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BA (Hons)

Spanish Studies

Get the chance to immerse yourself in Spanish culture

R400UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrabroad

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Over 400 million people speak Spanish as a native language. Spain is a modern, democratic country that has changed beyond recognition in the space of a single generation. By taking this course you will become fluent in Spanish, while learning about the society, history, culture and political environment of contemporary Spain. 
You will immerse yourself in the Spanish language and cultures within and beyond Spain. You will discover and study specific themes, such as ‘Spanishness’ and other identities, the evolution of contemporary Hispanic culture through literature and film, or how the present is shaped by the past. This rich multidisciplinary approach will help you gain intercultural, linguistic and analytical skills to understand how Spain works and why, both nationally and internationally.  By gaining access to Spanish culture, and opting for units such as translation, interpreting, or ‘Spanish  language for professional communication’  you will also become culturally aware and linguistically fluent in Spanish.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Develop high levels of fluency in Spanish, with language learning fully integrated into the course. You do not need prior knowledge of Spanish to follow this course; it is possible to follow our excellent beginners programme in your first years of study, and achieve the same level of fluency at graduation. You can also study a second language as an option.
  • Gain career enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training ‘built-in’ to courses, work placements and the possibility to learn another language. You can develop an in-depth knowledge of Spanish history, society, politics, and culture, or Spain as a world cultural power.
  • Immerse yourself in the Spanish way of life by spending a year in Spain or a Spanish-speaking  country, and develop your linguistic, cultural and professional skills.
  • Study with experienced lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, simulations, scenario exercises, debate-discussions and the use of audio-visual sources. In particular, our state-of- the-art  ‘Conference Interpreting Suite’ allows  our students to  develop valuable first-hand experience in interpreting.
  • Opt to follow a route through your degree that includes Initial Teacher Training (ITT). The ITT route entitles you to a bursary of £9,000 in the final year of your degree.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Language is used in a range of professional contexts including business, tourism, and finance – not just language teaching. Your transferable skills and area studies expertise can be used in many careers across the private, public and voluntary sectors. You may enhance your graduate employment opportunities, owing to strong partnerships with organisations across the globe. This course is great preparation for work at home or abroad and you will have a very wide range of career paths open to you. Our graduates  have found employment in such diverse careers as travel and tourism, working for international organisations, international research and consultancy, marketing, translation, interpreting, the media, NGOs, investment banking,  journalism or teaching foreign languages.

Robert Duncan-Spooner, BA (Hons) Spanish Studies student 2013

The group sizes in both lectures and seminars are small so you can build a good rapport with tutors, which means they can help you with any individual problems you may have.

Robert Duncan-Spooner, BA (Hons) Spanish Studies student 2013

Want to start this course in 2017?

Apply through UCAS Clearing

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years full time with language year abroad

96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Languages and Area Studies
Programme specification


Modern Languages and Area Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Combining language learning with the study of culture and politics, promoting a deeper understanding of a country/countries of study
  • Fantastic opportunities for spending a year abroad
  • Interactive and practical nature of studying that will prepare you for a wide range of careers

Browse all courses in Modern Languages and Area Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

This year is your introduction to and the beginning of your in-depth study of the Spanish-speaking world. You will focus developing a sound understanding of political, social and economic developments in Spain.

Core units in this year include:

  • Spanish General Language Grade 1 and 2 OR Spanish General Language Grade 3 and Language Project
  • Introduction to Spanish Studies
  • The Making of Modern Europe 1500–1990
  • Studying at University
  • Developing Research Skills

Year two

Continue to study units in Spanish language with the choice to start a beginner’s course in a second language if you wish. Preparation for your year abroad and preliminary work on your dissertation is also incorporated into this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Spanish General Language Grade 3 and 4 OR Spanish General Language Grade 4 and Language For Professional Communication 1
  • Golden Age Spain 1469-1700

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Revolution, Repression and Resistance
  • Text and Translation
  • Business and Markets in Global Environment
  • Nation, Language and Identity
  • Culture and Ideas in Europe
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • LiFE: Learning from experience (work placement)

Final year*

Complete your dissertation in your final year and specialise in the topics that intrigue you the most.

