Business Interpreting in Chinese and English MA

This programme will train you to be ready to perform your first conference interpreting job upon graduation. We are the only programme in the UK that makes this commitment.

Why Surrey?

1. Surrey is number 6 amongst UK universities

2. The programme's main tutor is Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士), interpreter for Prime Minister David Cameron

3. Our students do more simulated interpreting than any other programme in the UK

4. We offer more internship, traineeship and real interpreting opportunities than any other programme in the UK

Programme overview

Consecutive Interpreting

Semester 1 - weekly skills training

Semester 2 - weekly simulated interpreting jobs

Simultaneous Interpreting

Semester 1 - weekly skills training

Semester 2 - weekly simulated interpreting jobs

Business Translation Skills training with weekly assignments
Dissertation 10,000 words
Internship 2 weeks at KL Communications Ltd in London with a certificate upon completion. The company is the UK’s leading Chinese interpreting service provider.
Optional Modules A range of modules on offer including Public Service Interpreting


How to apply

  1. Online application with a personal statement plus IELTS or TOEFL certificate
  2. A 4-hour written test via email
  3. Interview face-to-face with Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士) in the first week of April 2014
  4. Deadline for application 15th June 2014*
  5. Deadline for accepting our offer – 4 weeks from the date of the offer*
  6. Maximum intake – 16 students for 2014

Application notes:

Personal statement

Please state why you’ve chosen the University of Surrey in particular. For example, what is it that our programme offers that others don’t?

IELTS or TOEFL results

We will not test you until we have received your IELTS or TOEFL results.*

Aptitude test: written part

The test will consist mainly of translation between English/Chinese both ways. We’ll contact you to arrange a mutually convenient day and time for the test. We’ll email the test paper just before the agreed time - you must email it back within 4 hours.

Aptitude test: spoken part

This will be held in the first week of April 2014 in Beijing. We’ll inform you of the dates, time and venue in early March. The interview will be conducted by Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士) himself, and he will inform you of the outcome within 2 days. There will be a reserved date for interview in July for exceptional circumstances.

*Please note: It’s essential that you take your IELTS/TOEFL test early, apply early, and accept our offer early. Although the deadline for application is in June, it’s very likely that all places on the programme will have been filled in April, just after the interview.


Module Overview

Compulsory Modules

Consecutive Interpreting Chinese<>English

The first part of the module (Semester 1) focuses on core skills such as the use of notes, delivery and projecting the speaker. The second part (Semester 2) will focus on applying the training you have received to practical tasks, including simulated assignments.

Simultaneous Interpreting Chinese<>English

The first part of the module (Semester 1) focuses on the key skills of a Chinese simultaneous interpreter: research, preparation, sight interpreting, specialist bilingual skills and multitasking. The second part (Semester 2) provides extensive simultaneous interpreting practice, using the interpreting lab and integrating simulations of interpreting practice.

Interpreting Studies

This module provides a systematic framework for understanding the major principles and challenges of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision-making and production processes involved in interpreting. It enables you to apply this framework to practical interpreting tasks.

Economics/Business Translation English–Chinese

This module provides students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in economics/business with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence, and contributes to improving your language and interpreting proficiency. It combines regular translation practice in smaller groups with basic research skills for translation/interpreting and lectures on the underlying principles of economics and applied economics.

Optional Modules

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will be able to select optional modules according to your specific interests. You may, for example, extend your specialist interpreting expertise into the area of public service interpreting (PSI) or complement your interpreting skills with specialist translation skills.


This module allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest to you by writing a topic-based dissertation or doing a commentary based on an interpreting assignment. Successful completion of the module requires close collaboration with a supervisor, as well as good planning and organisation skills.

Teaching Hours

Teaching: 14–16 hours per week

Private study: 24–26 hours per week

Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours over three months

Professional recognition

Students may join the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) as student members.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme director

Dr Sabine Braun

Find out more

General Enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions Enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2015

Entry Requirements

This programme is designed for native speakers of Chinese (Mandarin) with English as a second language. A BA degree equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject is required. In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered. As non-native speakers of English, applicants will also normally be required to have IELTS 7.0 or above (or equivalent), with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and speaking and 6.0 in all other components. A subsequent condition for all applicants meeting these requirements is the successful completion of an interpreting aptitude test.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component:

Reading: 6.0
Writing: 6.5
Speaking: 6.5
Listening: 6.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2015 £7,400 £14,600

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2015/16 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumni of Surrey you could be eligible for a 10% discount on our Taught Masters programme fees.

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