This article by Gwenydd Jones looks at the pros and cons of doing an MA in Translation Studies. It’ll help you think ahead and figure out whether doing an MA is the right choice for you.
With the cost of university study continually rising, you’re probably asking yourself whether doing an MA in translation studies is worth the investment. The answer will depend on your own circumstances and goals, as this article will explain. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether or not doing an MA in translation studies is worth it for you.
You’ve probably found your way to this article by googling to find the pros and cons of doing an MA in translation studies compared to the other options available for training and qualifying as a translator.
This is the Bristol MA’s USP. For a start, it’s entirely based on distance learning. All teaching is on-line: there’s never any need to visit the campus. This is of course invaluable for anyone who has other commitments to juggle, as I did at the time (I graduated in 2015). What’s more, the course can be completed either in one year full-time, or over two to three years part-time, starting in either September or January.
Living and working in France for the past 26 years, when it came to choosing a training programme to acquire qualifications in translation I was faced with two criteria:
- to be able to continue my job as I worked towards getting a qualification
- to find a higher-education diploma on the French list of national professional qualifications (RNCP)
My research led me to CI3M*, which met both my criteria. As I contacted them, I discussed the possibility of what is called VAE in France (validation des acquis de l’expérience). This is a system which allows you, based on your experience in a domain, to pass tests to obtain an official qualification. I did not have the three years’ professional activity required to follow this programme. This represents a solution to be looked into for anyone who has been a professional translator in France for more than three years and is looking to obtain a qualification.
Why I chose to do an MA
I had been working as a translator for several years before I decided to do an MA. I chose to do the course at that point in my career because I felt it would get me more professional recognition. I also wanted to learn more about the translation industry as a whole and people’s experiences within it.