Applications for the course in Conference Interpreting of the Joint Postgraduate Studies Programme (J.P.P.S.) are admissible every second year, during the period from March 15th to May 15th, at a specific date which is announced on time. Applications are submitted and should be posted to the following address:
You can download the application form here.
Along with the application, you should submit a candidate’s portfolio including:
- A copy of the bachelor’s degree or degrees. In case the bachelor’s degree has been granted by a non-Greek institution, its recognition by the Hellenic National Recognition and Information Center (Hellenic N.A.R.I.C. / Δ.Ο.Α.Τ.Α.Π.) is required.
- The corresponding Transcript of Records (ToR)
- Language knowledge certificates
- A CV (with photo), mentioning the stays abroad as well as any professional or research experience
Admittance to the programme takes place through oral exams.
At first, the application is evaluated as to the candidate’s formal requirements, by a three-member committee appointed by the J.P.P.S.’s Special Interdepartmental Committee (S.I.C.). As long as it is substantiated that the candidate meets the formal criteria, they are called to take part in the oral entrance exams.
The exams are carried out by an exam committee appointed by the S.I.C. It is possible for examiners from the Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission and the European Parliament (SCIC) to participate in the exams upon invitation.
The only criteria for acceptance into the J.P.P.S is the grade awarded at the entrance exams (100% of the final grade). The examinations for the selection of students for the course in Conference Interpreting consist of three stages. More specifically, the candidates are required to:
- present a summary in Greek of a written text (about 300 words) which refers to current affairs; this is for each of the working languages that have been declared (preparation time is about 10 minutes for each text)
- listen to a short speech of general subject matter (about 2-3 minutes in length) in each of the languages which have been declared, without taking notes, and subsequently relay it into Greek as completely as possible
- sit through an interview which consists of general knowledge questions pertaining to Greek and international history, geography, politics and current affairs, as well as questions regarding the candidates’ entry into the programme. If deemed necessary, the interview may be conducted in any of the languages that the candidates have declared
The evaluation criteria of the exams are the following:
- Excellent command of the native language
- Linguistic and cultural competence in the working languages
- Competence in focus, memory, analysis and formulation
- Competence in communication and expression with accuracy and fluency before an audience
- Good general education and knowledge of topical issues
- Residence in a country abroad where a working language is spoken
- The motivations for acceptance onto the programme, the ability to work under pressure and the willingness of the candidates to accept feedback during their training
The minimum pass grade is 6/10, and the candidates must achieve the minimum pass grade in each of the two languages being tested. Based on the final evaluations and rankings, up to 20 candidates with the highest grades can be admitted onto the Programme; this number may increase if there are candidates of equal ranking in the last place.
The Directorate-General for Interpretation of the European Commission grants scholarships to students of the MA course in Conference Interpreting. Further information can be found here.
10 answers given by graduates in response to candidates’ questions
1. What are the possible subjects, and what is the level of difficulty of the texts to be interpreted?
There are no specific subjects covered in the entrance exams. The texts are straightforward, with a clear structure and content.
2. Should an exam-style interview be expected?
Yes, the interview has an exam-style format. The aim is to test the candidate’s knowledge of general subjects and current affairs, as well as their ability to express themselves with clarity, accuracy and thoroughness.
3. What subject areas do the questions of the interview cover?
The questions of the interview concern issues relating to current affairs as well as the general knowledge of the candidate.
4. Is the interview in Greek, in the working languages or both?
The interview is usually conducted in Greek; nevertheless, if it is deemed necessary, the interview may be conducted in any language that has been declared by the candidates.
5. Can I declare three working languages?
Yes, you can declare three working languages and attend lessons for all three during the MA course of study. However, this is demanding and requires a great deal of work, dedication, patience and composure.
6. What should I focus on during the delivery of the speeches?
Each speech tells a story. Listen carefully and try to retain it, focusing on how the different ideas connect to each other in the text.
7. Can I take notes while I am listening to the speeches?
No, unless it involves a number or a name.
8. What time should I arrive at the examination site?
At least twenty minutes before the scheduled time of your exam.
9. What type of preparation can I do for the exams?
There are many short videos available on informative websites dealing with current affairs. Newspaper articles are equally useful. A “revision” of your general knowledge, whether historical or geographic, is also necessary.
10. What is the format of the examination?
To begin with, you will be given some texts in the languages in which you are to be examined and which you will need to prepare. Once you have prepared, you will be asked to summarise what it is that you have read. Following this, you will listen to some speeches which you will need to present. Finally, the interview will follow.