This programme is anchored on and informed by the vision and mission of the University of Nairobi. It seeks to provide quality education in Interpretation training in order to produce qualified competent and competitive graduates who are able to meet the sustainable global development needs. Interpretation influences the day-to-day well-being of society by offering effective mediation in communication where speakers do not share a common language and an Interpreter is therefore a mediator acting to ease communication between users of disparate languages.  Interpretation is thus a tool used for opening up physical and ideological borders to allow users of different languages to pass and receive information for the transaction of business and engagement in all other forms of oral communion.

As the world moves into the future, people are striving to integrate thereby making mediation inevitable and Interpretation a more needed tool to enable communication to take place in linguistic and cultural diversity. There arises the need therefore, to entrench the understanding of the discipline of Interpretation through research and the training of interpreters at a higher academic level, and hence a demand for high caliber trained interpreters who in turn will train others and carry out research in the different aspects of the discipline.

The Master of Arts in Interpretation is an Applied Linguistics programme which centres mainly on impacting the learner with the understanding of theoretical underpinnings on which the practical skills of Interpretation are anchored. For the learners to gain mastery and the necessary competence in the handling these aspects of Interpretation, a bachelors degree is not adequate for their familiarization with the literature and theoretical perspectives needed in order to carry out become appropriate Interpretation. Addressing these issues adequately calls for comprehensive practical coursework in the MA in Interpretation curriculum.


The proposed MA in Interpretation is intended to respond to the situation outlined in the philosophy of this course by providing students who wish to undertake masters studies in Interpretation, with an opportunity to delve into the theoretical and practical depths of Interpretation in which they have research interest. The course also gives such students an opportunity to acquire necessary competences and to advance their research and practical skills.


The course objectives Include ;

  • simultaneous interpretation
  • consecutive interpretation and
  • video and telephone interpreting.

Different programs offer different tracks, depending on the candidate’s abilities at the time of enrollment.

Schedule of Intakes

The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September)

Application Information

You will be required to enter some basic information, including your email address and to choose a password. We will then send you an email to the address you entered, so that we can validate your account. When you have clicked on the validation link (sent to you in the email), you will be able to log in to the application system using the "Login" box below

For instructions on how to apply click here

To apply online here

Mode of Delivery

  • Face-to-Face Mode

This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

  • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning

In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made for the practical laboratory, field work and computing sessions. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

  • Blended Learning

This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.

Contact of Support Persons

Deputy Registrar (Postgraduate Studies)

P.O. Box 30197 00100, NAIROBI

Telephone Number: 020 491 0000

E-mail: General correspondence: pg@uonbi.ac.ke

Email: Admission correspondence: pg-admissions@uonbi.ac.ke

Notable Alumni

Minimum Admission Requirements

All applicants for the MA in Interpretation must have completed a Bachelor's degree in any discipline and attained at least an Upper Second Class Honors,or

Completed a Bachelor's degree and attained a Lower Class Honors and have at least 2 years working experience, or

Completed a relevant post-graduate diploma.

In addition, applicants must:

  • be fluent in at least two of the following languages: English, Kiswahili, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Chinese.
  • pass an aptitude test on language proficiency and general language.

Attachment Opportunities

Upon completion of the programmes, graduate interpreters may work with international organisations, aid agencies, the East African Community, African Union, SADC, Pan African Parliament, African Court on Human and People's Rights, as staff or freelance interpreters to deliver inclusive and quality professional interpretation in field of conference, public service, court, liaison and diplomatic settings.

Career Prospects

Some of our graduates have gone on to start their careers in the following roles:

  • Freelance Interpreter (medical, legal or business interpreting)
  • In-house Interpreter (for international organisations, government bodies or major multinational companies)
  • Interpreting Services Manager
  • Interpreting Technology Co-ordinator
  • Subtitler and Audio Describer
TUITION                                        27,000.00  
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                                          1,000.00  
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                                          6,500.00  
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                                          7,000.00  
CAUTION - (ONCE)                                          5,000.00  
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                                           5,000.00  
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                                          2,000.00  
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                                          2,250.00  
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                                          1,000.00  
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                                          1,000.00  
THESIS EXAMINATION                                        30,000.00  
     Semester totals 
Sem1  2 units                                       85,750.00
   3 units                                    113,750.00
   4 units                                    141,750.00
     Semester totals 
Sem2 ,3,5 or 6  1 unit                                       30,250.00
   2 units                                       58,250.00
   3 units                                       86,250.00
   4 units                                    114,250.00
     Semester totals 
Sem4, 7, or 10  1 unit                                       52,750.00
   2 units                                       80,750.00
   3 units                                    108,750.00
   4 units                                    136,750.00
Project =4units    
Project in sems 4 or 7                                     166,750.00
Other sems                                     144,250.00
Sem1  4 units                                    141,750.00
Sem2  4 units                                    114,250.00
Sem3  4 units                                    114,250.00
Sem4  PROJECT                                    166,750.00
Totals                     537,000.00

The Master of Arts degree course in Interpretation shall consist of coursework, examination and a Research Paper. These shall be covered in a minimum of four (4) semesters of fifteen (15) weeks each or a maximum of twelve (12) semesters. This period may  however be extended with prior approval by the University's Senate.

Candidates shall be required to register and pass in thirteen (13) taught course units prior to embarking on the Research Paper which shall be equivalent to four (4) course units making a total of seventeen (17) units for the entire course. 

Candidates shall be required to take a minimum of two (2) course units and a maximum of four (4) course units in each semester.

  • The Research Paper shall be done in the final semester. Candidates are required to identify their Research, in consultation with their supervisors, prior to this semester. These topics are subject to the approval of the Centre's Academic Board (CAB).
  •  Given that this is a professional course that is practice oriented, each course unit shall be allocated a duration of 60 hours per semester in order to give ample time for practice. 

The range of course units to be offered in any given semester shall be determined by the department and shall be drawn from the list of Senate-approved courses