Irish and Spanish (BA Joint Hons) QR54

BA Joint Honours

Irish and Spanish

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Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences



Professional Year Out





Arts, English and Languages

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


The Irish language continues to form an integral part of Irish cultural life as a medium for education, music, literature, drama and television. The language has been spoken for over 2,000 years and boasts a vast early literature of world significance.

The emphasis at Queen's is on modern Irish language and literature as essential elements of contemporary Irish culture and society. Insight into the country's earlier heritage is developed through the study of mythology, poetry, saga and folklore.

Why Queen's?

Summer School: students receive intensive language teaching in each year and attend a staff-led summer school in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

Support: staff offer support through a personal tutoring system, skills development programme, and a structured feedback framework, which help students integrate into university life and reach their full potential.

Entry Requirements


Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level:  ABB including Irish for Single Honours and other Joint Honours options. BBB including Irish for Joint Honours with Social Anthropology.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Irish and Spanish

All applicants: if you plan to study Irish as a Joint Honours degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course.


International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

How to Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.

Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Course Content (including module information)

Level 1

At Level 1, the two language modules are concerned exclusively with core oral and written language skills. Learning is enhanced by small-group teaching and computer-assisted language learning methods.

Optional modules include Irish Folklore - in which students study folk story, performance, ritual, belief, festival and worldview, and material culture and lifestyle - and Celtic Mythology, which explores the mythology and religious belief in Ireland and the Continent.

Levels 2 and 3

The language modules at Levels 2 and 3 not only build on the language skills acquired at Level 1, leading to fluency and proficiency in speech and writing, but also contain strands examining earlier phases of the language, dialects and phonetics.

The other modules at Levels 2 and 3 cover topics including folklore, the novel in Irish, early Irish sagas and the Irish poetic tradition. Students also have the opportunity to learn some Scottish Gaelic, a language and tradition closely related to Irish, and to study Translation and Film in the Irish Language.

At all levels of the degree, teaching and assessment are mainly through the medium of Irish, thus creating a mini-Gaeltacht that supports students' language learning.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable our students to achieve their full academic potential.

On the BA in Irish and Spanish we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. The School of Modern Languages is the smallest School in the University and because of this we foster a supportive learning environment in which we get to know each of our students individually. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Seminars/tutorials:  Almost all of the teaching in Modern Languages is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students) in English, Irish and Spanish.  These provide significant opportunities for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Oral classes:  Students will have opportunities to develop oral skills and apply grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. All these classes are taught in very small groups (typically 6-12 students) and are facilitated by native speakers.
  • Lectures: Theseare normally delivered in larger groups of approximately 40 students introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments. Only a few of our modules are delivered in this way.
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  computer-based grammar learning packages in the Language Centre; interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes in project- based work and for presentations etc. 
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out. 
  • Year Abroad/Gaeltacht Placement:  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which students can study at university, work as an English-Language Teacher, or undertake a paid work placement etc. in a Spanish-speaking country. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal and professional development, further develops communication and language skills, and the experience of living abroad is important for developing intercultural awareness. Students also spend a total of six weeks at the beginning of levels 2 and 3 on a residence course in Rinn na Feirste in the Donegal Gaeltacht involving approximately 40 hours of placement learning during each visit. Here students engage with the spoken language in its native environment while staying in accommodation with a host family. Intensive, structured tuition is provided by qualified native Irish speakers during the course. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in Irish, the residence course provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Gaeltacht culture and establishes a tremendous esprit de corps among students.
  • Personal Tutor:  Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.  This gives students one identified contact to discuss any difficulties they might encounter and who can answer any queries they might have.

Career Prospects

Studying for a degree in Irish at Queen‘s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, particularly in a world where critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness and communication skills are at a premium.

Teaching in Irish-Medium education is a popular option for our graduates, who enter the profession after a postgraduate conversion course (PGCE) in education at Queen‘s.

Our graduates have also pursued careers in a wide range of sectors, including academic research, translation at home and in the EU, broadcasting and the media, and the Civil Service.

Irish at Queen‘s has links with a number of employers including the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies.

An Gúm, Foras na Gaeilge and other schools and community groups in Belfast provide opportunities for placements for students.

Further study is also an option pursued by graduates, who can continue to a Master of Research (MRes) programme which will be tailored to the student’s particular interests and will involve a combination of guided study and independent research; see the School website for further information.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service. 

Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work. 

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For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
Irish and Celtic Studies
School of Modern Languages
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3695


For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
Irish and Celtic Studies
School of Modern Languages
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3695


For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
Irish and Celtic Studies
School of Modern Languages
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3695

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