Interpreting MA - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Interpreting

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Interpreting
PGCert Interpreting

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PPA63026 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - School of Literature and Languages

Programme Leader

DAVITTI Elena (Lit & Langs)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • The programme aims to: enable students to apply scholarly approaches to critically evaluate professional practice in the light of current and future requirements
  • enable students to develop a broad understanding of current and future challenges of interpreting in different contexts
  • enable students to perform relevant interpreting tasks in different contexts, including conference, business, legal and healthcare settings
  • enable students to reflect on their own practice, using scholarly and professional writing on relevant aspects of interpreting, transfer the acquired skills and knowledge to novel and unpredictable situations of interpreting
  • instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in an area interpreting.
  • prepare graduates to work as interpreters at the highest levels of professional communication in a wide range of settings, including conference, dialogue and video-mediated ones
  • provide insights into recent developments and related research

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
On completion of the programme students will be able to: apply advanced interpreting techniques to a variety of fields, modes and genres as well as novel and unplanned situations to produce multilingual output that meets industry standards, is adapted to different contexts and target audience needs and follows best practices grounded in interpreting scholarship to justify choices and decisions KCP PGCert, PGDip, MA
become competent users of language technologies for interpreting (including CAI tools, tools and platforms for remote/distance interpreting, corpus technologies and NLP) to support a range of interpreting-related tasks at different stages, from pre-process (preparation) to peri-process (performance) and post-process (output analysis and debriefing) KPT PGCert, PGDip, MA
demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles and theoretical, professional, socio-political and ethical issues that underpin interpreting as an activity affected by digital technologies KC PGDip, MA
reflect on, analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate a range of issues relevant to interpreting as a discipline, practice, profession and industry, with evidence of speedy and efficient processing of complex information and problem solving KCT PGCert, PGDip, MA
acquire the ability to work both independently and with others on extended pieces of work in a sustained way and to a high standard, using advanced research skills, and engage with learning self-critically, exercising initiative and personal responsibility PT MA
demonstrate commitment to continuous professional development and advanced employability skills by independently pursuing opportunities to engage with various (academia/profession/industry) stakeholders in a market where flexibility and a varied professional portfolio is an advantage P PGCert, PGDip, MA

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Language specific modules are paired with English and are subject to demand.
Students will normally take all language-specific in the same language pair across semesters 1 and 2. (Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting and Simultaneous Interpreting must be taken in the same language)

Consecutive and Dialogue Interpreting 1 & 2 can be also be taken as optional modules, and this can be in a different language to the one chosen as compulsory.

All modules are worth 15 credits unless stated otherwise.

Students choose 2 from 4 the listed optional modules

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y There is an optional work placement within TRAM505.
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Translation Studies constitutes a highly porous, interdisciplinary field and, arguably, a highly representative area of adopting global cultural perspectives in both academic pursuits and professional practice. As a relatively young discipline, it is currently reaping the benefits of recent advancements in several paradigmatic turns ¿ cultural, sociological, economic, technological ¿ that seek to explore the wide diversity of translation phenomena in the world. The programme taps into a fulsome tradition of extant research and practice whilst being forward-looking and anticipating future developments. This is achieved by exploring research developed in different parts of the world, by focusing on several language directions, by keeping a healthy balance between north-south/east-west perspectives and by interrogating the boundaries between traditional typologies of translation and/or interpreting, through the prism of technological and social change. The programme is taught in an interactive and collaborative way and students are offered ample opportunities to engage with and learn from diverse perspectives through interaction and teamwork. Given the typical multi-cultural backgrounds of teaching staff and invited speakers (academics or Language Services Industry experts), the programme also serves as a theatre of comparative analysis in language usage, translation/interpreting practice and norm-supported professional behaviour in the service of inter-social and intra-social communication. The tasks and assessments undertaken across the programme are geared towards fostering the internalisation and confident navigation in the terminology and debates relevant to the above perspectives, thus rendering CTS graduates experts in their respective areas of specialisation.

Employability: Whilst the programme does not have official accreditation, it is designed to equip students with the linguistic, translation, technological, business and interpersonal and soft skills needed for a successful career in the language services industry. Throughout the programme, and under the guidance of professional interpreters, students experience simulations of realistic scenarios and cover different thematic areas, such as news, business, economics, engineering, legal, medical, hospitality and advertisement translation. The above-mentioned thematic areas are covered from a more reflective aspect in theoretical modules, where the properties of textuality and information organisation are examined in greater detail (all programmes). Practical modules, technology- and business/industry-related modules jointly equip students with transferrable skills needed in prevalent and emerging areas in the industry, such as computer-assisted translation, post-editing of machine translation output, platform-enabled remote collaborative translation, intra-lingual and inter-lingual respeaking, video-mediated remote interpreting, managing translation projects and global supply chains. Students have an opportunity to benefit from insights into best practice and authentic examples in the remit of translation, interpreting and audiovisual translation professions, as shared by invited external speakers: academics, language service experts and representatives of professional associations with whom CTS have long-standing links, including those of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Translation Automation User Society, Globalization and Localization Association, European Language Industry Association. Students can take active part in a dedicated Language Services Industry Careers Fair (in semester 2). Throughout the year, they develop a Professional Engagement Portfolio, where they document work placements and other collaborations with language services providers and extra-curricular activities (such as joining a professional body, attending professional development webinars/workshops, voluntary translation work). The Professional Engagement Portfolio can also be taken as a substantial component of the University¿s Employability Award, thus allowing students to tailor the Employability Award to the Language Industry.

