Course of Studies


  • Entrance requirements
  • Structure of the course
  • The 3 parts of the course
  • Languages offered at the department
  • Studies and/or internships abroad
  • Total credits for the course, elective courses, ECTS
  • Transitional regulations



For some courses students must sign up on lists that are available at the entrance to the library before the semester starts.


Students can receive detailed information on the course of studies as well as on the transfer of credits from assistant professors and the Chairperson of the Curricular Committee. Student representatives provide information on the courses offered at the beginning of the semester.


Entrance requirements

Future students need Matura, A-Levels, high school graduation, etc. or any equivalent qualification to study at the Department of Translation and Interpretation Studies.


The course is based on two foreign languages and is designed for students who are talented not only in foreign languages but also in their mother tongue (vocabulary, linguistic flexibility, abstraction skills, logical formulation, etc.).


Students whose mother tongue is not included in the teaching programme of the Department of Translation and Interpretation Studies must choose one of the languages offered as their working language. Advantages in their mother tongue cannot be taken into consideration, and their individual chances on the labour market cannot be enhanced. Further training in the mother tongue can only be provided if it is German.


With regard to the translation market (especially for employment at the European Union) it is recommended to learn a third foreign language. Under current regulations this is only possible by registering for a second course of studies. To study a third language students need to be competent in their first two foreign languages. We would also recommend acquiring further knowledge in certain areas, such as business, law, politics, etc.


Formalities: Admission, tuition fees, registration for the coming semester etc. are not the responsibility of the department but of the Admissions Office of the university. It is located on the ground floor of the main building (old building) on Innrain (Christoph-Probst-Platz 1).


Foreign students must complete the form ‘Ansuchen um Zulassung zum Studium’ (Application for Admission to Study) and prove that they are registered at a university in their home country. They need to hand in this form at the Admissions Office by September 1 for the following winter semester and/or by February 1 for the following summer semester.


Structure of the course

The course of studies lasts five years and is divided into three parts. The  1. Studienabschnitt takes one year, and the 2. and the 3. Studienabschnitt take two years each.

In the first two years students are trained intensively in linguistic and cultural skills in their foreign languages as well as in their mother tongue/working language. This forms the foundation for developing a basic translation competence in the third year. In the third part of the course of studies students can specialise in either translation, interpretation or media communication, and are introduced to different aspects of the professions. In the first two parts they are also confronted with the basic requirements for theoretical work with translation texts. In the third part, students acquire further knowledge on translation and interpretation theory, depending on the chosen branch of study.


To complete each part it is necessary to pass degree examinations.



Each part is completed with a degree examination, which comprises examinations on general and specific courses, or with the final degree examination in front of a board of examiners.


First degree examination

Second degree examination

Third degree examination



Course structure

Part I

Part I aims at introducing students to the course of study and laying the linguistic and cultural foundations for their training in translation and interpretation. The focus is on the acquisition of linguistic and cultural competence in their mother tongue or working language and chosen foreign languages. In addition, introductory lectures – Linguistics for Translators, Inter-cultural Communication – will help to lay the basis for theoretical working.


Gesamtstunden: 30



Introductory lectures


  1. Inter-cultural Communication

  1. Linguistics





credits as part of the first degree examination

Mother Tongue


written and oral exam as part of the first degree examination

First Foreign Language


written and oral exam as part of the first degree examination

Second Foreign Language


written and oral exam as part of the first degree examination

*whs = weekly hours per semester


The first part of the course ends with the first degree examination. Students have to pass written and oral exams as part of this examination in the subjects Mother Tongue and Culture, First Foreign Language and Second Foreign Language, and have to submit credits for the subjects Introduction to Inter-cultural Communication and Introduction to Linguistics for Translators.

Part II

In the first year of part II students can improve their linguistic and cultural competence in their chosen foreign languages. A wide range of cultural studies provides students with a better understanding of cultural phenomena.


The next year reinforces general translation competence on the basis of the knowledge already acquired and teaches the basics of translation theory required in preparation for Part III.


Total hours: 63



First Foreign Language and Culture              


Second Foreign Language and Culture          


Computer Literacy      


International Organisations                          


Translation Theory   








credits as part of the second degree examination

Basic Translation Competence in the First Foreign Language                                                                


written and oral exam as part of the second degree examination

Basic Translation Competence in the Second Foreign Language                                                                           


written and oral exam as part of the second degree examination

*whs = weekly hours per semester


The second degree examination comprises courses with credits and written and oral exams.


