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Course content

This is the only course in the UK that will give you advanced interpreting skills in all interpreting modes, including consecutive and simultaneous, chuchotage, sight translation, dialogue and distance interpreting. We’re the first university to teach remote and mobile interpreting based on research in distance interpreting, which will give you excellent and flexible career opportunities.

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. Experienced interpreters and academics will guide you through the main principles, techniques and professional requirements of interpreting.

On the multilingual pathway we offer Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English (languages subject to teaching availability and or student demand).

In your practice modules you’ll have opportunities for experiential learning and reflective analysis. Our simulations are joined by live guest speakers from various fields. You’ll also benefit from our cutting-edge facilities to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment possible.

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, multilingual simulations of real-life events (such as mock conferences), modules highlighting different aspects of the profession, and a background lecture. To this end, 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.

Professional development

You’ll be able to enjoy regular contact with professional interpreters in your practice-based modules, and you will benefit from course components that specifically address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

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.

We offer ‘virtual internships’ which enable you to collaborate with language service providers throughout the year, and help you to create a professional engagement portfolio for potential employers.

You will gain further insights into the industry from the 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/interpreting researchers.

We offer professionally relevant courses and have forged close links with the main professional bodies. For example, after graduating from the MA Interpreting course you’ll be able to apply for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. We have also 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. 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.

Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well equipped to begin work as a freelancer, in-house interpreter, interpreting services manager or as an interpreting technology co-ordinator 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. 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 to get involved in ongoing research in the Centre for Translation Studies.

The language services industry continues to grow despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new markets and creates demand for interpreting services to enable knowledge exchange, migration, and communication between clients. As an MA Interpreting graduate and qualified language professional, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.


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

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