Universiteit Leiden

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Translation (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for Translation at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Master's admission: exceptional circumstances

The University is providing an option for third-year bachelor’s students who have encountered a study delay because of the corona measures and wish to begin a master’s programme in the 2021-2022 academic year.

For this specific master’s programme, this means that students are allowed to complete their bachelor’s programme during the 2021-2022 academic year and will already be allowed to begin the master’s programme on 1 September 2021. The following additional conditions apply: 

  1. You will need a minimum of 165 ECTS of the 180 bachelor’s ECTS to get admission to start the master’s programme of your choice. 
  2. You will have to have completed your bachelor’s programme by 31 August 2022 at the latest. 

This option does not apply to non-EER students who are following a Bachelor abroad due to visa restrictions.

What do you need to do?

Enrol on and request admission to both programmes (bachelor and master):

  1. Fill in this form before 15 June.
  2. Register for the master’s programme in Studielink
  3. Request admission in uSis before the relevant deadline (check the Application deadlines page)
  4. Re-enrol for the bachelor’s before 1 September.

Your master’s enrolment will be definitive as of 1 September 2021 on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme before 31 August 2022 at the latest; otherwise your master’s enrolment will be cancelled.

You pay only one tuition fee, so you only pay for your master’s programme. This is on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s programme by 31 August 2022 at the latest and have de-registered for this programme. If your master’s enrolment is cancelled, you pay the tuition fee for continuing the bachelor’s programme. If you are following a bachelor’s programme at another institution, you can request proof of tuition fee payment (bewijs betaald collegegeld) so that you will not have to pay the tuition fee.

Diploma requirements

The following diploma requirements apply for this programme:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture or a language-related field and a completed minor Vertalen Engels-Nederlands;
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a non-related field* + minor Vertalen Engels-Nederlands: possible admission after writing an essay (please contact the coordinator of studies)
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a non-related field* + no minor completed: admission is only possible after completing the entry test**

*Students need to demonstrate their affinity with language and translation in their motivation letter.

** The Board of Admissions will decide whether or not an applicant is eligible to take the test.

For students who have not completed the minor Vertalen Engels-Nederlands, admission is only possible after passing the entry test. However, it is important to first start the application procedure in Studielink. The Board of Admissions will then decide whether or not an applicant is eligible to take the test.

The test will take place online on Thursday, July 1, 2021. Please note that the entry test will only be offered on this day. There is no resit opportunity. It is not possible to get feedback on the test, students will only receive a pass or a fail.

The Entry Test for the MA Translation comprises two parts:

  • Part A: a 3-hour translation test (an English to Dutch translation and a Dutch to English translation, respectively);
  • Part B: a 2-hour test with multiple choice questions, true/false statements and short answer questions (Translation Studies and Culture Studies for Translators, respectively)

Preparing for the Entry Test

Part A:

  • To prepare for the translation test, we recommend practicing with a few texts at home.
  • A sample translation test (plus key) will be provided in June.

Part B:

  • To prepare for Translation Studies part of the test, please study the chapters from the course book listed under ‘Required Reading’ below (Munday, Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications).  A reader will be provided for additional explanations of the topics covered in the course book.
  • To prepare for the Culture Studies part of the test, please study the reader provided (Entry Test Culture Studies reader 2021). The chapters of the course books listed under ‘Required Reading’ serve as background reading.
  • In June, a mock exam will be provided with Translation Studies and Culture Studies questions.

Required Reading:

Culture Studies for Translators (part B):

  • Entry Test Culture Studies reader 2021
  • Oakland, J.. American Civilization. New York: Routledge. (latest edition): Chapters 6 and 7 (Political institutions), chapter 9 (The legal system) and chapter 12 (Education)
  • Oakland, J.. British Civilization. London: Routledge. (latest edition): Chapter 4 (Politics and government), chapter 5 (International relations: only the part on Northern Ireland), chapter 6 (The legal system) and chapter 9 (Education)

Please note that the exam will be based on knowledge and insight questions from the reader. There will also be a number of translation questions. The course books for the Culture Studies part comprise background reading.
Introduction to Translation Studies (part B):

  • Munday, J. (2012). Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. London/New York: Routledge. (4th or later edition): chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and chapter 9 sections 9.0 and 9.1.

Please note that the reader for the Translation Studies part is not required reading, but aims to help candidates prepare for the Entry Test.
Translation Dutch to English and English to Dutch (part A):

  • No required reading. A mock exam and key will be provided in June.

Language requirements

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:

  • IELTS:    7.0  (a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 is required for each of the four components)
  • TOEFL (internet-based):  100 (TOEFL 25 is required for each of the four components
  • C2 Proficiency (former CPE) or C1 Advanced (former CAE) 185

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in Dutch. Students who have completed their secondary education in the Netherlands or Flanders do not need to submit further proof of their Dutch proficiency.

Dutch (Toelatingsexamen Universiteit Leiden – Gevorderd (language exam) at the Academic Language Centre of Leiden University).

For detailed information, including exemption criteria and methods of submission, refer to English language proficiency.

English tests accepted
Results may not be more than two years old! 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    • We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced, depending on admission criteria

Please note: You do not have to submit proof of proficiency if you have completed your education in Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or when you hold an International Baccalaureate, or for Dutch students, if you have completed VWO level English or an English taught bachelor at a Dutch Research University.

>> Go to the next step: Check the application deadlines

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