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Interpreting - MA

Course Description

This is the only programme in the UK that will help you acquire advanced interpreting skills to work confidently in all modes of interpreting (consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and telephone/video-mediated), and in a variety of contexts.

We are the first university to teach remote interpreting based on research in this area.


The MA in Interpreting programme is offered in two pathways: a multilingual and a Chinese pathway. Experienced interpreters and academics will guide you through the main principles, specific techniques and professional requirements of interpreting.

Learning is conducted via a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios and background lectures.

Our state-of-the-art facilities enable you to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible.

You will have access to three conference suites equipped with ISO approved double interpreting booths, 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 interpreting.


The MA Interpreting is studied over one year (full-time mode) only.

Language-specific options are paired with English. If you are a native speaker of English, you can take up to two Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting options (in another language). If you are not a native speaker of English, you will normally take one Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting option (your mother tongue paired with English).

You can also choose one ab initio language if you wish to expand your portfolio of translation languages.

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.


This highly specialised programme fills a gap in academic interpreter training throughout the UK by preparing you to work confidently in all modes of interpreting (including consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and telephone/video-mediated interpreting), and in a wide variety of established and emerging contexts (including institutional, business, political/diplomatic, public service interpreting) and settings (including traditional onsite interpreting and novel settings of remote interpreting).

This will maximise your flexibility and career opportunities after graduation and will enable you to launch an exciting career as a well-rounded and flexible interpreting professional.

Learning from experienced interpreters 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 regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios and background lectures.

In the interpreting practice modules you will gain invaluable experience of real working conditions and opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis.Our simulations are joined by professionals from a variety of fields who participate as live guest speakers on a case-by- case basis.

The practice-based components of the programme are complemented by background lectures which will help you to understand the major principles of interpreting and provide you with a conceptual and methodological framework for analysing, discussing and justifying interpreting-related decisions.

State-of- the-art facilities are in place to enable you to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible. You will have access to three conference suites equipped with ISO approved double interpreting booths to practise simultaneous interpreting according to professional standards.

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 videoconferencing system that makes it possible to simulate remote interpreting, with clients and interpreters interacting via video link.

The programme pays particular attention to the emerging forms of distance 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.


In addition to enjoying regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules, throughout the academic year you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

Insights into the industry will, for example, be provided by external guest speakers we invite to our Translation Studies seminars.

These include professional translators, interpreters, subtitlers and audio describers; professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations; representatives of professional translator/interpreter associations as well as translation/interpreting researcher.

Graduation from the MA Interpreting will enable you to apply for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI).

In line with our aim to offer professionally relevant programmes, we have forged close links with the main professional bodies: the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL). You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after graduation.

In addition, we work closely with many language service providers and are a member of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA), which gives you the possibility to apply for a work placement with its various translation and interpreting companies that are members of ELIA.


Thanks to our continued emphasis on professional development, you will be well-equipped to begin work as freelancer or in-house interpreter at international organisations, government bodies, universities and private companies.

We also regularly have students who decide to stay on to study for a PhD and pursue an academic career in Translation and Interpreting Studies.


This MA programme prepares graduates to work as interpreters at the highest levels of professional communication in a wide range of settings, including conference, dialogue and video-mediated ones.

Due to the requirements and complexities of interpreting in such contexts, the programme combines the study of the major principles of, and scholarly approaches to, Interpreting with opportunities for application and practice – with the aim of enabling students to:
-Perform relevant interpreting tasks in different contexts, including conference, business, legal and healthcare settings
-Reflect on their own practice, using scholarly and professional writing on relevant aspects of interpreting
-Transfer the acquired skills and knowledge to novel and unpredictable situations of interpreting

Furthermore, the need for interpreting is growing due to the impact of globalisation and migration, and the interpreting landscape is changing due to the impact of new technologies. In accordance with this, the programme will provide insights into recent developments and related research – with the aim of enabling the students to:
-Develop a broad understanding of current and future challenges of interpreting in different contexts
-Apply scholarly approaches to critically evaluate professional practice in the light of current and future requirements
-Instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in an area interpreting


