In the bachelor’s Translation programme, you will gain knowledge of theory and methods as well as practical skills that you can apply in translating and interpreting. You will also focus on the cultures of the areas in which your working languages are spoken and technology related to language, text production and translation. One unique aspect of the programme is the possibility to study the Spanish regional languages: Galician, Catalan and Basque.

At a glance

  • Field of study

    humanities and linguistics
  • Degree type

  • Degree

    Bachelor of Arts
  • Language of instruction

    German, some foreign language
  • Full/part-time

    full-time, part-time
  • Course start

    winter semester
  • Admission restriction

    without admission restriction, aptitude test
  • Standard period of study

    six semesters

  • ECTS credits



general higher education entrance qualification, subject-specific higher education entrance qualification

  • Linguistic focus on English: Knowledge of English at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • Linguistic focus on French: Knowledge of French at B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • Linguistic focus on Spanish: Knowledge of Spanish at B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

This degree programme requires applicants to pass an aptitude test. More information is available on the institute website.


From the outset of the bachelor’s programme, the academic principles of translatology are taught: You will first lay a sound theoretical foundation and, building on this, obtain a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills relevant to the practice.

It is therefore not the case that the bachelor’s programme is “practical” and the master’s programme “theoretical”. Instead, the programmes progress from more general matters to those that are more advanced and specific.

An education in translation must by its nature remain relatively general, however. Professional fields are so diverse, and the content of what is translated and interpreted is so varied that it is not possible to prepare you in a targeted manner for specific areas (e.g., as patent translators or interpreters for the pharmaceutical industry). To prevent you from getting a shock when you start your career, however, you will be confronted with examples of specific assignments. These take place at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology by offering a flexible spectrum of options in the key skills and in the elective area that is one-of-a-kind in Germany. The possibilities enable you to familiarise yourself with “other” subjects and ways of thinking (that is, those other than translation or linguistics) depending on your preferences and aptitude. The programme aims to convey and expand the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • the confident use of means of expression in the two working languages,
  • methodological and theoretical knowledge to effectively tackle typical problems in translation,
  • the ability to independently work on an academic or practical problem with a specific subject-related or professional focus,
  • knowledge of the cultural contexts and particularities relevant to translation and interpreting,
  • knowledge of terminological and lexicographical tools and methods,
  • knowledge of current professional tools.

Areas of translation education:

Linguistic skills

By improving the necessary language skills in the chosen foreign language – English, French or Spanish –, the foundation for work as a translator is laid at the start of your studies. For all foreign language modules, whether they are in the linguistic specialisation or the elective area, the beginning level for the first semester is B2 for English and B1 for French and Spanish. This then also applies for other modules in the same foreign language.

In the elective area, the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology offers the working languages Basque, Galician and Catalan with a translation profile; previous knowledge is not required.

General and specialised translation studies

You acquire foundational and advanced knowledge of translation studies, looking at various issues related to the processes of translating and interpreting. In this field you will learn the various models and methods of translation studies and will be able to recognise and solve general translation problems and those related to your specific language pair.

General and specialised linguistics

Language is essential for cognition and communication. Obtaining insights into the structure and functioning of languages in general and those that are specific to the language pair in particular is therefore a central element of the programme. Your linguistic knowledge of your language pairs improves as you expand and systematise that knowledge, which you can then apply when analysing texts.

Linguistics of specialised texts

You will get to know the various interdisciplinary approaches of linguistics of specialised texts, enabling you to analyse and translate various types of specialised texts. Some translation problems typical for certain types of specialised texts are discussed during the courses, and this includes how to handle non-verbal elements in texts and how to correctly interpret technical drawings.

Translating / interpreting

During the programme, basic translation skills and techniques into and out of the foreign language are taught using various text types often encountered in professional practice. This also includes an introduction into the most important terms and methods of interpreting.

Cultural studies

By studying various areas – e.g., politics, business or literature – in the other linguistic and cultural community, you are sensitised to the particularities of these cultures. Courses in these areas help you acquire the key foundations for intercultural communication skills in your working languages and cultures.

