You are currently viewing MA in Conference Interpreting

MA in Conference Interpreting

TUITIONS FEES 850 000 (Payable in 8 intallments).


This is a course grounded in theory and practice and specifically set up to train professional interpreters and potential researchers in conference interpreting.  The course offers an opportunity to acquaint students with the theoretical and professional frameworks of interpreting applied to a range of interpreting types including public service interpreting, conference interpreting and remote interpreting (telephone and video-conferencing); a key part of the course is a work placement during which students perform live interpreting tasks under supervision and shadow professional interpreters at work.

This is a professionally-oriented graduate programme intended for graduates who wish to specialise in conference interpreting. This programme can be completed in four sessions, 120 credits, 30 credits per session.

The objective of the programme is to train interpreters primarily for the African market. All courses, therefore, may be conducted in either English or French. All students are expected to interpret both from English into French and from French into English, though it is recognized that they may not achieve equal proficiency in both directions. Other languages may be used in addition if the number of students speaking those languages warrants it.


Conference interpreters in the public service, in international organisations, or free lance.


Candidate profile

In order to be eligible for admission to the program candidates must

  • Hold a recognized University degree or equivalent. The type of degree (BA or MA) depends on the university system of which the school is a part. It is not necessary to have a languages degree: interpreters have a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Have an excellent command of their mother tongue (A language) over a wide range of topics and registers.
  • Be aware of – and able to understand – a range of accents in their B language.
  • Have a good overall knowledge of international affairs.
  • Be well-informed of the economic, social and cultural background of the countries in which their working languages are used.

Applicants will be expected to have the following skills:

  • An ability to follow an argument or line of reasoning.
  • Good powers of concentration, analysis and synthesis.
  • Good communication skills.

They will also be expected to show:

  • A high degree of motivation: these are demanding – and rewarding – courses, requiring serious commitment.
  • The ability to work under pressure.
  • A willingness to learn.
  • Readiness to accept advice. Trainee interpreters are effectively assessed every time they work; while feedback on questions of accuracy, style and use of language may seem personal it is central to training. Applicants must show an ability to deal with constructive criticism.

The aptitude tests reflect the demands of the profession of conference interpreting. Admission to a course is not a guarantee of its successful completion.

These tests are designed to test applicants for the skills as outlined in the Applicant Profile section above. These are rigorous tests: conference interpreting is a demanding profession.

The complete aptitude test shall include:

  • An interview.
  • The oral reproduction of short and structured speeches (2-3 minutes) from the candidate’s C and B languages* into A* and, where appropriate, A into B. This is to test applicants’ ability to listen to, understand, process and reproduce a short speech on a general topic. They must show that they have understood the message and are able to communicate it.
  • A general knowledge test. This will be a written test in some schools. Others include general knowledge questions in the aptitude tests.

Additionally the test may include:

  • A sight translation: applicants are given a short (300-word) text to read; they are then invited to provide an oral rendition of the text.
  • A brief oral presentation in the A and/ or B language by the applicant on a subject chosen by the panel.
  • Written tests which are eliminatory in some schools.

Courses are divided in two main blocks:

 – Compulsory courses

 – Elective courses

Method of Assessment:

Continuous assessment and two end of semester examinations, followed by the graduation or final examination. A course is passed when a student has obtained a mark ranging between 60 to 100%.


Final examinations are conducted by a board of external examiners appointed by ISTI. Students are tested in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation.

Students must sit the final examination during the examination session that immediately follows the end of their Practicum. The examination is held only once a year. Admission to the examination is conditional on having passed all courses and the Practicum. Students who fail at the first attempt must take the supplementary examination at the following examination session. Students who fail at the second attempt must withdraw from the programme.

Final examinations

The examinations should comprise speeches on a variety of subjects in different registers. The speeches will be prepared to a standard commonly encountered by professional interpreters and delivered as if impromptu by practised speakers. Speeches will be approximately 5 minutes for consecutive interpretation and 10 minutes for simultaneous.

Candidates will be assessed on the mastery of their target language(s), comprehension of their source language(s) and on their interpreting skills. They must demonstrate sufficient competence to be able to join a team of professional conference interpreters.

Tape recordings of the final examinations will be kept for one year.

Candidate must score at least 75/100 in their final exam and total a general average of at least 75/100 in all exams to be declared successful and awarded the MA in Conference Interpreting.


The panel shall be composed of a majority of experienced interpreters of whom at least two must have the mother tongue of the candidate in their combination, including one who is a native speaker of the target language of the examination. If necessary, the panel may invite speakers or observers who are entitled to take part in the deliberations without voting rights.

The final decision on the candidates’ performance shall be taken by consensus.

Laisser un commentaire