• id
  • username
  • 2009-06-15
  • UK
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva
  • Director of Translation Studies Graduate Programme
  • Ubaldo Stecconi
  • My institution only.
  • PhD in Translation Studies (though the title at the graduation will be the actual title of the thesis, rather than ‘Translation Studies’)
  • The period of study is 36 months if studying full-time, or 72 months if studying part-time. Further months are granted for writing-up if the College decides favourably.
  • As noted above, the PhDs bear the title of the thesis itself, so the students are not attached to one department only.
  • A distinction at master’s level (MA or MSc).
  • A sound and detailed PhD proposal. Evidence of previous research at master’s level. As above, distinction level marks at master’s level. Good references. They can come into TS from other related fields.
  • The process usually begins with pre-application enquiries. Candidates contact either our postgraduate administrator or the individual academics by email, after checking the relevant information on the School website. The academics examine the research proposals sent as attachments. If we agree that it is an area we can offer supervision and if we are satisfied with the initial level of the proposal, we suggest the candidate to apply. At this stage, some feedback might be given to the candidate, so that they revise their proposal before the application. In some instances, we arrange for telephone interviews in order to ascertain the candidate’s ability and willingness to revise their proposals according to the future supervisor’s suggestions.

    Once the formal application is received, it is routed from the College to the SLLC Graduate School, and then to the Director of the Translation Studies Graduate Programme. The director, after examining the applicant’s credentials and the level of the proposal, passes the application to the colleague in translation studies whose expertise matches the suggested research area. This colleague acts as the first reader for the application and then forwards the application to the relevant language unit, where a colleague whose expertise is within the language concerned acts as the second reader. In most cases, these two colleagues agree to act as the first and the second supervisors (or co-supervisors) for this particular applicant. In rare instances, once the student is registered, the supervision might be transferred to another colleague in the relevant language unit, if research and other leaves necessitate such a change.

    It is possible for the PhD students to request for additional (third supervisors) in cases where such expertise becomes necessary throughout their studies. Change of supervision might also be recommended in the first year Review Board and in the subsequent annual reports.

    Yes, the students choose their own topics. This is a must if they wish to gain acceptance.
  • As above.
  • Approximately £3600 for home students, £9800 for overseas students
  • The PhDs in UK are not course based. They are centered on supervised study.
  • As above.
    However, all the new PhD students are encouraged to attend the MSc core course ‘Research in Translation Studies’ as sitting-in students, in order to either refresh their familiarity with the discipline-specific research methods or – in cases where they come from neighbouring disciplines such as linguistics or cultural studies – to be acquainted with them.
  • The Translation Studies Graduate Programme is also one of the three partners in The Translation Research Summer School (TRSS) ( which organizes an annual two-week course offering intensive research training in translation and intercultural studies for prospective researchers in the field. TRSS brings together relevant research experience with expertise in teaching translation and intercultural studies at advanced levels, and equips prospective researchers with the intellectual and practical tools to launch their own independent projects. Doctoral students in the Translation Studies Graduate Programme at the University of Edinburgh can attend the TRSS free of charge in their first (or exceptionally, second) year if their supervisors judge that they will be suitable candidates for this summer school and that they will greatly benefit from it.
    In 2004-2006 the TRSS was granted £9,994 by the AHRC’s Collaborative Research Training Scheme (National and Specialist Provision) for the development of the Translation Research Summer School WebCT Interface. The main aim of this project was to enhance and extend the training offered by TRSS. A self-financing initiative, the TRSS could only allow two students from each institution to attend the course free of charge. AHRC funding was therefore sought to develop self-access training materials for two of the four modules that constitute the syllabus, thus allowing all the research students in the three institutions to benefit from and follow the same programme of training. A related aim was to extend and diversify the range of materials available to all the students and alumni of the Summer School. AHRC funding has allowed a substantial part of the syllabus taught annually by Summer School staff to be made available online through a new bespoke site ( → Online course). This material is now available to all Summer School alumni and existing research students at the three institutions.

