Master of Arts in Translation Studies

Admission for the Master of Arts in Translation Studies for the 2019-2020 academic year is now closed. For information about applying for the 2020-2021 academic year, please continue to monitor this site as we will post information in a few months.


Master of Arts in Translation Studies

A two-year program designed to train highly skilled translators.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University


The MA in Translation Studies (MATS) is a two-year program designed to train highly skilled translators in the areas of business and commerce, science and technology, literary translation, and translation of media texts, as well as translation for international organizations. 

The acquisition of practical translation competence is complemented by advanced training in the use of translation technology and work placement experience. A theoretical component encourages sophisticated intellectual enquiry, thus equipping students with a sound foundation for professional work and doctoral study in the field of translation studies. 

In May of 2014, the program officially obtained validation from the University of Geneva, earning it the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI) Quality Label from the University of Geneva. 

Graduates of the program are equipped to:

  • Work as in-house translators in various sectors (media, industry, tourism, advertising, insurance, banks, research institutions, public administration), as well as international organizations (e.g. United Nations agencies)
  • Specialize as editors, revisers, terminologists or translation project managers. 
  • Start their own businesses as translation agencies or take the competitive examination to become sworn (certified) translators working for the courts of justice in Qatar.
  • Pursue careers in teaching or opt for advanced research at PhD level.


Outline for the Master of Arts in Translation Studies Program (MATS)


Semester 1 (12 Credits) Semester 2 (12 Credits) Semester 3 (12 Credits) Semester 4 (6 Credits)
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Introduction to TS Semester 2 (12 Credits) : C. Trends in AVT Semester 3 (12 Credits) : Internship Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Thesis Seminar
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Research Methods Semester 2 (12 Credits) : Specialized Translation Semester 3 (12 Credits) : Advanced Research Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Thesis
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Pragmatic Translation Semester 2 (12 Credits) : Translation Technologies Semester 3 (12 Credits) : Elective Semester 4 (6 Credits) :
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Arabic Stylistics Semester 2 (12 Credits) : Elective Semester 3 (12 Credits) : Elective Semester 4 (6 Credits) :

Semester 1 (12 Credits) Semester 2 (6 Credits) Semester 3 (6 Credits) Semester 4 (6 Credits) Semester 5 (6 Credits) Semester 6 (6 Credits)
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Introduction to TS Semester 2 (6 Credits) : C.Trends in TS Semester 3 (6 Credits) : Elective Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Translation Technologies Semester 5 (6 Credits) : Internship Semester 6 (6 Credits) : Thesis Seminar
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Research Methods Semester 2 (6 Credits) : Specialized Translation Semester 3 (6 Credits) : Advanced Research Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Elective Semester 5 (6 Credits) : Elective Semester 6 (6 Credits) : Thesis
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Pragmatic Translation Semester 2 (6 Credits) : Semester 3 (6 Credits) : Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Semester 5 (6 Credits) : Semester 6 (6 Credits) :
Semester 1 (12 Credits) : Arabic Stylistics Semester 2 (6 Credits) : Semester 3 (6 Credits) : Semester 4 (6 Credits) : Semester 5 (6 Credits) : Semester 6 (6 Credits) :


  • A two-year full-time program or a three-year part-time program that requires 42 credits with 8 required courses, 3 electives, an internship and a thesis.  
  • All courses are conducted face-to-face and are classroom based. They are taught in English and take place at HBKU in Doha, Qatar.


A 42-credit program, taught in English over two years, which includes:

  • Core Courses

  • Elective courses

View Admission & Application Requirements

Core Courses

A list of MATS Core courses:

Introduction to Translation Studies

This course introduces students to the main approaches that have developed in the field of Translation Studies. Beginning with an overview of pre-20thC translation theory, the course follows a chronological trajectory of the development of the major theories in the field, including theories of equivalence, translation products and processes, functionalist approaches, discourse and register analysis, systems theories, norm theory and descriptive translation studies.

Students will be required to critically engage with theory in order to discuss the complex implications of the choices they have to make as translators and scholars.


Research Methods

This course will enable students to participate in a conversation on academic writing (especially in English) by introducing them to the shape, scope, and process of conducting research projects in the field of Translation Studies.

Pragmatic Translation

Pragmatic Translation is a foundational, practice-oriented course designed for students with little or no background in translation. It aims to develop in students the basic skills and knowledge to perform translation tasks to the required standard in this class, in classes running concurrently and later in other more advanced classes.

Translation practical work focuses on various text types: legal, financial, literary and media (audiovisual) texts.


Arabic Stylistics

This  is designed to engage students in examining and applying the grammar and stylistics of Arabic discourse in written and oral forms. It will enhance students’ competence in manipulating various grammatical, stylistic and rhetorical features of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).

Students are taught to compose and comprehend prose in MSA. Special emphasis is placed on key linguistic features within different genres of MSA. Through practical exercises, students will learn to apply relevant analytical tools and use relevant textual conventions in their own writing. Oral communication is also practiced in informal class discussion and formal presentations.


Current Trends

This course introduces scholarly approaches to the study of translation, which have been developed over the last two decades.

Students will think critically and reflectively about the community of translators and interpreters. They will engage with the complexity and implications of the choices that translators have to make on a daily basis.


