The aim of the Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation is to promote underpinning knowledge, understanding of interpreting/translation theories and a diverse range of skills required for those who are working and/or training as interpreters and translators so that they are able to function with the high level standards expected of them.
The first cohort of the Level 6 Diploma started in April 2017, with the first of them registering as qualified interpreters in 2019. Now in its 5th year, we are currently encouraging applications for a new course starting September 2021.
Please note that minimum requirements to join an interpreter training course are Level 6 in British Sign Language and a Level 6 or equivalent qualification in English/demonstrates the use of Level 6 English. Those wishing to do the relay or translation streams of the course should have Level 6 BSL and the equivalent to Level 4 in English.
How it's delivered
The Bristol and South Wales based team consists of four teachers, three of whom are native BSL users from Deaf families. The fourth has spent over twenty years working with and living in the Deaf community. Three teachers are qualified interpreters and one is a qualified translator.
Two of the teachers are Deaf and so learners will have the rare opportunity to be taught by Deaf teachers who are also qualified interpreters/translators as well as users of interpreting services. The majority of course will be taught through the medium of British Sign Language, allowing both Deaf and hearing learners to train and also allowing learners opportunities to improve on the type of language used in interpreting and translation situations. Deaf learners who meet the eligibility criteria can train to as either intra-lingual (relay) interpreters or as translators (working from written English into BSL).
Teaching sessions are one full weekend every month, except for August. Both days are 9.30am - 4.30pm, with the occasional option for evening discussion groups held locally for those able to attend.
Part 1 of the course would run from September of one year, and continue for 15 months until December of the following year. This includes the majority of the theory and skills teaching, as well as the time needed to complete the require Part 1 written assessments and a TSLI assessment. Part 2 would then commence the following January and include teaching/workshops focusing on advanced interpreting skills in readiness for the qualification assessments.
The course includes a set amount of mentoring time, which can be used before, during and after the learners have successfully registered as qualified interpreters, so no one is left alone after qualifying.