Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Linguistici


What kind of degree does the SSML of Padua issue?
After the three years of higher education provided, the SSML issues a degree equivalent to degrees issued by others Universities at the end of the courses related to the L12 category – “Degrees in Translation and Interpreting”. This is in accordance with the Decree of the Ministry of University Education and Research of 16th March 2007 and in its new tables and the Decree of the Ministry of University Education and Research of 26th July 2007, which declares conformity with the previous categories.
How many foreign languages will students study?
During the three years, students are obliged to study two foreign languages to be chosen among the ones the SSML offers. The course programme does not include a third language. English is the first language (L1) and is mandatory. Courses for a second language (L2) will be started if a minimum of 10 students is reached. Available languages are: Spanish, German, Russian, French, Chinese, Arab or any other language according to Italian University regulations.
Which are the entrance requirements?

The registration for the course is settled in accordance with current regulations on access to university studies.

Annually, the Governing Council determines the comprehensive number of students and publishes the call for selection on the basis of the equipment, facilities, teaching and other staff available at the SSML. The labour market needs are also taken into consideration. The process is regulated by the Decree of Confirmation of 23rd September 2013 (39 places per year and 117 places for the whole course).

Which courses do we offer?

Working autonomously and considering the number of student requests, the SSML offers the following courses:


Each course will commence upon the request of at least 10 students.

How can students enrol in the SSML of Padua?

To access the first year of the SSML, students are required to present a high school diploma that must be valid for matriculation to university courses, or a title of study earned abroad that has been recognised as suitable by the Registry Office of the SSML, in accordance with article 6, paragraph 1, of the Ministerial Decree no. 509 of 3rd November 1999.

Is there an entrance examination?

The dates of entrance examination are decided each year by the Technical and Scientific Council. They are published on the website of the SSML at

The examination consists of a written part (with multiple-choice tests, grammar exercises, reading comprehension and sentences to translate) and an oral test in English language.

The use of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries is permitted exclusively for the translation part.


Candidates who are eligible in relation to the number of places available and to the overall score achieved, will be admitted to SSML. The results of entrance examination will be published on the University website. Candidates who pass the entrance examination have to register in the academic year they sit the exam.

Does the SSML organise training courses for entrance examinations?

For those who want to sit the entrance examination, the SSML organises specific preparatory courses in the different languages that are taught at the University.

Does the SSML participate in the Erasmus+ programme?

The SSML has signed agreements with schools, universities, institutes and companies in foreign countries in order to promote a higher level of cultural and linguistic preparation for its students. After the accreditation by the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020 (ECHE), the SSML of Padua participates in the Erasmus+ programme, which promotes student mobility with the purpose of work placement or study.

What are credits and what are their functions?

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is a system based on the student workload required during the different training activities, including individual study. One credit stands for 25 working hours. The time devoted to individual study or other kinds of individual activities is equal to at least 50% of the overall time.

In particular, for linguistic modules and their practical components or other subjects with a broader practical characteristic, one credit stands for 9 or 10 hours of frontal lecturing. As for non-linguistic and theoretical modules, one credit stands for 5 or 7 hours of frontal lecturing.

Each year the average amount of learning students have to deal with is conventionally set at 60 credits. Our curriculum lasts three years and requires the completion of 180 ECTS.

The competent educational staff can recognise vocational knowledge and skills certified as ECTS in accordance with current regulations.

Students acquire the training activities credits by passing the exam or other tests, as long as the test evaluation is made through the procedures referred to in article 11, paragraph 7, letter d.

The institute that receives the student is responsible for the total or partial recognition of the credits they acquire to continue their studies in another course at the same university or in the same or similar course at a different university. The procedures and criteria established by the regulations of the university must be followed.

Are other universities’ exams recognised?

The educational staff of the SSML can recognise, entirely or partially, credits that students have acquired in other schools or universities – in accordance with the list of training activities for the Degree Class L12 referred to in the attachment no. 2 of the Ministerial Decree of 26th July 2007 – in order to continue their studies. The modalities of registration will be defined according to the relative academic year of registration.

Upon request of interested parties, passed exams and diplomas achieved in schools recognised by the Law no. 697 of 11th October 1986, are considered ECTS by the competent educational staff for the achievement of degrees that belong to L12 category – i.e. degrees in Translation and Interpreting.

Is attendance compulsory?

70% attendance is compulsory for each module (e.g. Italian Linguistics) or partial module (e.g. L2 Language and Translation, divided into the following three modules: “Grammar”, “Written Language Mediation from L1 to L2” and “Written Language Mediation from L2 to L1”). Teacher statements and registers provide proof of attendance.

If attendance and participation are lacking and/or insufficient, each teacher can decide to not admit the student to the exam.

The Technical and Scientific Committee make decisions on the attendance validation in case of study stays abroad and force majeure.

How long does an hour of lesson last?

Each hour of lesson lasts 55 minutes.

Are there any facilitations for working students?

The compulsory attendance percentage will be reduced from 70% to 45% for those students who certify their condition as employees (with fixed-term, indefinite, full-time and part-time employment contracts), para-subordinate employees ( and or self-employed. Specialisation, completion or vocational training courses will not allow any reduction to the attendance percentage.

