Conference Interpreting PGDip

Year of entry

Masters Study and Funding online event

Watch on demand to receive expert advice on how to fund your Masters and invest in your future. Book your place

Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
9 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing and 7.5 in Speaking and Listening.
UK fees
£8,667 (Total)
International fees
£17,167 (Total)

Course overview

Students in conference room

Develop high-level interpreting and translation skills on this challenging course, where you’ll use state-of-the-art technology to gain the knowledge base and practical skills to succeed in the language services industry.

You’ll gain essential skills in interpreting, analysis, active listening and note-taking, then build on this foundation by practising specialised consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in our conference interpreting facilities. At the same time, you’ll deepen your understanding of translation theory and practice. You can also choose from optional modules informed by the leading research of our staff such as genre analysis, corpus linguistics, computer-assisted translation and machine translation.

As a programme included in the AIIC Interpreting Schools & Programmes Directory, the Leeds interpreting programme follows best practices that are recommended by AIIC (the International Association of Conference Interpreters). The University of Leeds is also a partner university of the Directorate-Generale for Interpretation of both the European Parliament and the European Commission. We enjoy close ties with international organisations including the UN.

Centre for Translation Studies

As a proud member of CIUTI (Conférence internationale permanente d'instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes), the Centre for Translation Studies benefits from excellent facilities and resources to support your studies. Our conference interpreting facilities are equipped with single and double interpreter booths, and a video link to practise remote interpreting. The Martin Thomas Translation Labs will be the centre of your translation work, complete with 59 high-spec PCs and a wide range of specialist software for translation and subtitling.

The Centre for Translation Studies benefits from close links with organisations such as the Institute for Translation and Interpreting as well as the EU and UN (in Geneva and Vienna). This programme is regulated by a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the Directorate General for Interpretation and Conferences of the European Parliament – a testament to our success in training conference interpreters.

It’s a great opportunity to prepare for a career in the language services industry in a city that’s full of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Additional highlights

  • Research-led and specialised Conference Interpreting training
  • Intensive 'hands-on' teaching of interpreting geared to domestic and international practices
  • Market-oriented training with high level of participation of practicing professional interpreters and translators
  • Practice in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting
  • Training in real-life scenarios and mock conferences
  • Practice in state-of-the-art interpreting conference suites, translation labs and language lab
  • Opportunity to take part in a study visit to the European Parliament and European Commission in Brussels or to the UN (Geneva or Vienna). The aim of the visits is to familiarize trainee interpreters with the work of professional conference interpreters and let them try their simultaneous skills in the booths.
  • Close contact with various industry partners through the "Professionalisation Talks" series
  • Opportunity to develop a Personal Career Development Plan.


Our two interpreter training facilities (ITFs) use Brahler Consoles, supported by Sanako software, giving high quality dual-track recording. Between the two suites, we have a total of 14 booths, 7 of which can accommodate a team of two or more interpreters, to simulate professional conditions. Interpreting students enjoy exclusive 7 day-a-week exclusive access to the ITFs via a coded door. All booths are full soundproofed and air-conditioned.

In addition to our physical facilities, to enable individual home study, we have also work with GoReact to provide students an easy way of setting tasks, and recording and playing back interpretation in dual track, when choosing to study from home.

To simulate the realities of professional interpreting in a post-pandemic world, we hold simulated conferences in hybrid mode, supported by industry-leading software.

Course details

The course aims to prepare students for life as a professional conference interpreter, whilst giving them broader skills in the translation service industry.

Interpreting works with an “ABC” language classification. Your A-language is your mother tongue, your B-language is an active language that you can work both from and into, and your C-language is a language that you can only work from. At Leeds, you can either work from and into one foreign language (AB pathway) or from two foreign languages (ACC pathway). We will not provide training in a combination that does not include your mother tongue as this could severely limit your employability as an interpreter. 

AB Pathway (choose one)

ACC pathway (choose two)

