Taught programmes

PGDip Conference Interpreting (PGDCI)

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PGDCI students are taught alongside MACITS students and take exactly the same interpreting modules, but PGDCI has two thirds of the credit total of MACITS (120 credits as opposed to 180 credits). The programme is suitable for those who already have some professional experience or a postgraduate qualification in translation. It lasts nine months and focuses on conference interpreting; translation modules are optional and there is no summer project.

2-languages pathway Bidirectional pathway
Arabic into English  English into Arabic/Arabic into English
Chinese into English  English into Chinese/Chinese into English
French into English  English into French/French into English
German into English  English into German/German into English
Italian into English  English into Italian/Italian into English
Portuguese into English  English into Portuguese/Portuguese into English
Spanish into English  English into Spanish/Spanish into English

In order to cater for the requirements of the profession, we offer two programme variants:

Why 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 as challenging as it is rewarding.

The increasing globalisation of international business, together with further expansion of the European Union, have made interpreting services a rapidly growing area with excellent employment opportunities for well-trained interpreters.

All of our interpreting programmes - MA Conference Interpreting & Translation Studies (MACITS) and PG Diploma Conference Interpreting (PGDCI) - are designed to enable you to acquire advanced interpreting skills which you can apply in a professional capacity.

Students on all interpreting programmes will be offered the opportunity to take part in a study visit, organised by CTS, to the European Parliament and European Commission or to the UN (Geneva or Vienna). The aim of the visits is to familiarise trainee interpreters with the work of professional conference interpreters and let them try their simultaneous skills in the practice booths.

Why CTS at Leeds?

Leeds is one of only two UK universities recommended by the international professional body AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters). The Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) at Leeds also receives pedagogical support from the EU's Directorate General for Interpretation.

In July 2009, in recognition of the role of CTS as a centre of excellence in the training of conference interpreters, DG Interpretation, European Parliament, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Leeds on the training of conference interpreters.

Teaching is provided by a team of practising conference interpreters with considerable current experience of working for the EU institutions, the UN and other governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Within the UK, CTS coordinates the National Network for Interpreting to combat the shortage of L1-English interpreters and develop template modules to address the shortages of strategic Asian and Middle-Eastern languages.

How is the programme distinctive?

A distinctive feature of our interpreting programmes is that students of all languages train together for parts of the interpreting skills classes. From semester two onwards, students have the unique opportunity to provide the interpretation at mock international conferences with several working languages. This may involve 'relaying' a Chinese or Japanese delegate's speech into French or Russian, for example, via the English interpretation, and vice versa. This provides invaluable experience of real working conditions at international meetings, where many varieties of English may be spoken.

Our facilties are state of the art. Students have access to two conference suites equipped with single and double interpreting booths. These also make it possible to create a 'remote interpreting' scenario, where delegates and interpreters interact via a video link rather than being in the same room.

The Centre has designed a number of elective modules that are led by research and respond to the concerns of the translation industry, dealing with machine translation, the uses of corpora, technical writing, an introduction to translation technologies and an introduction to audiovisual translation. You may also take electives offered by other sections of the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies, by the Language Centre or by other faculties.

Non-native speakers of English can opt for a module on English for interpreters.

Career prospects

Since 2003 half of the CTS interpreting graduates who have taken the competitive EU accreditation test have passed.

Many of our interpreting 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 (SDL, thebigword). The outcome for graduates is high employability: 4 out of 9 available posts in the EU's July 2007 recruitment round.

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

Pages in this document

  1. Introduction
  2. MA Applied Translation Studies (MAATS)
  3. MA Conference Interpreting & Translation Studies (MACITS)
  4. MA Audiovisual Translation Studies (MAAVTS)
  5. PGDip Applied Translation Studies (PGDATS)
  6. PGDip Conference Interpreting (PGDCI)