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MSc Translation and Conference Interpreting

Our professionally oriented MSc opens the door to exciting career opportunities by providing extensive practice in two in-demand activities, translation and conference interpreting.

Translation and Conference Interpreting

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

This course covers two professional areas that are becoming increasingly vital to public bodies and private businesses alike: translation and conference interpreting. In addition to extensive practice in both activities, using industry-standard facilities and software, it will provide a grounding on the state of the art in the discipline, which will combine current debates and professional skills.

This programme will equip you with the skills that you need to work from two languages into English, or from one language into and out of English. You must have native or near-native competence in English and in at least one of the following languages: Chinese, French, German and Spanish. A minimum of a second class honours degree or equivalent is required. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant relevant work or life experience are encouraged to apply.

The inclusion of an optional module will also afford you the opportunity to acquire subject specific knowledge in areas such as linguistics, policy making, international journalism and applied skills for teaching and research. This will help ensure you are well equipped to develop a career in translation and interpreting, as well as to conduct further research.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

    • Undertake consecutive interpreting assignments in your chosen language combination(s).
    • Undertake simultaneous interpreting assignments in your chosen language combination(s).
    • Undertake translation tasks in your chosen language combination(s).
    • Demonstrate that you can apply professional and ethical standards to your work as a translator/interpreter.
    • Evidence the ability to conduct research and documentation activities to underpin your practice as a translator/interpreter.
    • Monitor your own performance and undertake continuous professional development as appropriate.
  • Professional accreditations

    Successful completion of the course will entitle you to apply for membership of relevant professional bodies (CiOL, ITI). You can also undertake tests to achieve professional accreditation (e.g. DPSIT) and acquire practical experience that will enable you to be sponsored for certification (e.g. AIIC).

  • Work placements

    We receive and share information about placement opportunities, internships and traineeships on a regular basis.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Faculty facilities

    The Faculty of Arts and Humanities hosts a conference interpreting lab that comprises six double booths and 12 workstations around the table. SDL Trados licenses have been installed in a dedicated PC lab.

  • Research

    Tuition and assessment are aligned with professional practices and standards, and they are underpinned by the research that academic members of staff conduct.

    The Division of Literature and Languages’ return to the last Research Excellence Framework in 2014 saw over 80% of our research evaluated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant relevant work or life experience are encouraged to apply.

    You must have certified native or near-native competence in English and in at least one of the following languages: Chinese, French, German and Spanish.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 185 overall with a minimum of 180 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 overall with a minimum of 60 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 94 overall with 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 20 in listening and 22 in speaking
    • Trinity ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

You will be able to work either from two foreign languages into English or between English and a foreign language both ways. The languages on offer are Chinese, French, German and Spanish. Others will be subject to sufficient demand.

The Translation Workshop and the Conference Interpreting Practice modules will be delivered by a mix of specialist (academic and professional) native speakers of English and of the foreign languages. Guided self-study will be provided for the Conference Interpreting modules and group-practice slots will be timetabled. You will keep a reflective learning log on which formative feedback will be provided by the tutors. Additional learning activities will include simulations and guest talks by relevant professionals and potential employers (e.g. agencies, Local Councils), as well as site visits (e.g. to the Scottish Parliament).



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    A variety of teaching methods will be used: lectures, workshops, interpreting lab practice, tutorials and seminars, as well as self-study and group work. Reflective learning will be encouraged through self and peer assessment activities. Support and materials will be provided via Canvas (the University of Stirling online learning platform). Other learning related activities, such as talks by relevant professionals and site visits will be organised.

  • Assessment

    Assessment will be aligned with professional practice and standards. No formal examinations will be used for translation work: you will be able to work on your own and use resources within a predetermined timeframe, as a professional translator would. Interpreting will be assessed through practical exams that will replicate real-life assignments. Subject knowledge will be assessed through critical essays linking theory and professional issues. The dissertation will assess your reflective, critical thinking and research skills.

    Formative assessment will be provided by tutors on a learning log, on which you will reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and plot the way forward.

    The assessment criteria will be made available via Canvas (the University of Stirling online learning platform). You will receive feedback on coursework within 3 weeks of completion of the assessment. Feedback is usually provided electronically on formal coursework. Feedback and Guidance sessions with teaching staff are available on all modules. These provide regular opportunities to discuss feedback further. More information about feedback on assessment can be found in our quality handbook

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    Raquel de Pedro Ricoy holds the Chair of Translation and Interpreting. Most of her career has focused on the training of translators and interpreters. She has also worked freelance as a translator and interpreter, and as a lexicographer for OUP. Her research interests focus on the sociocultural dimensions of translation and interpreting, and the role of both these activities in public-service delivery. She will be involved in the delivery of subject knowledge and of Spanish-specific activities.

    Zhe Gao is a Senior Lecturer in Religion and Translation. His academic research mainly focuses on the translatability of Christianity into Chinese culture, Sino-Christian Theology, Public Theology, Inter-religious Dialogue and Cultural Translation. He will be involved in the delivery of Mandarin-specific activities.

    Saihong Li is a Senior Lecturer in Translation. Her research interests fall broadly within the fields of Corpus Linguistics, Interpreting and Translation Studies, Lexicography and Second Language Acquisition. She is currently working on a book entitled Terminology Translation within Chinese Contexts: Theory and Practice, to be published by Routledge. She will be involved in the delivery of Mandarin-specific activities.

    Kester Newill is a Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting. His career in education has included working for institutions and organisations across China, as well as in the UK. He has scholarship interests in the areas of technology-enhanced learning, intercultural business communication, and the teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language. He contributes to the delivery of modules involving Mandarin.

    Aedín Ní Loingsigh is a Lecturer in French. Her research is on cultural and linguistic encounters in the context of postcolonial travel. Recent publications examine the African-American translator and diplomat Mercer Cook, travel writing and translation, and migrant travel narratives. She is also working on the cultural dimension of memory and language loss as part of a collaborative research team working on dementia and bilingualism. She will be involved in the delivery of French-specific activities.

    Anne Stokes is a translator of literary and academic texts, and she writes about German literature and translation. Her translation of over 100 poems by Sarah Kirsch, Ice Roses: Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2014), was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize in 2015, and her translation of Doerte Hansen's bestselling novel Altes Land (This House is Mine, St. Martin's Press) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award in 2018.  She is currently investigating the role of literary translation in the internationalisation of the German publishing industry in the postwar period. She will be involved in the delivery of German-specific activities.

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding
    University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course, or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Our MSc is a fantastic gateway into a career in translation and conference interpreting. The transferable skills that you will develop will set you apart from the crowd. The career options that will be open to you include:

  • Translator
  • Translation Project Manager
  • Interpreter
  • Editor
  • Localiser
  • Lexicographer
  • Employability skills

    This degree will help you develop transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, such as high-level multilingual oral and written competence, multitasking, research and documentation, and intercultural awareness.

    The input from translation and interpreter practitioners and members of the industry will enable you to become aware of market requirements and expectations.

    In addition, this programme brings together a cohort of students from different countries and backgrounds, which will foster mutual understanding and place equality in diversity at the core of your professional development.

    We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the attributes that employers look for. In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we have a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer. The University of Stirling’s Career and Employability Service also works in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the most out of your University experience, and are ready for the employment market.

  • Companies we work with

    We have close links with translation and interpreting agencies and international bodies (e.g. the European Central Bank) that provide workplace training opportunities.

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