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Public Service Interpreting – Criminal Justice

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This course is designed to support bilingual students in the development of the skills, knowledge and understanding required to work as public service interpreters in criminal justice settings.

It offers guidance on preparation for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) examination run by the Chartered Institute of Linguists but students who are not planning to sit the examinations are also welcome.
This course is designed for bilingual students who have successfully completed the “Professional Conduct in Public Service Interpreting” module or equivalent and are considering or have registered to sit the DPSI examination in the Law pathway.

Their level of English and their other language should be such that they can write a 250 word text without any grammatical or spelling mistakes and understand newspaper articles on law topics.

Students should have access to IT facilities as the course relies on their use of Cardiff University email and Learning Central (the CU Virtual Learning Environment) for announcements from the tutor and access to course materials and information.

This is a specialised course designed to cover in more depth and further develop the topics taught in the “Professional Conduct in Public Service Interpreting” module and we strongly recommend that students complete that module before enrolling on this module.

They should be familiar with the NRPSI and the DPSI examination.

Learning and teaching

  • Students will be guided to apply the main principles of professional conduct for public service (PS) interpreters to working in Criminal Justice settings with reference to the Impartial Model of PS interpreting in various scenarios and settings.
  • The skills required by a PS interpreter will be demonstrated and practised.
  • Students will be guided to research terminology, develop a continuously expanding glossary of specialised terminology and to practice the skill of paraphrasing.
  • Practical issues related to working as a public service interpreter in Criminal Justice settings will be outlined and discussed.

Coursework and assessment

Students will be guided to use Learning Central in order to undertake relevant reading and research and practice oral and written tasks between lessons.

They will be expected to spend around four hours in self study for each hour in class. This will include researching terminology that will form part of the written tests and used in practical work like sight translations.

You will not have formal examinations but you may have class tests.

You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

For this course the assessment consists of short written tests throughout the course and oral bilingual work towards the end of the course.

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved.

Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.