Postgraduate study

Translation Studies PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Translation Studies

Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to expand upon your interests and expertise in a community that really values research; and to make an original, positive contribution to learning in translation studies.

One of the most flexible doctoral programmes of its kind in the UK, our PhD enables you to enhance your translation practice while gaining an intellectual and philosophical perspective on the activity of translation, developing you as a self-reflective and theoretically-minded researcher or​ translator.

Join our community and undertake a specialised research project under the guidance of experienced and well-published supervisors - you can opt to produce an independent thesis, or an extended scholarly translation with commentary.

Our expertise covers a wide range of research areas and many languages.

Research areas

We have particular strengths in:

  • audiovisual translation
  • literary translation
  • translation and music
  • translation and the internet
  • performance and translation
  • translation and religion
  • trauma and translation
  • gender and translation
  • translation and health
  • translation and social movements

Languages offered

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Persian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Tamil
  • Turkish

It may be possible to work with another language. Your project would be co-supervised by one expert in Translation Studies, and an expert in the language of your choice. Please email Dr Mavis Ho to discuss whether supervision in the particular language you wish to work with is available within the School.

This programme includes optional training on research skills, methods and problems.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service, and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you’ll find a further range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills.

You will also have access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

As one of our PhD candidates, you will be part of a friendly international community which partners the International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting (IPCITI) and has its own seminar series for postgraduate students, staff and visiting speakers, as well as hosting regular symposia and conferences such as 'Whose Voice is it Anyway?'.

We are an official Higher Education (HE) Language Partner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and an official member of the SDL University Partner Program.

We have great links with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and with many industry and cultural partners in the city of Edinburgh.

As a student here, you'll have borrowing rights to over two million volumes in the University's Main Library, which subscribes to the 'Bibliography of Translation Studies'.

The Library's Centre for Research Collections is unique in the UK, bringing together a collection of more than 400,000 rare books, six kilometres of archives and manuscripts, and the University’s collections of art, historical musical instruments and other objects. Many Special Collections are digitised and available online.

Our world-leading capital city is a treasure trove of cinemas, theatres, galleries, and museums, consulates and cultural institutes, and established communities of non-English speakers.

Highlights include the National Museums and Galleries of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK masters degree with distinction (first class or excellent), or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

There are a number of scholarship schemes available to eligible candidates on this PhD programme, including awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Please be advised that many scholarships have more than one application stage, and early deadlines.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start dates Application deadlines
12 September 2022 31 July 2022
9 January 2023 31 October 2022

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Pre-application guidance

Before you formally apply for this PhD, you should look at the pre-application information and guidance on the programme website.

This will help you decide if this programme is right for you, and help us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

The guidance will also give you practical advice for writing your research proposal – one of the most important parts of your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH