AUT - Bachelor of Arts


Bachelor of Arts


Interpreting is so much more than just repeating someone’s words in a different language. The variety of language, the level of formality and cultural understanding all test the skill of a good interpreter.

The challenge is to do justice to every situation. Success brings great satisfaction to the interpreter and the clients alike. This programme is suitable for students who already speak two languages very well.

AUT has the longest tradition of teaching interpreting in New Zealand. Our programmes are thorough and practise-based, leading to qualifications directly related to professional activity.

Entry criteria

  • University Entrance
  • Interview will be required to determine suitability for the programme
  • Applicants for whom English is an additional language must provide evidence of oral and written proficiency in English equivalent to IELTS level 7 or higher.
  • Applicants whose first language is English must normally have studied their language other than English (LOTE) at tertiary level and successfully completed an AUT language proficiency assessment demonstrating proficiency within public, political and educational domains.

Application process for this major

Skills students learn in the programme

The Interpreting major will requires students to:

  • Recognise the importance of the real purpose of what is said, not just the message of the words themselves
  • Recognise cross-cultural implications for interpreting
  • Recognise the effects of intonation on spoken words
  • Recognise the frequent use of idiomatic language in spoken English
  • Interpret and paraphrase accurately, using a range of terminology appropriate to either legal, or healthcare settings
  • Interpret both consecutively and simultaneously from English to a language other than English
  • Understand the ethical and professional responsibilities of an interpreter.

Co-operative work experience opportunities

Some students have worked for Japanese magazines; others have taken internships with an interpreting or translation agency. Others have undertaken a project with Internal Affairs, or New Settlers' groups.


Core papers

Throughout the three years of the BA, students take core papers that provide the necessary skills in writing, research and IT capability to prepare them for academic work and their working life.

For a list of core papers see the Bachelor of Arts overview.

Interpreting papers

A student must complete 120 points.

165026 Oral Discourse for Interpreting
166760 Theory and Practice of Interpreting
166761 Societal Context for Interpreting
167770 Advanced Interpretation Legal Studies 
167780 Advanced Interpretation Health Studies
167773 Advanced Interpreting Business and Technology  
166017 Telephone interpreting and Video Conferencing

167781 Advanced Interpretation Health Interpreting

167771 Advanced Interpretation Legal Interpreting

Career opportunities

On completion graduates will be able to work in a variety of areas including trade expos, foreign affairs, movie voice-overs and border control.

Legal interpreting opportunities include work in areas such as:

  • Tenancy Services
  • Customs Department
  • Disputes Tribunals
  • Child, Youth and Family Service.

Health interpreting opportunities:

  • Outpatients' clinics
  • Emergency departments
  • Mental health settings and counselling.

In addition, there is freelance work for providers such as the LanguageLine nationwide telephone interpreting service, or government departments such as the Department of Justice, MAF, or area district health boards.

Last updated: 16-Jun-2014 3.17pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

AUT University, New Zealand | Copyright © | Privacy | Site map | IT support | Website feedback | Student feedback