M.A. Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

University of Surrey | Guildford, United Kingdom
The demand for high-quality interpreters in Chinese and English is burgeoning, particularly in the business market. Our programme prepares you to work as an interpreter in conference, business and political settings at the highest levels.
Visit Programme Website Many students visit a programme website.

Description of Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

Specialising in the requirements and complexities of interpreting between Chinese (Mandarin) and English in business, commercial, political and diplomatic contexts, the programme offers interpreting into and out of Chinese in a variety of modes (consecutive, simultaneous, whispering and sight translation from written text).

Following our successful pattern of combining learning with professionals and academics in a supportive environment, the programme is delivered in co-operation with KL Communications Ltd., a well established interpreting company whose managing director is the lead interpreter for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Chinese. As a successful company supplying interpreting and translation services, KL Communications also have an up-to-date view of the commercial market. At the same time, experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of interpreting.

In addition to developing a broad understanding of current and future needs and challenges of interpreting between Chinese and English, you will be able to study specialised translation in subjects related to economics and business.

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee
  • GBP 13500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 7000 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

These modules are led by research and have been designed to respond to the contemporary concerns of the interpreting and translation industry. You may, for example, broaden your view on public service interpreting or complement your interpreting skills with specialist translation skills.

Consecutive Interpreting I and II

The first part of the module (Semester 1) focuses on core skills such as the use of notes, delivery and projecting the speaker. The second part (Semester 2) will focus on applying the training you have received to practical tasks, including simulated assignments.

Simultaneous Interpreting I and II

The first part of the module (Semester 1) focuses on the key skills of a Chinese simultaneous interpreter: research, preparation, sight interpreting, specialist bilingual skills and multitasking. The second part (Semester 2) provides extensive simultaneous interpreting practice, using the interpreting lab and integrating simulations of interpreting practice.

Economic/Business Translation I (and II as optional)

These language-pair-specific modules are taught by professional translators and provide students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in economics/business with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence. Semester 1 begins with practical introductory sessions on translation methodology, then progresses to regular translation practice in smaller groups. Alongside this there are weekly lectures on the underlying principles of economics and applied economics. In semester 2, practice in small groups continues with Economic/Business Translation II, which can be taken as an optional module.

Interpreting Studies

This module provides you with a systematic framework for understanding the major principles of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision-making and production processes involved in interpreting. Building on analysis of different interpreting situations, the module offers a critical overview of the main theoretical underpinnings of Interpreting Studies, which help you to identify common interpreting challenges and develop relevant strategies and solutions.

Public Service Interpreting (PSI) Trends and Issues

This module introduces you to the professional dimension of the different fields of PSI by covering the professional contexts in which interpreters work, issues such as ethical requirements, codes of conduct, working conditions and legislation associated with PSI, as well as current trends such as remote interpreting (via telephone and videoconference links) and their repercussions on the PSI landscape.

Interpreting and Society

This module focuses on observation and research-led analysis of professional interpreting practice from linguistic, social and cultural perspectives through authentic case-studies. It is designed to create an understanding of the interpreting process and the interpreter’s role and conduct in a variety of communicative situations, thus identifying challenges and issues that may arise in interpreter-mediated interaction, developing critical and reflective skills as well as a the ability to make informed decisions when confronted with complex scenarios.

Corpora in Translation/Interpreting Practice and Research

This module provides an introduction to corpora in translation and interpreting practice and research. It is mostly a hands-on module taught in a computer lab with individual workstations for each student. The module shows you how to use corpora in English and your other working languages to help you with your translation decisions, teaches you how to compile your own corpus in order to extract terminology and phraseology from a specialist area of your choice, and introduces you to corpus-based approaches to translation and interpreting research.

Research Methods in Translation Studies

This module provides you with the means to initiate and carry out own research projects in Translation Studies. It will help you to understand of how to link research questions with methods and data, and will enable you to present the outcomes of your research in an effective way. You will also develop critical reading and evaluation skills.

Background lectures

You will also attend a selection of background lectures (e.g. Applied Economics; Principles of Science and Technology), following the pattern that we use in other CTS MA Translation programmes, where practice-based translation modules are currently supplemented by background lectures.


For the MA, the dissertation (60 credits) allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest by writing a topic-based dissertation related to an aspect of interpreting or an interpreting project with commentary. Successful completion of the dissertation requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

CTS Translation Seminar series

You will also have access to the MA Translation Seminars, a series of guest talks given by external guest speakers and open to all CTS Masters and PhD students. The talks provide students with insights into the profession from the perspective of practitioners and scholars. The guest speakers include translators, interpreters, subtitles, audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researchers.

Teaching Hours

Teaching: 14–16 hours per week

Private study: 24–26 hours per week

Dissertation: Approximately 600 hours over three months

English Language Requirements

Take IELTS test

Requirements for Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

This programme is designed for native speakers of Chinese (Mandarin) with English as a second language. A BA degree equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject is required. In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered. As non-native speakers of English, applicants will also normally 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.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component:

  • Reading: 6.0
  • Writing: 6.5
  • Speaking: 6.5
  • Listening: 6.0

Work Experience for Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

No work experience is required.

More Information


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

We Are Helping Thousands of Students to Find a University Abroad!

Fortunately enough I was able to find StudyPortals. Right from the start of the application to getting the confirmation of admission I was using StudyPortals.
Shivprasad - India

Sign up for your personal newsletter and we will help you too.

We will send you all the information you need to find your dream study programme!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

University of Surrey, United Kingdom

United Kingdom We have some of the best new academic, library, sports, arts and accommodation facilities of any university in the UK, as well as one of the most envied Professional Training placement programmes in the world. This combination of prestige, expertise, resources and lifestyle is unique, and it’s all to be found here in the beautiful countryside of the Surrey Hills just half an hour from central London.

Prepare yourself for Master degree

Find a Preparation Course
  • Reset
Compare Programmes