    Our postgraduate students are encouraged to be research-active and to attend national and international conferences in order to seek feedback and establish networks. They are also encouraged to publish in refereed journals for the very same reason. Those students attending conferences in order to present a paper are offered financial support by the SLLC.
    Since 2004/2005, UoE Translation Studies Graduate Programme and the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), Heriot Watt University, are organising a fortnightly guest lecture series by eminent visiting scholars. This is an invaluable opportunity for all the graduate students to be initiated into academic discussions, to catch up with the recent developments, and to establish networks. From 2008/2009, attendance to these lectures will be part of the core module of the MSc in Translation Studies, on ‘Research in Translation Studies’.

    A one-day ‘showcase’ seminar of PhD work is also organised jointly with CTISS. This year it will take place on the 22nd of May. PhD candidates from both institutions will be presenting their work and receiving feedback. This is a welcome opportunity in learning to present papers in national and international conferences.

    We are also hoping to re-initiate the monthly work-in-progress seminars for the doctoral students in Translation Studies (These seminars were suspended for the last two years). In these seminars the students receive feedback on their research progress and on their oral presentation. There is time allocated for giving and receiving advice on the development of academic and professional skills, such as choice of thesis topic to meet the wider academic job market, funding for conference attendance, and how to present papers and publish academic articles.
    Recently, the TRSS (as mentioned above) has reached an agreement with the Centre for Translation, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) – currently the most vibrant centre in translation studies in the region – that the latter will run an annual TRSS session in Hong Kong, titled TRSS, Hong Kong. One to two scholars from the UK team will be invited to teach at the TRSS, Hong Kong, and similarly, one to two scholars from HKBU will also be invited to teach at the TRSS, UK every year. This welcome partnership will certainly enhance the research environment in the Translation Studies Graduate Programme at the UoE.
    Another rather recent development is the participation of the Translation Studies Graduate Programme, UoE, to the organisation and hosting of the international postgraduate conference in the discipline: International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting. The November 2007 session was held at the UoE, jointly organised between the UoE, Dublin City University and Heriot-Watt University ( The event was a great success. More than a hundred postgraduate students from all over the world attended the conference. University of Manchester will be part of the organisation from 2009 onwards. Such collaboration gives the possibility to our postgraduate students to present their work and the chance to organise such large-scale international events.
  • Maximum 100,000 words, usually around 80-100,000 words. In English. Time limit depends on the extensions which may be granted. Maximum *.
  • No.
  • Academic staff who has completed their probationary period (usually 3 years) and ideally who has seen through a PhD student to successful completion as a second supervisor. We occasionally have 3rd supervisors based in different universities or countries. They usually act as occasional resources.
  • Maximum 3. Joint supervision is the norm. Either as principal-assistant supervisor or as co-supervisor.
  • Upon their arrival at Edinburgh University, all doctoral students specialising in Translation Studies agree on a time-table of meetings with their supervisors, who act on the initial assessment of the students’ research training needs. These needs are quite varied, especially because our graduate programme attracts quite a number of overseas students, both E.U. and non-E.U. Graduate advisors then make an initial assessment of training needs based on the student’s application. All new research students are required to submit a written assessment of their own progress to date, identifying where possible any formal needs of knowledge gaps. This is then used as a basis for an initial meeting between the student and supervisor(s) in which training needs are discussed and options reviewed. The second supervisor may at this point be changed to help with a background subject area, should research needs in this area come to light.
    An individual student’s research training is subject to overview at an extended end-of-first-year meeting between the student, supervisor(s) and subject graduate advisor. A written joint report is drawn up by the advisor based on two readers’ reports of the student’s chapter-length submission and the supervisor’s progress report. Progress is reviewed and the student and supervisor identify any future training needs.

    In the second and third years, students submit a research time-table and chapter breakdown. Yearly reports on all research students by their supervisors are submitted to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • The examination involves one internal and one external examiner. The viva is chaired by a chairperson who is not the supervisor of the candidate. The supervisors may attend the viva if the student agrees; however, they cannot speak, unless specifically invited to do so by the chair. So, altogether there are maximum 4 people at the viva apart from the candidate.
    For grades and their definitions, please see
    University of Edinburgh: Guidelines for the Examination of Research Degrees
  • No. This usually comes afterwards.
  • UoE’s Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students is available at