Applied Language and Translation Studies

BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS)
CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
3* or 4 Years
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700 6327

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If you have a passion for languages, wish to reach high levels of proficiency in your chosen languages and are interested in exploring the field of translation, this course is for you.

The BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS) is a unique degree in Irish higher education that aims to prepare a new generation of translators and language professionals for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. You will study two foreign languages with exciting combinations that include Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, as well as many stimulating modules on translation. It allows you to explore the principles behind language, culture, translation and intercultural communication. You will work with multi-modal and digital literacies, and you will develop critical and creative thinking.

The degree is delivered by experts in the field and has been running successfully for over 30 years. It will equip you with the skills needed to communicate effectively across cultures and languages. The skills you will develop are in demand in modern industry and make our future graduates highly employable in an increasingly competitive, technologically driven, international marketplace.

Thanks to a well-rounded range of modules, small classes and approachable staff, I found that ALTS offered a unique and in-depth approach to language learning and culture, while still maintaining a real-world perspective - Hannah Leonard, Graduate, BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (Spanish/French)

Course Structure

The languages available on the BA in Applied Languages and Translation Studies are:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

You will select two languages from Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish as well as foundation modules in linguistics, culture, and translation studies. You will take either two intermediate languages, or one intermediate and one beginner- level language. You will have the possibility to focus on one of your chosen languages from the third year of your degree, if you wish to do so.

Please note that Chinese and Japanese are offered at beginner level only (students with Leaving Certificate Japanese take two intermediate Japanese modules in Year 1). French is offered at intermediate level only. German and Spanish can be taken at either intermediate or beginner levels.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture of another country and greatly enhances your language skills. Those who meet certain criteria and wish to go abroad will spend Year 4 studying at one of our partner universities. In Year 3  you will conduct independent research for your dissertation, and take courses in language and translation that will provide you with a strong foundation to make the most of your time abroad.


Alternatively in Year 4, you may opt to apply for a year-long work placement.  This will give you a unique opportunity to enhance your CV, increase your employability and experience the relevance of your study in the real world. This option is competitive and subject to the availability of placements. For more information on the INTRA programme at DCU, please visit

Aims and Objectives

  • Allows you to become proficient in two languages with an applied focus on translation skills.
  • Delivered successfully by specialists in the field and with a tradition of over 30 years.
  • Offers exciting language combinations.
  • Includes a year abroad at one of our partner universities.
  • Helps you to acquire humanistic skills as well as more technical skills through work with multimedia texts and software applications.
  • Offers an ideal platform to develop a career in the national and international labour markets while promoting a passion for languages.
View the current course structure

Life on Campus

We have three academic campuses close to Dublin City centre - they are located in Glasnevin and Drumcondra, and can be reached by public transport (Dublin Bus).

Each campus has libraries, study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. Sports facilities are located on two of the academic campuses. We also have a dedicated sports campus in the form of St Claire’s. 

Exceptional facilities

DCU students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

Construction on our FutureTech building on the Glasnevin campus will get underway in 2022. Once completed, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines. It will have the capacity to accommodate an additional 3,000 STEM students on the university’s Glasnevin campus.

Campus life

DCU student facilities boast a fully equipped sports complex with a 25-metre pool, three libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

Our purpose built, state-of-the-art new student centre known as 'The U' serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body of 18,500. It is home to the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub.

DCU Students' Union and the Office of Student Life are also based in the U.  The centre is a space for students where they can meet, with lots of charging points and isolation booths. Clubs and Socs avail of meeting rooms here and it's also home to DCUfm. NuBar, Londis and the Venue are also located here.

There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year.

Student Supports

We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.

Student Advice Centre: Offers a wide range of supports and services to students and advice 

The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year 

Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules 

Student Learning: facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence. 

Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.

Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.

Hannah Leonard, Graduate, BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (Spanish/French)

Thanks to a well-rounded range of modules, small classes and approachable staff, I found that ALTS offered a unique and in-depth approach to language learning and culture, while still maintaining a real-world perspective - Hannah Leonard, Graduate, BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (Spanish/French)

Why do this course?

  • Open up global career opportunities with two languages 
  • Gain a broad base of language, linguistics, cultural and translation studies 
  • Use multimedia texts and software applications to enhance your translation skills
  • Spend a full academic year at a partner university abroad or on a work placement
  • Gain top-quality language, translation and intercultural skills to meet the demand at home or abroad


We live in a multicultural society and studying languages opens doors to other countries, cultures, people and employment opportunities. Good communication through foreign languages is essential to organisations and sectors operating globally. Graduates from our degree in Applied Language and Translation Studies are immediately work-ready and sought after for their professional competencies as language professionals and translators. Many of our graduates have found employment across a range of industries where they have applied their language skills, including localisation, gaming, banking, tourism, education, research and recruitment. Additionally, Ireland’s technology sector has been dubbed the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’ and a source of great opportunity for graduates with foreign languages working in sales, marketing and customer solutions. Graduates have also secured positions with international organisations including the United Nations, European Parliament and European Commission and in the not-for-profit sector.

Career areas:

  • Translation and Interpreting
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Diplomatic Services
  • EU Institutions
  • Government Agencies
  • International Development Agencies
  • Global organisations
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Post Primary Education
  • International Affairs
  • Policy Evaluation


Leaving Cert

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

Minimum of H4 in French or German or Spanish*

GCE A Level

 In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply


GCE A Level C French or German or Spanish

FET Level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go. 

BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies
EU Transfer Applications

No Entry Path

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.


Full time

Student Contribution
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee
€15,000 per annum

Next Steps

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

EU Transfer Applicants

No Advanced Entry Route

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
A minimum of 10 students is required for Chinese.