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.
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