As for the Institute of Musical Studies and Dance, in accordance with the Ministerial Decree of 28th September 2011, the simultaneous registration to a university or institute course is permitted. Therefore, students who want to simultaneously enrol to the above-mentioned institutes will have to present the lesson plans that are included in the respective university systems. The staff of each teaching facility concerned will confirm the study programmes presented by students, as well as their compatibility with attendance and with the commitment required. After the aforementioned verification, study programmes will be approved by both institutes. Possible modifications to study programs will be approved following the same modalities. Until the approval of the study programmes, student registration will be subjected to confirmation and students will be admitted to the training activities in both institutes. Each institute will be obliged to give the other all the information regarding students’ attendance, education path and career.

How are the examinations structured?

Examinations consist of written and oral tests depending on the subject. They have to follow the order established by the Study Program and they can be preceded by on-going progress evaluations, whose negative result, however, does not preclude the admission to the final examination. Examination modalities are indicated by the Technical and Scientific Committee.

In case the course includes two or more modules, the course teacher will be designated year on year. The teachers of the single module within a broader course will meet with the other colleagues of the same course in a commission that is chaired by the teacher responsible for the course itself, and will give students a test concerning his/her module with the established modalities. Candidates must pass the exam of all the different modules within the course (each module requires a minimum mark of 18/30). The teacher responsible for the course will record the exam with an evaluation that will be decided collectively by all teachers of the commission and that will represent the average of the marks gained in the single modules. Exams must be recorded exclusively in the Exam Recording Sessions established for each exam session.

If it is an oral exam, marks will be recorded on the transcript on the same day of the exam. In case of written tests, students will have to wait for the recording date. Students who cannot record the mark in the fixed date can delegate an authorised person who can bring the transcript to the SSML and sign the register on their behalf. If students cannot delegate, the mark will be recorded in the next session.

How many examination sessions are there?

Examinations, including the final exam, are held in three sessions: Summer, Autumn and Winter (extraordinary session).

How many calls are arranged in a session?

For the autumn and winter sessions, a single call has been established for all exams. For the summer session, the university establishes two calls exclusively for written or oral exams. As for exams composed of oral and written parts, the call for the summer session will be one for the written part, and there will be a maximum of two dates for the oral part. The written part is selective in order to access to the oral one.

All dates are set by teachers.

Students who do not pass an exam during the first call of the summer session cannot repeat it in the second call of the same session.

Pre- and post-calls are permitted within a margin of 20 days before the beginning date and 10 days after the end date of the session, but they must not overlap with regular lessons, on-going until the end of the semester. Only one of the two dates available for the summer session calls can be fixed in the period established for pre- or post- calls. The other one must be included in the summer session period. Pre- and post-calls dates cannot be considered additional to those established for each session.

Which are the requisites needed to sit the final examination?

In order to sit the final examination, students must:

  • pass all exams of the curriculum and obtain all the relative credits;
  • do the work placement during the second or third year;
  • be up-to-date with payments (University, degree and ESU taxes)
  • complete the specific degree application at least six months before the session in which the candidate wants to graduate.
How is the final examination structured?

The final examination consists of the discussion of two written language mediation works in the relative two languages, concerning a sector agreed upon with a teacher (mentor). The work is connected to the professional path chosen and can be the one in which students have completed their work experience. Alternatively, students can opt for trilingual glossary. The topic can be assigned at the beginning of the third year.

The specific regulation issued by the Technical and Scientific Committee has established that the final examination corresponds to 10 credits.

How can students calculate their initial score?

In order to calculate the initial score, the first thing to do is to calculate the weighted average of all marks with the following procedure: multiply the mark of every single exam by the equivalent number of credits; sum all results; divide the figure obtained by the total number of credits. For example: mark 27 (8 credits) + mark 21 (12 credits) + mark 28 (4 credits). Then the following operation is necessary: (27×8=216) + (21×12=252) + (28×4=112) = 580 / 24 (8+12+4) = 24, 17. The average obtained is multiplied by 11 and the result divided by 3. A maximum of 10 points with possible honours can be added to the initial score.

Are students supposed to do a work experience?

It is important for students to alternate between their academic studies and periods of work experience, in order to familiarise with the chosen labour market and profession. According to the Ministerial Decree no. 142/1998, the student is supposed to do periods of work placement for a total number of 7 credits. The work placement can be replaced by study activities in foreign university or by the Erasmus+ programme work placement. Work placement activities are supported and coordinated by a member of the Teaching Committee specifically appointed for the task.

Where does the work placement take place?

The work placement can be completed in translation agencies, hotels, public bodies or any kind of facility that is related to the SSML of Padua. It can also be done abroad.

How long does the work placement last?

The work placement lasts about 80 hours, distributed over three or four weeks. During such period, the training and orientation activity is monitored and confirmed by a tutor designated by the promoter as the managing educational supervisor, and by a business manager indicated by the hosting partner. For each trainee, a training and orientation project is arranged according to the relative agreement. It includes the objectives and modalities of the work placement itself, including its duration.

Does SSML diploma permit entrance into the two-year specialisation courses?

The diplomas released by the SSML permits students to enter in a two-year specialisation courses such as: “Specialised translation and Interpreting” (LM 94) – as referred to in the Decree of the Ministry of Universities and Research of 26th July 2007, in accordance with the established modalities.

What does Right to Study mean?

As for the Veneto Region, in particular the city of Padua, the representatives for the Right to Study are the University of Padua and ESU of Padua. ESU is a Regional Company for the right to access university studies, ensuring students in particular economic conditions have the opportunity to acquire university qualifications. These interventions can be various: monetary assistance, housing and catering services, cultural initiatives, etc. Income and merit criteria may be taken into consideration, hence limited to a certain number of student (call for tenders are published), while other services are guaranteed to all students, at differentiated charges. For further information, please visit the website:


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