CIOL Qualifications Level 7 Diploma in Translation (DipTrans)

About the exam

Is it right for me?

The Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) is the gold standard for anyone wanting a career as a freelance translator or to work as a translator for international corporations worldwide and meets the need for a high-level professional translating qualification.

Level: postgraduate-level qualification.

What are the benefits?

  • Ofqual-regulated, internationally recognised qualification
  • Improved career prospects
  •  You will be entitled to:
    • Use the title DipTrans after your name
    • Apply for CIOL membership

What format does the exam take?

The qualification is composed of three units:

Unit 01 - Written translation of a general text
Unit 02 - Written translation of a semi-specialised text in one of the following:
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Literature
Unit 03 - Written translation of a semi-specialised text in one of the following:
  • Science
  • Social science
  • Law
  • Arts and Culture


New Unit 03G - Arts & Culture information for candidates and tutors

The texts for the Arts & Culture option will reflect the style of language used when discussing various notions relating to the arts and culture depending on audience and medium. Whether the text is written for an art collector, an audience at a theatre or at a conference on a cultural theme, the translators will have to adapt the language to reflect the target audience. The texts candidates will have to translate for this option could, for example, promote an art exhibition in an inflight magazine or review a recently published book, film or theatre production; excerpts from exhibition catalogues, classical music websites, and translations for theatre companies might also be offered.

Sub-topic areas covered by Paper 3(G): Arts & Culture:

  • Art
  • Design and graphics Museums and galleries
  • Arts councils and groups
  • Galleries
  • Dance companies
  • Guidebooks
  • Performing Arts
  • Culture
  • Theatre 
  • Cinema


Entry criteria

The DipTrans tests professional translating skills at a postgraduate level of competence. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ascertain that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam, and competent in both the source and target languages, have good writing skills and the ability to translate at a professional level.

The CIOL Qualifications Level 7 Diploma in Translation is a professional qualification, set at postgraduate level. It is the responsibility of each Candidate to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared for the exam, competent in both the source and target languages, have good writing skills and the ability to translate at a professional level.

How can I prepare for the exam?

It is essential that you read the Qualification Specification and our Candidate Information to find out detailed information about the exam format, criteria and regulations.

We also offer preparatory notes on translation:

It is good practice to prepare for a professional qualification by following a course of study. Courses are available in different regions of the UK and internationally. Please refer to the list of courses and contact course providers directly. Please note that as the Awarding Organisation for the DipTrans, we are unable to endorse or recommend any particular course.

A selection of free sample exam papers can be accessed by prospective candidates. Non-members and Affiliates can purchase past DipTrans papers and Examiner Reports using these forms: File Exam Report Order Form and File Past Exam Paper Order Form.

Preparing to take the DipTrans online

An online demo test is available. This is recommended, to familiarise yourself with the exam software in advance:

Tips from Diploma in Translation award winners

Click the images below to watch the interviews with recent Diploma in Translation award winners for some tips on how to prepare for the exam.

Best candidate
Award winner: Madalina Onofras

Interview with: Madalina Onofras

Best English-German candidate
Award winner: Heike Kurtz

Interview with: Heike Kurtz

Best literature translation
Award winner: Mihail Banica

Interview with: Mihail Banica

Click here to view Key Dates for the Diploma in Translation July 2022.


The July exams are held on 5, 6 and 7 July 2022.

  • 5 July 2022: Unit 01 & Unit 02 English into Other Language only
  • 6 July 2022: Unit 01 & Unit 02 Other Language into English only
  • 7 July 2022: Unit 03 English into Other Language & Unit 03 Other Language into English

Registration for the July 2022 exams closes on 6 May 2022.



To register for an exam two sets of fees are payable - Exam Fees plus mandatory CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees.


Exam Fees


Unit 01 Written Translation of a General Text


Unit 02 One written translation of a Semi-specialised text in
a Technology, Business or Literature context

Unit 03 One written translation of a Semi-specialised text in
a Science, Social Science, Law or Arts and Culture context



Full registration (all three units)*



*Exam Fees are capped at £650; if the total cost of the units you are sitting exceeds this amount, the maximum Exam Fee is still £650.


CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fees

Unit 01:       £60

Unit 02:       £60

Unit 03:       £60

Full CIOLQ Virtual Centre Enrolment Fee (all three units):  £180


For more information, please check our Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing Policy on our Policies page.



Entry Criteria

The CIOL Qualifications Level 7 Diploma in Translation tests professional translating skills at a postgraduate level of competence. The examination is open to all. However, candidates are advised to ensure prior to registering, that their level of linguistic attainment in the source language is at the very least equivalent to a good Honours degree, and that they are familiar with the relevant cultural background. 

How do I register?

Register to take the exam online

Please click "Register Now" to register for the exam. 

Registration is still open until for July 2022 exams

If you experience issues with the registration through our online shop, please download and complete the Entry Form and submit it to Please note that you are only fully registered when payment for the exam fee has been cleared.

After the exam - FAQs


Due to illness/personal circumstances I could not attend the exam. Can I request a refund?
Candidates unable to sit an exam due to personal ill health may apply to be considered for the issue of a credit note to the value of 50% of the exam fee received. The credit note is valid for the next available exam session only and has no alternative cash value.

To apply for a credit note, submit a current medical certificate from your doctor to, no later than two weeks after the exam date. In the absence of any such proof, candidates are liable to forfeit the full exam fee paid. Any difference arising due to increased fees at the next exam session is payable by the candidate.

Please refer to our Policies page to find all the information you need for the questions below:

Something went wrong on the day of the exam. How do I report this?
Please refer to the Special Consideration policy.

How do I submit an enquiry, deliver a compliment, or lodge a complaint?
Please refer to the Enquiries, Compliments and Complaints policy.

What if I want to appeal my result?
Please refer to the Enquiries about Results and Appeals policy and Stage 1 application form.

I have passed a unit, but not the full qualification. Will I receive a certificate?
Yes, you will receive an electronic certificate for the unit which you have passed.

When and how are e-certificates released?
Please refer to the qualification Key Dates document. This gives you the date by which the electronic certificate will be emailed to you.

What is the cost of a resit?
Please refer to the Exam Fees, Invoicing and Billing policy. To resit a unit, you will need to pay the Standard Qualification Fee for the unit plus the Virtual Centre Fee for the unit.

How many times can I resit a unit?
You are required to complete the full qualification within a three-year period. CIOLQ does not specify how many times you resit a unit. The three-year full exam completion period applies from the first year that you receive a unit certificate.