Why choose this course
This is the only course in the UK that will give you advanced interpreting skills in all interpreting modes, including consecutive and simultaneous, 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 with future employers and interpreters’ work environments and be taught to industry standards.
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, techniques and professional requirements of interpreting.
On the multilingual pathway we offer Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English (languages subject to teaching availability and or student demand).
In your practice modules you’ll have opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis. Our simulations are joined by live guest speakers from various fields. You’ll also benefit from our cutting-edge facilities to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible.
In modules relating to the interpreting profession, you will gain the practical knowledge and organisational skills necessary to perform interpreting tasks effectively.
The background lecture will provide you with a conceptual and methodological framework for analysing, discussing and justifying interpreting-related decisions.
During the course, 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. To this end, 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 so that you gain invaluable experience of real working conditions.
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’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.
We offer ‘virtual internships’ which enable you to collaborate with language service providers throughout the year, and help you to create a professional engagement portfolio for potential employers.
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 and interpreters
- Subtitlers and audio describers
- Professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations
- Representatives of professional translator and 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.
Careers companies from the language industry come and present themselves at our Centre for Translation Studies. They also give you an idea of what current and future opportunities they have, providing a chance for you to ask important questions and kick-start your career. This occasion allows you to encounter companies and representatives in an informal, friendly atmosphere who have an active interest in Surrey graduates.
Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well equipped to begin work as a freelancer, in-house interpreter, interpreting services manager or as an 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:
- World-leading research in remote interpreting
- Interpreting and technologies
- Interpreting and multimodality
- Corpus-based interpreting and translation studies and lexicography
- Translation process research
- Translation as intercultural mediation
- Translation of humour
- Educational technologies.
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 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.
DAVITTI E Dr (Lit & Langs)
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The course modules are delivered across two academic semesters. You can find out more details by contacting our course administrators.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
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:
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.
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).
Please note that as our practice-based classes are normally delivered by professional translators or interpreters, we may sometimes have to reschedule classes to accommodate professional commitments.
Learning and disability
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development 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.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
If you are a native English speaker, we require a minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish, or a related subject taught in one of these languages. If you are a native speaker of another language, we require a minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree taught in English or a related subject. We can also consider relevant work experience if you don’t meet these requirements.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Writing and Speaking and 6.0 in each other element.
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.
Offers are made subject to a successful aptitude test.
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.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.