Bachelor of Arts - Interpreting


Student Profile – Dealan Aryan

As an interpreter you can really make a difference to people's lives, says Dealan Aryan who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting and Translation. Read Dealan's story here.

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 interpreting 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 practice-based, leading to qualifications directly related to professional activity. Interpreters have the chance to train using a conference interpreting booth. Court and hospital visits are part of the legal and health-related papers.

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.

Key skills students learn

The Interpreting major 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.

Workplace experience

Some students have taken internships with an interpreting or translation agency. Others have undertaken a project in the education industry or business. These opportunities give you valuable experience to help you land your first job when you graduate.


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

ENGL501 Critical Media Studies (Compulsory Year 1 Language paper for BA Interpreting Major)

You must complete:
TRIN501 Oral Discourse for Interpreting
TRIN603 Theory and Practice of Interpreting
TRIN604 Societal Context for Interpreting
TRIN605 Business Interpreting [not offered in 2016]
TRIN702 Advanced Interpretation Legal Studies
TRIN704 Advanced Interpretation Health Studies

Plus the following:
TRIN705 Advanced Health Interpreting
TRIN707 Telephone Interpreting and Video Conferencing
TRIN708 Advanced Legal Interpreting

Career opportunities

Creative TechGraduates will be able to work in a variety of areas. The legal and health sectors offer the majority of interpreting work. Graduates could work for:

  • LanguageLine (telephone interpreting)
  • NZ Health agencies
  • NZ Legal system
  • NZ Border Control
  • Refugee and Migrant Service
  • Counselling and Mental Health Settings
  • Child, Youth and Family Service.
  • Trade expos
  • Foreign affairs
  • International business conventions
  • International conferences
  • Movie voice-overs.

Find out more about your post study career opportunities in this guide.

Last updated: 05-Feb-2016 11.40am

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