Language is fundamental to our thoughts, our relationships, and our civilisations. Through language, we transmit knowledge, from inviting someone for coffee, to promoting the latest scientific theory, to settling global political disputes.
You integrate your undergraduate and postgraduate studies into one course, graduating with an Integrated Masters in Modern Languages: European Languages and Translation.
You specialise in at least two modern languages, becoming highly proficient in at least one language. Language study is combined from the third year with translation skills.
In your first and second years, you study practical language modules to develop your language skills. French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish can be studied with Mandarin Chinese taken as an option. These languages are all widely used in the business world and many of our graduates have developed successful global careers with international firms.
Your third year is spent studying abroad with modules taken in language and translation. You also develop your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills and expand your linguistic and translation skills and communication proficiency in your chosen language.
In your fourth year, you return to Essex and carry out an independent research project, supported by your supervisor. This project develops your ability to conduct research, work with complex sources of information in your chosen language and employ research methods. You also develop your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills and expand your linguistic and translation skills and communication proficiency in your chosen language. The project is the culmination of both your undergraduate studies and preparation for your final year where you take postgraduate modules.
In addition to the language skills you develop, you explore themes relating to global cultures, history, and politics to gain in-depth knowledge of the countries where the languages you’re studying are spoken. In your fifth year you study modules in translation and subtitling at postgraduate level.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. This degree enables you to spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner universities.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
Our expert staff
Our lecturers are skilled interpreters and translators, experienced in training students with the necessary skills for professional practice. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.
Our lecturers come from around the world including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Cuba, China, and the UK. They will share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation.
- Our state-of-the-art interpreting lab provides you with simultaneous interpreting booths in a professional business setting for both classwork and practice
- You also have access to LTB 6, a conference facility for up to 350 people with simultaneous interpreting booths, for interpreting live conferences and lectures
- 24-hour self-access to our translation lab dedicated to translation students
- Use specialist software such as SDL Trados Studio 2019 and MemoQ for technical translation, Televic and Brähler equipment for Interpreting and WinCaps Qu4ntum for Subtitling
- Use our professional recording studios to video record a small audience or for presentations
- Weekly multilingual interpreting conferences, field trips and workshops led by internationally renowned experts from the industry
- Extra-curricular activities are available through student societies
- Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
- Languages for All offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
Companies and organisations in the UK and abroad are struggling to find university graduates who are fluent in at least one other language, apart from English.
Being an Essex modern languages graduate places you in a very advantageous position. You will be able to speak and write fluently, or to a very competent standard, in up to four languages. Language skills are in scarce supply and can be used in almost any job.
Alongside skills in translation and subtitling, you also gain key employability skills such as researching and writing for specific purposes.
Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers. Some become teachers, translators, administrators and journalists. Their valued language, interpreting and subtitling skills have enabled them to work in diverse fields including banking, entertainment, media, education and tourism, as well as for a host of UK and international companies. In particular, this degree lends itself to a career in education, translation, interpretation, trade, PR, communications, immigration or diplomacy.
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- You will gain specialist, transferable skills in all three subskills of the translation curriculum (translation, interpreting and subtitling)
- We have state-of-the art specialist facilities, including interpreting labs and the only lecture theatre in the UK equipped with interpreting booths
- Learn three languages at the same time and reach mastery level in at least one
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory modules and options chosen from lists. Below is just one example of a combination of modules we offer for the current academic year. For a full list of optional modules you can look at the course’s Programme Specification.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change.
Our courses allow you to study up to two, three or four modern languages. The language module you study depends upon your level when you arrive in the department. We are happy to accept students with no previous knowledge of the language (unless you major in Portuguese, when an A-level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, Spanish or Portuguese or first language level fluency in Italian, Romanian or Spanish is required). Please refer to the progression pathway table to find out which modules are suitable for your linguistic profile.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.