Applied Language and Translation Studies

BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS)
CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
3* or 4 Years
+353 (0) 1

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."

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. 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

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

    We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life. 

    Exceptional Facilities
    DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward. 

    A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment
    Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. The new €14m Student Centre has become home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.

    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."

    DCU's Applied Language and Translation Studies video from the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies.

    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

    Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

    Make an Application

    Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
    Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form R10 by clicking here

    A minimum of 10 students is required for Chinese.