Professional sign language interpreters are in high demand. Sign language interpreters are essential to ensure the Deaf community has access to New Zealand legal, educational and health systems. This major prepares you for a career as a sign language interpreter.
You become familiar with the Deaf community and culture, and helping you achieve proficiency in New Zealand Sign Language. In the second and third year you’re introduced to the interpreting profession, including the history of interpreting locally and internationally. You develop interpreting skills for a wide range of settings, and explore the ethical issues of sign language interpreting.
Scholarships from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Economic Development are available for NZSL interpreting students:
Thinking about studying at AUT? Book a time with us to discuss your study options.
Start date: 2022
Start date: 2023
This programme brochure will be available soon.
All subjects are useful, in particular Art History, Classical Studies, English, Geography, History, Media Studies and other languages.
Consider starting with:
Our dynamic classroom environment encourages student participation at each stage of the learning journey. Our strong relationships with the Deaf community and interpreting professionals mean that you have access to up-to-date information and a range of guest speakers.
Develop advanced NZSL and interpreting skills to prepare you for a career as a professional interpreter. Courses also focus on ethical decision making, the translation and interpreting processes, and business-related skills like networking and professional conduct.
All students in the Bachelor of Arts complete core courses that cover effective communication, critical thinking and other transferable skills you'll need for your future career.
COMM570 Academic Communication
CLSY500 Culture and Society
CLSY504 Knowledge and Inquiry
NZSL707 NZSL Interpreting Practicum Experience I – Observations
NZSL708 NZSL Interpreting Practicum Experience II – Professional Practice
The first year focuses on developing fluency in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), and the study of the Deaf community and culture.
You need to complete Year 1 courses with at least a B grade average in the language courses to progress to Year 2. If you don't achieve at least a B grade average in the Year 1 language courses, you need to continue with an alternative major.
TRIN603 Interpreter Role, Ethics and Practice
TRIN604 Societal Contexts for Interpreters and Translators
NZSL610 New Zealand Sign Language 3
NZSL620 New Zealand Sign Language 4
NZSL710 New Zealand Sign Language 5
NZSL702 Current Issues in the Deaf World
NZSL703 Comparative Analysis of English and NZSL
NZSL704 NZSL Interpreting 1 — Dialogic Interactions
NZSL705 NZSL Interpreting 2 — Monologic Interactions
NZSL706 NZSL Interpreting 3 — Advanced Interpreting Techniques
TRIN708 Advanced Legal Interpreting and/or TRIN705 Advanced Health Interpreting
TRIN702 Advanced Interpretation Legal Studies and/or TRIN704 Advanced Interpretation Health Studies
NZSL707 NZSL Interpreting Practicum Experience I — Observations
NZSL708 NZSL Interpreting Practicum Experience II — Professional Practice
Workplace experience is a key part of your final year. In the first semester you’ll be in the community, observing and learning from professional interpreters in a wide range of settings. In the second semester, you’ll be interpreting alongside professional interpreters, your lecturers, and classmates.
Recent placements included:
To participate in AUT's New Zealand Sign Language - English Interpreting degree you need to be able to:
NZSL fluency is not required to begin this programme.
Beginner level applicants can use this free online tool to learn some basics.
Learn NZSL website
Interpreting settings in the Deaf community including:
Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.