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Course content

-You are interested in a challenging and stimulating career in conference interpreting
-You want personalised training from practising conference interpreters who are accredited by the European Union and the United Nations
-You are looking for a course that is recognised and supported by key employers such as the European Commission and the European Parliament
-You want to benefit from four additional weeks of advanced simultaneous training after your final summer exams, which are specifically designed to prepare you for the profession
-You want to train and practice in state-of-the-art facilities using professional interpreting equipment

The MA in Conference Interpreting (MACINT) is designed to equip you with the knowledge and advanced interpreting skills required for a career in conference interpreting. All our interpreting trainers are practising conference interpreters in language combinations that reflect market demands. Most trainers are also AIIC members. For a detailed list of regular and visiting trainers and their professional backgrounds, please visit: http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/translation-and-intercultural-studies/about/people/external-trainers/

The programme offers simultaneous and consecutive interpreting training in five languages - French, German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. These are key languages in international organisations such as the UN and EU and are also in demand on the freelance market.

The MA Conference Interpreting can be studied over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Part-time study is strongly supported and is actively facilitated in the timetabling of teaching hours for the MA, wherever possible. We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Conference Interpreting for students who do not wish to complete a professional portfolio or research dissertation.

As a prospective student, you will offer one of two profiles, reflecting the two distinct profiles of practising conference interpreters:

-Profile 1: You have English as your native language (A language) and two passive foreign languages (C languages). You will be trained in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting out of both C languages into your A language

-Profile 2: You have Russian, Chinese, French, German or Spanish as your native language (A language) and English as an active foreign language (B language) or English as your A language and one of the five languages mentioned as your B. You will be trained in both types of interpreting in both directions (i.e. B-A and A-B)

Aims

-To equip students with the knowledge and advanced interpreting skills for a career in conference interpreting
-To provide specialist training in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting
-To provide a gradual transition into the professional world through practical, real-life interpreting tasks
-To provide guidance on professional conduct and ethics
-To enable students to reflect critically on their own and others' interpreting practice
-To equip students for further study and research

Teaching and learning

The MACINT degree is devised to train students with aptitude for Conference Interpreting in an intensive and highly individualised manner.

Contact hours with our trainers will involve a mixture of seminars with students studying all six languages on the MACINT degree (English, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish) and language-specific tutorials focusing on your particular language combination. In the Professional Development for Conference Interpreters unit, students will also have the opportunity to work as part of a team of interpreters at a number of simulated multilingual conferences. Class sizes are small which allows for intensive contact with teaching staff.

Students are taught in separate classes for language tutorials covering each direction in which they interpret, for example, an interpreter working with French>
In addition to class contact hours, e-learning provision provides students with the support and feedback required between classes, as well as allowing them the possibility for tracking their progress. Guided self-study sessions in small groups are an essential part of the MACINT degree. These sessions also nurture peer assessment and feedback skills.

Career opportunities

The MA in Conference Interpreting at Manchester is recognised as a qualifying course for students wishing to be admitted for tests to work as simultaneous interpreters at international organisations, such as the UN and the EU. Some of our interpreter trainers have themselves helped to assess candidates for exams at international organisations, so we have a clear idea of what is required. Our own final exam marking criteria reflect those in use at international organisations.

The MA also prepares students for work as interpreters on the private market, i.e. in settings beyond international organisations. This can involve interpreting for businesses, think tanks, national and regional governments, NGOs, trade unions, legal firms and more. Our trainers have experience of working both in international organisations and on the private market so are well-placed to prepare students for all markets.

We maintain close links with key employers, giving students the opportunity to gain experience and receive external feedback on their performances during their training. For example, we have regular visits from senior staff interpreters at the European Commission. Some of our students have had opportunities to volunteer locally, for example our Chinese interpreting students volunteered during the recent visit of President Xi Jinping to Manchester.

The supply of English mother tongue interpreters is expected to fall further over coming years, due to the decline of language-learning in the UK. This will in turn increase the opportunities available for those native speakers who do have the necessary skills to work as simultaneous interpreters.

On the private market, all interpreters are increasingly expected to be able to interpret reliably into (as well as from) English. But employers cannot be expected to pay professional rates for second-rate English. The language immersion and opportunities for feedback that come with studying in small-group sessions, at a reputable UK-based course can help to develop the command of idiom and register, giving you the necessary edge on the job market.

A postgraduate qualification in Conference Interpreting also provides students with highly developed research, analytical and summarizing skills, excellent public speaking skills and an advanced understanding of mediation between cultures and languages. These transferable skills can be used in a variety of different job profiles.

Visit the Conference Interpreting - MA page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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