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Postgraduate Research

Why Queen’s for Postgraduate Study - Luyao Yan, PhD Translation

“I’m allowed to audit all the MA courses, seminars, training, and workshops at CTI. For most of us, we aspire to seek job positions in universities or other higher institutions, so it is important to know the latest research findings in the field."

Two female students in the seating area of the Graduate School
Inside the Graduate School

What do you think are the benefits of a postgraduate degree?

Firstly, it helps expand job opportunities because it is widely recognised in the international job market that a candidate with a postgraduate degree has arguably more professional knowledge and skills than an undergraduate.

Secondly, for those who have already been employed, academic background is sometimes viewed as a reference point for position promotion, so a postgraduate degree can be a springboard into more senior or specialist roles.

Thirdly, a postgraduate degree proves a student’s ability to work effectively, perform well in teamwork, and maintain a good interpersonal network, to some extent.

Fourthly, it is important and indispensable for students who wish to pursue further study, especially for those who want to do research or access more professional opportunities in the academic field. 

Why did you decide to pursue PG study?

I’m currently a first-year translation PhD student. Personally speaking, I’m passionate about language studies and have been working as a translator and interpreter in the industry. The directly related working experience in the translation field and my previous academic background in the same major combine to stimulate my interest in conducting a translation research project as a postgraduate research student. 

Find out more about Postgraduate Interpreting and Translation at Queen's

What made Queen’s stand out from other universities during your initial research?

Queen’s is frequently mentioned when it comes to the research output of translation studies. When I was searching for universities, I saw a couple of graduates publishing their articles on social network platforms, such as Zhihu and Xiaoshongshu in China, talking about the dynamic research atmosphere and reputed translation scholars in the field.

Hear from more PhD Translation students

Then I searched online to see whether there was an established teaching system for a translation course, especially on the Chinese-English language pair, and I found the official website of Centre For Translation And Interpreting (CTI) where a lot of innovative research orientations are displayed and encouraged. This definitely motivated me to understand more about Queen’s.  

Why did you ultimately decide to move to Belfast and study at Queen’s?

It was the great communication with the supervisors that prompted me to make the decision. After searching online about the introduction to the Translation PhD course and the teaching system, I managed to send an email to the supervisor whose research field matched my research interest, and it took only one working day for me to get the reply. The supervisor showed his interest in my research proposals and encouraged me to make a formal application.

Find a PhD supervisor

Also, I discussed my interest in applying for research scholarships and the supervisor was really willing to help at any stage of my application. This was really a good start for me even though I had not started my research journey at Queen’s yet. 

How has the Queen’s Graduate School supported your postgraduate journey?

At the beginning, I could hardly find the corresponding department to reach out for my queries about scholarships, accommodation application, etc. Then I sent emails to the Graduate School and got their help. They provided me with abundant practical information before my enrolment.

Then in October when my course actually started, I visited the Graduate School and got a lot of information about the training courses organised by the Graduate School, such as the writing course and a series of study sessions. These training sessions have been really helpful for me to progress in my postgraduate journey.

Check out our tour of the Graduate School

Also, I like the self-study and group-study spaces provided in the Graduate School. Compared with the library, the study space in the Graduate School is more spacious and comfortable, in my view.

And I appreciate the breakfast, tea/coffee provided by the Graduate School. Sometimes in the morning when I walk by, I just go inside and grab a cup of coffee, and I feel like I am refreshing myself (a form of support that is not so serious but warm-hearted.)

How will your course at Queen’s help with your future career aspirations?

As a PhD student, I’m allowed to audit all the MA courses, seminars, training, and workshops at CTI. For most of us, we aspire to seek job positions in universities or other higher institutions, so it is important to know the latest research findings in the field. The seminar series organised by CTI is helpful in this regard because many scholars from other universities in the UK and Ireland have been invited to give their lectures and share their insightful thoughts.

Hear from MA Translation students at Queen's

The talks given there cover a large range of topics including the research output and industry development, so we can also learn about the big events in the industry. It is inspiring for us to make our own plans and adjustments regarding future career development. 

What skills have you developed as a result of your course?

Interpersonal/networking skills, the ability to utilise technical support, public speaking skills, a sense of critical thinking, and a more profound understanding of my field (translation). 

Have you utilised any of the careers and employability services offered by Queen’s? If so, how have they helped to get you ‘future-ready’ following the completion of your degree?

I use MyFuture platform to register for career-related training, but mainly limited to training because I’m not so anxious to find job opportunities (I need to complete my research project on a 3-year basis and currently it is only the first year).

What opportunities are available to PGR students?

I also applied for an alumni mentoring programme in which I was allocated a Queen’s PGT graduate as my mentor. She’s now working in a translation company based in Belfast and we met each other once a month to communicate with each other. She told me about the dynamics of being a translator and interpreter in the industry and provided me with chances to interact with other practitioners in the field. This has helped a lot because I now have a clearer picture of the career options available.

Find out more

PhD opportunities at Queen's

Queen's Centre for Translation and Interpreting

Chinese students at Queen's: Admission information

Luyao Yan

PhD Translation | Postgraduate Student | China

Hi there, I’m Luyao from China. I’ve been engaged in translation studies since I first attended my undergraduate courses, and currently I’m a first-year translation PhD student at Queen’s. Being here with friends of similar academic pursuits is wonderful, and more luckily, I find myself interested in discovering those serendipitous and surprising moments in my daily life here. A pretty good start of exploration, isn’t it?

 Luyao Yan