Universiteit Leiden

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Translation (MA)

About the programme

During the Translation master you will learn how to translate from English to Dutch and vice versa. Upon graduation you will earn a qualification that will give you entry to the national register of sworn interpreters and translators.

Programme structure

The programme consists of 60 EC, to be completed in one year. You will take five courses:



Advanced Translation 5
Translation Studies 5
Translator's Tools 5
Thesis Seminar 10
Thesis 10
Work Placement / Research Internship 10

In addition, you will also choose 2 electives.

Semester 1: Select one from:

Semester 2: Select one from:

In order to gain work experience or to explore the professional field, you are required to do an internship (10 ECTS credits) as part of your studies through the Career Service of the Humanities faculty.

In recent years, students from the Translation Specialisation have completed internships at:

  • Leiden University Academic Language Centre
  • Global Voices
  • Medilingua
  • Taalmuseum (Language Museum)
  • Textwerk
  • Vertaalbureau.nl
  • Wilkens C.S. 

The specialisation in Translation Specialisation is offered both in Full-time as well as Part-time.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports
  • Oral presentations

Detailed programme

For a detailed programma, see the Prospectus. Please note that the Prospecuts shows a provisional programme and list of courses. Students who are planning on starting their MA in February need to discuss their plans with the coordinator of studies first.

Samantha Kooreman


Samantha Kooreman

Samantha studies the MA Linguistics: Translation. She is currently doing a 5-month traineeship at the European Parliament Directorate-General for Translation. "The traineeship first came to my attention after attending a workshop organised by the Leiden Student Career Service called ‘Werken als vertaler binnen de EU-instellingen’, led by two translators from the Dutch Translation Unit. Being a European Studies graduate, this traineeship immediately appealed to me. It seemed the perfect opportunity to combine my bachelor’s and master’s degrees."

"The Directorate-General for Translation or ‘DG Trad’ provides the European Parliament with translation services for its written or electronic communication in all official languages of the European Union. The Dutch unit consists of a department head, three administrative staff, eight assistants and thirty (in house) translators.

As a translation trainee, I have the opportunity to translate texts dealing with the different areas of activity of the European Union. However, the traineeship covers more than just translation. For example, all Schuman trainees are sent on ‘missions’ to Brussels and Strasbourg to attend sessions of the European Parliament and there will also be a visit to the Court of Justice. Moreover, we are offered a series of workshops and training sessions on topics such as Terminology and CAT-Tools and we will all be participating in a terminology project. Besides, by living abroad for a longer period of time, you learn what it’s like to work in an international environment, which gives you a great advantage.

The texts I am asked to translate vary considerably in nature, including political, budgetary, technical and/or administrative texts. Translations are done under the supervision of a translator-mentor, who offers guidance, teaches me the current translation workflows and procedures, and revises my translations when necessary. This gives me a good opportunity to learn and improve my translations.”

Lettie Dorst

University Lecturer

Lettie Dorst

“All of our courses combine theory and practice. This way, students gain the practical experience they need for their future career as a professional translator, editor or project manager, while they also reflect on translation problems from an academic perspective, gaining in-depth knowledge of relevant theories and methods from a wide range of disciplines. The same is true for our use of technology: students are taught to use professional CAT tools, but also to consider the ethical implications of using translation memories or machine translation.”

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