Translation and Interpreting MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific 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.
Most successful applicants will have met the IELTS requirement when they submit their application as excellent English language skills are fundamentally important. It is vital that all applicants who do not have English as their first language provide clear details on their application form of the English language qualifications they have achieved and/or the date when they will be taking their IELTS test.
Please note - the January entry instance of this course is only open to native Chinese speakers.
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.
The University of Westminster is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and Elia Exchange.
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.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
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.
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.
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 (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH ONLY)
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.
SECOND LANGUAGE INSTITUTIONAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF CHINESE, FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
This module differs from the main language module only in that you will be translating into English as a second language for information purposes.
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.
ADVANCED ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS FOR INTERPRETERS (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF CHINESE, FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
This module will help you develop and perfect your oral English language skills through activities that address specific interpreting issues and through speech writing and delivery. The module will also cover rhetorical analysis of a variety of speeches to determine their characteristic features.
COMPUTER-ASSISTED TRANSLATION (CAT)
The CAT module will introduce you to the basic features of computer-assisted translation (translation memory and machine translation), and provide practical experience of some common tools currently available.
EDITING: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE
This module will introduce you to the skills of translation criticism and quality reporting, translation editing and revision, post-editing and proof reading.
You will be introduced to the different theories of the nature of cross-cultural interaction and of intercultural competence. The module also looks closely at the application of these theories to specific issues in professional contexts, such as translation, cross-cultural skills and knowledge transfer, and the cross-cultural implications of globalisation.
INTRODUCTION TO AUDIOVISUAL TRANSLATION
The module will introduce you to the subject of audiovisual translation and includes hands-on translation experience and training in how to use subtitling software.
MAIN LANGUAGE TECHNICAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
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.
SECOND LANGUAGE TECHNICAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
You will be introduced to a wide range of specialist texts relating to technology and science, translating into English as a second language for information purposes.
This module will cover concepts and issues in sociolinguistics, such as class, gender, ethnicity, multilingual communities, language variation, choice, planning, change, decline and death, and language in face-to-face interaction.
SUBSIDIARY LANGUAGE (LANGUAGES SUBJECT TO ANNUAL CONFIRMATION)
Over the year, you will be introduced gradually to a language that is cognate with your main language. You will gain an overview of the language based on grammar and syntax, and source language texts. As the year progresses, you will learn to translate graded technical and non-technical texts.
This module opens up the understanding of 'translation' to include the transmission and interpretation of values, beliefs, histories and narratives not only across linguistic, cultural or geographical boundaries, but also, for example, from one medium or time period to another. By reading the works of key theorists from around the world in the intersecting fields of translation and cultural studies, the module aims to enhance students' understanding of how historical and contemporary cultural interactions can be examined through a translational paradigm.
UNITED NATIONS AND EUROPEAN UNION FOR LINGUISTS
This module will equip you with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the structures and functioning of the UN and EU. In particular, it aims to explain the role of the main institutions of the UN and EU and their interaction with national governments, and the role of professional linguists in these processes.
ANALYSING SPOKEN AND WRITTEN DISCOURSE
This module will introduce you to the theories of genre and discourse analysis; audience design, purpose and style; rhetoric and persuasion; text-types, text structures, and grammatical and lexical features. Texts are selected from a wide range of sources, typifying different styles, levels of formality, registers, audiences, purposes and specialisations.
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.
Length of course
One-year, full-time or two-year, part-time with daytime attendance
Central London (Regent)
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.