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, simultaneous, chuchotage, sight translation, dialogue and distance interpreting. We are the first university to teach video-mediated and telephone interpreting based on research in distance interpreting, giving you excellent and flexible career opportunities.
The course has a strong practical component designed to suit the needs of the interpreting market today. We support ‘virtual internships’ which enable you to collaborate with language service providers and build a professional engagement portfolio that you can present to potential future employers.
CTS is currently developing an ambitious new research programme which will place us and our students at the very heart of future developments, namely, the convergence of human and automated approaches to different types of translation, audiovisual translation and interpreting. This research programme, which will inform our teaching, will have a strong focus on the responsible integration of human and machine translation.
What you will study
Our MA Interpreting course has a multilingual and a Chinese pathway.
On this pathway we offer Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English (languages are subject to availability and/or demand).
You will receive advanced training in all interpreting modes and technologies and develop a deep knowledge of the interpreting industry. Practical modules are taught by experienced professional interpreters and you’ll benefit from cutting-edge facilities and participate in simulated industry-relevant scenarios.
The background lecture provides a conceptual framework for understanding, discussing and justifying interpreting-related decisions. Optional modules such as an additional language paired with English at ab initio level or audio-visual translation will allow you to customise your learning experience.
During the course, you will learn through a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, simulations of multilingual events (mock conferences, guided campus tours, distance interpreting), modules highlighting different aspects of the profession, and a background lecture. Our experienced academic staff will help you develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting, while well-established, professional interpreters bring their workplace experience, standards and up-to-date knowledge of the market into the classroom.
You will be able to enjoy regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules and gain advanced knowledge of how technologies are shaping the interpreting profession, making you fit for the current market. You will benefit from course components that emphasise the business and industry aspects of interpreting.
You will 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.
You will have invaluable opportunities to apply and further hone your interpreting skills and strategies in real-life working environments. For instance, our students have provided interpreting services for a variety of multilingual events held at the University, ranging from graduation ceremonies to a three-day medical conference and other workshops. Our students have also had the opportunity to further refine their skills by participating in a remote interpreting Summer School, as well as shadowing professional interpreters working at a number of international conferences held in London, thanks to our well-established contacts with some major interpreting service providers.
As a student, you will benefit from free access to SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, Matecat, Smartcat, WinCaps, KantanMT, Dragon Speaking and Sketch Engine software to help you learn about translation technology.
You will also gain further insights into the industry from the external guest speakers we invite to our Centre for Translation Studies seminars, such as:
- 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 and interpreting researchers.
We offer professionally relevant courses and have forged close links with the main professional bodies. For example, after graduating from our MA Interpreting course you will 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 and we are corporate members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after you graduate.
We are a member of the Translation Automation User Society and the European Language Industry Association, which gives you the possibility to apply for a work placement with various translation and interpreting partner companies. We collaborate closely with language service providers, and have an extensive network of visiting professionals, so you will benefit from excellent connections and be taught to industry standards
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Local and international companies from the language industry who have an active interest in Surrey graduates come to our Centre for Translation Studies. They explain what current and future opportunities they have, providing a chance for you to engage with them directly and kick-start your career in an informal, friendly atmosphere.
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.
The language services industry continues to grow despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation and technological innovation open up new markets, and create novel demands for multilingual interpreting services to exchange knowledge and communicate with clients. As an MA Interpreting graduate and qualified language professional, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.
Technological innovation is also rapidly reshaping the interpreting industry, opening up new research opportunities. Your MA dissertation project is one of many ways of getting involved in ongoing research in the Centre for Translation Studies. We also regularly have MA students who decide to stay on to study for a PhD and pursue an academic career in Translation and Interpreting Studies. For further information, see our PhD course.
Academic year structure
MA Interpreting (multilingual pathway) modules are taught across two semesters. The programme can only be taken on a full-time basis. Students normally take four modules in semester one and four in semester two. The dissertation is completed in the summer and submitted in early September.
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:
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 provided by professional translators or interpreters and we may sometimes have to reschedule classes to accommodate professional commitments.
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 (or equivalent): 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Writing and Speaking, and 6.0 in each other category.
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 2020-21 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.
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
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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.