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PhD in Literary Translation Studies (2023 Entry)

Literary Practice student at the University of Warwick.

Find out more about our PhD in Literary Translation Studies.

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.

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 requirementsLink opens in a new window. 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 pageLink opens in a new window.

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 supervisorLink opens in a new window 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 supervisorsLink opens in a new window include Tim Leach, Maureen Freely, David Morley, Gonzalo C. Garcia, Nell Stevens and Lucy Brydon.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor.Link opens in a new window

Learn about our research proposal guidance on the Warwick Writing Programme websiteLink opens in a new window.

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

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • 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.

Department content block about careers

Warwick Writing Programme

Welcome to the Warwick Writing Programme, an internationally acclaimed writing programme that attracts writers and literary translators from across the globe. If you join us you will immerse yourself in contemporary and experimental narratives, including screenwriting, literary translation, gaming, spoken word and fieldwork.

We foster and maintain excellent creative industry links and networks to enable our students to achieve their career ambitions. We are closely involved with The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, whose recent winners have included Raymond Antrobus, Adam Weymouth and Sally Rooney. We are also the home of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

Our teaching staff of novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, screenwriters and literary translators includes A.L. Kennedy, Tim Leach, Nell Stevens, Maureen Freely, Gonzalo C. Garcia and David Morley.

Find out more about us on our website.Link opens in a new window

Our courses

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at 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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