Chinese - English Translating (2 Years) (Postgraduate Research)

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The award
Postgraduate Research

How long you will study
find out

Domestic course fees
GBP 15120

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
GBP 15120

All study options

About Chinese - English Translating (2 Years) at Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University's Two-Year MSc in Chinese - English Translating provides students with 2 years of professional training in the skills and techniques used by professional translators and sufficient time to develop language abilities and intercultural understanding.

Studying this two-year masters degree in translation will allow you to immerse yourself in a new culture and lift your language and IT literacy to a high standard, helping you become a professional translator.

As part of the most established suite of Interpreting and Translating masters degrees in Scotland, graduates from this Two-Year Chinese - English programme will be recognised by industry has having achieved a high level of expertise and knowledge. 

It is taught through a variety of traditional and innovative approaches, making use of Heriot-Watt University's state-of-the-art translation technology, sector-leading intercultural research, links to industry and authentic materials.

With an entry requirement of 6.0 IELTS overall, this two-year degree allows you to begin from a less advanced position than the one-year degree but the benefits of an extra year of learning on our translating programme are huge.

The extra year of high-quality learning will improve your language ability and introduce key professional skills. Over two years you will bring your language skills up to an advanced level and immerse yourself in two fascinating cultures whilst becoming familiar with the demands and delights of British university life.

You will also have an extra year to prepare for professional life as a translator and develop deep-rooted academic and professional expertise.

In Year 1 you will have the chance to gain introductory experience to professional standard technology by selecting an optional course in Computer Aided Translation (CAT) software and in Year 2 you will master these professional tools and techniques as your training in our state-of-the-art translation labs progresses to a weekly basis.

Over the course of two years, your learning will focus on developing expertise in key areas of translation such as:

  • Technical and scientific translation
  • Subtitling and audio-visual translation
  • Use of Computer Aided Translation tools
  • Sight translation

You will learn about how to implement different approaches to translating when working in different professional contexts, and you will become increasingly confident in your interactions with clients and fellow professionals. We will bring your transferable communication skills such as public speaking, note-taking, revising and editing, and summarising to a high standard. 

Professional experience in everyday learning

Heriot-Watt University offers the ideal setting for you to develop your translation skills thanks to our state-of-the-art language labs.

Our facilities allow you to put your theoretical knowledge of language and culture into practice and develop crucial real-world technical experience with industry-standard software such as TRADOS, a computer aided translation memory tool and WinCAPS, the professional subtitling tool.

Mastering these tools is essential for modern translators and through this two-year masters degree you will have plenty of opportunity to do so.

A student-centred approach to learning

We take a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and allow you to develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of lectures, communicative tutorials, language laboratory sessions, and group work as well as one-to-one interaction with peers and tutors

We also offer native Chinese speakers on our Chinese - English MSc programmes the opportunity to take part in innovative tandem languages exchanges with non-native Chinese speakers on our undergraduate Chinese-languages programmes. This gives students on this programme the chance to improve their English language skills, discuss assignments, share insights in language & culture, and gain teaching experience.

Confucius Institute for Business and Communication: Social and cultural events

Heriot-Watt University is highly-regarded in China and was recently awarded the 'Outstanding Strategic Partner' Award by the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE), thanks to our close links to some of China's top universities.

We are also home to the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication, an Institute dedicated to promoting educational, economic and cultural links between Scotland and China.

The Confucius Institute helps to strengthen the understanding and cultural links between China and Scotland by offering a year-round programme of activities including language classes, cultural seminars, exhibitions and performances.

Many of these events are centred on traditional Chinese celebrations including Dragon Boat Festival, Lantern Festival, Moon Festival, and a major Chinese New Year celebration performance. Classes are offered in Chinese painting, calligraphy and Taichi whilst a programme of business related seminars, including management of tourism and cultural heritage is held throughout the year.

Academic Profiles

Dr Michelle Min-Hsiu

Dr Michelle Min-Hsiu Liao is an assistant professor of the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies. She holds a PhD in Translation Studies from Heriot-Watt University, and a master degree in Interpreter Training from University of Geneva. She joined the department in 2004, and was one of the founders of the MSc Chinese-English Translation and Interpreting programme at Heriot-Watt University. Since then, she has taught a range of courses: translation and interpreting studies, English-Chinese translation practices, conference interpreting, public service interpreting, business liaison interpreting, and undergraduate Chinese courses. She has also practiced translation and interpreting in a range of sectors including education, culture, public service, and business.

Dr. Liao is an active researcher. Her research interests lie in the application of discourse and narrative analysis in translation. She has investigated the translation of popular science as a new genre in Chinese, and her recent projects explore the political and multimodal features of translations in museum exhibitions. Her studies have been published in a range of interdisciplinary journals such as The Translators, Journal of Specialised Translation, Translation Spaces, Museum and Society, Tourism Management, East Asian Journal of Popular Culture; she has also contributed to Handbook of Translation Studies and Encyclopedia of Practical Translation and Interpreting. She supervises MSc dissertations and PhD theses in translation & interpreting and intercultural studies.   

Mr Kester Newill

Mr. Kester Newill is an assistant professor of the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies and Co-Programme Leader for Chinese - English Translating (2 Years) . He holds a master's degree in Chinese Business and International Relations from the University of Sheffield and worked for several years in language teaching, teacher training and NGO voluntary and project management roles in China. He joined the department in 2010, and has taught a range of courses: Chinese-English translation practice, conference interpreting, public service interpreting, business liaison interpreting, and undergraduate Chinese courses.

The translation and interpreting experiences he gained during his time in China have informed his teaching practices. He has a particular interest in digital innovation in education, and has delivered conference presentations on using digital tools to enhance the learning experience of trainee interpreters. He led on the development of the two-year postgraduate Chinese translation and interpreting programmes, in order to widen access and provide dedicated academic support to students from diverse backgrounds.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardPostgraduate ResearchHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study find out
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 15120International course feesGBP 15120

Notes about fees for this course

Status*Full-time
Scotland / Non-UK EU£15,120
England / Northern Ireland / Wales£15,120
Overseas£15,120

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

Additional fees information

***All fees listed cover the total tuition fee cost for both years of this 2 year MSc. 

  • Year-1 - £9,260
  • Year-2 - £14,690

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.

Entry requirements

A degree (including associate or bachelors degree from a Chinese HEI) or MSc degree or equivalent, with sufficient language skills to meet the prerequisites for courses in Stage 1 of the Programme.

English language requirements

We may require additional evidence of sufficient English Language ability if the applicant's first language is not English and their first degree was not taught in English. For Stage 1, the minimum requirement for English Language would be IELTS 6.0 overall, with no component lower than IELTS 5.5).

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