Course specification and structure
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PMCONINT - MA Conference Interpreting

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Subject Area Professional Courses
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 3 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MA Conference Interpreting is a highly professional practical course that embraces the curriculum principles recommended by the interpreting profession and employers of conference interpreters. It is the only conference interpreting dedicated course in the UK. It is well connected with the industry and benefits from memberships to professional organisations (CIUTI) and partnerships with the industry (UCL etc.)

The course embraces a supportive collaborative approach to experiential teaching and learning. It is based on a community of practice model that nurtures current students, alumni and professionals with members of staff who are all dedicated and experienced professional interpreters.

This materialises with a number of initiatives that make the course a unique and enriching experience for students. One of these initiatives is the now well-known unique reputable Ambassadors Scheme for Interpreting Studies. When you graduate, you are encouraged to join the Ambassadors Scheme to continue to develop your skills and support new students on the course. This mutually beneficial approach enhances the employability of our graduates and supports new students during their studies. It bridges the gap between graduation and the beginning of professional life.

Furthermore, Continuous Professional Development events take place regularly and bring together professional interpreters in different fields of expertise, guest speakers from partner universities and potential employers of interpreters, and students. As a result, you are well connected to the industry and up to date with the latest development of the profession, especially at a time of transition towards Remote Simultaneous Interpreting and new technologies.

The first semester is dedicated to consecutive interpreting, including public speaking skills, memory skills, note taking skills, anticipations skills, text analysis, using two language combinations (in and out of English for non -English speakers; from two passive languages into English for native speakers of English - unless students wish to select the in and out of English if they have a B language). In conference interpreting, languages are referred to as A (native language), B (active language very close to mother tongue level), C language (a passive language that is well understood but does not need to be spoken).

The second semester continues with the development of consecutive interpreting skills but mainly engages students in simultaneous interpreting.
Both semesters include workshops, lectures, mock conferences, tutorials, additional practice with alumni of the MA Conference Interpreting (referred to as Ambassadors enrolled on the Ambassadors Scheme for Interpreting Studies), and virtual classes with partner universities.
In addition, there is a placement element that provides students with an opportunity to interpret in real life assignments (dummy booth practice at international institutions, NGOs, volunteering or with private events). This opportunity engages students with ethics and the code of conduct for interpreters. This is connected to our dedicated module on employability of interpreters which includes strategies to market professional profile as interpreters.

Our dedicated EU/UN conference interpreting module offers a unique opportunity to prepare the EU/UN accreditation test for interpreters, especially as we work closely with international institutions. In addition, the module offers a conference management element that provides additional employment opportunities in the field of multilingual and multicultural conference events. This module offers an excellent opportunity to organise, work in teams, plan, demonstrate stamina and negotiation skills to manage the conference organisation with interpreting services and of course interpreting skills within the context of the EU and the UN. You are guided through the EU/UN context with informative workshops that engage students with EU/UN current affairs. This will lead students to choose the topic of their mock conferences based on the current affairs of the time.

Interpreting facilities are outstanding with a brand new interpreting suite that includes professional equipment and all facilities for mock conferences, recording and independent practice. Technology is a key feature of interpreting studies at London Metropolitan University. All our mock conferences are web streamed on our YouTube channel “Interpreting at London Met” to add a level of authenticity and encourage a collaborative approach with the sharing of resources. You are fully encouraged and supported to use technology to prepare for interpreting assignments (e.g. shared drive, working on online platforms), during the interpreting process (recording, accessing materials online, shared glossaries) for face to face or remote interpreting assignments. You are then able to perform as interpreters in a face to face and remote interpreting environment.

If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the School reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the School cancels a module it will use its reasonable endeavors to provide a suitable alternative.

Course aims

The aims of the course are:

A1.To deliver an academically rigorous programme of study, which provides students with the opportunity to study the major disciplines in conference interpreting and to relate these to the professional practice.

A2. To provide students with an opportunity to gradually develop their practice as confident reflective practitioners.

A3. To provide an opportunity for research, theoretical reflection and the impact on the practice of conference interpreting so that students gradually develop into reflective practitioners.

A4.To familiarise students with the professional Conference Interpreting environment and its requirements.

A5.To offer opportunities of placement and to equip students with the professional skills they will require when engaging in the interpreting profession.

