M.A. Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

University of Surrey

Application deadline: October 24
Tuition fee:
  • € 7,320 / Year (EEA)
  • € 14,533 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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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. It is delivered in cooperation with KL Communications Ltd., a well established corporate communications company which has provided interpreting between Chinese and English at the highest levels of business and government for many years.

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.


Structure and Modules

Module Titles
Modules (including optional modules)
* Pre-Masters compulsory short course in English (10 weeks)
* Consecutive interpreting ChineseEnglish
* Simultaneous interpreting ChineseEnglish
* Interpreting Studies
* Economics/Business Translation English-Chinese
* Public Service Interpreting Trends and Issues
* Translation, Interpreting and Corpora

Compulsory Modules
Pre-Masters short course (Preparatory course)

The first stage of the programme is a 10-week pre-Masters course focusing on the development of three sets of skills: interpreter skills including, for example, self-discipline, organisation skills, working to tight deadlines and professional conduct; high-level professional English skills and knowledge relating to British/Anglophone culture; research skills for interpreters, presentation and public speaking skills, effective team work and interpersonal communication. Following successful completion of this course, you will progress to the PG Diploma and MA stage of the programme.

Consecutive Interpreting ChineseEnglish

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

Simultaneous Interpreting ChineseEnglish

The first part of the module (semester 1) focuses on the key skills of a Chinese Simultaneous Interpreter: research, preparation, sight interpreting, specialist bi-lingual skills and multi-tasking. The second part (semester 2) provides extensive simultaneous interpreting practice using the interpreting lab and integrating simulations of interpreting practice.

Interpreting Studies

This module provides a systematic framework for understanding the major principles and challenges of interpreting, the role of the interpreter and the nature of comprehension, decision making and production processes involved in interpreting. It enables you to apply this framework to practical interpreting tasks.

Economics/Business Translation English-Chinese

This module provides students who have no previous experience of specialist translation in economics/business with the opportunity to reach an acceptable professional level of translation competence and contributes to improving the students language and interpreting proficiency. It combines regular translation practice in smaller groups with basic research skills for translation/interpreting and lectures on the underlying principles of economics and applied economics.


This module allows you to specialise in an aspect of the programme of particular interest by writing a topic-based dissertation or doing a commentary based on an interpreting assignment. Successful completion of the module requires close collaboration with a supervisor and good planning and organisation skills.

Optional Modules
In addition to the compulsory modules, you will be able to select optional modules according to your specific interests. You may, for example, extend your specialist interpreting expertise into the area of Public Service Interpreting (PSI) or complement your interpreting and translation skills with expertise in the use of electronic corpora of spoken and written language.


This programme is designed for native speakers of Chinese (Mandarin) with English as a second language. A BA degree equivalent to a UK Second class honours degree in English or another relevant subject is required. Applicants will normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above, with 7.0 or more in speaking and writing (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.



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

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