M.A. Interpreting

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • GBP13500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English (Find a course)
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Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences | University of Surrey | Guildford, United Kingdom
This Interpreting Ma is a highly specialised programme that will help you acquire advanced interpreting skills and enable you to work confidently in all modes of interpreting (including consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and video-mediated interpreting), and in a wide variety of contexts (including conference, business, legal and healthcare interpreting) and settings (including traditional face-to-face or on-site interpreting and novel settings of remote interpreting).
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Description of Interpreting

Why Surrey?

The need for interpreting is growing and evolving due to globalisation and migration trends. Thus the long-standing demand for qualified conference interpreters is complemented by a growing demand for professionals who are qualified to work in the business, legal and healthcare sectors. Moreover, new technologies are reshaping and redefining the professional interpreting landscape. Today, a growing proportion of interpreting assignments is delivered remotely, using telephone and videoconference links. The MA Interpreting fills a gap in academic interpreter training throughout the UK by preparing you to work in both established and emerging settings and enabling you to launch an exciting career as a well-rounded and flexible interpreting professional.

Learning from professionals and academics in a supportive environment, you will join a programme which covers the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting through a combination of background lectures and regular language pair-specific practice, using our state-of-the art interpreting labs with interpreting booths, portable interpreting equipment and professional videoconferencing facilities.

Firstly, the MA Interpreting offers training in all modes of interpreting required by the private market and different types of institutions, thus maximising your flexibility and career opportunities after graduation. The programme combines research-led teaching with hands-on professional practice to equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in interpreting. It provides you with insights into the state of the industry and helps you develop the critical and self-reflective skills that you need to work autonomously and to transfer the acquired knowledge and expertise to novel and unpredictable situations of interpreting.

Secondly, state-of-the-art facilities are in place to enable you to practice each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible. You will have access to three conference suites equipped with double interpreting booths to practice simultaneous interpreting. A portable interpreting system allows for training in mobile interpreting, for instance simulating the tour of a museum, factory or plant. Our facilities also include a two-way and multipoint video-conferencing system that makes it possible to simulate remote interpreting, with delegates and interpreters interacting via video-link. The programme pays particular attention to these emerging forms of interpreting, which are an increasingly important feature in the professional landscape. We are the first university to teach remote and mobile interpreting based on research findings in this area.

Thirdly, in addition to language-pair specific practice, the MA Interpreting gives you the unique opportunity to practice regularly in multilingual simulations of professional interpreting practice, with input from professionals from a variety of fields who will participate as live guest speakers on a case-by-case basis. This provides invaluable experience of real working conditions and opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis.

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

Module overview

The taught part of the Programme is divided into eight modules. All taught modules are worth 15 credits, which is indicative of 150 hours of learning, comprised of student contact, private study and assessment.

Many of the compulsory and optional modules on offer are shared with other postgraduate programmes offered by CTS, the MA Business Translation with Interpreting (BTI) and the MA Business Interpreting in Chinese (BICE), where they are either compulsory or optional.

Compulsory modules

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting I and II (language-pair specific)

These modules are concerned with spoken-language interpreting between English and your chosen language and focus on consecutive (traditional and short) and dialogic (i.e. face-to-face) modes, which are widely used in a range of settings, from institutional to business to public service (e.g. legal and healthcare) encounters. The modules aim at providing you with the practical knowledge and skills required to perform interpreting tasks professionally and effectively in a wide variety of relevant communicative situations. They consist of a language-pair specific component and a generic component mainly focused on the use of new technologies in interpreting (e.g. in business meetings and increasingly in courtrooms, following implementation of Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings).

Simultaneous Interpreting I and II modules (language-pair specific)

Simultaneous interpreting is a skill that is crucial for interpreters who want to operate in different markets, especially in the conference interpreting market. The two simultaneous interpreting modules cover all types of simultaneous interpreting, especially working in an interpreting booth but also whispered interpreting (chuchotage), and offer ample opportunities for language-pair specific 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. This module is shared between the MA Business Translation with Interpreting and the MA Business Interpreting in Chinese and English, thus increasing the chances of sharing ideas and engaging in fruitful discussions.

Interpreting Projects

This is a ‘polyglot’ module, i.e. it integrates students from all language combinations, and includes bi- and multilingual simulations of professional interpreting practice in business, legal and healthcare contexts with input from professionals in these fields (e.g. lawyers, police officers, nurses, doctors, business people) who will participate as live guest speakers in mock conferences and role-plays, organised both on site and remotely.

Optional Modules

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will be able to select optional modules according to your specific interest and for a total of 30 credits. These modules are led by research and have been designed to respond to the contemporary concerns of the interpreting industry. You may, for example, broaden your view on public service interpreting or extend your specialist interpreting expertise (subject to language proficiency and demand).

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.

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.

Other options are drawn from other MA programmes of CTS (e.g. Research Methods in Translation Studies; Corpora in Translation/Interpreting Practice and Research). Students who have a second language pair can also take Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting I and II in the other language pair (subject to availability).

Background/guest lecturing

You can 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.

You will also have access to the MA Translation Studies seminars, a series of guest lectures given by external guest speakers and open to all CTS Masters and PhD students. The lectures provide students with insights into the profession from the perspective of practitioners and scholars. The guest speakers include translators/interpreters, professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations as well as translation/interpreting researchers.


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.

English Language Requirements

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Requirements for Interpreting

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 normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 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: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component:

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

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Work Experience for Interpreting

No work experience is required.

More Information


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

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