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Interpreting - MA

Why study this course?

Excellent interpreting facilities, from European Commission-standard soundproof booths to broadband, AV recording, mock conference equipment and built-in work placements make this vocational course ideal for anyone wishing to train as a professional interpreter. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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The Interpreting MA is a vocational course grounded in theory and practice and specifically set up to train professional interpreters. The course offers you an opportunity to acquaint yourself with the theoretical and professional frameworks of interpreting applied to a range of interpreting types: Public Service Interpreting and Conference Interpreting. Remote Interpreting (telephone and video-conferencing) is embedded in the course.

A key part of the course is a work placement during which you will perform live interpreting tasks under supervision and shadow professional interpreters at work. The course offers a wide range of language combinations paired with English: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese. Further language combinations with English may also be available, such as Arabic, subject to demand, staff expertise and availability. In the past we have offered Romanian, Dari and Lithuanian.

Students on the course benefit from excellent interpreting facilities. Our Interpreting Suite is equipped with six AIIC (Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conference) standard soundproof booths, each with audio and video digital recording facilities. The Interpreting Suite facilities are the same as those used in Brussels for the European Commission and each booth is equipped with broadband and audio-visual digital recording. Conference Guest Speakers and events are filmed and stored on our virtual platform, so that students can revisit the events.

Students will also benefit from the use of our virtual platform to access teaching materials and documentaries, presentations for conferences and recordings of mock conferences. They will be able to chat and exchange their views in forums on the virtual platform, which is accessible from any computer with an internet connection. They will also be able to present their written assessment via the virtual platform, from a computer with an internet connection.


You will be assessed by a variety of coursework, interpreting exams, presentations, essays, and independent work and a research project (at MA level).

You will be required to have:

  • a 2.1 first degree or a 2.2 with professional experience in interpreting (candidates with substantial experience as a professional interpreter but no degree will also be considered)
  • Certificate and Diploma level English and one other language or MA level English and one or two other languages
  • Near-native proficiency in your first foreign language (language B) and/or a good command of their second foreign language (language C)
  • a very good command of English with a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade AM

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Entrance aptitude test

Application forms are processed by the admissions tutor. Once you've demonstrated that you match the entry criteria, you're invited to London Metropolitan University (Moorgate campus) to attend the entrance aptitude test. For international students, the test can be done remotely.

The entrance aptitude test is free and generally runs on Friday morning between 10am and 1pm twice a month. It includes:

  • translations in and out of English
  • presentations in the various language combinations
  • consecutive interpreting into the A language (mother tongue)
  • essay writing
  • an interview with the admissions tutor and interpreting lecturers

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    This module familiarises students with the context of Conference Interpreting and offers them an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice, using their language pairs, interpreting in different fields such as diplomacy, politics, law, health, education and the environment.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    Conference Interpreting 2 reinforces the skills acquired in Conference interpreting 1. It offers students an opportunity to put their knowledge into practice, using their language pairs, interpreting in different fields such as diplomacy, politics, law, health, education, business and the environment. Source materials will also be more complex at this stage. In addition, students will add a language pair at this stage.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module introduces students to the main interpreting models and to their impact on shaping practice. Students are also equipped with the skills needed to perform research prior to interpreting, as well as during the interpreting assignment.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies
    • spring semester

    The Research Project involves practical performance, theoretical reflection and and the postgraduate element of research. It offers students the opportunity to apply the acquired practical skills, theoretical understanding and knowledge of the profession in a field of specialisation and in relation to a chosen interpreting mode. This module includes two options: the research project based on an interpreting assignment and the dissertation.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to the context of Public Service Interpreting, mainly the English Law, i.e. working as an interpreter for Immigration Services, the Police, the Courts and Probation Services. Students will interpret using two modes of interpreting: consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting (Whispering/Chuchotage). They will also practise sight translation. The module alternates generic sessions where the legal system is explained and language specific sessions where students can practise public service interpreting in the legal context.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    This module explores different modes of interpreting, introducing students to the interpreter's professional environment and familiarising them with the legal aspects of the profession, the interpreter's code of conduct and the etiquette adopted with clients. Students will also explore the challenges of working as a self employed interpreter and develop strategies to market their skills, develop CPD opportunities and network with interpreting professional stakeholders.
    This module includes a placement element made of two interpreting assignments under supervision and an interpreting assignment where students would have to shadow an interpreter at work.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module introduces students to the main skills and tools used by interpreters when performing their work and makes them aware of their impact on maximizing interpreting performance. This module focuses on long consecutive interpreting (memory exercises, consecutive interpreting without notes, note taking system, information analysis, speech making and public speaking skills, development of strategies to engage with current affairs in all language combinations use by students).

    Read full details.

Students complete six core modules and a Dissertation or Research project of 15,000 words. The modules are:

  • The Interpreter's Skills and Tools
  • Interpreting Theories and Research for Interpreters
  • Conference Interpreting module 1
  • The Interpreter's Professional Environment and Work Placement
  • Public Service Interpreting (health or legal option)
  • Conference Interpreting module 2

Career prospects for graduates are excellent, with many proceeding to work as in-house or freelance interpreters and typically finding positions in translation and interpreting agencies; international, European and national organisations and bodies; Local Authorities, Hospitals, The Police, Immigration Services and Refugee and Asylum organisations. Chartered Institute of Linguists. Students who pass the PSI module with 60% automatically get accreditation for the DPSI, interpreting and sight translation tasks.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Please note, fees and course details may be subject to change.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information


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