Specialized Translation

This is a practice-oriented course that prepares students for a professional career in the translation market, either as in-house or freelance translators, working with various IGOs and NGOs. The course deals with various types of institutional texts produced by major multilingual IGOs and NGOs (including political, economic and legal texts). Students will be trained to research institutional translation topics, prepare appropriate terminology glossaries and produce professional translations of carefully selected real source texts generated by IGOs and NGOs. 


Translation Technology

This course introduces students to a selection of language technology tools with a focus on professional practice. These will range from widely used open-access tools to the industry standard SDL TRADOS (Getting Started level).

Students will create and manage translation memories and terminological databases, and integrate corpora into their translation practice. They will also reflect on the role of machine translation and its application.

Advanced Research

This course prepares students to write their thesis, whether research or practice-oriented. It leads students through the main areas of research and inquiry in Translation Studies, the principles of designing research projects, reviewing the literature and writing research proposals.

Students will also learn the skills and requirements for writing translation commentaries with the purposes of writing a practice-oriented thesis that consists of a translation accompanied by a theoretically-informed and evidence-based critical analysis.



The internship is a hands-on learning experience, where students will work on live translation projects at the college’s Professional Services Center (or elsewhere if approved) under the supervision of a translation mentor.

Thesis Seminar and Thesis

This independent study and research course is designed to support students who are writing their research or practice-oriented translation thesis. Seminars will act as teaching and workshop opportunities to guide, assist and advise students through the key stages and skills necessary for successful completion.

Students will utilize the research and writing skills developed in the MATS program, culminating in a public presentation of their work and a quality thesis that will ideally serve as evidence of their master’s-level knowledge in translation studies, their postgraduate-level skills as practiced in the humanities, and their emergent competence as academic researchers and/or professional translators.


Three elective courses

A representative list of MATS elective courses:

Commercial Translation

This course equips students with the necessary skills for translating texts used in the commercial environment. Students will be introduced to the style, formats, and functions of commercial texts and will develop methods for dealing with them.

Special emphasis will be placed on the difficulties encountered in translating commercial vis-à-vis other types of texts, especially as they require specific skills and techniques. Contrastive features of commercial texts in different languages are examined and related to the translation process. 

The course also explores the importance of culture in commercial communication across languages, as well as within the same language.


Media Translation

This is a practice-oriented course that prepares students for a professional career in media translation. It deals with different forms, modes and genres of media texts, focusing in particular on political and economic texts.

Students analyze and critically assess various media texts, including hard news reports, investigative reports, interviews, editorialized commentaries, editorials and TV news scripts. Using linguistic skills and applying theoretical and practical insights, students will be trained to produce professional translations of texts generated by media outlets.


Literary Translation

This course will cover the following aspects of literary translation: features of literary texts: analysis and translation approaches; style in literary translation; approaches to translating literary genres: poetry, theater, fiction, speeches; translating titles; translating metaphors and figures of speech; culture, politics, ideology; the problem of linguistic variety: register, dialect, slang; using footnotes; the working translator: tools & resources, publication.


Intercultural Translation

This course examines intercultural issues that are central to translation studies today. Studying translation in different cultures and historical contexts, the course highlights the significant role that translators have played in enriching national languages, spreading religious creeds, and framing intellectual and political encounters across linguistic communities.

Students are introduced to current theoretical debates on translation and intercultural communication, including, among others, “foreignizing” and “domesticating” approaches, translation and globalization, translation in multicultural settings, immigrant literature, and postcolonial studies. Special emphasis is placed on the role of translation in the construction of the foreign language as a primary tool of representing/misrepresenting cultural others.


This is a largely practical course that introduces students to the technique of interlingual subtitling. Students will be introduced to specific formal and discursive features of subtitles: the temporal and spatial constraints, timing, condensation and synthesis, verbal and non-verbal cues, appropriate punctuation, positioning and segmentation. Students will analyze how subtitles function as a form of inter-semiotic communication and inter-linguistic mediation and reflect on the implications of choosing the most appropriate strategies.

Students will employ methods of handling culture-specific difficulties of audiovisual texts in interlingual subtitling, such as register, dialects, sociolects, accents and pronunciation, as well as taboo words and interjections.



This course introduces students to the translation and adaptation of dialogue in preparation for either non-lip-synched dubbing or voice over.

Students will learn to work with scripts and to deal with the wide range of linguistic, cultural, semiotic and technical issues faced when producing a dubbing script. This will include the re-segmentation required when adapting a script and the use of standard dubbing symbols. Students will work with a range of different media products including: documentaries, interviews, cartoons.


Audiovisual Translation for Access

In this course, students will cover two of the main audiovisual translation genres used for providing access to audiences with sensory impairment: subtitling for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences (SDH) and audio description (AD). Throughout the course students will use appropriate professional software to carry out their SDH and AD tasks.

Students will also be introduced to academic discourse on disability and on AVT for access and will be invited to think critically about ethical issues of audiovisual translation for access.


Special Topics in Translation Studies

In this course, students will further hone their theoretical grounding and be introduced to various genres and new developments in the field of Translation Studies. The focus will be on the convergence of the various issues of Translation Studies’ main concentration areas. The main aims are to encourage and instill critical thinking, develop further understanding of central concepts of various TS approaches, implement these approaches and strategies, and broaden perspectives on a plethora of translation constraints.