Postgraduate Diploma in Translation


The Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán programme is aimed at those who already have a good standard of Irish, but who wish to learn translation skills or to enhance the skills they already have. It is also ideal for those who work through Irish on a daily basis – teachers and journalists, for example – who wish to improve their standard of writing in the language.

Learning Outcomes

These are the learning outcomes that will be achieved by students who complete the course satisfactorily:

  • They will have a comprehensive knowledge of Irish language grammar and will have high-level written skills in the language.
  • They will be able to translate a range of English language texts to Irish and will have specialised knowledge regarding the translation of legal texts from English to Irish.
  • They will be able to review texts that they write themselves and texts written by others.
  • They will be familiar with a range of useful technological resources used in the Irish language and in the translation sector, and they will be able to use them effectively.
  • They will have an understanding of translation theory.
  • They will have an insight into translation as a career and will have an understanding of the practical aspects of the work.
  • They will be able to use a range of research and enquiry techniques.
  • They will be able to operate professionally in a range of roles in the translation and Irish language sectors.

Duration and general structure of the course

From 13 Sep 2024
3 semesters
15 Months
Level 9 NFQ

The Postgraduate Diploma in Translation lasts three semesters or fifteen months in total. It starts in mid-September and ends in December of the following year. The program is at level 9 of the National Framework of Qualifications ( and is worth 60 ECTS credits. The 2024–2025 course will be run entirely online, including the end-of-semester exams. A teaching session will take place on a Friday evening and on a Saturday once a month - the timetable for those sessions is as follows:

  • Friday: 7.00–9.00pm
  • Saturday: 10.00am–12.00pm and 1.00–3.00pm.

  • The course involves blended learning, a combination of online study and live online lectures/classes.

    Course work

    Students have access to interactive courses on Gaelchultúr’s e-learning website,, and they can use this as they prepare for the teaching sessions. It is also useful to them as they revise the course work. Students are given written tasks to do on a regular basis and they are asked to submit these lessons by email to their tutor. Comprehensive feedback is provided by email. There is a limited number of live online classes each semester; these classes are held at night. Students are given more information regarding the live online classes and all other aspects of the course in a handbook that is provided at the beginning of the first semester. This handbook also contains information about the projects students are required to submit.

    Course modules

    This module will focus on the core aspects of Irish language grammar. The aim is to help participants improve their ability in Irish by giving them a range of grammar exercises to do in which the focus will be on common points of difficulty with the language. There will be a particular emphasis on useful idiomatic expressions and on the importance of avoiding direct translation from English to Irish. Punctuation and editing will also be addressed, and students will be given information about the technological resources available to those who write in Irish.

    This module aims to help students develop and improve their translation skills. They will be taught to deal critically and analytically with the problems that often arise in English–Irish translation, e.g. jargon, register, semantic gaps and syntactic differences between the two languages. There will be an emphasis on Anglicism and how to avoid it, and the module will also look at the challenges of translating new terminology and the difficulty of translating concepts from English to Irish. There will be a particular focus on intelligibility and the importance of taking the target audience into consideration when a text is being translated. The module will deal primarily with the types of texts most frequently translated to Irish in a professional context – annual reports and television scripts, for example – but students will also have an opportunity to translate a range of other texts, including literary texts.

    In the first part of this module, the main aspects of contemporary translation theory will be explored and the various types of translation that suit different genres of texts will be discussed. There will also be a focus on translation criticism in order to give students a better understanding of what constitutes a ‘good translation’ or ‘bad translation’. The second part of the module will look at translation as a career and students will be given practical information about working in that sector, e.g. employment opportunities in Irish and EU institutions, the work typically done in translation companies. This module will build on the Translation Theory / A Career in Translation module and students will have a further opportunity to study translation criticism and theories of translation. They will be required to critically analyse various types of translated texts in light of those theories to assess their merit as translations and target language texts. Students will use the material from the two modules to undertake a research project: a critical essay on a text translated from English to Irish.

    This module will look at legal translation in Ireland and in the EU institutions. The difficulty of translating texts of this type will be explored and there will also be a focus on register and style, constitutional questions, precedents, and decisions regarding terminology and intelligibility.

    This optional module seeks to make students aware of the most important technological resources available to those who work through Irish and in the translation sector. The module will aim to enable students to find information regarding Irish language grammar and terminology online so that they can write at a much higher level in the language. Students will be taught how to make effective use of terminology databases and there will also be a focus on Phrase, a cloud-based commercial translation management system and computer-assisted translation tool. (We would like to thank Phrase for granting us free access to their platform through the Phrase Academic Plan.) Students will attend two one-day workshops online, which will take place in May and June 2024 (dates to be decided).

    Entry Requirements

    Those who wish to apply for the course must have the following:

    Primary degree

    A primary degree in Irish, or its equivalent (e.g. B.Ed.), at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications or a primary degree in another discipline at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

    Standard of English

    At least grade B (ordinary level) or grade D (higher level) in English in the Leaving Certificate or its equivalent.

    Note: Applicants who are given a place on this course must submit a transcript of their results in the primary degree.

