Translating and Interpreting Studies, MSc

Translating and Interpreting Studies, MSc


We live and work in a linguistically and culturally diverse world, fuelling the demand for strong linguists with a combination of interpretation and translation skills to support global communication. Master a set of marketable skills to start working as a translator or interpreter, with the option to specialise in conference and public service interpretation.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
Location of Study

Our Translating and Interpreting master’s programme aims to transform your advanced language skills to qualify as a translator or interpreter.

We offer the following languages: Arabic, French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Develop essential skills in interpreting at a professional standard to meet the needs of a highly demanded industry. Gain world-class training in interpretation with our cutting-edge conference interpretation suite to enable communication, trading and cooperation at an international level. Installed by Televic, the interpreting suite allows you to operate professional systems used as standard at major international conferences and institutions such as the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN).

We offer an introductory course to conference interpretation to build your specialist knowledge and technical skills required for interpreting in a conference setting. There is a follow-up course in conference interpretation to progress the skills learnt in the introductory course. We also offer training in public service interpreting if you wish to work in a public service setting. Develop transferable skills from research and writing skills to intercultural communication and enhanced cultural knowledge, offering you opportunities to work across various industries and sectors.

Work with professional interpreters and participate in class-based activities designed to advance your skills in comprehension, discrimination, retention and expression. Learn in a controlled and familiar interpreting setting, with guidance from highly qualified academics with professional interpreting experience across different contexts and settings.

You can book a booth outside scheduled classes to gain additional practice and bolster your confidence in interpretation. You can also access AssessmentQ and InterpreterQ Media Player on-campus or remotely to support your independent study and progress.

What You'll Study

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Critical Skills: Reading and Engagement (PD50C2)

This course will equip you with the essential skills required to engage with your postgraduate studies. Through a series of lectures, interactive seminars and authentic materials, you will build on your critical thinking skills with fellow PGT students from across the school. Critical Reading, essay writing and presentation skills will be offered as part of this course, providing students with skills fundamental to PGT and workplace contexts.

Critical Skills: Research and Dissemination (PD55C1)

This course will equip you with core research and dissemination skills. Centred on an interdisciplinary approach to research, the course will allow you to engage with peers from various research backgrounds to contribute, discuss and share in an interactive academic community. The course will detail key research techniques and communicative modes for successful dissemination. Communication skills specific to engaging with industry stakeholders will also be covered as part of this course in order to boost employability.

Language - Specific Translation Portfolio (TL5001)

15 Credit Points

The course is based on supervision of practical experience. Students and supervisors select texts to be translated and discuss approaches and other practical issues. The remainder of the course is dedicated to self-directed study, in which the students compile a portfolio of work. Feedback on the portfolio is discussed in detail with the supervisor. Additional translations are set beyond the portfolio itself, giving students the opportunity to enhance and polish their skills with a wider range of materials. Students will normally be translating one document per week and will receive oral feedback.

Key Concepts and Methods in Translation Studies (LN5009)

30 Credit Points

The course introduces and critically evaluates some of the major concepts in translation theory, focusing on their application to translation practice. It analyses translation as a social and cultural phenomenon. Students will develop the skills necessary to reflect critically on their own translation practice in order to enhance its breadth and sophistication. In the second semester, the course will also provide training in research methodology in preparation for the dissertation.

Introduction to Conference Interpreting (LN5028)

30 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the main skills and strategies used by interpreters when performing their work as conference interpreters. Students learn the necessary techniques and skills such as note taking skills for conference interpreting purposes, anticipation skills, communication skills and presentation skills for both, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. This course will include memory exercises, public speaking and tasks that build confidence enhancement opportunities. This course will run if there is a minimum of 3 students per language combination.

Stage 2

Compulsory Courses

Conference Interpreting (LN5534)

30 Credit Points

This course focuses on the intensive practice of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. It provides students with the advanced skills, strategies and practical knowledge to perform interpreting tasks in a professional way and with confidence. It encourages students to analyse and reflect upon their own interpreting practice. Compared to the Introduction to Conference Interpreting course in 1HS, this course puts greater emphasis on detailed and nuanced renditions, the projection of the speaker’s intentions and the delivery of the target speech. The course will also put more emphasis on the preparation of more complex interpreting assignments. This course will run if there is a minimum of 3 students per language combination.

Optional Courses

Plus select 15 credit points from the following list:

Translation Technology (TL5502)

Intercultural Communication (LN5510)

15 Credit Points

In this course a range of theories for exploring cultural norms and practices will be explored. Cultural Dimension Theory, Cross Cultural Pragmatics and Language socialization will be considered core areas of study. Other areas of relevance that will be covered and discussed include: Social Identity Theory and Language, English as a Lingua Franca the effects of Globalisation on language policy and communication, Intercultural Communication in Specific Professional Contexts, Intercultural Communication in Health Care ”The case of migrant patients and native speaker Doctors/health care staff, Intercultural Communication in Business Meetings” overcoming cultural barriers and negotiating meaning.