Students have to complete courses with credits in the following subjects: First Foreign Language (courses D and E), Second Foreign Language (course C for Russian and Spanish, courses D and E for the other languages), and Translation Science: Introduction to Translation Theory (lecture) and Introductory Seminar on Translation Science, Information and Terminology Management, International Organisations. In the subjects Basic Translation Competence in the First Foreign Language and Basic Translation Competence in the Second Foreign Language, written and oral exams have to be taken in the form of a project.

Part III

Part III offers three specialisations, each comprising a series of optional subjects (modules). Students can choose between different modules and draw up a programme which meets their interests on the one hand and conveys useful knowledge for their future careers on the other. At the same time students deal in more detail with issues concerning translation and interpretation theory by participating in seminars and particularly by writing a thesis. 


Each specialisation consists of compulsory and optional subjects.


The compulsory subjects for the specialisation in Translation are Translation Theory, Career Studies and Job Profiles, Specialist Communication and Research and Computer Literacy for Translators.


The optional subjects usually take the form of six-hour modules in each foreign language. Students have to take a total of five optional subjects (30 whs). One or two optional subjects can be chosen from another specialisation. Students have to take two modules in each foreign language. In addition, they have to write a thesis during part III.  


Total hours: 42                                            



General compulsory subjects


Translation Theory


Career Studies


Computer Literacy                                          





credits or final degree examination in front of an examination board


credits as part of the third degree examination

Compulsory subjects of the selected specialisation


Translation or                                


Interpretation or                                              


Media studies    





credits or final degree examination in front of an examination board

optional subjects (modules)                          



1 - 4 modules


credits as part of the third degree examination

1 module                                                                                


final degree examination in front of an examination board

*whs = weekly hours per semester

Students have to obtain credits for the compulsory subjects and most of the optional subjects of their selected specialisation in part III. One of the optional subjects has to be taken in front of an examination board in the form of a translation project in the area of specialisation.


Special regulations concerning Conference Interpreting


Special regulations apply to the optional subject Conference Interpreting. It consists of four modules - simultaneous and consecutive interpreting in two foreign languages - which have to be taken together.


Combined course


The combined course option (18 hours) permits students to replace one of the chosen foreign languages by obtaining credits for another course of study, which usefully complements the main course of study




This does not apply to South Tyroleans because such a combined course is not recognised.


Recommended elective subjects

The elective subjects (15 whs) are intended as a meaningful complement to the course. Students are therefore recommended to choose courses which help them to consolidate and improve their linguistic and cultural competence, to acquire knowledge in a specific field or to further develop their translation competence (by taking modules from the other courses of study).


Please note that beginners with no previous knowledge must acquire basic skills in their foreign languages in the form of elective subjects (level A language courses for French, Italian, Russian and Spanish).

In ECTS, 60 credits represent the workload of one year of study.


Languages offered at our Department

The languages offered for the course of studies are German as a foreign language, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Students are trained in two languages, in the first foreign language and in the second foreign language.

Students must have previous knowledge of their first foreign language. For German, English, French and Italian advanced knowledge is required.

Students may choose any language as a second language except German.

Foreign students whose mother tongue or working language is not German are only admitted to the course if their mother tongue or working language is offered at the Department. They must choose German as their first foreign language.

Placement tests

All language and culture courses of Parts I and II build on one another and are offered from levels A to E. At the beginning of each semester, placement tests are held in order to identify the suitable level for each student. If students test into a higher level than the usual starting level, the classes they do not need to take will be automatically credited as language courses. (The relevant examination should be taken at the earliest possible date.) 


Studies and/or internships abroad

As part of their course of studies, students are required to spend a period of no less than four months in a country where their first or second language is spoken. Students are also strongly advised to study abroad in a country where their other foreign language is spoken.

The studies and/or internships abroad enable students to apply and improve their language skills and cultural awareness. University courses, teaching, internships relating to their future occupation and other activities which support their studies are especially recommended. A certificate stating the type and extent of the internship is to be presented. Students must apply to the Chairperson of the Curricular Committee for credits for their studies and/or internships abroad. In special cases, a placement abroad may be substituted by an internship with an Austrian company or organisation.


Total number of hours of the course of studies, elective subjects, ECTS

The course of studies comprises classes and lectures amounting to a total of 150 weekly hours per semester (whs). There are 135 whs of compulsory and optional subjects and 15 whs of elective subjects, which can be taken by students at any recognised university at home and abroad.