Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles


Bachelor's Degree in Translation and Interpreting

 Daytime Programme  180 credits   3 years
 European Qualifications Framework (EQF): Level 6 
 Internship: no  Final assignment: no   Exchange Programmes: yes

What do translation and interpretation involve? 

Translation is the transposition of a written text in one language, known as the source language, into another language, known as the target language.

A variety of texts typically require translating, for example:

  • technical or scientific texts, such as instruction manuals, pharmaceutical information notices, or patents;
  • literature & art texts such as novels, screenplays or subtitles for films;
  • communication texts such as an advertisements or a press releases;
  • legal texts such as a contracts or judgements passed by a court.

Interpretation is the oral rendering of what has been said by a speaker into another language. Due to the context in which they are practised, a distinction is made between conference interpreting and liaison interpreting.

Conference interpreting refers to:

  • Simultaneous interpreting: in simultaneous interpreting the interpreter, who sits in a booth, renders an oral translation of a speech while the speaker is speaking so that the audience present in the room is able to follow through headphones.
  • Consecutive interpretation: in consecutive interpretation the interpreter renders their translation of a speech immediately after the speaker has spoken - section by section - without the use of equipment. To help them to do this, the interpreter uses a personalised note-taking technique.

Liaison interpreting refers to interpreting at meetings involving small groups, where the interpreter gives their interpretation immediately after each speaker’s contribution. This type of interpretation occurs in meetings characterised by a degree of confidentiality, such as, for example, internal meetings or discreet negotiations.


In September 2014 a new Decree setting out the framework for higher education introduced modifications to the organisation of academic programmes.

Bachelor (BA) (first cycle or undergraduate study): 180 credits

The first cycle or undergraduate Bachelor’s (BA) programme of study is made up of both taught compulsory and optional course units, worth a total of 180 credits. It is studied in annual blocks of 60 credits.

The first block is compulsory for all first-time students. Once a student has successfully completed the first block, s/he designs their subsequent programme by combining compulsory courses with optional ones. S/he must choose a coherent set of course units, which the academic authorities validate. Some course units need to be successfully completed before others may be studied (prerequisites), others must be followed in parallel (corequisites).

The University Bachelor’s (BA) is designed as an entry qualification for a postgraduate programme (Master’s).

The BA programme in translation and interpreting has three main strands:

  • Course units taught in French: the course is intended for future French mother tongue translators and interpreters, who would in most circumstances translate or interpret into their own language. Full mastery of the French language is therefore a prerequisite.
  • Course units taught in a foreign language: the objective is to acquire advanced language skills in at least two languages other than French.
  • General course units: the professional translator/interpreter must be able to accurately translate or interpret texts (conferences, debates, etc.) of a specialised nature. This requires a well-rounded university-level general education.