Chinese: Chinese into English / English into Chinese

Chinese: Chinese into English

French: French into English / English into French 

French: French into English 

German: German into English / English into German 

German: German into English 

Italian: Italian into English / English into Italian 

Italian: Italian into English 

Portuguese: Portuguese into English / English into Portuguese 

Portuguese: Portuguese into English 

Spanish: Spanish into English / English into Spanish 

Spanish: Spanish into English 

This is the PGDip study option over nine months which does not include a theoretical module and summer project. If you choose the MA option, you will study all modules under this programme and the theoretical module as well as summer project over one year.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Conference Interpreting PGDip in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Interpreting Skills: Consecutive and Simultaneous 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Translation for International Organisations (English-Arabic) 15
Methods and Approaches in Translation Studies 30
Introduction to Screen Translation 15
Corpus Linguistics for Translators 15
English for Translators 15
Rhetoric and Public Speaking 15
Genres in Translation 15
Introduction to Legal Translation 15
International Organisations: Context, Theory and Practice 15
Principles and Applications of Machine Translation 15
Literary Translation 15
Writing for Professional Purposes 15
Specialised French-English Translation A 15
Specialised German-English Translation A 15
Specialised Italian-English Translation A 15
Specialised Portuguese-English Translation A 15
Specialised Russian-English Translation A 15
Specialised Spanish-English Translation A 15
Specialised English-Arabic Translation A 15
Specialised French-English Translation B 15
Specialised German-English Translation B 15
Specialised Italian-English Translation B 15
Specialised Portuguese-English Translation B 15
Specialised Russian-English Translation B 15
Specialised Spanish-English Translation B 15
Specialised English-Arabic Translation B 15
Specialised Arabic-English Translation A 15
Specialised English-Chinese Translation A 15
Specialised Arabic-English Translation B 15
Specialised English-Chinese Translation B 15
Respeaking: Reporting And Live Subtitling 15
Specialised Chinese-English Translation A 15
Specialised Japanese-English Translation A 15
Specialised Japanese-English Translation B 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: Portuguese 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: German 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: Italian 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: Spanish 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: Chinese 15
Simultaneous Interpreting: French 15
Consecutive Interpreting - Portuguese 15
Consecutive Interpreting - German 15
Consecutive Interpreting - Italian 15
Consecutive Interpreting - Spanish 15
Consecutive Interpreting - Chinese 15
Consecutive Interpreting - French 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - Portuguese 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - German 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - Italian 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - Spanish 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - Chinese 15
Advanced Consecutive Interpreting - French 15
Retour Interpreting: Consecutive 15
Advanced Retour Interpreting: Simultaneous 15

Learning and teaching

As a distinctive professional interpreter programme well known for its long history and fine tradition, this course will provide language specialists, from the UK and abroad, who meet the entry requirements and pass the aptitude tests, with conference interpreting training in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills and in acquiring subject matter knowledge of a wide range areas such as international affairs, politics, international business, and science and technology.

The intensive professional training will enable students to develop professional interpreting competencies that are highly valued in major international, governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as in commerce, diplomacy, industry and the academic world.

It will also provide specialised translation training as well as an introduction to translation theory and research methods. If you’re studying with English and two passive foreign languages (ACC), all your interpreting modules will provide training INTO English. If you’re training with English and a single, active foreign language (AB), you will train to interpret INTO and FROM English. We don’t offer training in any combination of languages that doesn’t include your first language.

Please see our interpreting language table for a list of available language pairs.

The Conference Interpreting programme has two language combination pathways: Conference Interpreting (ACC) and Conference Interpreting (AB). For example, ‘Conference Interpreting (AB), Chinese/English’, or ‘Conference Interpreting (ACC), English/French/Spanish’.

Whilst some theory and research is discussed in the Interpreting Skills Module, all interpreting modules are practical modules, with emphasis placed on targeted exercises, with peer and tutor feedback. Tutors endeavour to provide a diverse range of source material for practice, including live speeches from language assistants in class, as well as targeted pedagogical material and speeches from a range of media platforms. For language specific interpreting modules, great emphasis is placed on private study. Students are expected to exceed the time spent in class with personal practice hours.

Other modules are delivered through lectures, seminars, and group discussions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


For interpreting modules, live interpreting performance will be the primary means of assessment. For translation and other modules, you will be assessed using a wide range of methods. Translation tests are an important element, as are essays together with individual and team projects. The Interpreting Skills module is assessed though two commentaries of your own interpreting performance, each on a different mode of interpreting (simultaneous and consecutive).


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons). We welcome applicants from a diverse range of subject disciplines. Applicants are required to have an excellent command of English and one or more foreign languages. Applicants will be interviewed and undertake translation tests in their chosen languages.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing and 7.5 in Speaking and Listening.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

How to apply

Please see our How to Apply page for information about application deadlines.

Applications will not be considered until required documents (including evidence of meeting the English language requirements) have been submitted.

Applicants must meet the English language requirement, submit their application and submit all required supporting documents by the course deadline:

  • Overseas applicants studying Chinese as a working language: 31st March 2024
  • Home applicants studying Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish: 31st August 2024
  • Overseas applicants studying French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish: 12th August 2024

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you'll need

You must upload the following documents before we will assess your application:

  • Official degree certificate(s) and transcript of marks or enrolment certificate and partial transcript of marks
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Translation Test(s) (optional)
    This course does not require you to take modules in specialised translation, however, if you wish to enrol on these you must complete the corresponding translation test(s), i.e.:
    - AB pathway with French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish: submit the relevant translation test into English.
    - AB pathway Chinese-English: submit both “Chinese into English” and “English into Chinese” translation tests.
    - ACC pathway (all languages): submit translation tests from each ‘C’ language into English.

Applicants are not required to submit a supporting statement, though one may be requested if further information is needed.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

If you require any further information, please contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Taught Postgraduate Admissions Office.


Tel: +44 (0)113 343 0233 or +44 (0)113 343 3234

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team



UK: £8,667 (Total)

International: £17,167 (Total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate qualifications from the Centre for Translation Studies are prestigious and respected. They equip you with valuable skills to succeed in a thriving and competitive industry, as well as advanced communication, research, IT and analytical skills.

Graduates from our interpreting programmes are working in some of the world’s leading government bodies, media organisations, NGOs, private companies and international political organisations. These include the BBC, UN, EU, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, SAP and translation companies such as thebigword and RWS.

Graduates work as interpreters on the private market, or in international organisations. Others work in other areas of the language service industry.

Careers support

We work alongside you to support you in developing and then achieving your career goals. You’ll discuss your customised personal development plan with your personal tutor.

In addition you’ll have the chance to attend our Research and Professionalisation Talks by visiting speakers, many of whom are currently practising translators, interpreters, project managers and subtitlers for some of the world’s largest organisations.

Read more about Careers and Employability.