The Philosophy of this programme is in line with the philosophy of University of Nairobi which is premised on the need to connect and inspire the Kenyan community by offering appropriate translation of information; to provide leadership and stewardship and to give hope and faith to the Kenya society so that it can excel in whatever it chooses to do with passion, moral responsibility and a sense of strong patriotism.


The MA in Translation is intended to respond to the situation outlined in the philosophy of this course by providing students who wish to undertake masters studies in Translation, with an opportunity to delve into the theoretical and practical depths of Translation. The course also gives such students an opportunity to acquire necessary competences and to advance their research and practical skills. 

This is a professional course designed to train professional translators to high international standards in order for them to become practitioners who are well equipped to practice in the global market. It is intended to fill a training gap in this region as there are no other institutions offering such a programme.

This is a postgraduate degree programme that is designed to equip students with the theoretical and practical skills necessary for them to become professional translators. Apart from equipping them with the knowledge and understanding of the discipline of translation, the programme also has a strong practical element in which students will translate texts from various fields and cultural contexts. The course is designed for practicing translators, linguists, professionals from various fields and all those keen on improving their translation skills or starting a career in translation. The programme offers training in translation in various languages including English, Kiswahili, Arabic, French, , Spanish, German and Chinese.

This is a professional course that is designed to meet the highest international standards in order to produce professionals who can fit anywhere in the global market. It is intended to fill a training gap in this area since there is no other institution in the region that offers such a course despite the acute need of translators for organizations like the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations among others.


The objectives of the programme shall be:-

  1. To expose students to various aspects of the discipline of translation.       
  2. To equip students with the necessary practical skills in translating texts from different contexts.
  3. To produce highly qualified translators for the local and international market.

Schedule of Intakes

The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September)

Application Information

You will be required to enter some basic information, including your email address and to choose a password. We will then send you an email to the address you entered, so that we can validate your account. When you have clicked on the validation link (sent to you in the email), you will be able to log in to the application system using the "Login" box below

For instructions on how to apply click here

To apply online here

Mode of Delivery

  • Face-to-Face Mode

This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

  • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning

In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made for the practical laboratory, field work and computing sessions. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

  • Blended Learning

This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.

Contact of Support Persons

Email: dept-linguistics@uonbi.ac.ke  


Website: linguistics.uonbi.ac.ke

Physical location: Education Building 3rd Floor, Main Campus

Notable Alumni

Minimum Admission Requirements

The common regulations for the Masters degree in the University of Nairobi shall apply.

The minimum qualifications for admission to the M.A. degree programme in Translation shall be a Lower Second Class Bachelors degree or equivalent, obtained from an institution recognized by the University of Nairobi Senate. In addition, holders of a Lower Second Class degree must have a relevant work experience of not less than two years and Pass must have work experience of not less than five years.

Candidates seeking admission into the programme shall have:-

 An excellent command of their A- Language over a wide range of topics and registers*.

An in-depth knowledge of their working languages (B and C).

 At least any of the following language combinations:-

a.       A-CC or A-BC or A-A.

b.       A-B for less widely used languages in the light of market requirements.

Admission into the course shall be subject to success in a senate, approved aptitude test. (See description of the same in appendix I).

Attachment Opportunities

Translators are needed to mediate between many languages, often with no involvement of English at all. And people with English as a second language usually prefer to have conversations and resources in their first language. Translation makes it easier to understand and make use of information and shows respect for the many beautiful languages on Earth and the people who speak them. Plus, we simply respond more favorably to hearing our own mother tongue.

  • Many of our graduates begin careers in translation and interpreting, whilst others have pursued roles in subtitling, marketing, film production and distribution, publishing, media, and international business. Some graduates also pursue careers in academia. 

Career Prospects

Graduates of master’s degree programs in translation have found employment within the language industry on both a full-time and part-time basis, as both freelancers and in-house employees, and both in Kenya abroad. A graduate degree in translation will prepare you for a successful career in the language industry as:

  • professional translators
  • localizers
  • terminologists
  • post-editors
  • project managers
  • language consultants
  • quality management
TUITION                           27,000.00  
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                             1,000.00  
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                             6,500.00  
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                             7,000.00  
CAUTION - (ONCE)                             5,000.00  
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                              5,000.00  
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                             2,000.00  
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                             2,250.00  
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                             1,000.00  
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                             1,000.00  
THESIS EXAMINATION                           30,000.00  
     Semester totals 
Sem1  2 units                                                   85,750.00
   3 units                                                 113,750.00
   4 units                                                 141,750.00
     Semester totals 
Sem2 ,3,5 or 6  1 unit                                                   30,250.00
   2 units                                                   58,250.00
   3 units                                                   86,250.00
   4 units                                                 114,250.00
     Semester totals 
Sem4, 7, or 10  1 unit                                                   52,750.00
   2 units                                                   80,750.00
   3 units                                                 108,750.00
   4 units                                                 136,750.00
Project =4units    
Project in sems 4 or 7                                                  166,750.00
Other sems                                                  144,250.00
Sem1  4 units                                                 141,750.00
Sem2  4 units                                                 114,250.00
Sem3  4 units                                                 114,250.00
Sem4  PROJECT                                                 166,750.00
Totals                               537,000.00

The Master of Arts degree course in Translation shall consist of coursework, examination and a Research Paper. These shall be covered in a minimum of four (4) semesters of fifteen (15) weeks each and a maximum of twelve (12) semesters and the maximum may only be extended with prior approval by Senate.

4.2     Candidates shall be required to register and pass in fourteen   (14) taught course units prior to embarking on the Research Paper, which shall be equivalent to Four (4) course units.

  1. Candidates shall be required to take a minimum of two (2) course units and a maximum of four (4) course units in each semeste
  2. The Research Paper shall be done in the final semester and topics for the Research Paper shall be identified by candidates in consultation with their supervisors, subject to the approval of the department.

4.5     This is a professional course that is more oriented towards practical work rather than research. (The Research Paper shall, therefore, have the weight of Four (4) course units while the taught course units shall be fourteen, making a total of sixteen for the entire course).

4.6     Due to the practical and professional nature of this programme, a course unit shall last the duration of 60 hours per semester in order to give ample time for practical work.

4.7     The range of M.A course units offered in any given semester shall be determined by the department and shall be drawn from a list of the Senate-approved courses