MA Interpreting (Chinese Pathway)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Why choose this course

Designed in collaboration with Dr Kevin Lin OBE, this unique course will train you to be ready for your first conference interpreter job upon graduation. Our MA has a strong practical component that responds to the needs of the interpreting market. It will give you advanced interpreting skills in all interpreting modes, including consecutive/simultaneous interpreting, chuchotage, sight translation, dialogue and distance interpreting. It also provides exceptional opportunities for simulated and industry-relevant interpreting experience.

We support ‘virtual internships’ which enable you to collaborate with language service providers and build a professional engagement portfolio that you can present to future employers.

What you will study

Our Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA is taught in collaboration with KL Communications Ltd, whose Managing Director, Dr Kevin Lin OBE, is the Lead

Interpreter (Chinese) for the UK government’s Foreign Office. Our course covers the main principles, techniques and professional requirements of interpreting between Chinese and English, preparing you to work as an interpreter in the conference, business and political settings.

You will develop skills in all interpreting modes, note-taking and public speaking. Classes relating to the interpreting profession will give you the practical knowledge and organisational skills needed to perform interpreting tasks effectively.

The Specialist Translation module offers a conceptual and methodological framework for translating specialised texts and our optional modules will allow you to customise your learning experience.

Teaching staff

The practice-based interpreting modules are taught by Dr Kevin Lin and his team, who will bring their interpreting expertise, workplace experience, high-end interpreting standards and up-to-date knowledge of the interpreting market into the classroom.

You will also be taught by experienced academic staff with excellent research records, who will help you to develop a broad understanding of the current and future challenges of interpreting. For example, Professor Sabine Braun is a leading expert in the field of remote/videoconference interpreting. Other academic staff specialise in public service interpreting, interpreter-mediated interaction, and corpus-assisted translation and interpreting studies.

Professional development

Our facilities will allow you to practise each interpreting mode in the most realistic environment. You will have access to two conference interpreting suites equipped with ISO-approved double interpreting booths, as used by international institutions, to practise simultaneous interpreting; a portable interpreting system for training in mobile interpreting (used for museum or factory tours); and a two-way and multipoint videoconferencing system to simulate remote or distance interpreting, with delegates and interpreters interacting over video link.

To test and develop your skills and strategies in an authentic work environment, you will be provided opportunities for practical interpreting traineeships, including an opportunity to attend booth practice at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. During the study visit, you will practise simultaneous interpreting in a realistic UN-standard conference booth and will be instructed by experienced interpreters working at IMO. In addition, our students have provided interpreting services for many multilingual events held at the University of Surrey, including graduation ceremonies and a three-day medical conference.

You will have free access to cutting-edge translation tools such as SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, Memsource, and Sketch Engine, and web-based tools such as SmartCat, Metecat, and many more.

You will also gain further insights into the industry from the speakers we invite to our Centre for Translation Studies seminars. Speakers include:

  • Professional translators and interpreters
  • Subtitlers and audio describers
  • Professionals working in public services, companies and international organisations
  • Representatives of professional translator and interpreter associations
  • Translation and interpreting researchers.

We have forged close links with the main professional bodies. For example, after graduation, you will be able to apply for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. We have also been invited to take part in the prestigious schemes such as Chartered Institute of Linguists Higher Education Language Partnership and we are a corporate member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. You can join these bodies as a student member during the course and then become a full member after you graduate.

We are a member of the Translation Automation User Society and the European Language Industry Association (ELIA), which gives you the possibility to apply for a work placement with various translation and interpreting companies that are members of ELIA. We collaborate closely with language services providers and have an extensive network of visiting professionals, so you will benefit from excellent connections and be taught to industry standards.

Career prospects

Local and international companies from the language industry who have an active interest in Surrey graduates come to our Centre for Translation Studies careers fair. They explain what current and future opportunities they have, providing a chance for you to engage with them directly and kick-start your career in an informal, friendly atmosphere.

Our emphasis on professional development, which includes participating in simulated classroom activities for remote interpreting and attending booth practice at IMO, means that you will be well-equipped to begin work as an executive interpreter or Chinese communication expert at international organisations, government bodies, and private companies.

There is strong international demand for excellent interpreters in Chinese and English. The Chinese interpreting market has experienced exceptional growth despite a challenging international economic climate. Globalisation opens up new opportunities and creates demand for interpreting services to enable knowledge exchange, migration, trade and diplomatic relations, and communication between business clients. As an MA Interpreting graduate, you will be able to take advantage of global employment opportunities.

Technological innovation is also rapidly reshaping the interpreting industry, presenting new research opportunities. Your MA dissertation project is one of the many ways of getting involved in ongoing research in the Centre for Translation Studies. We also regularly have students who decide to stay on for a PhD and pursue an academic career in translation and interpreting studies.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in English or a related subject. You must be a native Chinese speaker to apply.
Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The University of Surrey was established on 9 September 1966 with the grant of its Royal Charter, but its roots go back to a late 19th-century concern to provide greater access to further and higher e ... Read More

The University of Surrey was established on 9 September 1966 with the grant of its Royal Charter, but its roots go back to a late 19th-century concern to provide greater access to further and higher education for the poorer inhabitants of London. Read less