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Applied Language and Translation Studies

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
3* or 4 Years
+353 (0) 1
700 5810

Become expert in two languages with excellent translation skills for an exciting global career



Overview Icon

If you have a passion for languages and you are interested in exploring the field of translation, this degree course is for you. 

Open up global career opportunities

The BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS) is a unique degree that aims to prepare a new generation of translators and language professionals for global career opportunities. You will study two foreign languages with exciting combinations that include Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Plus this dynamic degree allows you to explore the principles behind language, culture, translation and intercultural communication. 

Linguist and translator skills

You will acquire professional and academic competencies as a linguist and a translator, allowing you to compete in the national and international marketplace. You will also acquire significant technical skills as you work with multimedia texts and a variety of software applications used by translators, and develop critical and creative thinking skills.

Taught by leading experts for 30 years

DCU is ranked joint number one in Ireland for Linguistics and with the ALTS degree, you will gain top-quality language, translation and intercultural skills from the top experts in the field of linguistics and translation. You can complete the ALTS degree in three years, or choose to take an extra year either to study abroad or complete an INTRA placement.

DCU People

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Patrick Cadwell

I am Patrick Cadwell and the current chair of DC155 BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies.

Read more about Patrick Cadwell

Careers & Further Options

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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.


  • Translator
  • Interpreter
  • Mediator between cultural groups
  • Editor
  • Terminologist
  • Educator 
  • Researcher 
  • Marketer
  • Sales manager
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist 
  • Logistics manager
  • International development worker
Translation agency
Diplomatic services
Government agencies
International development agencies
Global business
Sales, marketing and advertising

DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.


Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

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

 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

Please visit our Admissions webpage for details on course requirements or how to apply to DCU. Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on DCU courses, open days, campus tours or school visits. To apply to DCU, please visit

Applications are welcomed to Year 2 from students who have studied at Level 6, 7 or 8 in relevant areas. Applications will only be considered in cases where the applicant has studied two of the five languages taught on ALTS in an appropriate combination (two European languages or one European plus one Asian language) at Level 6, 7 or 8 in the year of application.

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.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon

In the first year of this degree, you will select two languages from Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish and study foundation modules in linguistics, culture and translation studies. In your second year, you can choose to take either two intermediate languages, or one intermediate and one beginner-level language. For the final year of your degree, you have the option to continue studying two languages or to just focus on one of them.

Beginner or intermediate level

Please note that Chinese and Japanese are offered at beginner level only. French is offered at intermediate level only. German and Spanish can be taken at either intermediate or beginner levels.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad at one of our partner universities provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture of another country and greatly enhances your language skills. If you choose to study abroad for your fourth and final year, your studies in Year 3 will provide you with a strong foundation to make the most of your time abroad, as you will conduct independent research for your dissertation and take courses in languages and translation. 


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, visit their section. 

What Will I Study?

While content of the course may change over time, these modules are indicative of what you will be studying in each year.

  • Two intermediate languages or one beginner and one intermediate language
  • In addition to the two languages, all students choose from the following:
  • Introduction to Translation Studies
  • Introduction to the Study of Language
  • Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Society and Literature
  • Two intermediate languages or one beginner and one intermediate language
  • In addition to the two languages, all students choose from the following:
  • Textual Studies
  • Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Literature and Film
  • Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Translation Practice
  • Introduction to Terminology
  • Computer-Aided Translation
  • Continue with your two chosen languages or focus on one
  • Dissertation (independent research)
  • Multimedia Translation
  • Introduction to Interpreting
  • Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Advanced Oral and Writing Skills
  • Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Economic Translation Chinese/French/German/Japanese/Spanish Scientific/Technical Translation

You have the option to graduate with a degree after completing Year 3 of this course*

Year abroad at a partner university*

  • Follow the partner university’s academic courses



* Students need to fulfil criteria in order to participate in the year-long study abroad or INTRA programme.


For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

Fees Icon


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

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

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

To apply for this programme:
Candidates should apply directly here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please provide 

  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link

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

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

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 6th November to 1st July.

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

Life On Campus

Life on Campus

LanguaCulture Space at DCU

This is a unique creative space on campus for all language-loving students! You can

  • use your target language in an authentic intercultural atmosphere
  • share and get to know each other´s languages and cultures
  • get to know fellow students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • share your curiosity/passion for new cultures and languages

Language Societies

As a language student at DCU you may want to join a number of clubs or societies to meet other like-minded students such as the Chinese Society, German Society, Japanese Society, French Society and Erasmus Student Network, to name a few.


DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

Do I need special equipment for this course?

SALIS has two newly refurbished language and translation laboratories for students to use. These laboratories have state-of-the-art tools and applications for language learning and translation practice.


I am good with languages and have an interest in training to be a translator - Do you have a degree that would work for me?

The BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS) might be for you! It is a unique degree in Ireland 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 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, as well as learn about the latest technology used in translation work. This can be a three-year or four-year degree, as you have an opportunity of doing a year abroad in your third year. This will allow you to apply your language skills in a real life setting and is an excellent opportunity to experience the culture and society of a different country first-hand.


I love languages but will I need to do further study after my degree in order to get a job or am I equipped to go into the workplace? What sort of career can I pursue?

You will be equipped after the ALTS degree to be a language professional of various different types. For example, you may become a translator, localiser, editor, technical writer, project manager, language technologist, etc. If you want to become an interpreter, you will need to do a Master's in Interpreting. You will also have developed. transferrable skills that can be used in other occupations. For example, some of our graduates go into teaching, media, marketing, or work NGOs, banks, insurance companies, etc.