    Decision regarding allocation of places

    The following will be taken into consideration when places on the course are being allocated to applicants:

    • academic qualifications
    • answers given on the application form
    • result in the entry examination
    • result in the oral examination if applicable

    Deadline for applications

    Thursday, 27 June 2024

    Monday, 19 August 2024

    Tuition fees

    €1,495 / per semester

    Tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners ( in relation to such fees.

    Entry examination

    Applicants must sit an entry examination to show their suitability for the course. This is a written examination, which will contain both translation and grammar questions, and applicants will have the choice of taking the exam on two different dates:

    Saturday, 13 July 2024

    2.00pm and 4.00pm

    Saturday, 24 August 2024

    2.00pm and 4.00pm
    Note: Those who have passed the end of course examination in the Dianchúrsa Ullmhúcháin i gCruinneas na Gaeilge programme will not be required to sit this entry examination. If they would like gain a higher mark than that which they received in the end of course examination, however, they are welcome to sit the entry examination.

    A guide to the entrance exam

    • 1
      Applicants will have an opportunity to take the entrance exam between 2.00pm and 4.00pm on the following dates: Saturday, 13 July 2024 or Saturday, 24 August 2024.
    • 2
      The two entrance exams will be held on Zoom. A detailed guide will be sent to candidates in advance, as well as information on how to log into the exam.
    • 3
      Those taking the exam should log in at least fifteen minutes before it commences.
    • 4
      Candidates will not be allowed to use a computer or any book/work of reference during the examination.
    • 5
      Candidates will be required to type their answers in a file that they will be sent in advance.
    • 6
      Those who finish the exam early can email the file containing their answers to and leave the Zoom session.
    • 7
      Sample exam papers can be found below. The ones used this year will be much the same.
    • 8
      When you’ve completed a sample exam, compare your answers to the sample answers provided (please click on the appropriate link to access those).

    Entrance exam questions

    Question Description Time*
    Question 1 40 marks Ten sentences to be translated from English to Irish. 50 min
    Question 2 20 marks The words between parentheses to be changed, if necessary. Various aspects on grammar will feature in this question. 20 min
    Question 3 20 marks The words between parentheses to be changed, if necessary. The focus in this question will be on nouns followed by adjectives or on nouns followed by nouns, in the nominative case singular and plural. 20 min
    Question 4 10 marks The following aspects of grammar will feature in this question:
    • simple prepositions
    • cardinal numbers + noun
    • direct and indirect relative clauses
    • personal numerals
    • prepositional pronouns
    10 min
    Question 5 10 marks This question will be based on the rule ‘foirm an ainmnigh in áit an ghinidigh’ (the nominative form instead of the genitive form). 10 min

    *  Advice regarding the amount of time to be spent on each question in the examination. Reading the paper: 10 minutes

    Sample entrance exam papers

    Sample examination paper 1 is available here.

    Check your answers

    Sample examination paper 2 is available here.

    Check your answers

    Submitting your application

    There are two different ways to apply for Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán programme:

    Download and complete the application form (Word) and email it to Gaelchultúr by the deadline.

    Complete the online application form below by the deadline.


    This year again a scholarship (i.e. the course without the fees) will be offered to one of the students accepted into the course. Those wishing to apply for the scholarship are asked to fill the appropriate form and to submit it with the course application form. The completed form should be sent to or an online version of the application form should be submitted by 5pm on 1 September 2024.

    Apply for the scholarship

    Important Dates

    Information session about the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation
    • 12.00–1.00pm
      Saturday, 13 April 2024
    • 6.00–7.00pm
      Tuesday, 6 August 2024
    • 12.00–1.00pm
      Saturday, 10 August 2024
    Deadline for applicants
    • Thursday, 27 June 2024 (Round 1)
    • Monday, 19 August 2024 (Round 2)
    Entry Examination
    • 2.00–4.00pm
      Saturday, 13 July 2024 (Round 1)
    • 2.00–4.00pm
      Saturday, 24 August 2024 (Round 2)
    Venue: Online
    Offers sent to applicants by email
    • Thursday, 18 July 2024 (Round 1)
    • Thursday, 29 August 2024 (Round 2)
    Course starts
    • 7.00pm, Friday, 13 September 2024
    Venue: Online
    Course brochure

