MA Interpretation

Applying for the MA in Conference Interpreting


To study at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and be admitted to the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI), you must:

What are the admission conditions?

You have to:

  • Hold a university diploma: Bachelor of Arts in Multilingual Communication from the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, a degree from another university in the same field of study, or a degree in another field that is deemed to be equivalent.
  • Demonstrate that you have spent at least three consecutive months in a country in which your B, B consecutive or C language is the official language.
  • Pass the FTI's written and oral exams

Also have a look at the general description page for this degree.

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What are the entrance exams?

What do the exams consist of?

You will be required to sit for the written and oral exams, which are comprised of the following tests:

  • For the written exam, you will have to listen to recorded speeches (approx. 6 minutes) in your A, B, B consecutive and C languages, then write 300-word summaries in your A and B languages (but not your B consecutive language). The test is an hour long and you will be allowed to take notes.
    You must also pass the translation tests that correspond to your language combination: from your B, B consecutive and C languages to your A language, and from your A to your B language: 350 words in 2 hours; from your A to your B consecutive language(s): 250 words in 2 hours.

    If you obtain a mark of at least 4 (based on a six-point grading scale, with 6 being the highest grade) for all of the written tests, you will be admitted to the oral exams.

    Applicants are required to sit for the written exams in Geneva.

  • At the oral exams, you will first listen to  short, improvised speeches from the jury (approx. 3 mins) in your source language(s), without taking notes. You must then provide a summary in your target language(s) (according to your language combination: from C to B, from B and B consecutive to A, from A to B and B consecutive, and from A1 to A2), bringing to light the main ideas. If the jury asks you questions about the speeches, you must respond in your A, B or B consecutive language.
    Next, the jury may ask you to sight-translate (orally) a few brief texts from your source language(s) to your target language(s) (same language pairs as above).
    The final part of the test is a brief interview with the jury.

    The oral exams take place online. Applicants will be informed of the technical arrangements when they are notified about the exams.  

How strong do my language skills need to be?

You must have perfect written and oral command of your A language. We expect you to have a perfect understanding of your C languages and recommend that you have at least a C1 level under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Your B and B consecutive languages should function as second active languages, and you must therefore have perfect written and oral command of them.

How should I prepare for the exams?

See this document for some useful tips.

Applicants who don't have French in their FTI language combination must also sit for UNIGE's French exam (a basic language test that is independent of the FTI's admission exams), unless you meet the University's exemption conditions.

You must choose two, three or four languages for your combination.
Your mother tongue or language of education will be your A language. As this will be your active language, we expect you to have a perfect command of it. Based on your A language, you may choose a combination of one, two or three languages from the language combination chart, and decide whether these will be your B, B consecutive or C languages. 
Your decision should be based on your knowledge of each language: your C languages are your passive languages, so you only need to have a perfect understanding of them. As for your B and B consecutive languages, these are your second active languages. You will be required to work from your A language into these B languages for consecutive interpreting (B consecutive language), and consecutive and simultaneous interpreting (B languages).
Together, these languages make up your language combination.

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Where and when will the admission exams take place?

  • The written exams will take place in Geneva from 16 to 20 November 2020
  • The oral exams will take place online from 4 January to 5 February 2021
  • The results for the written exams will be published on 18 December 2020
  • The results for the oral exams will be published on 26 February 2021

Admission results are only valid for the academic year that immediately follows the exam session. Results may not be carried over to another year.

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What happens if I fail?

If you fail the first time around, you may sit for the entrance exams again. You may not sit for the exams more than twice.

  • If you fail the written exams: You can sit for the exams again the year after, or at a later date.

  • If you fail the oral exams: Your results for the written exams remain valid for a year, so you will only have to take the oral exams the year after. If you wait for more than a year, you will have to sit for both the written and oral exams again.

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What do I have to do to apply?

Please note that

your admission to the FTI will only be validated once:

* you have passed the FTI's entrance exams


* the University has accepted your enrollment application

Applicants must therefore go through two different application processes. If you do not follow this procedure, you will not be able to study at UNIGE.


  •  How to apply to the FTI

Register online for the FTI's entrance exams:

- from 14 September to 16 October 2020, which is the final deadline to apply.

a) Begin by setting up your ORISIS account (you can use this login for the whole application process).

b) Sign up for the entrance exams on the FTI's online platform using your ORISIS login details. See the list of documents you need to prepare and scan in order to register for the entrance exams.

(If you are already enrolled at UNIGE, please use the username and password that you created when first setting up your ORISIS account; it is likely linked to your private email address. If you are unable to access your account, please create a new one using your address)

You will receive confirmation of your registration for the entrance exams by email. By the end of February, you will receive an invitation to the exam session, along with your exam schedule.

  • How to enroll at UNIGE

Fill out the University of Geneva's online enrollment application using your ORISIS login details. You must then print it out and send it to the Admissions Services

from 6 January to 28 February 2021 for applicants with nationalities that are required to have a visa for a stay of more than 90 days (irrespective of your current place of residence, unless you hold a Swiss residence permit that is valid past 30 April)

- from 6 January to 30 April 2021 for applicants who do not need a visa for a stay of more than 90 days

Please ensure that you send off your enrollment application, even if you have not yet received your results for the FTI's entrance exams!

If you are already enrolled and studying at UNIGE, make a request to change faculties before the deadline.

If you have already been unenrolled, or will be unenrolled before the beginning of your first semester at the fTI, please request to be reenrolled before the deadline.

Being enrolled at the University means that the University has given a student permission to register in a faculty and take the courses, seminars and workshops necessary to obtain a university degree. You cannot study at the FTI without being enrolled.

The tuition fee is CHF 500 per semester of study for both Swiss and foreign students.

There is no fee to sit for the FTI entrance exams. However, there is a fee of CHF 65 for your UNIGE enrollment application.

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Contact information

Student secretary:

Information, admissions and registration.

Mme Marie-Laure Cudet
Building: Uni Mail
Office: 6256
Telephone: +41 (0)22 37 98708
Fax: +41 (0)22 37 98750
email: Marie-Laure.Cudet(at)

Office hours: Tuesday - Friday
10:00 am - 12:00 am / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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