Programme Philosophy

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.


 Rationale of the Programme

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. 


Exams Regulations

The common regulations governing examinations for the

Masters degree in the University of Nairobi shall apply.

  • Examinations for each taught unit shall be held at the end of the Semester.
  • Each unit shall be examined by continuous assessment tests and end-of-semester examinations
  •  Each examination shall be graded out of 100% with a pass-mark of 50%.
  •  Each end-of-semester examination shall constitute 60% of all the marks in each course unit, while the continuous assessment shall constitute 40%.
  •  The end-of-semester examinations shall be entirely performance-based. Candidates shall be given interpretation-based tasks on the basis of which they will be graded.
  • Continuous assessment shall be based on written course work to test theoretical knowledge.
  • A candidate who fails to obtain 50% in any course unit may, on the approval of Senate, be allowed to resit or retake the failed unit when it is next offered.
  •  A candidate shall be allowed to resit or retake a unit for a maximum of two times.
  • A candidate who fails in the second resit or retake or fails to complete the course within the prescribed time shall, on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, and approval by Senate be discontinued.

 A candidate who fails to attend two-thirds (2/3) of the lectures in any course unit shall not be allowed to sit for the examination in that course unit

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

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.

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. 

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