module specification

TR7051 - The Interpreter's Professional Environment (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title The Interpreter's Professional Environment
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
50 hours Placement / study abroad
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
50 hours Guided independent study
64 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 40%   Presentation. Students will work in groups of 2 to 4 but are individually marked.
Coursework 60%   Placement report
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module starts in the second semester and runs until the first week of September. This module acts as a springboard to employability. It is a hands-on module that is essential to their promotion on the market as they leave the course.

Interpreters mostly work as self- employed linguists. This module prepares them to embrace the challenges of setting up their own profile/business as professional linguists. It will help them understand the concept of “professional visibility” on the professional market. Students will reflect on strategies of being visible for the right reasons, especially when taking into consideration their e-footprint.
Students will engage in understanding and implementing the marketing tools used to promote interpreters on the market, from LinkedIN, websites, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Wechat, YouTube) to the more traditional tools such as business cards and CVs. They will observe the professional trends for interpreters on the market and apply good practice to design their own marketing tools which they will already use during the course. This experiential learning approach encourages them to already engage as professional linguists on the market, contributing to events, posts, blogs, They will then review the initiatives in class and readjust their contributions in the light of collaborative reflections with peers, tutors, guest speakers and graduates who are engaged in the Ambassadors’ Scheme.

Students will then engage in understanding what it means to enter a professional profession. They will engage in the conceptual understanding of joining a professional association either in the UK or in their country of residence and lifelong learning with Continuous Professional Development (CPD) strategies. This will lead them to understanding the relevance of an ethical approach to their professional activity and identity, and the need to apply by a Code of Conduct. Guest speakers representing professional associations will guide their choice and reflection.

However, this module will also guide students to develop an understanding of their professional identity, their transferable skills and potential to contribute to industries that relate to interpreting and match their desired goals. Guest speakers who represent organisations that employ linguists will guide students in their professional development.

Finally, this module includes a placement component made of two interpreting assignments and a shadowing interpreting assignment.
Whenever possible, students will interpret face to face and/or online for interpreting assignments after they have passed all practical modules.
First they will observe interpreters at work which is facilitated by our numerous partners in the industry (e.g. GroupHorse Translation, the European Network on Statelessness, The Bartlett Development Unit - UCL, Oncall LtD, Interprenet).
It includes a visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union (Luxembourg), a visit to the European Commission for presentations and dummy booth practice, and a visit/dummy booth practice to the UN as well as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). These opportunities will depend on the language selections and the suitability of interpreters for the assignments.

The module aims: 
1. You will develop knowledge of the professional environment in which interpreters operate as well as the culture and organisations relating to the interpreting profession;

2. You will engage in the development of your professional presence to promote your services as a professional linguist online and face to face;

3. You will gain an understanding and apply the legal context in which interpreters work as well as the code of conduct and client etiquette operating in different interpreting fields;

4. You will develop an insight on your transferable skills acquired in your personal and professional past activities so as to develop your professional identity as an interpreter or interpreting related industries;

5. You will experience working as an interpreter and shadowing interpreters at work to gain a reflective understanding of your professional development in the field;
6. You will embrace the lifelong learning approach and develop collaborative strategies to continue to grow as a professional beyond your life as a student-interpreter.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? NO


This module differs from others in the course. Even though it is a practical module, this module is an opportunity to engage on a professional development journey as individual students, but also as a group of potential colleagues on the interpreting market. (LO.1;
LO.2; L.O3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

This is a collaborative module where students will realise that as potential interpreting colleagues, their community is a strength. As a result, students will be encouraged to develop a community of practice mindset whereby a collaborative approach to employability is far more productive than a competitive approach which is very common in the interpreting industry. (LO.2; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

As a result, all teaching activities will involve a collaborative engagement. The twelve taught weeks will engage students in reflections over case studies that require a professional understanding of the code of conduct, ethics and client etiquette. Many case studies will be presented by guest speakers that represent recruiters of interpreters. (LO.1;LO.2; L.O3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

Students will engage in reflecting how they can contribute to the interpreting profession they are joining, what their professional identity is and in what field they wish to specialise in. This will be done with very practical exercises and group activities that involve graduates, professional interpreters and guest speakers.(LO.1;
LO.2; L.O3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

Students will develop marketing tools that will enhance their professional visibility to launch themselves on the market. This involves practical sessions on developing professional profiles and presence on social media, professional networks and face to face events such as CPD activities.(LO.1;LO.2; L.O3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

Finally students will be invited to join the Ambassadors Scheme for Interpreting Studies which allows them to continue their professional development with the help of staff. As ambassadors, they will be able to continue using the interpreting suite for their practice. They will be able to attend further training courses in exchange for their support to new students. The Ambassadors Scheme will contribute to support their development, break isolation and gently ease into finding interpreting assignments.(LO.1;LO.2; L.O3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching includes face to face interaction and online sessions such as interventions with our guest speakers who may be located outside of the UK. This also applies to interpreting assignments that may take place at university, online or outside of university in the UK or abroad. This blended learning optimises opportunities for students to be exposed to numerous opportunities, such as recruiters of interpreters in the USA as well as the UK.
Face to face teaching involves group activities, reflective activities. But they will be extended with independent study that will take place on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
This blended learning approach introduces students to the reality of the life of an interpreter that interchangeably works both online and face to face.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to:

1. Identify the benefits of joining key professional associations that relate to your language combination and professional domicile to decide whether to engage or not;
2. Understand the relevance of social media to enhance the development of your professional presence;
3. Understand and apply the code of conduct and the client etiquette to confidently deliver interpreting services ethically;
4. Make decisions on the way you will optimise your transferable skills to enhance your professional development;
5. Interact professionally with colleagues to interpret in a professional set up;
6. Apply strategies to continue to grow as a reflective professional interpreter who is motivated to engage in a lifelong learning approach.