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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MODL5048M Public Service Interpreting

15 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Lihong Pan

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Public service interpreting (PSI) is commonly employed in a wide variety of fields such as the provision of medical and legal services; immigration processes; citizens’ rights and employment services and many other public service sectors.The module will introduce student to the required skills, knowledge and the conditions and realities of public service interpreting.Students will further develop their skills in deverbalisation, note-taking and other liaison interpreting skills and will be introduced to the chuchotage simultaneous mode of interpreting and the related skills.Students will engage with specific topics and contexts including interpreting for various actors in the legal and medical fields. Students will be able to acquire a basic understanding of these fields.


The main objectives of this module are to build upon the students' liaison and consecutive interpreting skills while introducing simultaneous interpreting skills and the technical and contextual knowledge required of public service interpreters. The focus here will be on the development of specific techniques that support the effective target-language reconstruction in the various modes of interpreting used in the public service sector: consecutive, liaison and chucotage/whispered simultaneous interpreting. These techniques include effective preparation and rapid assimilation of technical knowledge about the topic of the assignment, deverbalisation, note-taking and code- and register-switching to meet the needs of a specific audience or client. In addition to these skills, the module develops basic awareness and understanding of concepts in medical and legal interpreting and the institutional structures in which it is used.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate an awareness of the professional and terminological requirements of public service interpreters;
- effectively research and prepare for assignments of a specialised and technical nature;
- proficiently take notes to support liaison and consecutive interpreting;
- interpret effectively in the liaison and consecutive modes;
interpret effectively in the chuchotage/whispered simultaneous mode.


Students will be introduced to the practical considerations of the public service interpreting market.

As a practical, hands-on module, students will be introduced to authentic materials from a range of recorded, live and written sources and engage in practical activities in which they will develop the skills introduced by the tutors. Regular, targeted and specific feedback will be provided by the tutor(s) in class for the students to further develop in their private study. Exercises will take the form of summaries, presentations, role-plays, sight translations and other, skill-relevant exercises.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours96.00
Total Contact hours54.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will be required to prepare for each class by undertaking research using online and print sources – with regard to both interpreting theory and the specific subject areas covered (English law; medicine, immigration etc.).

Specific guidance will also be given to support and structure student-led group learning to build upon the practical, tutor-led work done in class.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

As the class is skills-based/performance-based, a week-by-week/class-by-class formative appraisal can be made by the tutor over the course of the in-class contact hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationInterpreting tasks in which the student is required to interpret bilaterally in both the liaison and chuchotage modes. The assessment will last 20-30 minutes in total.100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The final assessment is in line with the current examination format for interpreting elements of the DPSI. Resits will be assessed by the same methods as the first attempt.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:42:36


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