Faculty of Modern LanguagesConference Interpreting – Master

Students of Conference Interpreting study the theory and practice of communicating in spoken language at specialist conferences, in political contexts and in the media.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter semester only
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman and English
Fees and contributions171.75 € / Semester
Application procedureConsecutive master’s programmes with admission restriction
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.

Course Content

The Master’s degree programme in Conference Interpreting equips students with skills they require to work professionally as a conference interpreter. Students acquire specialist skills, and build a solid foundation to support them as they face future challenges of working as a conference interpreter.

The academic programme covers both consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting from a B- and a C-language into the A-language, and from the A-language into the B-language. The A-language is generally students’ native language, while the B-language is a so-called active language, and the C-language a passive foreign language.

Students with German as their native language (A-language) select two foreign languages (B- and C-language) which are offered at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen, IÜD).

Students with English, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish as their A-language, must choose German as their B-language, and English as their C-language.

Course Structure

The Master’s degree programme in Conference Interpreting consists of nine modules:

  • There are two academically focussed modules, as part of which students attend a main seminar on interpreting studies, the lecture series “Current Issues in Linguistics and Translation Studies”, a research colloquium, as additional seminars focussing on individual languages.
  • There are six practical modules, each of which consists in multiple practice classes in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting in all relevant language directions (A-B, B-A, and C-A)
  • Students select one module focussing on professional skills from the range of courses on offer. Courses focus on aspects of professional interpreting including note making, language development, professionalisation and translation.
  • In one module, students are expected to interpret at a public specialist conference which is organised by the Institute.
  • There are two modules with academic and practical final examinations.
  • Students complete the Master’s thesis in the fourth academic semester.

Thanks to the long-term collaboration between the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and other institutions and departments of Heidelberg University, students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge in other fields including macroeconomics, law, medicine/life sciences. This prepares them to work as interpreters at specialist conferences within these fields.

Following the successful completion of the final examination, students may select a supplementary subject, thereby adding a second C-language to their standard language profile (ABCC).