Student Advice


Ben Maples  · Nov 29th 2021

What is a DipTrans? Well, we’ve got a guide below that tells you everything you need to know about a DipTrans.


If you are looking to become a Translator or are looking to work in modern foreign languages, then you will likely need a DipTrans.

The DipTrans is a qualification brought in primarily to test students on their language abilities and their abilities to translate passages of text. As a result, the DipTrans has fast become one of the most sought-after qualifications in the UK.

What is a DipTrans?

What is a DipTrans?

A DipTrans course is a Diploma in Translation. It is the oldest professional qualification in this area and it is recognised by employers and bodies around the world as one of the premier qualifications required to become a Translator. Much like a teacher requires a PGCE degree to become a teacher, you won’t find many Translators that don’t have a DipTrans. Many Translators also look at other alternative DipTrans courses as well, such as the Certificate of Higher Education.

While a number of universities offer the qualification, it is traditionally run by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and run through universities this way, and plenty of CIOL DipTrans resources come from here too as well as the DipTrans handbook. The DipTrans is a postgraduate level professional qualification.

Can I take the DipTrans online?

Initially, the DipTrans was not available to be taken online, however, given the complications that arose amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the option to take the course online has since emerged.

The ability to take the exam virtually is still in its infancy so the kinks are still being worked out, but students can elect to take the course online if needed.

Those studying a Modern Foreign Language (MFL), will most likely be required to travel abroad as part of the programme first.

What are the alternatives?

The MITI Exam is exactly the same as the DipTrans examination and it offers you the chance to join the Institute of Translation. Though the courses are similar in their approach and overall course content etc, the prices are different and the ability to study the course at home is offered.

There are other differences as well, such as:

  • The exam for the MITI is longer than the DipTrans.
  • The subjects are more rigid with the DipTrans and looser with the MITI.
  • The results take less time to receive with the MITI and takes longer with the DipTrans.
  • The pass rate is higher for the MITI.

Feedback is offered for the MITI, whereas feedback is not offered for the DipTrans, however, you can ask for a re-mark, which will cost £70.

How much does the DipTrans cost?

The DipTrans cost is broken down by units.

The units cost separate figures, however, you can pay for the entire course in one fell swoop, if you want to.

  • Unit 1: £415.00
  • Unit 2: £308.00
  • Unit 3: £308.00
  • Full registration: £616.00

*All prices correct at the time of publishment.

These figures also include a booking fee, which is usually around £150.00 and wil include a variant certification fee.

These prices can be lower or higher depending on where you study, speak to your learning centre beforehand.

What is the DipTrans?

Is it a course or is it an exam?

The DipTrans is a diploma, which runs for around nine months and will have several modules. You can take the diploma part-time or full-time and there is a DipTrans exam at the end of the diploma. However, the second module is required to gain a higher qualification and that too has an examination at the end of the diploma, much like a Diploma of Higher Education.

The exam touches on a number of different areas and it tests you in several different ways. Your common DipTrans will cover three separate units, which are as follows:

  • Unit 1: Written translation of general text
  • Unit 2: Written translation of specialised text in Technology, Business or Literature
  • Unit 3: Written translation of specialised text in Science, Social science or Law

The qualification can take up to nine months to complete, but the second module is more flexible and is very much dependent on your decision to study it full-time or part-time.

The complications that arose amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the option to take the course online has since emerged

How can I prepare for the DipTrans?

There are a number of resources available for students who are looking for revision and general study help. The CIOL website has a number of resources available.

It is also a good idea to brush up on your general language learning. If you can speak multiple languages, then brush up on those that you feel rusty on, as this is very important, especially since grammar is often what slips candidates up!


What are the benefits of sitting the DipTrans?

Apart from having an industry-required qualification, the benefits are pretty good for a qualification as unknown as this, such as:

  • The diploma itself is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL).
  • The qualification improves your chances of getting work in this sector.
  • You are entitled to a DipTrans title designation after your name.
  • Upon receipt of your DipTrans, you are able to apply to the CIoL.

These are essential for a student looking to become a Translator, but it is up to you to find ask is the DipTrans worth it?

A DipTrans course is a Diploma in Translation.

Do I need to have used the Erasmus Programme before studying the DipTrans?

The Erasmus Programme is used for a number of different things and can relate to a number of different courses. However, those studying a Modern Foreign Language (MFL), will most likely be required to travel abroad as part of the programme first.

Do I need to have any qualifications in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) prior to applying for the DipTrans?

It isn’t essential, but it would probably help your application process go a little easier. Many students that apply to university already speak multiple languages, many students speak multiple languages as well.

Many people that are applying for the DipTrans, are looking to become a Translator (or something in this area) in a specific area, such as Law. However, you will need a degree in something related to his before you begin work on the DipTrans.

For example, those looking to become a Translator in Engineering will need to have an Engineering degree prior to applying for the DipTrans.

The DipTrans

DipTrans exam dates

The DipTrans usually takes place in January, over two or three days, it depends on what modules you are taking.

The specific dates that the exam is taken can change and are all dependent on the learning centre you are studying the exam at.

What languages are offered as part of the DipTrans?

The DipTrans is available in any language that you want. If you want to take the exam in your native tongue or in the language that you’re looking to translate, then you can do that. It is best to check out the languages list on your university’s website or speak to your course advisor first.

The languages very much depend on the institution itself. Most courses will offer the most common world languages, so you can usually expect to see the following languages being covered by the DipTrans:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

There may be more languages offered by institutions and universities, but these are the most common languages offered.

Do all universities offer the DipTrans?

Not all universities can offer the DipTrans. For instance, universities like UCFB specialise in sport, so there is no facility to offer translation services for students.

However, some universities or institutions may have a partner or a companion who can help you. Finding a DipTrans qualification isn’t too difficult anyway.

Is it possible to become a Translator without a DipTrans?

It is possible, but we don’t recommend it. The only reason why is because, without a DipTrans, it will be very difficult to join any of the professional standards bodies or find work in recognised organisations without the DipTrans UK.

A number of Translators have been turned away from work with organisations such as the United Nations (UN) because they haven’t got the necessary qualifications, like the DipTrans.

The CIoL contains a very brief overview of a Level 7 Diploma in Translation on their site as well, they also offer some DipTrans preparation courses for students as well, they also have DipTrans past papers on their site too, so you can look those up for the DipTrans courses in the UK and use them for your DipTrans preparation.

undergraduate Uni's

Get your questions answered by sending them an enquiry now.