Interpreting MA

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Why Surrey?

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), and in a variety of contexts.

We are the first university to teach remote interpreting based on research in this area.

Programme overview

The MA in Interpreting programme is offered in two pathways: a multilingual and a Chinese pathway. Experienced interpreters and academics will guide you through the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting.

Learning is conducted via a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios and background lectures.

Our state-of-the-art facilities 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, a portable interpreting system for training in mobile interpreting (used for museum or factory tours) and a two-way and multipoint videoconferencing system to simulate remote interpreting.

Programme structure

The MA Interpreting is studied over one year (full-time mode) only. 

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.

The following modules 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.

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.

Pathways

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

Educational aims of the programme

This MA programme prepares graduates to work as interpreters at the highest levels of professional communication in a wide range of settings, including conference, dialogue and video-mediated ones.

Due to the requirements and complexities of interpreting in such contexts, the programme combines the study of the major principles of, and scholarly approaches to, Interpreting with opportunities for application and practice – with the aim of enabling students to:

  • Perform relevant interpreting tasks in different contexts, including conference, business, legal and healthcare settings
  • Reflect on their own practice, using scholarly and professional writing on relevant aspects of interpreting
  • Transfer the acquired skills and knowledge to novel and unpredictable situations of interpreting

Furthermore, the need for interpreting is growing due to the impact of globalisation and migration, and the interpreting landscape is changing due to the impact of new technologies. In accordance with this, the programme will provide insights into recent developments and related research – with the aim of enabling the students to:

  • Develop a broad understanding of current and future challenges of interpreting in different contexts
  • Apply scholarly approaches to critically evaluate professional practice in the light of current and future requirements
  • Instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in an area interpreting

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

Upon completing the course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • A thorough understanding of the main principles that underpin interpreting
  • Sound knowledge of how interpreting has developed in relation to general as well as more specific socio-political issues
  • A thorough understanding of key concepts, structures, procedures in public and private bodies and sound knowledge of related professional terminology
  • A thorough understanding of the components of the interpreting process and the role of the interpreter
  • Sound knowledge of relevant genres/registers of both working languages
  • A thorough understanding of advanced interpreting strategies and of techniques for background research and preparation
  • A thorough understanding of the different modes of interpreting and the ability to explain their use and specific challenges of interpreting in different settings/situations
  • High awareness of all issues of professional interpreter conduct and ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills

Students will gain the ability to:

  • Strategically retrieve information crucial for the communication situation at hand and efficiently relay messages in oral mode
  • Conduct conceptual and terminological research related to specific tasks
  • Critically evaluate scholarly and professional writing on a wide range of aspects pertaining to interpreting
  • Formulate and address research questions relating to the field of study

Professional practical skills

Students will be able to:

  • Work confidently in all modes of interpreting, including consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and whispered interpretation and sight translation
  • Use appropriate interpreting strategies and preparation techniques
  • Deal with interpreting tasks confidently, displaying stamina and using problem solving techniques under conditions of time and cognitive pressure
  • Present mediated messages orally in a clear and appropriate fashion
  • Where relevant, manage and co-ordinate dialogic interaction
  • Use communication technologies in interpreting confidently
  • Function professionally in all situations
  • Monitor engagement and impartiality in interpreting situations
  • Apply evaluation skills for interpreting purposes
  • Where relevant, combine interpreting and translation skills in a market where flexibility and a varied professional portfolio is an advantage

Key / transferable skills

Students will learn how to;

  • Transfer techniques of interpreting to novel and unplanned situations
  • Acquire knowledge in specialised subject areas and associated terminology
  • Prepare and deliver a sustained piece of work to a high professional standard
  • Collaborate by working in small teams to achieve a common goal
  • Reflect upon the knowledge gained and practice, and incorporate this into independent learning and professional development strategies
  • Manage learning and knowledge acquisition effectively
  • Use a range of skills developed at post-graduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments and presentation
  • Conduct a sustained piece of guided research

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

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 2017

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

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.5 in Speaking, 6.5 in Writing, 6.0 in each other component (or equivalent)

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 2017 £7,000 £16,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 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

Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans. Learn more.

 

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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.

For more details

Admissions Information

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Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Disclaimer

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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