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MA Interpreting

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 interpreting and in a wide variety of contexts (conference, business, public services) both onsite and remotely.
The Chinese pathway is delivered in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd and its Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE.


Just as the need for interpreting is growing due to the impact of globalisation and migration trends, the landscape of interpreting is changing due to the impact of new technologies.

The MA Interpreting responds to these trends and prepares you to work as an interpreter at the highest levels of professional communication.

To address the complexities of interpreting and equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful interpreting career, the programme combines research-led teaching with extensive opportunities for application and hands-on practice.

Providing you with up-to-date insights into the state of the industry, the MA Interpreting will help you develop the critical and self-reflective skills needed to work autonomously and to cope with unpredictable and challenging situations.

The programme is offered in two pathways, a multilingual and a Chinese pathway.

The Chinese pathway is offered in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd, an established Chinese communication, translation and interpreting company, whose Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE is the Lead Interpreter (Chinese) of the Foreign Office of the UK Government and has many years’ experience in providing interpreting services between Chinese and English at the top levels of business and government.

Discover more about our Chinese pathway (https://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/business-interpreting-chinese-and-english).

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/interpreting


- What makes the programme special?

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.

Languages on offer

The MA Interpreting has two pathways:

- a multilingual pathway offering practice-based interpreting modules in English paired with Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish, according to demand.

- a Chinese pathway drawing on our long-standing collaboration with KL Communications Ltd and its Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE. Discover more about our Chinese pathway (https://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/business-interpreting-chinese-and-english).

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 well-established, professional interpreters bring their real-world experience and standards, and their up-to-date knowledge of the interpreting market into the classroom.

The Chinese pathway is delivered in collaboration with Dr Kevin Lin and his team at KL Communications Ltd. Dr Lin has many years’ experience in providing interpreting services between Chinese and English at the top levels of business and government, and training interpreters to work at the highest levels.

Professional development

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, i.e. 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.

Career prospects

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.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MA Interpreting 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

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.English language requirements-IELTS minimum overall: 6.5-IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

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