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Public Service Interpreting

Academic Lead: Elsa Cowie

Our Public Service Interpreting programme has been designed, with initial funding from the Welsh Government, to introduce bilingual students to the profession including role boundaries, professional conduct, terminology and practical issues. Also to help those already working as interpreters to assess and further develop their interpreting and other professional skills and to offer guidance to students who are considering or preparing for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) examination.

The DPSI is a qualification awarded by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) as a means of quality control for public service interpreters. The DPSI examination is open to anyone regardless of whether they have completed any courses and takes place once a year in June. More information about it can be found at Students who do not wish to sit the DPSI examination are also welcome to attend our courses. Entry to the examination is a separate procedure for which separate fees are payable.

We work with service providers and invite students to take part in training sessions with public service professionals to promote effective joint working practices.

Public Service (PS) interpreters normally work on a freelance / self-employed basis and there is little predictability of demand for their services. We work with the Wales Interpretation and Translation Service (WITS) who recruit and book interpreters for local public service providers and are able to provide information regarding demand for different languages.

The main courses are delivered in English only but we offer supplementary bilingual courses for some languages to students enrolled on the public service interpreting courses. The languages currently covered are listed in the Frequently Asked Questions document online at where you can also find more information about the Public Service interpreting programme in general.

We also offer online preparation courses for the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation (Dip Trans) examination from French into English. These high level courses are aimed at native English speakers and graduates (or equivalent) in French. For more information go to the Frequently Asked Questions for the Dip Trans preparation courses online at or write to

Cardiff University is an examination centre for the DPSI and the Diploma in Translation examinations. For more information about this please go the pages on CIoL qualifications online at.

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Public Service Interpreting Courses

See past courses and register interest ↓