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Translation and Interpreting (MA)

Course Description

The Translation and Interpreting MA is open to native and non-native speakers of English, who combine English with any of the following languages: Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish. The course will provide you with professional training aimed at the translation and interpreting markets, building on your existing language skills to develop a career in those sectors.

The course involves translation as well as conference and public service interpreting between one main language (Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish) and English,. You will learn how to research specialised subjects for professional translation and interpreting purposes and hone your translation and interpreting skills by extensive practice, applying insights drawn from the study of linguistics and translation and interpreting theory as well as from professional practice. You will complete a Translation or Interpreting Project or a Research Thesis. You will also be able to choose from a range of option modules that will, for example, give you an introduction to audiovisual translation, intercultural communication, or sociolinguistics, or enable you to acquire a working knowledge of another language for translation purposes.

You will be able to benefit from our wide range of resources, including an extensive collection of volumes and electronic materials in our library, a state-of-the-art language lab and extensive interpreting facilities, and additional resources made available through the University's Virtual Learning Environment. Our teaching staff includes full and part-time lecturers, all with expertise in translation and interpreting and in other specialist fields. You will be allocated a personal tutor and be given academic guidance by the course team.

Course content

The course emphasis is on practical training in translation and interpreting, developing your skills to a high level and learning about the professional environments. If you are a native speaker of English, your translation modules will involve both institutional and technical translation from French, Italian, Polish or Spanish into English. If you are native speaker of Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish, your translation modules will cover institutional translation from and into your native language (commonly referred to as your 'first' or 'main' language). You will also study conference and public service interpreting, and learn new relevant skills through the option modules. You will also complete a research-based MA Thesis or an MA Translation or Interpreting Project. Your studies are further supported by regular student-led interpreting practice sessions and mock conferences, blended learning provision on developing your professionalism, weekly lectures on the theoretical concepts and principles of translation and interpreting, introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, and guest lectures and workshops delivered by external speakers from industry and international institutions.

Core modules

- Conference Interpreting
This module introduces you to interpreting in formal conference scenarios in consecutive and simultaneous mode. After an introduction to advanced skills in concentration, memory, message analysis and split attention, you will learn note-taking techniques in consecutive interpreting, and you will practise sight translation as well as simultaneous interpreting in the booth.

- MA Interpreting Project or MA Translation Project or MA Thesis
The MA Interpreting Project is an extended piece of work of 12,000 - 15,000 words, which aims to help you reflect on and apply theoretical models to your practice as a trainee interpreter. The project is divided into three parts: a reflective report logging your learning process during the MA, an error analysis of a portfolio of three speeches you have interpreted throughout the year, and a rhetorical analysis of one of these speeches. Preparation for the project will be provided in a series of workshops throughout the year. Alternatively, you can do an MA Translation Project, a 6,000 - 8,000-word extended translation on a subject of your choice, accompanied by a preface and a set of annotations on the translation challenges involved. Preparation for writing the preface and annotations will be provided by a series of lectures throughout the course. you can also choose to do an MA Thesis. This is a piece of scholarly research, 12,000 - 15,000 words long, on a translation- or interpreting-related topic. In preparation for writing your Thesis, you will attend regular research methodology and work-in-progress sessions. Regardless of your choice of Project or Thesis, you will also receive individual supervision.

- Main Language Institutional Translation (into your first language)
You will be introduced to specialist texts of the kind you will be expected to handle in a professional context. These will cover international and government institutions, as well as the fields of economics, finance, business, politics and law.

- Main Language Technical Translation (for those whose first language is English)
You will be introduced to a wide range of specialist texts relating to technology and science of the kind you will be expected to handle in a professional context.

- Public Service Interpreting
This module introduces you to public service interpreting in the fields of health and law. Following targeted introductions to the subject areas and topics covered, you will practise public service interpreting in simulated situations.

- Second Language Institutional Translation (for those whose first language is not English)
This module differs from the main language module only in that you will be translating into English as a second language for information purposes.

Option modules
- Advanced English Language Skills (non-native speakers of English only; subject to availability)
- Analysing Spoken and Written Discourse
- Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT)
- Editing: Principles and Practice
- Intercultural Communication
- Introduction to Audiovisual Translation
- Introduction to Translation Project Management
- Main Language Technical Translation (for those whose first language is not English)
- Second Language Technical Translation (for those whose first language is not English)
- Sociolinguistics
- Subsidiary Language
- Translating Cultures
- United Nations and European Union for Linguists

Associated careers

Graduates of the course go on to develop careers as freelance and in-house translators in the corporate sector and in national and international organisations, or as freelance interpreters, editors and revisers, subtitlers, terminologists, translation project managers, and specialists in translation tools.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

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

Entry Requirements

You should have a first degree, although mature linguists without a degree but with sufficient experience in translation and/or interpreting are invited to apply. You will need fluent written and spoken English and, if English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with 7 in speaking) or equivalent. All applicants take an entry test consisting of written and oral components.

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