A6.To familiarise students with the interpreter's professional etiquette and code of practice.

A7.To develop linguistically competent and culturally aware interpreters who will meet the needs of both industry and the interpreting profession.

A8. To develop as lifelong learners engaged in continuous professional development.

A9. To engage students in the development of new technologies that influence the conference interpreting environment.

A10. The programme promotes the use of a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods, which develop the students’ intellectual abilities, self-confidence and ability to study independently.

The course has been devised with reference to the subject benchmark statement for EMCI (European Master’s in Conference Interpreting). The subject specific knowledge and skills, cognitive abilities and non-subject specific skills outlined in the benchmark statement are referenced in the relevant sections of this document.

Course learning outcomes

The course will equip students with the skills and attributes that will enable them to compete with success in the complex and challenging profession of conference interpreting and employment market. It brings together university and School distinctiveness, and - as it is of inherently multidisciplinary - refers to the QAA statement for Language, Cultures and Societies.

Thus, upon graduating with a MA Conference interpreting, students will typically:

LO.1 On completion of this course, students will be able to: demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline (ULO);

LO.2 Have the confidence needed to take leadership decisions in challenging situations;

LO.3 Possess extensive communication skills that will help them adopt a global and multicultural perspective in their professional context;

LO.4 Be critically cognisant of the effects of the social and environmental of their decisions and will remain active citizens of the places they live and work;

LO.5 Demonstrate application and ability to reflect on creative thinking to practical problems, and possess the analytical and organizational skills to translate creative ideas to operational solutions;

LO.6 Gain explicit knowledge of the structure of the languages used during interpreting assignments and their cultural specificities;

LO.7 Able to interpret a 6 min consecutive interpreting speech and a 10 min simultaneous interpreting speech relating to the specific contexts approached during the course (e.g.Current affairs, EU/UN matters);

LO.8 Gain a critical understanding of the relationship between interpreting theory and practice and its role in reflecting on the interpreting process;

LO.9 Gain knowledge and command of the different interpreting modes, their associated strategies and procedures, their context of use and their appropriateness to the audience for which interpreting is performed;

LO.10 Gain extensive knowledge and understanding of the broad range of professional interpreting environments and the regulatory framework;

LO.11 Gain an awareness of the necessity of constant evaluation of interpreting performance and of planning and implementation of continuous professional development.

LO.12 Develop an inquisitive mind and embrace the concept of “practisearchers” inspired by their practice and the development of their own related research interests.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Languages, Cultures and Societies.

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy

Principles
The course adopts the four assessment strategy principles of the School that are developed in the spirit of ESJ.
We provide balanced forms of assessment, both in terms of its overall volume and the types used.
At PGT level group activities are part of the learning and teaching strategies but assessment should be at the level of the individual. Thus, assessment should focus on individual reflections and learning from participating in a group activity.
Flexibility/choice in assessment methods will be introduced wherever possible (subject to PSRB requirements and QAA subject benchmarks) in order to facilitate different learning studies and support personalization.


Course Strategy

The MA Conference Interpreting is a professional course that aims at developing linguists into reflective conference interpreters prepared to work on the market after the course.
As a result, the gradual development of interpreting skills and professional aptitudes are assessed both in a formative and summative form.
For each interpreting practical module, consecutive interpreting and/or simultaneous interpreting are assessed and aligned with the accreditation tests developed by employers and recruiters of interpreters.
The formative assessment strategy plays a key role in the gradual development of the student into a competent interpreter. For each practice- based module, there is a portfolio of practice. On a weekly basis, students will be guided in their independent studies with specific tasks to perform which are constructed to gradually build on the acquisition of skills and the reflective process. The portfolio of practice is visible to all students who can share their speeches, glossaries, notes and personal reflections on their work and progress. The portfolio of practice is an opportunity to engage in self- assessment but specifically in peer assessment. This is an invitation for peers and staff to start conversations about progress and professional/personal development. The portfolio of practice is a dedicated space where students can decide on the approach that is suitable to them. Even though the framework is guided, students have the freedom to choose how they work and what suits them. The purpose of the portfolio of practice is to motivate students with a regular engagement into their reflective practice. It is assessed with a pass or fail system. To get a pass, students need to have completed all their weekly work.

