module specification

TR7082 - Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context) (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context)
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
120 hours Guided independent study
20 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 50% 50 Consecutive Interpreting exam
Unseen Examination 50% 50 Simultaneous Interpreting
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is aimed at students who wish to interpret for the European institutions and United Nations. This module will equip students with the expertise, skills and practice they need to prepare for the EU institutions and UN accreditation test for freelance interpreters.
This module includes generic sessions where lectures and workshops relating to the European institutions and United Nations will provide students with the expertise they need to understand the role and nature of such international organisations.
Students will also practice long consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting in mock conferences (EU/UN context) and dedicated workshops aimed at preparing students for the EU/UN institutions entry tests for interpreters.
Students will need to gain an understanding of international multilingual and multicultural conference management, apply what they learnt and organise their own mock conferences.

Module aims

The module aims are:

  1. To acquire a thorough knowledge of the European institutions and United Nations, and to gain an expertise in the interpreting process relevant in these areas and organisation of multilingual and multicultural conference management;
  2. To interpret in a professional manner in the specific context of the European institutions and United Nations both in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting;
  3. To research and prepare effectively for interpreting assignments within the context of the EU/UN;
  4. To acquire a critical awareness of the importance of context, register and the speaker's attitude in the interpreting process and the role they play in the decisions and choices made during the interpreting assignment;
  5. To support effective communication throughout the interpreting assignment and to intervene as appropriate in a competent fashion when communication breaks down;
  6. To implement the Professional Code of Practice and client etiquette for conference interpreters,    booth etiquette and role of chef d’equipe and event organisers.


This module is dedicated to conference interpreting within the context of EU/UN institutions. Students will practise consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting in different settings: mock conferences organised by students and staff on EU/UN topics.

Language specific tutorials will be dedicated to the practice of consecutive interpreting (6 mn speeches) and simultaneous interpreting (10 mn speeches) based on the model of the interpreting accreditation test for EU/UN institutions.

Lectures and workshops will provide an excellent insight into the European institutions and United Nations organisations; students will be asked to research and prepare short presentations on specific aspects of EU/UN international organisations, their role and structures. Specific terminology relating to the institutions will be researched and prepared by students. Guest speakers will present certain aspects of international institutions, in order to enhance workshops and contribute to bringing students’ knowledge to an expert level.

In this module students will play an active role in preparing interpreting events for mock conferences and informal practice.  This applies for consecutive and simultaneous interpreting events. For each interpreting assignment students will be expected to have researched and prepared their terminology and context thoroughly, so as to bring their level of interpreting to the professional level required for the EU/UN accreditation tests.

Learning and teaching

This is a practical module with an opportunity to practise conference interpreting applied to the EU/UN institutions context. Students will be given an agenda for a mock conference every two weeks. They will have to thoroughly prepare for interpreting assignments (glossaries, speeches, research) and perform in a professional setting, working in pairs, understanding and applying strategies, so as to enhance the booth identity and team work involved. Students will play an active role in the organisation of mock conferences and a chef d’equipe will be nominated.

Each mock conference will be followed by a language specific tutorial in the following week which will focus on the practice of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. Speeches prepared by students will be based on the EU/UN accreditation test model.

Students will be required to identify their personal objectives at the beginning of each session. A review of these objectives will take place at the end of the sessions.

The Interpreting Suite will be open to interpreting students at dedicated time for their independent studies, where they will be expected to prepare their own speeches and organise practice in a professional manner.

Students are also able to practise using various speech repositories (including speech repository from the European Commission, as well as other universities working in partnership). They will be able to meet alumni who have joined the Ambassadors Scheme to help students on the course with additional practice, using new technologies such as Skype or Google Hangout. Students are able to use the IREC software developed by the European Commission SCIC at home and on site.

Virtual classes will also take place in partnership with interpreting networks and universities.

Students will be able to experience conference interpreting in real setting thanks to visits and dummy booth practice at The United Nations in Geneva, at the European Commission in Brussels, as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Additional partnerships are continuously being developed; students will be updated with progress during the year.

For independent studies, students will be guided to use archived speeches from the plenary sessions of the European Parliament and debates from the United Nations.

Placements on the course also include opportunities to practise conference interpreting at the international institutions mentioned above.

Students will be requested to attend lectures and workshops on EU/UN institutions. They will also play   an active role with presentations and organisation of glossaries. Guest speakers will join lectures to present the EU/UN institutions and enhance students expertise on the subject..

Learning outcomes

By the time students complete the module they would have developed the ability to:

LO1. Apply their expertise of the European institutions/United Nations to the interpreting process so as to bring the quality of the interpreting performance to a professional level;
LO2. Interpret in a professional manner in a chosen context of the European institutions/United Nations, both in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting;
LO3. Research and prepare effectively for interpreting assignments within the context of EU/UN institutions;
LO4. Interpret with particular attention paid to context, register and speakers' attitude and develop a critical appreciation of their role in the decisions and choices made during the interpreting process;
LO5. Communicate in a professional manner throughout the interpreting assignment including when communication breaks down, using strategies and skills appropriate to the code of conduct for conference interpreters;
LO6. To implement the Professional Code of Practice and client etiquette for conference   interpreters, booth etiquette and role of chef d’equipe. Apply their conference management skills and understand the role of all stakeholders within a multilingual and multicultural conference setting.


Assessment strategy

Students’ ability to interpret competently in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting within the context of the EU and UN are assessed through two practical exams in week 14. The consecutive interpreting exam will be a 6 mn speech and the simultaneous interpreting exam will be 10 mn speech. Language combinations will have to be agreed with the Module Leader at the beginning of the module.



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