MA Screen Translation

This MA is designed for those who wish to work as subtitlers and/or translators. It covers the theory and practice of screen translation using Hollywood-approved quality AV to professional and industry standards. The teaching is supported by themed viewings of international and European films.

Screen Translation Student

There has been a huge increase in demand for screen translation. This is due to the many recent technological advancements in audiovisual material - including computer games, DVDs, smart TVs and smartphones - and their regular use in our daily lives.

Why Sheffield?

  • Acquisition of skills which can be used in both the audiovisual translation and translation industries
  • Flexibility in number and choice of translation languages: can translate between 1-3 languages as part of the programme
  • Flexibility in shaping the programme to your requirements through choice of optional modules in film, technologies or different translation languages
  • Professional and industry standards
  • Hollywood-approved quality AV

We are one of only a few UK universities offering this specialised Masters programme and our graduates are highly employable. You will especially benefit from the Showroom, Sheffield's independent cinema which screens a wide range of international subtitled films. With an MA in Screen Translation you will be employable as a subtitler and a translator.

The course includes an introduction to dubbing, audio description and subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.  It will help you to develop your subtitling and translation skills through practical subtitling projects using industry-standard software. At the same time, you can shape the programme to suit your personal career needs and interests, choosing between various language, intercultural communication and other subject options.

Please note: Screen Translation does not require any previous experience in or with translation.

Beth, freelance subtitler: 


By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Use industry standard subtitling software
  • Effectively translate from at least one foreign language into your native language
  • Relate theories of screen translation to practice
  • Use independent research skills

Module content

The Programme Leader for the MA Screen Translation is Dr Lena Hamaidia.

To qualify for the award of MA in Screen Translation, students must accumulate 180 credits* over 12 months (full-time study) or 24 months (part-time study). Examples of the core and optional modules are listed below:

Module Credits

Theory and Practice of Subtitling

This module aims to explore key theoretical approaches screen translation and to give you the opportunity to acquire practical subtitling skills. Theoretical lectures alternate with practical subtitling classes where you will have the opportunity to relate theory to practice in practical subtitling projects using professional subtitling software. The module includes weekly film viewings of subtitled films.


Subtitling Project

This unit aims to give students the opportunity to further develop the technical skills acquired in the core module The Theory and Practice of Subtitling by applying them to an extended practical subtitling task. It will enable them to enhance essential technical skills of subtitling including spotting, timing, cueing, segmentation and the positioning of captions using professional subtitling software. By the end of the module we expect that students will be able to: i) Appreciate the technical aspects of screen translation; ii) Appreciate the practical constraints of screen translation; iii) Relate theory to practice in a practical subtitling project using professional subtitling software; iv) Use subtitling software to produce subtitles to appropriate standards for a subtitling project; and v) Investigate and present an individual subtitling project.


Research Methods in Modern Languages

This module will introduce and explore a range of methodological approaches and techniques that are relevant to students of Modern Languages and Cultures. It will enable students to consider the philosophical underpinnings of research and its design, identify, assess, exploit and create sources and data, and adhere to data protection, intellectual property and ethics requirements. Students will engage with different theoretical models and debates, and a range of tools for accessing information. Students will be required to attend generic research methods sessions as well as those which are of greatest relevance to their research topic(s).


Translation Skills and Genres. Choose one translation option from the list below:

  • English into Chinese 
  • French into English
  • Spanish into English 
  • Dutch into English 
  • Portuguese into English 
  • English into Italian 
  • German into English 
  • Russian into English
  • Czech to English 

Please note:

In order to take the Translation Skills and Genres core module, you will need near-native or degree level in English and one other language. If you have acquired a near- native language level without a degree, you will be required to take a translation test.

For small sized translation groups (fewer than 6 students) the contact hours may be reduced and the delivery mode may be altered).


Dissertation 60

Study and Dissertation Support

The aim of this module is to give students of the MAs in Translation and Intercultural Communication Studies programmes the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to complete successfully the requirements of their postgraduate programme, including writing an essay at MA level and undertaking a dissertation in the field (to be agreed with the dissertation supervisor). Students will be introduced to library skills, academic requirements of writing an essay at MA level, referencing conventions, plagiarism issues and autonomous learning. Students will be introduced to the requirements of a dissertation at Sheffield, and follow appropriate support lectures supporting the student in identification of the research area; reading to be undertaken, adopting appropriate methodologies and the development of original ideas and insights.


*This programme is also available as a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or as a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). 

Teaching and learning

MA Screen Translation consists of a variety of teaching and learning methods, including staff- and student-led seminars, small group work, and one-on-one consultations with staff. Independent learning and assessment methods include practical translation and subtitling tasks, written exams, and essay writing.

Up-to-date, industry-standard translation and localisation tools are used in our technical modules, including WordfastPro, MemoQ, SDL Trados, Alchemy Catalyst, CatsCradle, OmegaT, WinCAPS and other software.

Visit us to find out more about the course from the Programme Leader, see our facilities and study spaces, and much more.

Translation modules usually have 20-22 contact hours with additional independent study over the academic year, but in situations where fewer than three students are registered on the module, this contact time may be reduced and/or the delivery method altered.


Our MA in Screen Translation opens up a wide range of career paths in the translation and related industries.

Graduates have entered careers as:

  • Subtitlers
  • Translators
  • Editors
  • Project managers

Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to include:

  • Adelphi Translations Ltd (Sheffield)
  • Red Bee Media
  • BBC
  • Live Unit Subtitlers
  • Zoo Digital
  • Deluxe Media (live-unit subtitlers)
  • various translation companies abroad

Some of our graduates have also set up their own companies, or continued onto postgraduate research degrees.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 11 January 2021

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