Terminology and language technology

You will learn how to work with the technical tools of translators and interpreters. You will also become familiar with the basics and methods of terminology, various tools and specific terminological methods such as computer-aided translation-focused terminology management.

The bachelor’s programme in Translation entails a student workload of 180 credit points. It is made up of compulsory elective and compulsory courses together with the bachelor’s thesis in a core subject (90 credit points) in addition to a free elective area or an elective subject. The elective area or elective subject are worth 60 credit points. Besides this, 30 credit points are earned in courses focussing on key skills. The key skills can be taken from those specific to the subject, specific to the faculty or those offered to all students at the University.

Core subject

You choose one of the following languages as your first foreign language (B language):

  • English,
  • French,
  • Spanish.

This language focus includes several compulsory modules and one compulsory elective module. You will preferably complete your compulsory elective module while studying abroad. The bachelor’s thesis is typically completed alongside your courses during your third year of studies.

Elective area

You can individually design your elective area. It is recommended that you select an additional translation subject, that is, another one of the languages listed above with a translation profile, but at the least three modules that are related to one another in terms of their content. You have the following possibilities for individualising your studies:

  • “large” translation elective area or elective translation subject (60 credit points): English, French, Spanish, Galician or Catalan as an additional B language
  • translation elective area (30 credit points in another B language, see above) and non-translation elective area (30 credit points) or
  • freely elective non-translation elective area (60 credit points), e.g. in another linguistic subject and/or
  • a non-linguistic subject or
  • a free combination of modules.

Key skills

In this area, you can take additional philological modules that serve to improve your language skills in another foreign language and complete a translation-related internship. You also take at least one non-philological module.

  • Basics of translating and interpreting for English, French and Spanish in the combination with German as the primary language (A language)
  • Basque, Galician and Catalan as an additional foreign language
  • Possibility to study for one or two semesters abroad at one of more than 50 universities worldwide
  • In the specialisation “Translation in the German-Cuban Context”, binational double degree with the University of Havana

The bachelor’s degree in Translation prepares you for various careers in the context of intercultural communication:

  • computer linguistics,
  • documentation,
  • copyediting,
  • media analysis,
  • technical editing,
  • terminology work,
  • tourism.

In particular the double degree in the binational specialisation “Translation in the German-Cuban Context” with its focus on the Caribbean linguistic and cultural space is optimal for preparing for work with international organisations. Graduates with German as a native language can often find interesting opportunities for working abroad.

Most translators work on specialised translations; this requires additional qualifications that you can obtain at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology in the master’s programme in Translatology. The bachelor’s in Translation also provides an excellent basis for the master’s programme in Conference Interpreting.

  • It is recommended that students complete a translation-related internship.
  • During your studies, you have the opportunity to complete a semester abroad, preferably during the fifth semester, or a year abroad that takes place as part of the Erasmus+ programme during the third and fourth or the fifth and sixth semesters. You can complete the stay abroad at one of Leipzig University’s partner universities. There, you take courses that provide a sensible continuation of your studies in terms of the topics. After you have successfully completed the stay abroad, this work is recognised in the Translation programme according to the Study and Examination Regulations. The academic programme advisors and coordinators for your degree programme are happy to advise you on selecting modules.


Course start: Winter semester
Admission restriction (NCU): no
Application period: 2 May–15 September
Application portal: AlmaWeb

Please ensure that you read and take note of the further information provided on the pages “Online application”.

International students can find information about application periods and how to apply on the page “International”.

Options in the winter semester: 3rd semester and 5th semester – each without restrictions on admission
Options in the summer semester: 2nd semester, 4th semester and 6th semester – each without restrictions on admission
Application period: 2 May–15 September for the winter semester; 1 December–15 March for the summer semester
Application portal: AlmaWeb
Special enrolment requirements: Credits form (Anrechnungsbescheid)

You can find more information on our page for “Applying for higher semesters of study”.

International students can find information about application periods and how to apply on the page “International”.

An aptitude test is required for the first semester of this degree programme. Please go to the institute’s webpage to find information about the registration process for the aptitude test and the deadlines that apply! The application for the degree programme must be submitted separately to the registration for the aptitude test.