Module code: TRAM181

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the professional dimension of the different fields of Public Service Interpreting (PSI). It covers current issues such as the specific ethical requirements, codes of conduct, working conditions and legislation associated with PSI, as well as trends such as remote interpreting and their repercussions on the PSI landscape.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DAVITTI Elena (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 30

Captured Content: 8

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This module explores the professional dimension of PSI (its history, current trends and professionalisation). In the module, students are acquainted with the environments and contexts in which PSI is required, and with the professional associations and opportunities for further professional development in the field of PSI. Selected contexts such as police, court, healthcare are then analysed in greater depth to provide students with relevant knowledge about the procedures of interpreting in these settings. Case studies and examples are used to discuss the role and ethical responsibilities of the interpreter in Public Service settings and to enable students to identify the links between these responsibilities and relevant codes of conduct. The module also includes an overview of the situation and status of PSI in different countries, a discussion of national and international legislation such as Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpetation and translation in criminal proceedings, a reflection on how interpreters and clients can cooperate to master the challenges of PSI and the impact of technology-supported methods of interpreting as increasingly important modalities in public service setting in terms quality, interaction, perception, etc.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework GUIDED COMMENTARY (1,000-1,500 WORDS) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their critical and reflective skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a guided commentary and a small-scale research project with report (which can be based on observation of practice, hands-on experience of interpreting, remote interpreting or a topic covered in class discussions).

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive regular feedback from the tutor and from peers on their contributions to the class discussion and the hands-on practice. Students are expected to participate actively in all activities and will receive comprehensive feedback and feed-forward to facilitate the preparation of the report. 

Module aims

  • Acquaint students with the professional and institutional contexts in which PSI is carried out
  • Enable students to develop in-depth knowledge of the procedures and requirements of different PSI settings, including in particular legal and healthcare settings
  • Familiarise students with the role of the public service interpreter and the ethical aspects and specific ethical ¿dilemmas' of PSI
  • Enable students to develop a thorough understanding of the interpreters' codes of conduct and legislation relating to PSI
  • Provide an outlook on trends such as videoconference-based and remote interpreting and their specific challenges in the PSI context

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Appraise the professional environments in which Public Service Interpreters work K
002 Identify and critically engage with the procedures and requirements for different PSI assignments C
003 Appreciate the role and ethical responsibilities of a Public Service Interpreter and interpreters' codes of conduct T
004 Demonstrate practical experience of Public Service Interpreting P
005 Use communication technologies for different forms of videoconference-based and remote interpreting and appreciate the specific challenges that these create in PSI contexts C
006 Evaluate in which communicative situations remote interpreting is/is not appropriate P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Combine teacher-led input and discussion (approx. 80%) and practical project work (20%).

Enable learning and discussion in small and large groups allowing students to develop awareness of the issues associated with PSI

Encourage critical skills


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Contact hours (interactive seminar format) complemented with materials and activities posted on SurreyLearn

  • Guided study in the form of practical project work 

  • Independent study during which students are expected to carry out research and read around the subject areas; to this end, students are encouraged to work individually as well as in groups. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRAM181

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting Studies MRes 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.