If you’re an international student applying to study at a university in the United Kingdom, there’s a good chance that your academic certificates or transcripts aren’t in English. If so, then you’ll need to organise a certified translation of those documents as part of your application to a UK university.
In this article we’re going to look at the following:
- The different types of academic applications in the UK;
- The documents you’ll need as part of your university application, including the UK NARIC requirement;
- Why you’ll need to have foreign academic documents translated;
- The importance of a certified translation;
- How to get your academic certificate and transcript translated.
We’re going to explain everything you need to know about getting a certified translation of your academic documents so that you have the best possible chance of being successful with your UK university application.
Types of academic applications
More than half a million international students study in the United Kingdom every year. Even more than that apply to study, but not every application is accepted. If you’re applying to study in the UK, you could be doing so for any number of reasons. The most popular types of academic applications are as follows:
- Post-graduate study (i.e. Masters)
- Foundation programme
- Extracurricular courses
No matter what type of academic application you’re making in the United Kingdom, the university will need to see evidence of your past education. They do this to make sure that you’re suitably qualified to study at their institute, and that you’ll be a good fit on their degree.
Documents required for UK university application
Each UK university will analyse applications by their own criteria. Some universities will look for extensive paperwork as proof of your education. Others may be more lenient. Regardless, you’ll be judged on the same platform as every other applicant. To give yourself the best possible chance, you’ll need to make sure that you have the correct documentation.
Typically, you’ll need to show evidence of both your academic certificate and your academic transcript. Some universities may even ask to see other relevant academic documents too.
Your academic certificate is a simple one. This document is any relevant certificate you have which certifies that you have received an education to a specific level, and may have passed a series of examinations to achieve. This academic certificate could be a university degree, a diploma received from an education body or any other higher education certificate. Entry requirements at university applications are usually defined by the academic certificates.
An academic transcript is less obvious, but is still an important document which forms part of most university applications in the UK. Also known as an academic record or a statement of learning, this is a document which clearly records all of the modules and subjects you studied as part of your course. It should also show the grades achieved for each module, how many credits were accrued and any relevant exemptions. If you don’t have an academic transcript, you will need to get in touch with your previous education institution and request one.
Other academic documents:
As well as providing the university with your academic certificate and academic transcript, there could be other academic documents which you need to supply too. A common academic document that international students need to submit is a certificate of English proficiency. This is usually a certificate from a recognised English language examination body, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Students applying to study a Ph.D. will need to include a research proposal with their university application.
National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)
UK NARIC is “the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications and skills from all over the world.” Let’s make that a little easier to understand.
Essentially, NARIC are a UK Government body that evaluate your foreign academic certificates. They will then compare them to local UK certificates and show you how they compare. The Statement of Comparability confirms the standard of your qualification in UK terms. If you’re not sure whether or not your qualifications will be accepted by a UK university, then you can find out with their Statement of Comparability service.
University degree certificate translation
As a rule of thumb, if your academic certificates and documents are not issued in English, they will need to be translated in to English. International students from all over the world apply to study in the United Kingdom, and have degrees and transcripts in hundreds of different languages. No education body in the United Kingdom has the resources to translate that paperwork in-house.
Let’s take a look at one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious universities, the University of Edinburgh. Their official website provides the following information regarding document translation:
“If your original degree certificate, academic transcript or other relevant documents are not in English you must provide an officially certified translation.”
The University of Birmingham, another one of the United Kingdom’s top universities, has similar information on their website:
“Any qualification or document that is not originally in English or Welsh will need a translation to requirements set by the UK Border Agency (UKVI).”
So, it’s becoming pretty clear that you’ll need to have your academic documents translated in to English. We’re going to look at the translation requirements, but first, let’s explain a little bit about UK NARIC requirements.
UK NARIC translation requirements
Many UK universities will also ask for a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability as part of your application. Along with your other submitted documents they want to see confirmation of your standard of qualification in UK terms.
So do you need to get a certified translation of your academic documents for UK NARIC too? This is what their website says:
“If the original language of your documents is not English, then yes, you are required to present a certified English translation alongside your original language documents”
In order for UK NARIC to analyse your international qualifications, they’ll need to see your academic certificate in its original language and the certified translation of it in English too. They also require a certified translation of your academic transcript, which will need to be submitted alongside the original document.
Certified translations for university applications
So now you know that you need to get your academic documentation translated. It’s important to be also aware that you can’t translate your documents yourself, or have them translated unofficially. You need to get a certified translation of your university degree and documents, otherwise they won’t be accepted and your UK university application will be delayed and potentially rejected.
Using the University of Edinburgh website again, it says that your certified translations must be provided by one of the following:
- The awarding institution;
- A sworn translator (i.e. a translator sworn before a court in a non-UK state);
- A Fellow or Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).
It’s highly unlikely that your awarding institution will be able to provide you with a certified translation of your document. That being the case, the certified translation you acquire by other means will need to display the following:
- Confirmation from the translation company or translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
- The name and signature of the authorised translator within the translation company;
- The date of translation;
- The contact details of the translation company.
Don’t waste your precious time and money by using an unofficial and insubstantial translation. To guarantee that your documents are accepted, you should use a professional translation company.
Where to find a professional translator
Look no further. Translayte can help!
At Translayte, we offer certified translations from over 130 different languages into UK English. We promise to meet your deadline, and will normally return your certified translation before that. A proofreading service also comes as standard when you translate with us. It’s possible that we’ll even be able to return your translated document within 12 hours. Instead of exhausting yourself trying to compare your certificates with UK equivalence and learning about what’s required of a certified translation, leave it to us.
You’ve already read about what your certified translation from a translation company will need to display. Our translations clearly display all of the required information. Want further proof? You can check out our example certified translation which shows exactly what you can expect from us.
We’re a professional translation services company and a Member of the Association of Translation Companies. Our translations are fully accredited and recognised for their quality. Once you receive your certified translation from us, we guarantee that it will be accepted at every education body throughout the United Kingdom and by UK NARIC as well.
Contact our customer support team today for an instant quote, and be rest assured that we will return a high-quality certified translation in no time at all.