The course

UCAS code
RR24
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Heriot-Watt University ranked as the Number 1 University in Scotland for Modern Languages in the National Student Survey 2018. We also gained the highest ranking in Scotland for employability from Modern Languages in the Guardian University Rankings 2019.

Contact

Overview

MA (Hons) Languages (Interpreting and Translating) is a clear example of our career-focused approach to language studies.

Combining the two areas of language studies for which Heriot-Watt University is best known, this degree allows you to develop highly employable interpreting and translating skills to a professional standard.

You will study German and Spanish to an advanced level, learning in small class sizes in our unrivalled interpreting and translating teaching facilities. Our facilities include recently refurbished interpreting booths, which are modelled on those used by the United Nations and European Parliament, and computer labs with state-of-the-art Computer Aided Translation tools, as used by professional translators.

In Year 1, if it is necessary, we offer intensive courses to help bring you up to speed in your second non-native language (German or Spanish). This tried and tested approach ensures you will be able to use your interpreting and translating skills in two non-native languages by the time you graduate. Year 2 introduces regular classes on simultaneous interpreting and Year 3 is spent abroad, on two Erasmus placements at partner institutions, immersed in your chosen languages. In Year 4 you will study advanced interpreting and translating skills and learn about political contexts and organisations.

This degree will prepare you for careers requiring the practical application of advanced language, communication and intercultural skills and it will teach you about the wider professional contexts in which you will use these skills.

For example, you will learn about the unique interpreting approaches required for various professional contexts, such as: health care situations, business situations, legal contexts, or for conferences.

Accreditation


The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).


We are also official higher education partner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists – a professional body that maintains the highest standards for practising interpreters and translators: Chartered Institute of Linguists


In addition, we are founding members of CIUTI, the world’s oldest and most prestigious international association of universities who train interpreters and translators: CIUTI
 

Detailed course information

Course content

Detailed course guide

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Language and Intercultural Studies
  • Language 1: Intermediate (1)
  • Language 2: Intermediate or Language 2: Intensive for Beginners (1)
  • Elective unless doing Language 2: Intensive for Beginners (1)*

Semester 2

  • Introduction to European History and Culture
  • Language 1: Intermediate (2)
  • Language 2: Intermediate or Language 2: Intensive for Beginners (2)*
  • Elective unless doing Language 2: Intensive for Beginners (2)

*Language 2: Intensive for Beginners is for students with little or no knowledge of a second foreign language and is the equivalent of two standard, 15 credit, courses. Those sitting this course do not take an elective in Year 1.

Language 1 = German or Spanish

Language 2 = German or Spanish

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Societies and Institutions in Contemporary Europe
  • Language 1: Advanced (1)
  • Language 2: Advanced (1)
  • Elective

Semester 2

  • General Linguistics
  • Language 1: Advanced (2)
  • Language 2: Advanced (2)
  • Elective 

Language 1 = German or Spanish

Language 2 = German or Spanish

Year 3

Students taking 2 European languages complete two five-month placements - one per language studied - studying at partner universities in countries where their foreign languages are spoken such as France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico.

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Dissertation (1)
  • Translation and Language Proficiency (1)
  • Advanced Interpreting Skills (1)
  • International Politics and Organisation

Semester 2

  • Dissertation (2)
  • Translation and Language Proficiency (2)
  • Advanced Interpreting Skills (2)
  • Option

Course Options

  • Translation and Interpreting Studies
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Sustainable Development and Intercultural Context
  • National Perspectives and EU Context

Employability

Managerial/professional position

  • 80% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.

Salary

  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £20000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £19000

Jobs

These are the most common jobs students go into six months after graduating:

  • Artistic, literary and media occupations

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements
  • Highers AAAB including main language at A (over two sittings)
  • A-Levels BBB (including main language)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with main language at Higher Level 5)
  • BTEC DDM (Main language at A-Level B or equivalent required)
  • HNC B in graded unit (with main language Higher A or A-Level B grade or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC including main language at B (over two sittings)
  • A-Levels BCC including main language at B

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

As our languages courses include a compulsory year abroad at Level 3, the normal entry route for all languages courses is to Year 1 of a four-year Honours course. However, candidates with outstanding Advanced Highers or A-Level results may be considered on an individual basis.

Year 3

As our languages courses include a compulsory year abroad at Level 3, the normal entry route for all languages courses is to Year 1 of a four-year Honours course. However, candidates with outstanding Advanced Highers or A-Level results may be considered on an individual basis.

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £15,080

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries (not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales).

*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.