Taught programmes (CTS)

MA Business and Public Service Interpreting and Translation Studies (MABPSITS) / Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Public Service Interpreting (PGDBPSI)

View pages in this document

Colleagues in a meeting

These new and unique one-year programmes were created in response to new market demands. A spike in the demand for Business Interpreting and Public Service Interpreting, and a recent change in the European market, which is now more accepting of interpreters working bidirectionally within two languages, make these programmes highly relevant for the current economic and political scenario, and very promising in terms of employability. 

Public Service Interpreting is not only a growing market, but also a highly accepted area of study and research. Also, the UK and other European public bodies are now required to provide professional interpreting in a variety of contexts such as hospitals, courts or penitentiaries. In addition, companies are now increasingly aware that better intercultural communication happens when professional interpreting and translation services are secured.

Therefore, these two programmes will provide linguists, from the UK and abroad, with the opportunity to develop the skills of professional interpreting and translation, and consolidate these skills by acquiring familiarity with a range of issue in the fields of business, economics, law and medicine.

Our long-standing collaborations with International Organisations, combined with the excellent relationships we enjoy with professional organisations such as the Institute for Translation and Interpreting (ITI), not to mention our state-of-the art interpreting suites, ensure that you have plenty of opportunities to learn and develop as an interpreter and translator while at Leeds.

What is the difference between MABPSITS and PGDBPSI?

MABPSITS students are required to complete a total of 180 credits. You will have to take modules in business interpreting and public service interpreting, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, specialised translation and translation theory, and undertake a summer project (dissertation or extended translation). This programme can also prepare for doctoral research in Interpreting or Translation Studies.

PGDBPSI students are taught alongside MABPSITS students and take advantage of the same facilities and training opportunities, but they are only required to enrol in two thirds of the credit total of MABPSITS (120 credits). This programme lasts nine months and focuses solely on interpreting; translation modules are optional and there is no summer project. The programme is suitable for those who already have some professional experience or a postgraduate qualification in translation.


Training on this programme will be offered with an AB language combination. Students will be working between their mother tongue (A) and a foreign language (B), one of which must be English.

For the time being, training will only be offered in four language pairs: Arabic-English, Chinese-English, French-English and Portuguese-English. The programmes will alternate between French-English and Spanish-English in alternate years.

Why business and public service interpreting?

Training as an interpreter provides you with the opportunity to develop your language skills in a professional context and embark on a career that is very competitive and extremely rewarding.

In the age of globalisation, both business and societies are increasingly multilingual. The rising need for interpreting and translation is marked by a rising acknowledgement from business and governments that expressing yourself in your own language and relying on interpreting and translation services is an important step towards ensuring good communication and fair public services. 

Both our interpreting programmes are designed to enable you to acquire advanced interpreting skills which you can apply in a professional capacity.

How is the programme distinctive?

Core training: In addition to translation theory and specialised translation, these programmes aim to provide students with training in business and public service interpreting. The core modules in interpreting will allow you to develop general interpreting, active listening, note-taking and liaison interpreting skills (semester 1), as well as more specific liaison and simultaneous interpreting skills (semester 2).

Both programmes have a strong focus on retour interpreting. From B-language enhancement, to consecutive and then simultaneous into B, students will benefit from first-class training in developing an active interpreting language. They will also learn how to put it to good use in a business and/or public service environment.

From the first day of semester one, students will enjoy access to state-of-the-art interpreting suites equipped with both single and double booths. The programmes also involve mock scenarios (police interview, hospital, court, business meetings, etc.), where students will be able to put their skills to the test in a simulated professional environment. These situations, which will involve input from users/industry actors such as West Yorkshire Police, will also provide our students with a taste of a professional setting where different accents may be used and various dynamics may emerge.

Summer project: You have great flexibility when choosing your summer project. You can expand your translation portfolio by selecting to translate a large text of your choice in your relevant language combination(s). We encourage our students to establish collaborations with content producers and therefore work on authentic source materials for these projects. If you are interested in research in the areas of interpreting or translation studies, you can opt to complete a dissertation.

Elective modules: In addition to the research and professional practice-led compulsory modules, there are a number of elective modules led by research that respond to the concerns of the translation industry, dealing with machine translation, the uses of corpora, writing for professional purposes, and an introduction to audiovisual translation or to computer-assisted translation (CAT). Non-native speakers of English have modules such as English for Professional Purposes specifically tailored to their needs. You may also take electives offered by other sections of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, by the Language Centre or by other faculties.

Academic and teaching staff: our interpreting trainers are members and fellows of professional interpreting and translation associations (such as ITI and CIoL), have been trained in-house and are practising interpreters with extensive experience in Business and Public Service Interpreting (PSI).

Career training: You have access to a customised Personal Development Plan which you will discuss in detail with your personal tutor and are given the opportunity to attend frequent Professionalisation Talks delivered by important players from the language industry. Our speakers include representatives from International Organisations, NGOs, Language Service Providers and freelance linguists working on a range of areas from localisation to diplomatic interpreting, project management and public service interpreting. For more information on past talks please visit the Events page.

For more detailed information on the different modules available in this programme, please visit the module catalogue.

Career prospects

Many of our interpreting graduates work as interpreters on the private market in different continents, while some have decided to continue their careers in translation.

The interpreting programmes provide students with transferable skills which can be applied in other environments. Our graduates progress to jobs at leading private companies, government bodies and international political organisations, such as the BBC, the UN, World Bank, WTO, SAP and major translation companies.

For more information how our graduates use their degrees to further their career, please consult the Employability pages of this site.

Why the CTS at Leeds?

The Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) at Leeds has gained a reputation for excellence in consistently anticipating industry trends, in partnership with professional bodies, leading employers and translation tools providers.

We are one of partner Universities developing the ORCIT project (Online Resources for Conference Interpreter Training), an open interactive and multilingual learning resource with materials launched in October 2010. The online materials are aimed at consolidating conference interpreting techniques, focusing on five main competences necessary for successful training: listening and analysis; mastery of the A language and public speaking; early and advanced consecutive interpreting; early and advanced simultaneous interpreting as well as research skills.

We collaborate with leading European universities, professional bodies and tools providers to stay at the forefront of professional training. eCoLoRe, led by CTS, is the first of several EU-funded projects to design novel resources for training in translation tools and deliver them online for the benefit of all. The eCoLoTrain modules have been adopted for training by the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators; MeLLANGE provides training materials on corpora and machine translation; IntelliText offers open interfaces to large corpora, while HyghTra implements a hybrid architecture for quality machine translation, to name but a few of the research projects we have been involved in.

Pages in this document

  1. Introduction
  2. MA Applied Translation Studies (MAATS) / PGDip Applied Translation Studies (PGDATS)
  3. MA Conference Interpreting & Translation Studies (MACITS) / Postgraduate Diploma in Conference Interpreting (PGDCI)
  4. MA Business and Public Service Interpreting and Translation Studies (MABPSITS) / Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Public Service Interpreting (PGDBPSI)
  5. MA Audiovisual Translation Studies (MAAVTS)