Core units in this year include:

  • Spanish General Language Grade 6
  • Language for Professional Communication 2

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Spanish Civil War and Franco Regime
  • Translation Theory and Practice
  • Political and Economic Development in C20 Spain
  • Interpreting
  • LiFE: Learning from experience (work placement)

*On this programme you will spend your third year in a country where Spanish is spoken.

Initial Teacher Training route

In your first year, you will have the opportunity to apply for the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) route. If selected, you will complete a number of teaching placements, a professional practice teaching unit and a language research project. You will be entitled to a bursary of £9,000 in the final year of your degree and, on successful completion of the course, will gain Qualified Teacher Status.

The opt-in ITT route is available for French, German and Spanish routes, with training under expert lecturers from the University's PGCE team, and provides the ability to teach Modern Foreign Languages in English and Welsh schools. Throughout the course, you will develop and acquire specialist knowledge and skills in the language(s) you study, as well as professional skills which are central to the role of MFL teacher.  


We provide a varied, creative and stimulating learning environment. Teaching is via lectures and seminars which are supported by the University’s interactive learning facilities. Classes may also take the form of hands-on skills development sessions where you learn how to access electronic resources in our Virtuoso multimedia digital classrooms (they are much more than language laboratories!) or via small oral practice classes with Language Assistants.  All students have a personal tutor and, throughout your time with us, regular and frequent tutorials will be organised with you.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 75% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 0% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 0% studying independently and 100% on work placement
  • Year four students: 18% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 82% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Our assessment methods are varied, with a good mix of formal and innovative assessment. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written essays
  • professional and business report
  • examination
  • case studies
  • book reviews
  • group and individual projects
  • oral presentations
  • use of software including desktop publishing, podcasts, subtitling and web design
  • portfolio of achievement

We provide prompt, constructive and positive feedback on the preparation of your work and on the final assessment.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 13% by written exams, 26% by practical exams and 61% by coursework
  • Year two students: 7% by written exams, 20% by practical exams and 73% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year four students: 7% by written exams, 20% by practical exams and 73% by coursework
Bob Gould

Tutor's view

Bob Gould
Languages and Area Studies

The course is multidisciplinary, so you get a real understanding of why and how Spain is as it is today. You analyse many aspects of Spanish society and culture through your language learning, whether it is from beginner's or post-A Level.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Year Abroad

On this programme you will spend your third year in a country where your target languages are spoken. You may take advantage of our well-established links with universities in Spain and Latin America, should you wish to spend this period studying; alternatively, with University approval, you may be able to arrange a work placement abroad.

Language resources

You will have access to our state-of-the-art Language Laboratories, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources in a rich, multimedia language-learning environment, and our recently refurbished Learning Resource Centre, with texts, study rooms, and IT facilities to augment your learning and support your assignment work. 

ITT route

Our opt-in Initial Teacher Training route offers the certification needed to become an inspiring and professional Modern Foreign Languages teacher in English and Welsh schools. On this route, you will study with experts from the University's PGCE team.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

For placements abroad that are taken in countries outside the EU/EEA, you will be required to meet travel costs. These costs will be in the region of £1000.

You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Like all modern language graduates you will be highly employable. You can expect to find work in areas as diverse as management, banking, marketing and sales, commerce, export, tourism and the media, among others.

Graduates from this course have been successful in finding work in the following areas:

  • working for government, both national and local
  • in the transport sector for Eurostar
  • as language assistants or teachers, both home and abroad
  • graduate management trainees in the retail sector
  • data analysts and web editors

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunites
Employment boosting opportunites

Would you like to live in Spain for a year? Time spent abroad will enhance your intercultural awareness, which is a quality increasingly appreciated by employers in a globalised economy.

Work as a teaching assistant in a school in Spain, in cities such as Salamanca, Saragossa, Seville, Granada or Murcia, among others. Check out the video below to hear the thoughts of final year students on their time abroad.

This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study.  You also have the option of following a route that includes Initial Teacher Training (ITT), required for teaching in English and Welsh schools.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 7 October 2017

Book now

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