Additional Language - Specific Translation Portfolio (LN5512)

15 Credit Points

This course is based on supervision of practical experience. Students and supervisors will select texts to be translated and discuss approaches and other practical issues. The remainder of the course is dedicated to self-directed study, in which students compile a portfolio of work. Feedback on the portfolio is discussed in detail with the supervisor. Additional translations are set beyond the portfolio itself, giving students the opportunity to enhance and polish their skills with a wider range of materials. Students will normally be translating one document per week and will receive oral feedback.

Public Service Interpreting (LN5535)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to the different fields of Public Service Interpreting (PSI). It covers the specific ethical requirements, codes of conduct, working conditions and the legislation associated with Public Service Interpreting. This course also touches on trends in PSI and the repercussions that these may have in the PSI context.

This course will run if there is a minimum of 4 students per language combination.

Translation Technology (LN5521)

15 Credit Points

In order to take this course, a windows-based laptop is required (the translation software programme used on the training sessions works on windows as its operating system). Students will need to install the translation software programme license, provided as part of this course, on their own laptops - help and guidance will be given to students to do this. Students will need to bring their own laptops to the training sessions.

This course equips students with a critical appreciation of the role that technology can play in certain domains of translation, and equips them to use such technologies in a variety of contexts. Students will use different software/cloud-based technologies to construct termbases, translation memories, deliver translated texts and make use of the various quality-assurance tools and task reports that such technology offers. The course will also explore machine translation technologies, and the import and export of files between different software/cloud packages.

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Translation Studies (LN5907)

60 Credit Points

In this course, with guidance and supervision, students will present one of the following: an extended critical empirical study of, or sustained argument on an aspect of translation or interpreting studies; a critical evaluation of an existing published translation of appropriate length and complexity; a suitably extensive and challenging original translation with accompanying critical commentary.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,100
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

As a student at the University of Aberdeen, you will have access to state-of-the-art Interpreter Training Suite, AssessmentQ and InterpreterQ Media Player which will be used alongside Blackboard Collaborate to support your collaborative learning.

Assessment Methods

Students will write a Dissertation in Translation Studies, produce a Language-Specific Translation Portfolio and complete an Introduction to Conference Interpreting course. In case students decide to continue with conference interpreting, they should also pass the Conference Interpreting course, irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Translating and Interpreting Studies?

Our programme has distinctive aspects that would make it competitive from the programmes of the same nature offered by other institutions:

  • Acquire a critical understanding of translation and interpreting theories, and their application within the process of translating and interpreting
  • Master the skills and techniques of translating and interpreting to professional standards
  • Develop a critical awareness of ethical and professional issues in translating and interpreting
  • Build the confidence and ability to work within a team in translating and interpreting contexts.
  • Participate in student-led mock conferences and real-life simulations to strengthen your competency. 

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Candidates are required to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in one of the languages offered in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, or a 2.2 with professional experience in interpreting (candidates with substantial experience as a professional interpreter but no degree will also be considered).

Students need to have a very good command of the two languages that they will use to acquire their interpreting skills. In the case of English, students must be able to demonstrate English language competence at IELTS 6.5. level (or equivalent), preferably having Listening and Speaking 6.0.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person


Fluency in two or more languages gives you a distinct advantage for employment over other applicants. Having a language or translation degree can open a range of career paths for students to discover and flourish. These roles include and are not limited to:

  • Professional Translators and Interpreters (Freelance, In-House)
  • Public Service Interpreters
  • Conference Interpreters
  • Project Managers
  • Subtitlers
  • Editors
  • Revisers
  • Proofreaders
  • Terminologists

Graduates can start careers in translating and interpreting working for UN agencies, international organisations, translation agencies in the UK and abroad, industry and academia. Other graduates pursue work in other fields such as international business, marketing and publishing.


The University of Aberdeen is a Corporate Member of the Institute for Translation & Interpreting (ITI) and a member of APTIS (Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies, UK and Ireland).

Useful Fact about this Subject

Master the skills and techniques of translating and interpreting to professional standards

Useful Fact about this Subject

Have access to state-of-the-art interpreting technologies, AssessmentQ and InterpreterQ Media player to support collaborative learning.

Our Experts

The programme will be led by the School’s Senior Lecturer in Translation & Interpreting Studies, Dr Maria Sanchez-Ortiz with teaching and development input from current staff across all Modern Languages.

Programme Coordinator
Dr Maria Sanchez-Ortiz

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX