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Course content

The growing complexity of international communication, involving written, spoken and technology-mediated communication, increasingly requires professionals with skills in both translation and interpreting. Recognising this need, this course is one of the few in the UK to combine translation and interpreting and give you the skills you need to perform both tasks professionally.

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, translators and interpreters, and be taught to industry standards.

What you will study

Our internationally recognised MA Translation and Interpreting combines translation and interpreting studies with a strong focus on technology. It’s tailored to meet the demands of the global translation market and respond to current challenges for the language industry.

We offer Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English at specialist level, and Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian paired with English at ab initio level (languages subject to teaching availability and or student demand).

Our practice-based modules include language-pair specific specialised translation modules focusing on business, finance, science, technology and law, and interpreting modules focusing on consecutive and dialogue interpreting for business and public service.

In modules relating to the interpreting profession, you will gain the organisational and project management 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 modules highlighting different aspects of the translation and interpreting profession, and a background lecture. Our experienced academic staff will help you develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of translation and interpreting.

Our professional translators and interpreters bring their real-world experience and standards, as well as an up-to-date knowledge of the translation and interpreting market, into the classroom.

Professional development

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

You will practice with the latest computer-assisted translation software and corpus tools and resources. You will also benefit from a cutting-edge two-way and multipoint videoconferencing system that simulates remote or distance interpreting, with delegates and interpreters interacting over video link as well as from a range of multilingual learning resources.

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’ll also 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 and interpreting researchers.

We offer a professionally relevant course 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.

We also work closely with many professional language service providers and have an extensive network of visiting professionals, and we are a member of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA), which gives you the possibility to apply for a work placement with various translation and interpreting companies that are members of ELIA.

As a student, you will benefit from free access to SDL Trados StudioSDL MultiTermMemsourceKantanMTLilt and Sketch Engine software to help you learn about translation technology.

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.

Our emphasis on professional development means that you will be well-equipped to begin work as a freelance or in-house translator or interpreter, or as a project manager for business, international organisations and public bodies.

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:

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

The language services industry continues to grow despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new markets and creates demand for multilingual translation and interpreting services to exchange knowledge, facilitate migration and communicate between business clients. As an MA Translation and Interpreting graduate, you’ll be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.


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

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