    Ceisteanna Coitianta

    Applicants for the course must: (1) have a primary degree in Irish, or its equivalent (e.g., B.Ed.), at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications. or have a primary degree in another discipline at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications. (2) At least grade B (ordinary level) or grade D (higher level) in English at Leaving Certificate level or equivalent. Note: Successful applicants for this course are required to provide a transcript of their primary degree results. In addition, all applicants are required to sit an entrance examination to demonstrate their suitability for the program.
    It's not. Many people who do not have a primary degree in Irish complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation. As long as you have a qualification that is at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications in any discipline and a high standard of written Irish, you will be able to apply for the DISA. However, all candidates are required to pass the entrance examination to demonstrate their standard of Irish.
    Due to the restrictions in place in the country since March 2020, the entrance examinations have been run on Zoom and will remain so until those restrictions are further relaxed. When the exam takes place on Zoom, the examination paper is sent to the candidates in a file just before the start time and they type their answers in that file.
    It can. If you take the entrance exam for the first time in July and want to take it again in August to get a higher mark, you are allowed to do so.
    The pass mark in the entrance examination is 60%. You can review some sample papers here.
    You can do the sample exam papers at this link. Once you have completed the sample examination papers, you should look at the sample answers provided. Also, you should review the units in the book Gramadach gan Stró! relating to the following aspects of grammar: • simple prepositions • pronouns + nouns • direct and indirect relative clause • personal numbers • prepositional pronouns • the form of the noun instead of the genitive.
    Coláiste na hÉireann / Gaelchultúr often recommends the Intensive Preparatory Course in Written Irish to candidates who have not written in Irish for some time or who have not studied the language at third level. This part-time course lasts four months and those who attend can sit an end of course examination (this exam is considered the entrance examination for the Diploma.) However, if you have a good standard in written Irish, you do not need to do the Intensive Course.
    It is not necessary. However, candidates who pass the entrance examination are sometimes invited to attend an interview to demonstrate their suitability for the course.
    This course is shorter than a masters in Irish. While the Postgraduate Diploma and masters in Irish are at the same level as the National Framework of Qualifications, that is, level 9, the DISA is worth 60 ECTS credits and a masters in Irish is worth 90 ECTS credits. However, students do not need to write a dissertation at the end of this course. It is very rare that a masters in Irish IS necessary to apply for a job. The course focuses on providing its students with a high standard of Irish. This course is very practical and graduates of the DISA have gone on to work in many different places, including European Union institutions.
    This course is well worth doing, even if you are not interested in becoming a professional translator as the program emphasizes grammatical accuracy and writing native Irish. This course is taken by people from a wide range of professions who work through Irish on a daily basis - teachers, journalists, broadcasters and people working in the public sector for example - and many DISA graduates have been promoted or gained new employment opportunities on completing the course.
    No. The emphasis in this course is not on the spoken language or any particular dialect. The emphasis in the Diploma is on the written language, translation skills and accuracy in the written language.
    The main difference between this course and similar courses offered by other colleges is the amount of feedback given to students in the case of continuous assessment tasks. Coláiste na hÉireann / Gaelchultúr lecturers give very comprehensive feedback on these tasks and correct all grammatical, spelling and stylistic errors. Course students often say that this feedback is the most valuable aspect of the course.
    All classes take place on Zoom. To join, all you need is a laptop or desktop, a headset that includes a microphone and a decent broadband connection.
    It's not. Although the classes are on Zoom and students are required to use, Coláiste na hÉireann / Gaelchultúr's e-learning site for independent study, a comprehensive technical guide to these sites is provided to students at the outset. the course. Coláiste na hÉireann / Gaelchultúr staff can provide students with a technical assessments during the course if they feel that they are struggling with any aspect of the technology.
    Course fees are € 1,495 per semester (€ 4,485 in total). Tax relief is available from Revenue ( for such fees.
    Since the start of the pandemic, the course 's examinations have been run on Zoom - this arrangement will be reviewed as the restrictions in place in the country are relaxed. In the case of online examinations, candidates are not permitted to use a computer or reference book / reference of any kind. All examinations are emailed to them a quarter of an hour before the start time and they are asked to type their answers in the file containing the examination paper.
    There are two different ways to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation: 1. Download, complete and send this application form to by the closing date. 2. Complete the online version of the application form by the deadline.
    There are a lot of employment opportunities available for those who possess a high standard in Irish, especially in the written language. DISA graduates have found employment in various places (e.g., EU institutions) and a number of people have set up translation companies. Other graduates have been promoted or have progressed professionally after completing the course.

    Terms and Conditions

    • Course fees may be refunded in full to a learner up to five working days prior to the commencement of the course. The refund must by requested by contacting Gaelchultúr’s staff by email or by phone. (Our contact details can be found here.)
    • If, following the first class, the student decides that he/she would like to discontinue the course, 60% of the total fee will be refunded to him/her. Thereafter, no refund will be made to the student.
    • Gaelchultúr Teoranta has the right to cancel a class or to amalgamate classes.
    • If it is necessary to cancel a class, every effort will be made to place the participants in another class or to register them for an online course. A full refund will be made to the customer if these options do not suit him/her.
    • A student may defer his/her registration only once. If he/she wishes to defer registration, he/she must notify Gaelchultúr’s staff of this by week three of the course. No refund will be made to the student if he/she does not accept a place on the next course he/she is due to attend.
    • Gaelchultúr will accept no responsibility in the event that a student registers at the wrong level. We advise our students to do our online Irish test or to seek our advice to ensure that they are undertaking the correct level.
    • If a student wants to move to another level, we cannot guarantee that a space will be available for him/her at that level. Should a space be available, Gaelchultúr will charge a €10 administration fee for making the change. A change may only be made to another level following the first class.
    • Course fees must be paid in full prior to commencement of the course. Attendance on a course is subject to full payment of fees.