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PhD in Literary Translation Studies (2022 Entry)

About this research graduate course

Course overview

The PhD in Literary Translation Studies offers a choice between a research- and a practice-based pathway through your 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 Warwick Writing Programme website.

Teaching and learning

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 teaching staff 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.

General entry requirements

Minimum 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

You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:

  • Band C
  • IELTS overall (Academic) score of 7.5 and component scores.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Our research

Areas for PhD supervision include:

  • Translation theory
  • Translation history and philosophy
  • Translation methodology, practice and sociology
  • 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

Find a supervisor

Find your supervisor and discuss with them the area you'd like to research.

It is recommended that you approach your preferred supervisor before submitting your application. Our supervisors include Chantal Wright and Maureen Freely. We will try to arrange co-supervision beyond the Writing Programme where it is desirable and possible to do so.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor.

Learn about our research proposal guidance on the Warwick Writing Programme website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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