in the case of candidates without a formal qualification in their foreign language(s).
Q8. Do I need to take an interpreting test as part of the application process?
The MATIS programme offers two interpreting options: Consecutive Interpreting (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Spanish and English) and Public Service Interpreting (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and English). Enrolment on these optional courses is conditional on satisfactory performance in a short interpreting aptitude test at the start of the MA programme in Registration Week. If you are interested in training as professional interpreter, you should consider our MA in Conference Interpreting programme.
Q9. How can I apply to the programme?
Full details are available on the How to apply page. If, after reading this page and the How to apply page, you still have questions about the application process, please email the Postgraduate Admissions Officer.
Q10. I need to submit two references to apply to your programme. Do they both need to be academic references?
Ideally, at least one of your references should be from one of your former tutors/lecturers. If the professional experience you have accrued since graduating involves the use of languages, you can submit a reference from a recent employer commenting on your language skills.
Q11. What is the difference between the MA and the PG Diploma in Translation and Interpreting studies?
The full-time MA lasts 12 months (180 credits) and consists of two taught semesters and a dissertation written over the summer. The full-time PG Diploma lasts 9 months (120 credits) and has no dissertation component. Both programmes can be taken on a part-time basis.
Q12. Can I apply to the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation and Interpreting Studies?
Yes, but you may find it useful to know that the vast majority of our students take the MA programme. Occasionally, applicants may be required to register for the PG Diploma (see Q2 above). Subject to their performance during Semester 1, these students may be allowed to upgrade their registration and work towards an MA degree.
Q13. What happens after I submit my application?
Once the University has received your application, your details are recorded and you are sent an acknowledgement. Your application is then passed to us in the School for consideration. You are advised that decisions on admission cannot be made until a complete application is received so failure to enclose all the necessary supporting documentation will result in delays in processing your application. If your application is successful, you will be made either a conditional offer of a place (for example, if you have not already completed your current programme of study) or an unconditional offer. On receipt of an offer, you should accept it online. To accept and reserve your place, you are required to pay a small percentage of your tuition fee in advance, as a deposit. This is £615 for international students and £250 for UK/EU students. You will be sent instructions on how to pay this using a secure online payment facility. This fee is deducted from your tuition fee when you register in September. If there are conditions attached to the offer, you need to let us know as soon as they have been satisfied and provide the necessary documentation.
Q14. Will MATIS allow me to work with two language pairs?
Yes, as long as you have an excellent knowledge of your two foreign languages. There are a number of ways in which you can use your two language pairs in MATIS. You can choose different language pairs for different specialisations (e.g. Portuguese-English for Commercial Translation and Spanish-English for Scientific and Technical Translation). Or you can opt to practise your two language pairs within the same specialisation (e.g. French-English in Literary Translation I and Italian-English in Literary Translation II).
- It is possible to register for Level I units in Semester 1 (e.g. Audiovisual Translation I) without continuing with the corresponding Level II option in Semester 2 (e.g. Audiovisual Translation II).
- Level II options cannot be taken in Semester 2 unless the corresponding Level I unit has been chosen for Semester 1.
- You will not be allowed to undertake a dissertation on a given field of specialisation (e.g. literary translation) unless you have taken at least one unit on this specialisation.
- The languages offered in the interpreting course units are restricted. Consecutive Interpreting is offered in a combination of English with Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Spanish, whereas Public Service Interpreting is offered in a combination of English with Arabic, Chinese, French or Spanish.
Q16. What is the ratio of theory to practice in the MATIS programme?
Your choice of specialist course units will make the course as theoretical or practical as you want it to be. The three core course units (Translation and Interpreting Studies I as well as Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies I and II), which represent a total of 45 credits, can be regarded as theoretical. They will offer you the opportunity to study contemporary theories of translation and interpreting from the 1960s until the present time and to develop a range of relevant skills and methods in the context of translation and interpreting studies research and translation/interpreting analysis.
If you are interested in the practical side of translation and interpreting, you can choose to register in up to five practical specialist units (75 credits). On the other hand, if you are interested in doing a PhD after your MA, you can strengthen your theoretical training with units such as Cross-Cultural Pragmatics or Translation and Interpreting Studies II.
Q17. How many teaching/contact hours will I have in my MA?
Core course units are taught in the form of 80-minute weekly seminars. Practical translation course units are taught in the form of 50 or 80-minute weekly seminars plus a fortnightly language-specific translation tutorial for each specialisation. In addition to these sessions, MATIS students are expected to attend Professional Development workshops and to undertake a substantial number of hours of independent study. Students are also welcome to attend weekly research seminars.