Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PhD in Translation and Transcultural Studies (P-Q3PG)

Overview: theory and practice routes

Applications are invited for admission to our PhD in Translation and Transcultural Studies.

The programme comprises two distinct routes:

(i) a theoretical/academic route

(ii) a practice route.

The theoretical/academic route involves demonstrating a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of Translation Studies.

The practice route advances knowledge principally by means of practice – by the submission of a translation – but also by requiring the student to demonstrate a critical awareness, informed by relevant scholarship in Translation and Transcultural Studies, of the issues – stylistic, cultural, sociological and/or ideological, among others – involved in the translation of the work and to display this critical awareness in the form of a translation commentary. The two elements of the PhD should nonetheless form an organic whole. The practice route is distinct from a standard scholarly PhD in that significant aspects of the claim for the doctoral requirement of an original contribution to a significant field of knowledge are demonstrated through the translation. The accompanying commentary demonstrates doctoral levels of contextual knowledge and powers of analysis and argument, displaying the same intellectual discipline as a traditional PhD.

Our transcultural approach to translation

Our approach centres on cultures of, and in, translation. In addition to translation as practice, in SMLC we are interested in cultural aspects of translation in the broadest sense: how translation is theorised and practised in artistic, political, and social contexts and in different media. We also use translation as an analytical and interdisciplinary tool to further illuminate processes of migration, displacement, cultural production and transfer, language policy and development, intellectual histories, mediation and conflict resolution.

Research Themes

Staff working in Translation and Transcultural Studies at Warwick have expertise in a wide range of research areas, including cultural translation and transculturalism, literary translation, sociolinguistics, multilingualism, self-translation in multilingual contexts, gender and feminist translation studies, sociology of language and translation, history of publishing, audio-visual translation, translation technologies, and linguistic landscapes. Details on staff expertise and profile are available here.

The close link between translation and transcultural studies and the language sections (Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Hispanic Studies) strengthens the cultural approach to translation, seen as cultural exchange and transfer, and is one of the distinctive aspects of our research.

Proposals framed in cultural, social and political contexts in other languages, and not based primarily on linguistic/textual comparative analysis, could be considered, depending on topics and approaches within staff research expertise.

Further details on Translation and Transcultural Studies staff current research projects can be found on this page.

A list of our current PhD students in Translation and Transcultural Studies is available here.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally hold an honours degree (2.i or First) and normally a Distinction in an MA (with specialisation in an appropriate subject, including Modern Languages, English Literature, Classics, Translation Studies and Creative Writing). Applicants may also be considered who can demonstrate compelling evidence of advanced translation experience through significant publication and associated professional recognition and an awareness of the critical requirements of translation practice in an academic environment.

The minimal English Language requirement is "Band B".


Note that it is also possible to apply for a joint Warwick-Monash PhD in Translation and Transcultural Studies (course code Q3PGM), where the two institutions have compatible supervisory expertise. See the Warwick-Monash Alliance page for more information.

Please consult early with the Director of Graduate Studies and PGR Admissions Advisor, if you wish to discuss whether your project is eligible for this or any other cross-institutional co-supervision and/or funding arrangement (Midlands 4 Cities, EUTOPIA, or other co-tutelle).


Funding opportunities for PhD studyLink opens in a new window are highly competitive and often work with a staged process: applicants should make contact as soon as possible with a prospective supervisor in order to develop a sound and robust research proposal (in November/early December for the January funding deadlines). An academic CV and draft research proposal may help us deal with your query more quickly.

Applicants not looking for funding and/or interested in pursuing a PhD on a part-time basis are welcome to send in their enquiries at any time.

Postgraduate admissions enquiries

For further information about postgraduate degrees please send your enquiry to: 

for the attention of:

Prof. Ingrid De Smet, School Director of Graduate Studies

Please clearly indicate "PhD proposal" in the subject line

Further advice and tips on how to write a PhD proposal can be found here.

Further details on Translation and Transcultural Studies staff current research projects, and our research activities can be found on this page.