Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Share this content
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch
Search type

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

Lecturer teaching conferencing techniques to students
MA/PGDip Conference Interpreting
Gain specialist skills and links with international organisations for an exciting interpreting career.

MA/PGDip Conference Interpreting / Careers

Year of entry: 2019

Career opportunities

Carmen Rus Pérez

The MA exceeded my expectations in every possible way. I wanted to have a career in interpreting and that's exactly what I have achieved thanks to this course.

The course leaders take your career as seriously as you do. I would highlight how effective their approach to improving their students' English B is.

Carmen Rus Pérez / MA Conference Interpreting graduate

The supply of English mother tongue interpreters is expected to fall further over coming years, due to the decline of language-learning in the UK.

This will in turn increase the opportunities available for those native speakers who do have the necessary skills to work as simultaneous interpreters.

In the private sector, all interpreters are increasingly expected to be able to interpret reliably into (as well as from) English.

But employers cannot be expected to pay professional rates for second-rate English. The language immersion and opportunities for feedback that come with studying in small-group sessions on a reputable UK-based course can help to develop the command of idiom and register, giving you the necessary edge on the job market.

A postgraduate qualification in Conference Interpreting also provides you with highly developed research, analytical and summarising skills, excellent public speaking skills and an advanced understanding of mediation between cultures and languages. These transferable skills can be used in a variety of jobs.

Career destinations

Our graduates have been accredited to work as interpreters for international organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union.

Some of our interpreter trainers have themselves helped to assess candidates for exams at international organisations, so we have a clear idea of what is required. Our own final exam marking criteria reflect those in use at international organisations.

The MA also prepares you for work as interpreters in the private sector, ie in settings beyond international organisations. This can involve interpreting for businesses, think tanks, national and regional governments, NGOs, trade unions, legal firms and more.

How we prepare you for work

The course includes a unit focused on professional development and the contexts in which you can work as a conference interpreter.

To ensure you understand the dynamics of interpreting in multilingual meetings, simulated conferences with interpretation from several languages are run during Semester 2.

Our trainers have experience of working both in international organisations and in the private sector, so are well-placed to prepare you for all markets.

We maintain close links with key employers, giving students the opportunity to gain experience and receive external feedback on their performances during their training.

For example, we have regular visits from senior staff interpreters at the European Commission. Some of our students have had opportunities to volunteer locally, for example our Chinese interpreting students volunteered during the recent visit of President Xi Jinping to Manchester.

Students considering a career in research benefit from our location within the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, with staff research interests ranging from translation and conflict to the interpreting profession.

Learn more on the Careers and employability page.

Accrediting organisations

We are one of the few UK courses to be recognised by SCIC (the European Commission Interpreting Service).

Associated organisations

The course design reflects best practice criteria set out by the internationally recognised professional body for conference interpreters, AIIC (the International Association of Conference Interpreters).