As a result, students are fully prepared for their summative assessment that relates to their formative assessment. The summative practice based exams are all designed and assessed using specific marking criteria that indicate whether the student has reached a suitable level to work as a professional reflective interpreter, either on the private market, for an agency, or to apply for the accreditation test organised by international institutions.

Lecturers on the course are all professional interpreters who continuously remind students of their professional experience, the skills required to interpret efficiently, the decisions that need to be adopted to make progress and the professional ethics that guide interpreting practice. Students and lecturers are engaged in a mutually respected desire to improve skills, approach to interpreting and professional mindset at the different stages of the interpreting assignment.
The formative assessment strategy informs the summative assessments which include practice based exams, presentations, reflective portfolios of practice, essays, placement report and dissertation.
The assessment strategy is shaped with the students’ interest in mind. They participate in the feedback of their experience of the course and the assessment strategies, such as workload during assessment, timing of the assessment and feedback strategies.

Students are fully informed of the assessment criteria, marking sheets and assessment procedures at the very beginning of each module. They can then ask questions, use the materials with lecturers in class, and apply the assessment tools to assess their independent practice. By the time they are formally assessed, they understand, and are able to use the assessment tools in a reflective manner.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course’s priority is to successfully engage students into the profession of conference interpreting. As a consequence, the curriculum design is guided by the professional requirement of employers and key players in the language industry.

Module TR7051 is dedicated to launching students as confident, engaged professional interpreters able to assess the work market and its opportunities. This is quite a unique module as students project themselves into professionals and develop strategies to enhance their visibility as self- employed interpreters.

There is a compulsory work placement which includes shadowing professional interpreters and performing interpreting assignments whenever possible under supervision. Work placement opportunities are offered by the university when possible (Dummy booth practice at international organisations, volunteering opportunities). In parallel, students are encouraged to find their own work placement opportunities with the support of the university and learn how to engage with potential clients. The Work Placement is part of a Spring Semester module TR7051: The Interpreter’s Professional Environment.

Course specific regulations

Part time structure: there is an element of flexibility. However, the first module has to be TR7093. This is what is recommended:

Year 1:
Autumn semester: TR7093, TR7092
Spring semester: TR7090

Year 2:
Autumn semester: TR7091
Spring semester: TR7051, TR7P81,TR7082

When students already have experience in interpreting, TR7051 can be taken in Year 1, Spring semester. This is recommended when possible so the placement (during the summer) does not add to the pressure of the dissertation TR7P81.

Modules required for interim awards

MA Conference Interpreting:

Core modules:
TR7091, TR7051, TR7P81, TR7093, TR7092, TR7090, TR7082.

PG Diploma Conference Interpreting
Core modules:
TR7091, TR7051, TR7093, TR7092, TR7090, TR7082

PG Certificate Conference Interpreting:
Core modules:
TR7091, TR7093
-
Option modules:
TR7092
TR7051

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The main aim of the course is to engage students into reflective practitioners in the field of conference interpreting. As a result, the course is oriented in such a way that students are invited to develop their professional skills adopting the experiential learning approach based on reflective practice.
A portfolio of practice is included in every practical module to capture the experiential learning journey. This reflective process is encouraged as it is essential to understand the interpreting performance, the decisions made during the interpreting performance, their effectiveness on the interpreting performance and the way to feed forward to improve and move to the next step.
The MACI is an intensive course that requires intensive work and practice. This is why students need to be supported throughout this process by a dedicated team of staff who are all conference interpreters, and graduates who have joined the Ambassadors Scheme for Interpreting Studies. This community of practice approach offers a caring and dedicated approach to students' support during their learning. Professionals at different stages of their professional development are able to listen, understand and advise students; in addition, they practise interpreting with students and offer a reflective opportunity on their work, but also on soft skills such as stress management, time management, networking and academic work.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

- CIUTI (Conférence Internationale Permanente d’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes)

- CIoL Chartered Institute of Linguists

- Listed as university working closely with DG
Interpretation SCIC (Directorate General
Interpreting Services of the European
Commission)

-Listed on the AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters) register of courses for conference interpreting

-Listed on the BDU (German association for interpreters and translators)

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The MA Conference Interpreting is a professional course. As such, when students join the course, they expect to develop their skills and aptitudes to work as interpreters. They gradually develop an understanding of the profession they are about to join through their lecturers who are all professionals in the field. They bring an insight of their experience on the course and offer an opportunity to discuss the profession as they experience it.

