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MA Business Interpreting in Chinese and English

Course Description

This programme will train you to be ready to perform your first conference interpreting job upon graduation. We are the only programme in the UK that makes this commitment.


On this pathway of the MA Interpreting, we have a unique collaboration agreement with KL Communications Ltd, an established communications company with many years’ experience in providing interpreting services between Chinese and English at the top levels of business and government.


What makes the programme special -

This highly specialised programme prepares you to work successfully as an interpreter in conference, business and political settings at the highest levels. The programme’s main strengths are:

1. Surrey is ranked as the fourth best university in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2016

2. The programme's main tutor is Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士) (http://klcommunications.co.uk/), interpreter for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron

3. The programme offers more simulated interpreting than any other programme in the UK

4. We offer more internship, traineeship and real interpreting opportunities than any other programme in the UK

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 between Chinese and English through a combination of regular language pair-specific practice, multilingual simulations of real-life interpreting scenarios and background lectures.

In the consecutive and simultaneous interpreting modules you will gain invaluable experience of real working conditions and have 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 translation, 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 video-conferencing 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.

How to apply

1. Online application with a personal statement, CV plus IELTS certificate

2. A four-hour written test via email

3. Interview via Skype with Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士)

4. Deadline for application: 15 June 2016

5. Deadline for accepting our offer: four weeks from the date of the offer

Programme structure

The MA Interpreting is studied over one year (full-time mode) only. On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a Master’s degree in Interpreting.

The taught part of the programme consists of six compulsory modules and a range of options allowing you to customise your course according to your interests. You should choose two options from the list below. Each module provides 15 credits, totalling 120 credits in all.

In the summer, from mid-June to early September, you will have an opportunity to write a topic-based dissertation related to an aspect of interpreting or translation of your choice (60 credits) or an interpreting project with commentary (60 credits).

You will be supported by the expert guidance of an appointed supervisor. If you choose not to write a dissertation, you will be awarded a Postgraduate (PG) Diploma, with which you can also enter the professional interpreting market.

Application notes

Personal statement:

Please state why you have chosen the University of Surrey in particular. For example, what is it that our programme offers you that others do not?

IELTS results:

We will not test you until we have received your IELTS results. Please note: it is essential that you take your IELTS test early, apply early, and accept our offer early. Although the deadline for application is in June, it is very likely that all places on the programme will have been filled before the deadline.

Aptitude test: written part:

The test will consist mainly of translation between English/Chinese both ways. We will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient day and time for the test. We will email the test paper just before the agreed time - you must email it back within 4 hours.

Aptitude test: spoken part:

If you succeed in the written test, we will inform you of the date and time of the interview, which will be conducted by Dr Kevin Lin OBE (林超伦博士) himself. Dr Lin will inform you of the outcome within two days.

Teaching staff

Experienced academic staff with excellent research records will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting, while Dr Lin and his team will bring their real-world experience and standards, and their up-to-date with of the interpreting market into the classroom.

Professional development

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 that address the business and industry aspects of the profession.

For example, insights into the industry will be provided by the 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.

You can also become a student member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) (http://www.iti.org.uk/) and/or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) (http://iol.org.uk/), and become a full member after graduation.

Career prospects

Thanks to our 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 for a PhD (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/languages-and-translation-studies-phd) and pursue an academic career in Translation and Interpreting Studies.


Students may join the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) (http://www.iti.org.uk/) or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) (http://iol.org.uk/) as student members, and become a full member after graduation.

This programme is also a member of TAUS - the Translation Automation User Society - https://www.taus.net/history


Our Admissions Policy (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/policies/postgraduate-admissions-policy) provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Entry Requirements

Native English speakers: a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in the relevant language or another relevant subject.

Speakers of other languages: an equivalent to a minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree in English or another relevant subject.

In exceptional cases, alternative qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Non-native speakers of English will also be required to have IELTS 7.0 or above (or equivalent), with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and speaking and 6.0 in all other components.

A subsequent condition for all applicants meeting these requirements is the successful completion of an interpreting aptitude test. In order 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 at Surrey.

Visit the MA Business Interpreting in Chinese and English page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Chunjing Zhang

"Surrey is such a beautiful campus and a fantastic place to live and to study."

Read more at - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/chunjing-zhang


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

See Course Description

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