In our globalized world, translators play an important role in communication. In addition to translation competence, our Translatology master’s programme will also help you acquire an extensive technological competence.

A programme with a seal of approval

In September 2009, the Translatology master’s programme offered at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT) received the “EMT European Master’s in Translation” seal of approval from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation for the first time. Since then, the programme has been reapproved for its high-quality training twice – in 2014 and 2019. Only two translator-training institutions in Germany (University of Leipzig and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences) have earned this recognition.

The “European Master’s in Translation” (EMT) network is restructured every five years and unites higher education institutions that meet the high, mutually agreed upon professional standards and essential market requirements for translation. The core of the EMT network is a competence framework that lays out the education goals of the network. These are not only limited to students’ expertise in translation, language, and culture; they also include technological, interpersonal as well as service competence.

IALT’s membership in the EMT network is more than just a recognition of quality, though: it also facilitates the institute’s continuous development and self-critical reflection. This allows students as well as teachers to gain new competences related to the demands of the profession. Graduates have an easier time entering the professional world as they have acquired the competences needed to survive in today’s translation market.

The general prerequisite for admission to the programme is a career-qualifying bachelor’s degree. A degree in translation is an advantage but is not required. You can apply to the programme without a translation degree, if you are able to prove you meet the necessary language requirements.

The subject-specific admission requirements are:

  • A passing grade in the entrance exam (German link) for the MA Translatology.
  • Proof of language skills for the selected B language (main subject) and C language (translation elective) in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level C1 or equivalent for Arabic, English, French, or Spanish. Proof of competence for the selected B language (main subject) must be submitted with your registration for the entrance exam. For languages studied as electives (a second B language or a C language), proof is submitted at the beginning of the programme. The primary or A language in any language combination is always German.

For the programme, you must be able to prove skills at level C1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages for the languages you wish to study within the MA Translatology. Proof of competence for the B language selected as main subject is submitted with your registration for the entrance exam (admission requirement). For a second B or a C language, proof is submitted at the beginning of the programme.


Any of the following can be used to prove your language skills:

  • At least two years at a school or higher education institution in a country where the relevant language is spoken;
  • Language instruction at secondary school from grade 7 to graduation with the language as a specialisation subject;
  • A bachelor’s degree related to either translation or philology, e. g. English Studies, American Studies, Romance Studies with a focus on French or Spanish;
  • Completing one of the following recognized language exams:
    • English: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE); Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) including all four competencies and the minimal scores Reading 455, Listening 490, Writing 200, Speaking 200; Cambridge BEC Higher; TOEFL iBT with a score of 95 points; IELTS with at least 7.0 points; UNICERT III
    • French: DALF C1, Test de Français International (TFI) with a score over 785 points; UNICERT III
    • Spanish: DELE (Nivel Superior), Diploma Superior de Español (D.S.E.), UNICERT III
    • Russian: TRKI Certificate level 3, UNICERT III

The Translatology master’s programme is a consecutive degree programme, which normally builds upon a translation-related bachelor’s degree. The programme focuses on applied linguistics and technical translation. You will choose one language – Arabic, English, French, or Spanish – for your main subject. We recommend adding another language to your translation profile as an elective.

The aim of the programme is to give students the methodological and theoretical knowledge which will help them to solve typical problems encountered in translation and intercultural technical communication. This knowledge includes

  • Specific strategies of knowledge acquisition and transfer, including a knowledge of cultural contexts relevant for translation,
  • The production of technical texts appropriate for purpose and addressees
  • Terminological, lexicographical and translation methods,
  • Use of equipment and technologies,
  • Quality and project management

The Translatology programme will prepare you for a career in intercultural technical communication, either as a practitioner, a teacher, or a researcher. Future professional activities may be more research‑oriented in applied linguistics or more practically oriented in technical translation.

Translators primarily translate specialized texts in the fields of technology, law, or business. Texts dealing with the Humanities and social sciences and literary texts are encountered to a much lesser extent. Most translators work as freelancers or at a translation agency, but there are interesting job opportunities in the private sector, at government agencies, or with international organizations that have their own language services. There are further job prospects in related areas such as computational linguistics, documentation, lexicography, and terminology as well as in the field of communications, e.g., as a language consultant or technical writer.

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