Furthermore, guest speakers who represent recruiters of interpreters, professional associations, international institutions and graduates contribute to engage students on a reflective journey towards their professional development.

The TR7051 module dedicated to employability and professional development is not only an opportunity to engage in a reflection about the career of interpreting; it is also an opportunity to review transferable skills acquired from previous experience and reflect on the way they can contribute to the professional development of the students. The module includes a placement element that invites students to experience interpreting assignments with our partner organisations, as well potential employers.

Whilst on the course students prepare their marketing tools, professional profiles to engage on the professional market as soon as they graduate. To start with, students tend to work for NGOs and charities, either as volunteers or paid interpreters to gain some professional experience. Very often, they were able to observe interpreters at work with these organisations whilst they were studying. So, interpreting for the organisations once they graduate is a natural progression.

Students work as conference interpreters on the private market in the UK and across the world. They are encouraged to take the EU/UN accreditation test for interpreters to work as conference interpreters on a freelance basis.

Doctoral studies attract some students who wish to engage with research in the interpreting, translation and linguistic domains.

In addition, graduates can continue to come to London Metropolitan University to practise interpreting thanks to short courses and events (Continuous Professional Development) which include the Advanced Conference Interpreting Practice for EU/UN Test.

Graduates are welcome to join our well- known dedicated scheme to support their transition to the professional market (The Ambassadors Scheme for Interpreting Studies). The scheme allows them to gain access to further interpreting practise and additional benefits whilst in exchange they support new students on the course. This community of practice has supported our graduates and students since 2007.

They are given priority to join the London Interpreters Practice Group (LIPG) founded by the course leader Danielle D’Hayer and interpreting lecturer Ewa Jasinska Davidson in 2019.

Finally, interpreting studies offer many transferable skills (eg: public speaking skills, presentation skills, fast analytical skills, knowledge of current affairs, conference management) highly valued in many other professional spheres (journalism, political studies, international affairs) which attract some students too.

Career opportunities

Students who complete the course automatically fulfil the requirement to access the EU/UN interpreting accreditation test to work as conference interpreters. Graduates can continue to come to London Metropolitan University to practise conference interpreting thanks to our short courses and events (CPD).

Graduates are also fully qualified to work as conference interpreters on the private market in the UK and abroad, and to continue onto further study with a PhD.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a first degree with a 2.1 (or a 2.2 with professional experience in interpreting) (applications from candidates with substantial experience as a professional interpreter but no degree will be considered)
  • Certificate and Diploma level English and one other language / MA level English and one or two other languages
  • near-native proficiency in your first foreign language (language B) and/or a good command of their second foreign language (language C)

Entrance aptitude test

Application forms are processed by the admissions tutor. Once you've demonstrated that you match the entry criteria, you're 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 generally runs on Fridays between 10am and 1pm twice a month. It includes:

  • translations into and from English
  • presentations in the mother tongue and foreign languages
  • consecutive interpreting into the A language (mother tongue)
  • essay writing
  • an interview with the admissions tutor and interpreting lecturers

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes 101130 (translation studies): 100%
Route code CONINT

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR7051 The Interpreter's Professional Environment Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
TR7082 Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context) Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
          NORTH SPR TUE AM
TR7090 Simultaneous interpreting (A<>English , or C1 a... Core 20 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR MON AM
TR7091 Interpreting Theory and Interpreting Assignment... Core 20 NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH SPR MON AM
TR7092 Consecutive interpreting (A into English or C2 ... Core 20 NORTH AUT MON AM
TR7093 Consecutive interpreting (English into A, or C1... Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE AM
TR7P81 MA Research Project Core 60 NORTH SPR TUE PM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
TR7051 The Interpreter's Professional Environment Core 20        
TR7082 Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context) Core 20        
TR7090 Simultaneous interpreting (A<>English , or C1 a... Core 20        
TR7091 Interpreting Theory and Interpreting Assignment... Core 20        
TR7092 Consecutive interpreting (A into English or C2 ... Core 20        
TR7093 Consecutive interpreting (English into A, or C1... Core 20        
TR7P81 MA Research Project Core 60