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Linguistics: Translation

This is a specialisation within the MA Linguistics.

Students take the following obligatory courses:

Course 1: Advanced Translation (5 EC)

Course 2: Translation Studies (5 EC)

Course 3: The Translator’s Tools (5 EC)

Course 4: Thesis Seminar and Thesis (20 EC)

Course 5: Work Placement / Research Internship (10 EC)

In addition, students choose 2 specialized courses from the following:

Course 6 (10 EC) and 7 (5 EC): Literary Translation I (10 EC), Medical Translation (10 EC), Literary Translation II (5 EC), Subtitling in Theory and Practice (5 EC). Other courses offered within the MA Linguistics or a course on a linguistics subject taught in another MA are subject to approval by the Board of Examiners.

Please contact the specialisation coordinator for more information on eligibility for registration in the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators.


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Obligatory courses

The Translator’s Tools 5
Advanced Translation 5
Translation Studies 5
MA Thesis seminar Translation 0

Elective: select 1 course from the list below:

Literary Translation 1: The familiar and the foreign 10
Medical Translation 10

Semester 2

Obligatory courses

MA thesis Translation 20
Workplacement Translation 10

Elective: select 1 course from the list below:

Subtitling in Theory and Practice 5
Literary Translation 2: The other side of the tapestry 5

Career Preparation

Career Preparation in Linguistics

The programme

The curriculum of Linguistics offers a wide range of perspectives on the history, structure and use of language. The programme has three specialisations.
How can you use this knowledge and the skills that you acquire? Which specialisation should you choose within your study programme and why? What skills do you already have, and what further skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses that you choose into something that you’d like to do after graduation?
These questions and more will be discussed at various times during your study programme. You may already have spoken about them with your study advisor, other students, or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. Many different activities are organised to help you reflect on your own wishes and options, and give you the chance to explore the job market. All these activities are focused on the questions: ‘What can I do?’, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘How do I achieve my goals?’.


You will be notified via the Faculty website, your study programme website and email about further activities in the area of job market preparation. The following activities will help you to thoroughly explore your options, so we advise you to take careful note of them:

Transferable skills

Future employers are interested not only in the subject-related knowledge that you acquired during your study programme, but also in the ‘transferable skills’. These include cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation and innovation; intrapersonal skills, such as flexibility, initiative, appreciating diversity and metacognition; and interpersonal skills, such as communication, accountability and conflict resolution. In short, they are skills that all professionals need in order to perform well.
It is therefore important that during your study programme you not only acquire as much knowledge as possible about your subject, but also are aware of the skills you have gained and the further skills you still want to learn. The course descriptions in the e-Prospectus of [Linguistics] include, in addition to the courses’ learning objectives, a list of the skills that they aim to develop.
The skills you may encounter in the various courses are:

  • Collaboration

  • Persuasion

  • Research

  • Self-directed learning

  • Creative thinking

  • Analytical skills


During your studies you have ample opportunity to gain experience studying, working, or conducting research at an organisation or institution. This experience is highly valued within international organisations. Many of our students choose to do an internship during their study. Internships are a great way to gain invaluable first-hand experience in your area of interest before you decide on making it a career. More information about finding and arranging an internship can be found on this website.

In recent years, students from Linguistics (specialisation) have participated in internships at:

  • Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

  • Koninklijke Brill NV

  • Transnational Consulting S.L.

  • Taalmuseum Leiden

  • Meertens Instituut

  • Ambassade van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden Rome

  • Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

  • KERN B.V. Vertaal- en Tolkservice

  • LiBC Babylab voor taalverwerving

  • Europees Parlement

  • Pro Comunidades Indigenas

  • Instituut voor Gebaren, Taal & Dovenstudies


If you have any questions about career choices, whether in your studies or on the job market, you are welcome to make an appointment with the career adviser of the the Humanities Career Service 071-5272235, or with your study advisor.