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Designed in collaboration with Dr Kevin Lin OBE, this unique course will train you to be ready for your first conference interpreting job upon graduation.

This course has more opportunities for simulated interpreting practice, internships, traineeships and real-life interpreting experience than any other course in the UK.

We’re a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, the Translation Automation User Society and the European Language Industry Association, so you’ll benefit from excellent connections with future employers and interpreters’ work environments and be taught to industry standards.

What you will study

We offer two pathways on our MA Interpreting course: a multilingual pathway and a Chinese pathway. The Chinese pathway is taught in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd, whose Managing Director Dr Kevin Lin OBE is the Lead Interpreter (Chinese) of the Foreign Office of the UK Government.

Our MA Interpreting Chinese pathway covers the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting between Chinese and English, and prepares you to work successfully as an interpreter in conference, business and political settings at the highest levels.

In your consecutive and simultaneous interpreting modules you’ll have opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis.

In modules relating to the interpreting profession, you will gain the practical knowledge and organisational skills necessary to perform interpreting tasks effectively.

The background lecture will provide you with a conceptual and methodological framework for analysing, discussing and justifying interpreting-related decisions.

Teaching staff

During the course, you’ll learn through a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios, modules highlighting different aspects of the profession, and a background lecture. To this end, our experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting, while well-established, professional interpreters bring their real-world experience and standards, and their up-to-date knowledge of the interpreting market into the classroom.

Professional development

Our experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting, while well-established, professional interpreters bring their real-world experience and standards, and their up-to- date knowledge of the interpreting market into the classroom so that you gain invaluable experience of real working conditions.

You will benefit from one week at KL Communications Ltd in London with a certificate upon completion. In addition to enjoying regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules, you will benefit from course components throughout the academic year that specifically address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

Our facilities will let you practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible. You’ll have access to two conference interpreting suites equipped with ISO-approved double interpreting booths, as used by international institutions, to practise simultaneous interpreting; a portable interpreting system for training in mobile interpreting (used for museum or factory tours); and a two-way and multipoint videoconferencing system to simulate remote or distance interpreting, with delegates and interpreters interacting over video link.

You’ll also gain further insights into the industry from external guest speakers we invite to our Centre for Translation Studies seminars series. Speakers include:

  • Professional translators and interpreters
  • Subtitlers and audio describers
  • Professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations
  • Representatives of professional translator and interpreter associations
  • Translation and interpreting researchers.

We offer professionally relevant programmes and have forged close links with the main professional bodies. For example, we have been invited to take part in prestigious schemes such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists Higher Education Language Partnership. You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after you graduate.

Career prospects

Careers companies from the language industry come and present themselves at our Centre for Translation Studies careers fair. They also give you an idea of what current and future opportunities they have, providing a chance for you to ask important questions and kick-start your career. This occasion allows you to encounter companies and representatives in an informal, friendly atmosphere who have an active interest in Surrey graduates.

Thanks to our emphasis on professional development, you will be well-equipped to begin work as an executive interpreter or Chinese communication expert at international organisations, government bodies, and private companies.

We also regularly have students who decide to stay on for a PhD and pursue an academic career in translation and interpreting studies. Our specialisms include:

  • World-leading research in remote interpreting
  • Interpreting and technologies
  • Interpreting and multimodality
  • Corpus-based interpreting and translation studies and lexicography
  • Translation process research
  • Translation as intercultural mediation
  • Translation of humour
  • Educational technologies.

Your dissertation project is one of many opportunities where you can get involved in ongoing research in the Centre for Translation Studies.

There’s strong international demand for excellent interpreters in Chinese and English. The Chinese interpreting market has experienced exceptional growth despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new opportunities and creates demand for interpreting services to enable knowledge exchange, migration, trade and diplomatic relations, and communication between business clients. As an MA Interpreting graduate, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.


Visit the Interpreting: Chinese Pathway (MA) page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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