This programme provides a unique master's level opportunity for experienced BSL/English interpreting practitioners to achieve a recognised academic qualification that includes focus on specialist areas of interpreting practice. The online format ensures that the programme is accessible to interpreters throughout the UK.
The programme is designed to provide an online post-registration qualification for British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreters in the UK. This programme allows experienced practitioners to achieve a recognised qualification in the specialist areas of interpreting in which they are engaged or in which they wish to develop their practice (for example in healthcare, mental health, legal settings, theatre, education). Interpreters will also be able to use study on this programme to fulfil the CPD requirements of their professional registration body.
As a student on this course you will complete a range of modules. Two core modules in the Theory and Practice of Interpreting will enable you to gain a grounding in current Translation and Interpreting concepts and practice. Elective modules will allow you to tailor your study to the areas of professional practice in which you are currently engaged, or areas in which you would like your work to develop.
Learning, teaching and assessment
The entire programme is delivered online. An extensive range of learning technologies and multimedia resources are available to support directed, independent learning. Contact between staff and students can involve recorded or live online lectures, seminars, case-based discussions and tutorials.
Your performance on the course will be assessed through your engagement with online discussion, case studies, essays and e-portfolios. Students completing the MSc will also complete a dissertation.
If studying for the MSc you will also complete a module on Research Methods (currently 30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
This specialisation in Sign Language and Deaf Studies is unique amongst existing Master's degrees in including components in the psychology and linguistics and neuroscience of deafness and sign language, taught by staff at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre. Students also have the opportunity to study introductory British Sign Language.
Students take a set of core modules and then specialise in linguistics, psychology of language, and/or interpreting. In selecting the modules for specialisation, students are able to take full advantage of the breadth of expertise in language research in the UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two mandatory modules (45 credits), four specialisation modules (60 credits), one optional modules (15 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) consisting of two mandatory modules (45 credits), four core modules (60 credits), and one optional module (15 credits) is also offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate of four mandatory modules (60 credits) is also offered.
Students then select one optional module from all those offered within the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, subject to availability and agreement with the Programme Director (students who already hold BSL level one or equivalent select two). Recommendations include:
Not all modules will run every year, some modules may require a minimum number of registered students.
All students undertake an independent research project in an area of language science which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Language Sciences (with specialisation in Sign Language and Deaf Studies) MSc
The majority of students who graduate from Language Sciences MSc programmes go on to further study or research. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, and other UK and overseas institutions. Others have gone to work in related industries, for example in speech technology industries, cochlear implants manufacturers, and in education. The skills that the MSc develops - independent research, presentation skills, and statistics - are transferable and very highly sought outside of academia.
The division undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. Staff and students benefit from cutting-edge resources including extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.
Opportunities for students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.
The Language Sciences MSc provides the opportunity for in-depth study of one or more areas of the Language Sciences. The programme is an 'umbrella degree', with a number of specialisation strands that follow a common structure.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The course is designed to provide learners with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in sign language interpreting or translation (SLT/I) within several domains to enhance employability. The qualification with develop theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and performance in interpreting and will be relevant for interpreters who work as sign language interpreters or translators and have English or British Sign Language as one of their working languages.
The course is intellectually stimulating and upon completion learners will have the skills, knowledge and understanding to apply theoretical frameworks to real world interpreting and translation situations, support co-interpreters/translators and engage in complex SLT/I work in the medical, legal and conference domains.
The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach that will enable learners to develop an understanding of complex and challenging SLT/I environments. Skills development includes professionalising working languages, updating your knowledge of new research and its application to our work and critical reflection on one’s own and others practice.
The dissertation will allow the learners to explore an aspect of SLT/I within a research study, after learning appropriate research design for the field.
This programme offers flexibility to students in terms of career choice and meets industry demand because there is a wide appeal amongst employers for students who have both the knowledge, skills and performance as SLT/I and the research skills to develop sector knowledge and expertise.
The course is unique in bringing together situated learning alongside allied professionals, and teaching on the course is undertaken by experienced practitioners (interpreters, translators, nurses, solicitors, etc.). The teaching team have published situated learning and is recognised as a European level for the European forum of sign language interpreters as a leader in training.
The course prepares learners to work as sign language translators/interpreters (SLT/I) within the health, legal and conference domains and is the only course in the country to engage in situated learning alongside allied professions. The profession has been seeking greater levels of specialism for legal and health settings and this course will provide that degree of specialism.
Learners also have the option to progress to higher degree. A master’s qualification prepares graduates for PhD study. Increasingly the department is attracting PhD students in the subject area.
1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems in SLT/I through situational analyses.
2. Act autonomously in planning and implementing of the interpreting task: pre-; during; and post assignment; at a professional or equivalent level.
3. Demonstrate the SLT/I techniques and skills necessary for employment requiring:
4. Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them.
5. Apply knowledge in an original way, critically analysing how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.