Interpreting - MA

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Why study this course?

The Interpreting MA prepares you for work mainly as a professional conference interpreter for international organisations and the private market. Languages offered include English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish. You’ll benefit from work placements, site visits and dummy booth practice at the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the International Maritime Organisation and the United Nations (Geneva and Vienna). It’s suitable for translators and linguists new to the field but would also benefit practising interpreters without formal qualifications.

In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

The Interpreting MA is a vocational master's course grounded in theory and practice, specifically set up to train professional interpreters. The course offers you an opportunity to acquaint yourself with the theoretical and professional frameworks of interpretation applied to a range of interpreting types including public service interpreting, conference interpreting and remote interpreting (telephone and video conferencing).

We offer excellent interpreting facilities, including 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. You’ll also benefit from the use of our virtual platform to access teaching materials and documentaries, presentations for conferences and recordings of mock conferences.

If you pass the Public Service Interpreting module with at least 60% you’ll achieve the Institute of Linguists Educational Trust (IoLET) accredited Level 7 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI).

A key part of the course is a work placement during which you’ll 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, Russian, 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.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through a variety of coursework, interpreting exams, presentations, essays, independent work and a research project.

Fees and key information

Course type
Postgraduate
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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 language(s)
  • near-native proficiency in your first foreign language (language B) and a good command of your second foreign language (language C)
  • a very good command of English with a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade AM

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Entrance aptitude test

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

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

  • translations into and from 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

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 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 - Wednesday morning
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module introduces students to the main skills and strategies used by interpreters in performing their work and makes them aware of their impact on maximising consecutive interpreting performance.
    This is a module dedicated to short and long consecutive interpreting. In this module, students learn the necessary techniques, skills and strategies for consecutive interpreting such as note taking skills, anticipation skills, communication skills and presentation skills which they then apply to consecutive interpreting. This is a very practical consecutive interpreting module that includes memory exercises, public speaking tasks and confidence enhancement opportunities. This module focuses on current affairs as the main content to the speeches used for the students interpreting practice.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    The aim of the module is to develop consecutive interpreting skills, strategies and techniques when interpreting into English (non native language / also referred to as B language). For English native speakers with two passive languages, they will use their second passive language (also referred to a language C) to interpret into their mother tongue (English).
    Interpreting into a B language requires different techniques, decisions and skills as when interpreting into a mother tongue. This module offers the opportunity for students to apply new skills, tools and techniques such as reformulation skills, efficient communication skills and adapted note taking skills to the new language combination practised. The module will include exercises that will help develop these skills such as sight translations, text analysis, reformulation techniques and English enhancement strategies. The context of speeches will relate to the topics of module Conference Interpreting 3 in the second semester so that students are prepare to engage in simultaneous interpreting into A and B within a context they are familiar with.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module is dedicated to simultaneous interpreting with the two language combinations selected in the first semester. This module is the logical progression of Conference Interpreting 1 and Conference Interpreting 2. At this stage, students can fully engage with simultaneous interpreting. This module includes workshops to master the equipment used in the booths, split attention dedicated to simultaneous interpreting with and without text. This is a practical module that will lead to mock conferences and language specific tutorials. The mock conferences will aim to provide a sense of reality and authenticity so that students fully engage with the challenges and decisions they need to make during a multilingual and multicultural conference setting. They will experience working in pairs in the booth and what this entails at a professional level. Finally the language specific tutorials will prepare students to the mock conferences that will follow. This module includes a reflective portfolio of work that will help students practice and reflect on their work.

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  • 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.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    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.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon
    • 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. They will also practice sight translation. The module alternates generic sessions where the legal system is explained and language specific sessions where students can practice public service interpreting in the legal context.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    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.

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What our students say

"We had so many opportunities. We went to the European Union. There was a broad range of activities with great people who supported me all the way.”
Giulia Mella, graduate

After the course

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.

Additional costs

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.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

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.

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