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I need to know about your schedules, how many days you had to go to uni, if there was a day off during the week, how many hours you spent at uni every day, etc.

I know there cannot be a simple answer to this, as the hours depend on many factors such as modules chosen, teacher availability, etc. but I need to have an idea, as I need to decide between buying a car and using the train to get to classes.


asked 29 Jun '12, 10:10

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edited 13 Aug '12, 03:43

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Thanks for that, Matthew. You confirmed what I suspected:)

And please feel free to comment on the course, modules you enjoyed (or not!) and your experience there. I am very excited and curious to know everything! Did you choose any electives? I did not receive any info on those yet..

(02 Jul '12, 08:04) Diana

Hi Diana,

I just finished the course in Leeds, and this is my take on it:

There will be a minimum of 12 hours of classes per week, but in some weeks (particularly in the second semester) there will be more, when you take into account mock conferences etc. There will also be careers talks and the like from time to time, which all add to the hours you spend on campus.

I had to go into university every day, although some people did get a day 'off', it just depends on the timetables. You should be aware that, due to the nature of classes being taught by professional, practising conference interpreters, the timetable can be liable to change frequently, often at very short notice!

In terms of how long I spent at university every day, it was probably less than many people, simply due to the fact that I lived very close to the university campus. However, many people (especially those that came in on the train), simply came to campus almost every day, and stayed from 9-5. It all depends on how you want to work, but given that you will need to spend time practising with your colleagues outside of class time, I would be surprised if you didn't find yourself going in to university most days of the week.

In summary, you will be very busy!

I hope this helps!

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answered 30 Jun '12, 08:09

matthew's gravatar image


Thanks for that, Matthew. You confirmed what I suspected:)

And please feel free to comment on the course, modules you enjoyed (or not!) and your experience there. I am very excited and curious to know everything! Did you choose any electives? I did not receive any info on those yet..

(02 Jul '12, 08:05) Diana

Are you doing the MA or the PGDip? And will you be doing Bidirectional or two C languages into your A?

I did the MA with two Cs into English, which left me 1 elective in semester 1, and 2 in semester 2.

I did fairly self-explanatory electives, Spanish specialised translation, French specialised translation, and French Simultaneous interpreting (in semester 2, you only have to do simultaneous in one language, but I thought it would be a waste not to take the opportunity to do simultaneous in both!)

I thought the specialised translation modules were very useful, in semester one you will do Journalistic and Admin & General text types (whichever language you doing), and in semester 2 you will do Scientific & Technical and Literary. I feel like they prepared me fairly well for working on professional translations, which is something pretty much every interpreter will have to do when starting out, just to pay the bills!

There are a few other (mainly translation-related) electives, like introduction to screen translation, and one about précis-writing, but I don't know much about them because I didn't take them.

Overall I would just say work hard, I would advise against getting a part time job unless you really have to, purely because it is a distraction, and I would also recommend putting a decent amount of effort in to the translation modules, as you will definitely need to use the skills you learn there at some point in the future.

Feel free to keep asking questions if there's anything else you want to know!

(02 Jul '12, 15:23) matthew

I'll be doing the PgDip (bidirectional Pt<>EN) and I chose it because it seems to focus on interpreting only, as opposed to the MA. Also, I will not choose any specialised translation modules, as I've done those on my BA.

I was asking about the electives because according to this page ( ) they are different from the optional modules (specialised translation, etc.) so after your comment above, I am now a bit confused:)

(02 Jul '12, 16:12) Diana

My apologies, in that case I actually didn't take any electives, and I don't know anyone who did, which is why I had forgotten that they existed and mixed them up with optional modules!

I think what they mean by electives is that you can take up to 60 credits worth of modules from any course that is offered in the school of modern languages, or the language centre. So, for example, you could take a beginner's course in a new language at the language centre, or a cultural module on offer from the school of modern languages and cultures, from any degree programme.

It looks like you could also, with permission from the programme manager, take any other module on offer within the university, so you may want to take one in international relations, or politics, for example.

You don't have to have made your mind up before you come here, although it would probably be worth having a look around for modules that might interest you, so you can talk to the tutors about them when you get here.

(02 Jul '12, 17:08) matthew

Thanks for all your help and patience, Matthew!

(03 Jul '12, 06:54) Diana

One more thing, Matthew:

Are students allowed to take laptops into the booth at the mock conferences or not?

(04 Jul '12, 15:25) Diana

I have no idea, we were never told that we weren't allowed to, but I don't think anyone ever did, we had too much else to think about! I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be allowed to if you wanted to.

(05 Jul '12, 05:29) matthew

Hi again,

Can you also let me know how the consecutive and mock conference classes were run? i.e. were you required to interpret into your Cs, were you given documents or just a topic to prepare, etc.? Thank you.

(09 Jul '12, 11:45) Diana

As far as I'm aware, you should never have to interpret into your C language, either on a course or professionally, that's why it's a C language not a B language.

The mock conferences run on Wednesday and Friday, every other week in the second semester. The topic of the conference will normally be related to the 'topic of the week' - throughout the whole year you have a 'topic of the week' to which all speeches in class are supposed to relate. The conferences will have a chairman and a range of delegates, who will be students and/or tutors. We never really made much use of documents, most speakers had certain points they wanted to make relating to items on the agenda, and would then react to what other delegates had said. So the interpreters didn't need any documents other than the agenda and booth rota. The languages used in the mock conferences will be different on the Wednesday and on the Friday, although there will normally be some overlap (English and Chinese will usually be used on both days)

I hope that helps

(10 Jul '12, 09:54) matthew

Thanks, Matthew

I asked because Cs are required to be perfectly understood, so I was wondering if students are required to read, speak or give speeches in their Cs during classes.

(10 Jul '12, 10:59) Diana

Nobody is required to give any speeches or speak in their C languages at all. The assumption is that your C languages are good enough from the beginning of the course, although if tutors feel that C language comprehension is an issue they will recommend that students work hard at it. However, there is no direct support within the structure of the course for improving C languages, it's something students have to work on in their own time.

Having said that, some people with fairly strong Cs did give speeches in their C language early on in the first semester, but this became less common as we progressed through the year.

(10 Jul '12, 11:48) matthew

Thanks again, Matthew, for all your explanations!

(10 Jul '12, 12:12) Diana
showing 5 of 12 show 7 more comments

Hi Diana,

I did MAATS at Leeds so I can't really comment on the CI courses (though from my impression of the friends I had on that course, they were very very busy!) but I just wanted to comment on parking at UoL- it's very difficult to find on-campus parking unless you arrive at say 6am. If you prefer to drive a car as opposed to train + bus/walk, you'd be best to think of parking in hyde park on the residential streets that aren't permit only, and then walk the 10-20 minutes into uni from there.

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answered 20 Jul '12, 07:36

nkthorne's gravatar image


Great tip! Thank you, nkthorne!

(21 Jul '12, 04:58) Diana
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question asked: 29 Jun '12, 10:10

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