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I am living in Barcelona and thinking of studying for an MA in Conference Interpretation. The Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona allows you to enter with ACC (including English A) Due to this and the fact that the course is less than half of the price of a course in England I was really attracted to this course. However when I visited the AIIC website it showed me that less than half of the students passed the final exams last year, compared with over three quarters at all the other universities I checked. Is there a clear reason for this? Does it say something about the course or the acceptance procedures? They allow you to enter with a B2 level of your second C language which I'm not sure is typical. Can anyone recommend this course?


asked 26 Apr '15, 12:52

futureinterpret's gravatar image


edited 27 Apr '15, 01:47

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

However when I visited the AIIC website it showed me that less than half of the students passed the final exams last year, compared with over three quarters at all the other universities I checked

That alone doesn't tell much. E.g.:

  • A course can have both difficult admission and final exams, hence a low pass rate, but an excellent course (e.g. the Paris schools, which are excellent)

  • A course can have no admission exam, yet only graduate 30% of the students (e.g. some of the Belgian schools).

  • A course can have little to no admission exam and graduate 90% of their students.

You should rather try to find out what their graduates of the past five years who have the same language combination as you do for a living.

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answered 26 Apr '15, 13:12

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Gaspar ♦♦

edited 27 Apr '15, 07:48

Thank you for your thoughts Gaspar. Are there any easy ways to find this information out?

(27 Apr '15, 17:52) futureinterpret

Maybe Delia would be willing to share the information she has about her recent graduates with us here or you could inquire by sending her an e-mail:

(27 Apr '15, 18:06) Gaspar ♦♦

As one of the coordinators of the course, I can confirm that the UAB Master's in Conference Interpreting requires a level of C1/2 in all the candidate's C languages. Pass rates vary from year to year, but around 45% or slightly higher is usual. In 2014-2015, for example, 50% of our students passed their final exams.

For comparison, according to the information published on AIIC's website, recent pass rates at ESIT (EMCI) and ISIT were 45% and 23%, respectively.

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answered 26 Apr '15, 13:28

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edited 26 Apr '15, 15:15

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Gaspar ♦♦


Hi Delia, thanks for the first hand information!

I was wondering whether you still teach ABC and ACC combinations only (the information in AIIC's school directory dates back 2012), since the EU now requires Spanish booth applicants to have ACCC?

(27 Apr '15, 05:37) Gaspar ♦♦

Correction: the 50% pass rate was for the 2013-2014 intake. The students who began their course in September 2014 will take their final examinations in June 2015.

Until now the Master's in CI at the UAB has offered Spanish A and English, French and German C. From September 2015, provided that we have a suitable cohort of candidates with English A/B, we shall also be teaching ABC as well as ACC and ACCC combinations.

(27 Apr '15, 06:03) Delia

Thanks Delia

Do you know why the website states otherwise regarding the admission criteria?

Especialidad “Interpretación de conferencias”

      Castellano – Nivel C1
      Inglés – Nivel C1
      Francés o Alemán – Nivel B2

If English is your A subject are you given lectures in English, Spanish or Catalan? I know of Masters students who study in Barcelona who say they are taught in Catalan after being told all teaching would be done in Spanish. Thanks again for your information.

(27 Apr '15, 17:55) futureinterpret

Hi Futureinterpret,

We have alerted the University's central IT and Communication office to this problem and asked them to rectify the misleading information on the IC speciality's admission criteria!

As to your second question, there is no Catalan at all on the Conference Interpreting Master's course.Teaching is in the students' active (A) language - Spanish or English, as the case may be, while the consecutive and simultaneous speeches used are of course delivered in the passive (C) languages. The interpreting modules are taught in small interactive groups of 8 - 10 students and do not include lectures as such.

I hope this answers all your questions. If not, please feeel free to contact me at

(28 Apr '15, 13:39) Delia
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question asked: 26 Apr '15, 12:52

question was seen: 7,141 times

last updated: 28 Apr '15, 13:42 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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