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding
-A thorough understanding of the main principles that underpin interpreting
-Sound knowledge of how interpreting has developed in relation to general as well as more specific socio-political issues
-A thorough understanding of key concepts, structures, procedures in public and private bodies and sound knowledge of related professional terminology
-A thorough understanding of the components of the interpreting process and the role of the interpreter
Sound knowledge of relevant genres/registers of both working languages
-A thorough understanding of advanced interpreting strategies and of techniques for background research and preparation
-A thorough understanding of the different modes of interpreting and the ability to explain their use and specific challenges of interpreting in different settings/situations
-High awareness of all issues of professional interpreter conduct and ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Strategically retrieve information crucial for the communication situation at hand and efficiently relay messages in oral mode
-Conduct conceptual and terminological research related to specific tasks
-Critically evaluate scholarly and professional writing on a wide range of aspects pertaining to interpreting
-Formulate and address research questions relating to the field of study

Professional practical skills
-Work confidently in all modes of interpreting, including consecutive, simultaneous, dialogue and whispered interpretation and sight translation
-Use appropriate interpreting strategies and preparation techniques
-Deal with interpreting tasks confidently, displaying stamina and using problem solving techniques under conditions of time and cognitive pressure
-Present mediated messages orally in a clear and appropriate fashion
-Where relevant, manage and co-ordinate dialogic interaction
-Use communication technologies in interpreting confidently
-Function professionally in all situations
-Monitor engagement and impartiality in interpreting situations
-Apply evaluation skills for interpreting purposes
-Where relevant, combine interpreting and translation skills in a market where flexibility and a varied professional portfolio is an advantage

Key / transferable skills
-Transfer techniques of interpreting to novel and unplanned situations
-Acquire knowledge in specialised subject areas and associated terminology
-Prepare and deliver a sustained piece of work to a high professional standard
-Collaborate by working in small teams to achieve a common goal
-Reflect upon the knowledge gained and practice, and incorporate this into independent learning and professional development strategies
-Manage learning and knowledge acquisition effectively
-Use a range of skills developed at post-graduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments and presentation
-Conduct a sustained piece of guided research


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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

Student Profiles

TECHNE (AHRC) Studentships - No. of awards TBC

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. Studentships are awarded by TECHNE to the best students put forward by its member universities. The TECHNE training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Please visit TECHNE to find out more about the aims and opportunities of TECHNE.TECHNE – the Consortium is named in reference to the Greek term for craft – will create a new model for collaborative research skills training for PGR students across seven higher education institutions (Royal Holloway, Brighton University, Kingston University, Roehampton University, Royal College of Art, University of Surrey, University of the Arts London). TECHNE’s vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Students will benefit from a diversity of training opportunities and be able to draw on supervisory expertise from across the Consortium.It is not possible to apply directly to TECHNE for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your TECHNE application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Arts or the School of English and Languages, to go forward to TECHNE and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from TECHNE members.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee and Maintenance


Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK’s Conditions of Research Council Training Grants
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.
More Information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm

Further Information



Faculty Studentship Competition - No. of awards TBC

Faculty Studentships are available in the following areasSchool of Arts:Cultural Production, Creative Practices, Dance, Digital Arts, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Performance, Sound Recording, Theatre.School of English and Languages:English Literature, Creative Writing, Translation Studies, Modern Languages, Theoretic Linguistics (Morphology) and Applied Linguistics (Intercultural Communication).School of Social Sciences:Criminology and Criminal Justice; Developments in Methodology; Identities, Diversities, and the Life Course; Media, Culture and Communication; Science, Environment and Technologies; European politics; International politics; Social politics and methodology

Value of Scholarship(s)



Under the FASS Studentship Scheme Home / EU and International Students are eligible to apply for 2016 entry. Successful International students will be awarded a fees at the Home / EU Rate and a stipend. Please note that full international fees are not covered: candidates should ensure that they are in a position to cover the outstanding costs.Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.More information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm

Further Information



Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

English speakers: minimum UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in the relevant language or relevant subject. Speakers of other languages: equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or relevant subject (see website for English language requirements). In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Applicants who meet these requirements must complete an interpreting aptitude test. To proceed to the aptitude test, candidates must submit a CV and a suitable personal statement explaining why they have chosen to apply for this programme.

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