Interpreting MA

Why choose this course

This is the only course in the UK that will give you advanced interpreting skills in all modes of interpreting, including consecutive and simultaneous, sim-consec, chuchotage, sight translation, dialogue and distance interpreting. We’re the first university to teach remote and mobile interpreting based on research in distance interpreting, which will give you excellent and flexible career opportunities.

We’re a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, the Translation Automation User Society and the European Language Industry Association, so you’ll benefit from excellent connections and be taught to industry standards. You’ll also benefit from our cutting-edge facilities, multilingual learning resources and from regular opportunities to interact with future employers and interpreters’ work environments.

What you will study

We offer two pathways on our MA Interpreting course: a multilingual pathway and a Chinese pathway. Experienced interpreters and academics will guide you through the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting.

You’ll learn through a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life events (such as mock conferences), modules highlighting different aspects of the profession, and a background lecture.

In your interpreting practice modules you’ll gain invaluable experience of real working conditions and have 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.

In modules relating to the interpreting profession, you will gain the practical knowledge, organisational and project management skills you need to perform interpreting tasks effectively. The background lecture 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.

Our state-of-the-art facilities will let you practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible. You’ll have access to two conference interpreting suites equipped with ISO-approved double interpreting booths, as used by international institutions, to practise simultaneous interpreting; 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 or distance interpreting, with delegates and interpreters interacting over video link.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MA Full-time 12 months October 2018

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

You’ll be able to enjoy regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules, and you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

You will gain further insights into the industry from the external guest speakers we invite to our Centre for Translation Studies seminars series. Speakers include: 

  • Professional translators
  • Interpreters
  • Subtitlers and audio describers
  • Professionals working in public services
  • Companies and international organisations
  • Representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations
  • Translation/interpreting researchers.

We offer professionally relevant courses and have forged close links with the main professional bodies. For example, after graduating from the MA Interpreting course you’ll be able to apply for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. We have also been invited to take part in prestigious schemes such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists Higher Education Language Partnership. You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after you graduate.

Career prospects

Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well-equipped to begin work as freelancer, in-house interpreter, interpreting services manager or interpreting technology co-ordinator 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. Our specialisms include:

  • Translation process research
  • Corpus-based translation studies and lexicography
  • Translation as intercultural mediation
  • Translation of humour
  • Dialogue interpreting and multimodality
  • World-leading research in remote interpreting.

Your dissertation project is one of many opportunities to get involved in ongoing research in the Centre for Translation Studies.

The language services industry continues to grow despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new markets and creates demand for interpreting services to to enable knowledge exchange, migration, and communication between clients. As an MA Interpreting graduate and qualified language professional, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.

Programme leader

DAVITTI E Dr (Lit & Langs)

Academic year structure

Our practice-based classes are normally delivered by professional translators or interpreters and we may sometimes have to reschedule them to accommodate professional commitments. The course modules are delivered across two academic semesters. You can find out more details by contacting our course administrators. 

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

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.

Year 1 (full-time)

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Language specific modules are paired with English and are subject to demand.
Students will normally take all language-specific in the same language pair across semesters 1 and 2. (Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting and Simultaneous Interpreting must be taken in the same language)

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting 1 & 2 can be also be taken as optional modules, and this can be in a different language to the one chosen as compulsory.

All modules are worth 15 credits unless stated otherwise.

Timetable

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

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 Academic 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 Academic: 6.5 overall, 6.5 in Speaking, 6.5 in Writing, 6.0 in each other component (or equivalent).

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Full-time October 2018 £7,300 £17,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018/19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

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