The Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages
Moscow State Linguistic University

LINGUISTICS 45.03.02 - Sign Language Interpreting for Intercultural Communication

Specialisation: Sign Language Interpreting for Intercultural Communication Degree: Bachelor

Study Mode: Full Time


Full Time: 4 academic years (240 ECTS)

Entry Criteria: Russian Certificate of Complete Secondary Education (or equivalent) with the Unified State Examination results in Russian, History and English

Languages of instruction: Russian, English, Russian Sign Language

Are you interested to know what Sign Language really is about? Not many people are aware that signed languages have been around for thousands of years! Would you like to be able to communicate with the Deaf in their own language and to help deaf and hearing people understand each other better? Do you think becoming fluent in English would be a welcome addition to your skill-set? If so, our Sign Language Interpreting programme might be the right choice for you.

Programme Overview

This unique four-year Bachelor programme in Sign Language Interpreting, first introduced in 2012, provides undergraduate training of sign language interpreters together with a broader range of traditional linguistics, translation and interpreting courses MSLU is famous for.

You will study a variety of courses in Sign Language Linguistics and the Sociology, Culture and History of the Deaf Community. The diverse theoretical and practical aspects of sign language interpreting include the application of methods developed for the analysis of spoken language communication to the bimodal interpreting between spoken and signed languages.

You will also enhance your English language proficiency and complete a full set of courses in translation and interpreting between English and Russian similar to those offered to other MSLU undergraduates specialising in translation and interpreting.

At the end of your studies you will take a final exam which will assess (a) your skills of translation from English into Russian and (b) your Russian Sign Language interpreting skills – sight translation, consecutive interpreting of a monologue from spoken Russian into Russian Sign Language and dialogue between these two modalities of speech – for the oral component the exam. You will also give a viva presentation of your graduation research paper (Bachelor’s Thesis).

On graduation you will become a much-sought-after specialist in the field of sign language communication between deaf and hearing people, working for government and non-government organisations, social services, courts, broadcasting companies, etc. MSLU maintains close ties with regional and national organisations of the deaf such as the All-Russian Deaf Society and Moscow Deaf Society as well as with public authorities, which provides additional internship and employment opportunities for the graduates. Besides, the University has strong connections with the Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre based at University College London.


Year 1

The first year will lay a solid foundation for the following three years of studies. You will develop your competence in English and starting from the second semester you will be introduced to Russian Sign Language. You are also offered a number of other courses, such as History, Classical Languages and Cultures, Stylistics of the Russian Language and RSL as a Linguistic System.

Year 2

In the second year you will be able to enhance your proficiency in Russian Sign Language and in English. An important component at this stage is the theoretical background in translation and interpreting which you will obtain through General and English Translation courses.

Year 3

In the third year we will offer you more advanced training in both the languages and cultures, along with introductory courses into Sign Language Interpreting. That is also when you are to carry out your independent research on Russian Sign Language as a Linguistic System.

Year 4

In the fourth year you are expected to achieve a near-native proficiency in the two languages, and perfect the skills necessary for bimodal interpreting. The academic focus is on your research paper (Bachelor’s Thesis) which you will submit and defend at a viva voci at the end of the year. Besides, you will take final graduation examinations.