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PhD in Literary Translation Studies (2021 Entry)

Group of students

  • Course Code
  • P-Q3PF
  • Course Type
  • Postgraduate Research
  • Qualification
  • PhD
  • Duration
  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 7 years

The PhD in Literary Translation Studies allows you to choose between a research and a practice-based pathway through your degree. Focus your research on the history, philosophy, theory or practice of translation, or produce a substantial literary translation accompanied by a critical reflection.

The PhD in Literary Translation Studies offers a choice between a research- and a practice-based pathway through the degree. The research pathway allows doctoral students to focus critically on a topic related to translation history, theory, methodology, practice or philosophy. The practice-based pathway involves the production of a substantial literary translation accompanied by a critical reflection.

Further information on the PhD in Literary Translation Studies is available on the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures website.

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Research proposal guidance

Areas for PhD supervision

Translation theory, history, methodology, practice and philosophy; stylistic approaches to translation; exophonic, migrant and intercultural literature; translation of children's and young adult literature; translation and Orientalism; translation and Classical Receptions; Bible translation; the place of translation in renaissance education.

The structure of the PhD

Over 3 or 4 years (full time) or up to 7 years (part time), you will write a research or practice-based thesis:

A. Research pathway
Research theses will be 80,000 words in length and will typically investigate a topic related to the history, theory, practice, methodology and/or philosophy of translation.

B. Practice-based pathway
The practice-based pathway is distinct from the standard research pathway in that significant aspects of the claim for the doctoral requirement of an original contribution to the field of knowledge are demonstrated through the translation. Practice-based theses will consist of two parts, which should nonetheless form an organic whole:

i a translation into English (this might be a translation of a novel; a novella; a collection of short stories; a collection of poetry; a work of literary non-fiction – the definition of literary non-fiction including but not restricted to memoir and travel writing; a work of scholarly writing, e.g. philosophy, critical theory, political thought).

ii a critical reflection requiring the student to demonstrate awareness, informed by relevant scholarship in Translation Studies and any other pertinent scholarly fields, of the issues – stylistic, cultural, sociological, ideological and/or philosophical, among others – involved in the translation of the work. The thesis will be between 80,000 and 100,000 words, comprising the two related parts, translation and critical reflection. The ratio between the translation and reflection components will vary but the creative part will in all cases be the longer; the standard ratio of translation to critical reflection is 70:30. Variations on the 70:30 ratio may be negotiated – usually by translators of poetry or shorter fiction such as a novella or a short story collection. The translation should be undertaken during the period when the student is enrolled as a doctoral student at Warwick, i.e. a translation completed prior to the student’s enrolment in the PhD programme would not fulfil the requirements of the degree.


Each student will have one or two supervisors, at least one of whom will be among the Professors and Associate Professors of the Warwick Writing Programme. Co-supervision that involves a member of another unit in the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures, the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures or another academic unit in the Faculty of Arts may be appropriate. You will meet with your supervisors, together or separately, at least once a month during the teaching year (if full time) or twice a term (part time). These meetings should normally be in person but may sometimes be conducted remotely when convenient to both parties. You will also have a personal tutor, whose role is pastoral. There is no taught component of this degree, but each student is invited to a one-to-one meeting with our subject librarian to explore resources for his or her project.

Entry requirements 2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. An MA (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with a final mark (or predicted final mark) of 65 or above. We recognise that practising literary translators applying to the practice-based pathway may have come to the profession from a background outside literary studies and/or modern foreign languages and/or the broader humanities and that previous degrees may not necessarily be in a “relevant” subject. Professional experience will therefore be taken into account in the assessment of an applicant’s suitability for the programme where an applicant comes from an academic background outside the arts and humanities. For the practice-based pathway, a sample of translated work should accompany all applications.

English language requirements Band C
Overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.5 and component scores

International Students
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home, EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.