Interpreting MA

This is the only programme in the UK that will help you acquire advanced interpreting skills to work confidently in all modes of interpreting.

Consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and telephone/video-mediated interpreting and in a wide variety of contexts (conference, business, public services) both onsite and remotely.

The Chinese pathway is delivered in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd and its Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE.

Why Surrey?

Just as the need for interpreting is growing due to the impact of globalisation and migration trends, the landscape of interpreting is changing due to the impact of new technologies.

The MA Interpreting responds to these trends and prepares you to work as an interpreter at the highest levels of professional communication.

To address the complexities of interpreting and equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful interpreting career, the programme combines research-led teaching with extensive opportunities for application and hands-on practice.

Providing you with up-to-date insights into the state of the industry, the MA Interpreting will help you develop the critical and self-reflective skills needed to work autonomously and to cope with unpredictable and challenging situations.

The programme is offered in two pathways, a multilingual and a Chinese pathway.

The Chinese pathway is offered in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd, an established Chinese communication, translation and interpreting company, whose Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE is the Lead Interpreter (Chinese) of the Foreign Office of the UK Government and has many years’ experience in providing interpreting services between Chinese and English at the top levels of business and government.

Discover more about our Chinese pathway.

Programme overview

What makes the programme special?

This highly specialised programme fills a gap in academic interpreter training throughout the UK by preparing you to work confidently in all modes of interpreting (including consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and telephone/video-mediated interpreting), and in a wide variety of established and emerging contexts (including institutional, business, political/diplomatic, public service interpreting) and settings (including traditional onsite interpreting and novel settings of remote interpreting).

This will maximise your flexibility and career opportunities after graduation and will enable you to launch an exciting career as a well-rounded and flexible interpreting professional.

Learning from experienced interpreters and academics in a supportive environment, you will join a programme which covers the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting through a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios and background lectures.

In the interpreting practice modules you will gain invaluable experience of real working conditions and opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis. Our simulations are joined by professionals from a variety of fields who participate as live guest speakers on a case-by-case basis.

The practice-based components of the programme are complemented by background lectures which will help you to understand the major principles of interpreting and provide you with a conceptual and methodological framework for analysing, discussing and justifying interpreting-related decisions.

State-of-the-art facilities are in place to enable you to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible. You will have access to three conference suites equipped with ISO approved double interpreting booths to practise simultaneous interpreting according to professional standards.

A portable interpreting system allows for training in mobile interpreting, for instance simulating the tour of a museum, factory or plant. Our facilities also include a two-way and multipoint videoconferencing system that makes it possible to simulate remote interpreting, with clients and interpreters interacting via video link.

The programme pays particular attention to the emerging forms of distance interpreting, which are an increasingly important feature in the professional landscape. We are the first university to teach remote and mobile interpreting based on research findings in this area.

Languages on offer

The MA Interpreting has two pathways:

  • a multilingual pathway offering practice-based interpreting modules in English paired with Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, according to demand.
  •  a Chinese pathway drawing on our long-standing collaboration with KL Communications Ltd and its Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE. Discover more about our Chinese pathway.

Programme structure

The MA Interpreting is studied over one year (full-time mode) only. On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a Master’s degree in Interpreting.

The taught part of the programme consists of six compulsory modules (which vary according to the pathway chosen) and a wide range of options allowing you to customise your course according to your interests. You should choose two options from the list below. Please note all optional modules are subject to demand.

Language-specific options are paired with English. If you are a native speaker of English, you can take up to two Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting options (in another language). If you are not a native speaker of English, you will normally take one Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting option (your mother tongue paired with English).

You can also choose one ab initio language if you wish to expand your portfolio of translation languages. Options ending in ‘I’ in semester 1 must be taken in conjunction with modules ending in ‘II’ in semester 2. Each module provides 15 credits, totalling 120 credits in all.

In the summer, from mid-June to early September, you will have an opportunity to write a topic-based dissertation related to an aspect of translation or interpreting of your choice (60 credits) or an interpreting project with commentary (60 credits) under the guidance of an appointed supervisor.

If you choose not to write a dissertation, you will be awarded a Postgraduate (PG) Diploma, with which you can also enter the professional interpreting market.

Compulsory modules – 6 modules (90 credits):

Semester 1

Semester 2

Translation and Interpreting Studies

Interpreting and Technologies

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting I

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

 

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting II

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

 

Simultaneous Interpreting I

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

 

Simultaneous Interpreting II

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

Optional modules – 2 modules (30 credits) from the following:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Interpreting and Society

 

 

Public Service Interpreting Trends and Issues

 

Research Methods in Translation Studies

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting I

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting II*

(Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish)

 

Ab Initio language for Translation Purposes I

(Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian)

 

Ab Initio language for Translation Purposes II

(Norwegian, Portuguese or Russian)

 

Audiovisual Translation I

Audiovisual Translation II

 

Summer dissertation work 
Topic-based dissertation or Interpreting Project with Analytical Commentary

 

*If taking Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting I for more than one language, you are only required to follow up Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting II for one of the languages chosen.

Teaching staff

Experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting, while well-established, professional interpreters bring their real-world experience and standards, and their up-to-date knowledge of the interpreting market into the classroom.

The Chinese pathway is delivered in collaboration with Dr Kevin Lin and his team at KL Communications Ltd. Dr Lin has many years’ experience in providing interpreting services between Chinese and English at the top levels of business and government, and training interpreters to work at the highest levels.

Professional development                                            

In addition to enjoying regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules, throughout the academic year you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

Insights into the industry will, for example, be provided by external guest speakers we invite to our Translation Studies seminars.  

These include professional translators, interpreters, subtitlers and audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researcher.

Graduation from the MA Interpreting will enable you to apply for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI).

In line with our aim to offer professionally relevant programmes, we have forged close links with the main professional bodies, i.e. the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL).  You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after graduation.

In addition, we work closely with many language service providers and are a member of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA), which gives you the possibility to apply for a work placement with its various translation and interpreting companies that are members of ELIA.

Career prospects

Thanks to our continued emphasis on professional development, you will be well-equipped to begin work as freelancer or in-house interpreter at international organisations, government bodies, universities and private companies.

We also regularly have students who decide to stay on to study for a PhD and pursue an academic career in Translation and Interpreting Studies.   

Professional recognition

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

This programme is also a member of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA) which provides possibilites for work placements around the world.

This programme is also a member of TAUS - the Translation Automation User Society.

 

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Elena Davitti

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:

+44-(0)1483-682-222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

Programme facts

Type of programme:

MA

Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

Native English speakers: a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in the relevant language or another relevant subject.

Speakers of other languages: an equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject.

In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Non-native speakers of English will also 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.

In order to proceed to the aptitude test, candidates must submit a CV and a suitable personal statement explaining why they have chosen to apply for this programme at Surrey.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

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.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £7,000 £15,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes

Funding

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

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Disclaimer

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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