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MA English-Chinese Interpreting With Translation

University of Birmingham
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

MA English-Chinese Interpreting With Translation

Interpreting is a highly-skilled profession, requiring academic training as well as extensive practice in relevant settings.

Our MA in English-Chinese Interpreting with Translation is ideal for those looking to embark on careers as professional interpreters, combining interpreting theory and practice and with teaching taking place in a state-of-the-art Interpreting Suite. You are also encouraged to use these facilities outside of teaching time to develop your practical skills further.

This MA Program involves intensive in-class practice, delivered in our purpose-built Interpreting Suite, using the professional Televic technology that is employed by international organisations. Students are trained in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, with the option of taking a course in community interpreting too.

The course will take you through a range of both introductory and advanced modules, allowing you to develop your skills rapidly across two terms of teaching, and culminating in an extended project. Your taught modules will prepare you for interpreting in a range of scenarios drawn from business, legal, medical and other interactional settings, and your project will allow you to focus on your chosen topic(s) in depth.

This Program provides extensive interpreting practice and theory alongside complementary training in translation and in research methods, which provides an ideal foundation for both careers in interpreting or for further research.

Admission requirements

Students should have native-speaker proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. It will normally be necessary to hold a languages or humanities-related degree, along with the required IELTS results (see below).

If your undergraduate studies are in other subjects, you may be asked to provide evidence of relevant work experience as a translator and/or interpreter in addition to satisfactory IELTS results.

Academic requirements:

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements:

standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in speaking and writing, and a minimum of 6.0 in listening and reading. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in speaking and writing, and a minimum of 6.0 in listening and reading is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in speaking and writing and 20 in listening and 21 in writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic overal 76, 67 in speaking and writing, 64 in listening and reading
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in speaking and writing and 169 in reading and listening

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Core modules

Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting

Through this module, you will acquire fundamental knowledge and skills required for transferring communication between Chinese and English in the consecutive mode. Important skills such as public speaking, note-taking, memorising, number conversion and so on will be introduced. You will also start to accumulate initial background knowledge of popular topics at international conferences. Through workshops and intensive practice, you will be able to interpret speeches with moderate challenges and develop a good understanding of interactional features associated with interpreting.

Introduction to Simultaneous Interpreting

This module will introduce you to basic skills required to transfer communication from English into Chinese in the simultaneous mode. Earlier modules on the Program will have helped you to develop sufficient writing and speaking skills that have prepared you to cultivate attention-split, shadowing, long or short memory retention and other capabilities, enabling you to listen and interpret at the same time.

Advanced Consecutive Interpreting

This module is designed to equip you with advanced knowledge and skills of transferring messages in the consecutive mode between Chinese and English languages. Through workshops and intensive practice, you will develop sophisticated skills of managing challenges posed by factors including the speaker’s accent, fewer intervals throughout a speech, complex syntactic structures, and so on. You will also accumulate specialised background knowledge of popular topics emerging at international conferences and relevant terminologies.

Translating for Business (Chinese)

This module aims to provide you with solid training in written translation. It will focus on translating texts for businesses and organisations, across a range of sectors (e.g. consumer goods, retail, charities and cultural institutions), with particular emphasis on general or technical texts for a general readership (consumers, the public, non-specialist readers). Typical genres covered will be brochures, product descriptions, press releases, instructions and webpages. You will learn key concepts and skills (client interaction, information mining, translating using appropriate strategies, use of corpora and parallel texts and revising/editing/quality assurance) and be introduced to the followed tools: general IT resources, online dictionaries, search engines, termbases, aligned texts and corpus tools.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.

Program delivery

Teaching takes place over eight weeks in the autumn term and eight weeks in the spring term, through weekly seminars. Term dates can be found on our website.

You will take two core modules in the autumn term, and three core modules in the spring term, as follows:

  • Autumn term: Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting; Practical Translation
  • Spring term: Advanced Consecutive Interpreting; Research and Critical Commentary Skills; Introduction to Simultaneous Interpreting

You will also take one optional module during the autumn term.

Each module typically represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, homework and assignment preparation.

During the summer term, you will be working on your extended research project, and you will be assigned an appropriate supervisor according to your chosen topic.


Annual tuition fee for 2022:

  • UK: £9,810 full-time
  • International: £20,430 full-time

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About this institute

University of Birmingham

A member of the Russell Group and world ‘top 100’ university (QS World Rankings 2017), the University of Birmingham offers three career-focused 100% online postgraduate degrees which will set you on a path to career excellence: Online MBA Online MSc...

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Contact info

University of Birmingham

B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

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University of Birmingham

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