Digital Capabilities: Throughout each programme students learn to use the VLE for real-time in-class learning as well as guided learning and self-study activities so that they can unleash their research potential, systematize their translation/interpreting solutions or critique existing translation/interpreting solutions. Students are also introduced to and gain proficiency in specific digital tools, including inter alia, computer-aided translation tools, machine translation systems, terminological databases, terminology management tools, subtitling software, sound-editing software, respeaking software, corpus management tools, interpreter note-taking digital tools, communication tools (videoconferencing, webconferencing, webcasting) supporting distance/remote interpreting events. The teaching approach adopted is eclectic and reflective in that it is not tool-led or tool-focused as such, given that technologies evolve rapidly; rather the programme adopts an approach whereby students are trained to assess the quality, reliability and contextual understanding of technological solutions to interpreting projects. This allows them to become confident, expert users of technologies in their fields of specialisation at all stages of a language service-related project: preparation/planning, process language output in different contexts, delivery of final product and evaluation. The use of the afore-mentioned types of technology are an integral part in the professional world as the speed, quality and economic value of language solutions depends on the ability to gather information, assess tried-and-tested translation equivalents and apply methodological abilities that allow optimal communication to occur across language and cultural boundaries. Thus, assessments equip students with the practical skills needed, a thorough appreciation of how technologies impact the interaction of participants and clients, and the ability to articulate (dis)advantages in the use of technological resources and specific workflows in order to achieve output that serves the purpose of communication in a given context.

Sustainability: The programme approaches the theme of sustainability in more focused or more diffuse ways across module diets and the competences developed throughout the programme. On a more local level, the topics of environmental sustainability, decent work and economic growth and sustainable consumption are addressed in practical interpreting modules, where students are asked to work with specialised texts (scientific, technical) or less specialised (popular science, media) which overtly address these areas. Students therefore undertake conceptual research before they deliver such texts in another language. Tutors serve as facilitators, also offering their insights from past experience in conceptual research-linguistic output to complement individual and collective perspectives on the topic of sustainability in class. In more theoretical or technology-oriented modules, the theme of sustainability is explored ¿ through hands-on practice, group discussion and independent research ¿ from various angles. Students discover which interpreting digital/business solutions may best serve future tasks, thus consolidating resources, saving time and preparing them for greater volume of work and work diversification in the future (see also employability). They also actively engage with theories and debates on the visibility of cultural and linguistic minorities and on how these may be best served through language mediation, thus reducing inequalities. At the same time, students acquire thorough knowledge of language mediation as a global enabler of economic growth, expression in the creative industries and general well-being for clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds (by, say, having access to public services or consumer products in their own language). On a more general yet self-referential level, the topic of sustainability is integrated in the holistic approach to skill development throughout the academic year; each graduate is prepared for a variety of careers where language data, text transfer across cultures and adaptability to changing technological and business contexts are key. This ensures the sustainability of the translation/interpreting profession itself (see also Resourcefulness and Resilience).

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The inter-disciplinary foundations of the programme are undergirded by a social sciences perspective in empirical, evidence-based investigation and by humanities-informed philosophy of reflexivity vis-à-vis the ethical use of communication skills, technology and workflows in language mediation. Such foundations, in combination with the types of assessments employed (see below) simultaneously instil a strong sense of disciplinary identity and confidence in using metalanguage/professional terms as experts in their area of specialisation. The programme allows students to explore the rich diversity of interpreting phenomena and to develop their problem-solving skills in a supportive learning environment before venturing into the professional world. Given the nature of our programmes and a long-established culture in CTS, the above is complemented by empathic communication and academic or professional candour allowed in small groups of both practical-oriented modules and more theory-oriented modules (where applicable); experience tells us that such an environment is conducive to learning through trial and error, risk taking and openness to multiple perspectives, without losing sight of desired standards of academic standards or language service provision standards. From early in the programme, students are introduced to the expectations regarding teaching, learning and assessments to facilitate self-efficacy. Timetabling and module optionality encourage agency in planning workloads and tailoring the course according to preferred domain-specific, media-specific and situation-specific types of translation/interpreting. Formative and summative assessments are designed feed forward to assessments within modules and to future modules in the programme, whilst peer feedback fosters empathy and the use of appropriate written and oral communication techniques. Throughout the programme, students have opportunities to develop their critical thinking and their responsiveness to different contexts of language transfer scenarios and phases of a project life-cycle (preparation, process, post-delivery/evaluation). The programme requires individual and collective resourcefulness in developing optimal solutions for simulated interpreting scenarios and in implementing the standards applicable to the provision of a language service.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

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 2023/4 academic year.