Politics and Spanish (BA Joint Hons) LR24

BA Joint Honours

Politics 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





History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

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


The academic study of politics is concerned with the sources of conflict, co-operation, power and decision-making within and between societies, how differences are expressed through ideology and organisation, and how, if at all, disagreements and problems are resolved. We look at conflict, co-operation and its origins, dynamics and trajectories, at theories of society, at the value and ethical basis of political ideas and action, and at politics in different national and historical contexts.

Politics in deeply-divided societies, the politics and theory of international relations, political ideologies, the politics of self and other in a media culture, gender inequality, political institutions, parties and elections, the politics of sustainable development, energy, climate change, international political economy and finance, public policy and public administration, and the politics of the European Union - these are just some of the areas that we cover.

With over 30 staff at the cutting edge of research and publication, the School is the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK and Ireland with specialisms in Irish and British politics, political theory, sustainable development, the politics of film and literature, gender, the Middle East, European Union politics, ethnic conflict and international relations.

Why Queen's?

Study Abroad: students have study opportunities in other European universities through our Erasmus programme, and also in the USA and Canada.

Internship: students in their final year have the opportunity to secure a semester-long internship, giving them hands-on experience of political issues and policy-making.

Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.

Support: our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Our vibrant undergrad Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students.

Diversity of Students: we have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.

The Placement: Unique to the BA Politics programme is the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.

Course Content (including module information)

Students who intend to study Politics at Levels 2 and 3 must choose between two and six of the introductory modules available in the first year.

Level 1 modules

  • Comparative Politics
  • Issues in Contemporary Politics
  • Contemporary Europe
  • Perspectives on Politics
  • World Politics: Conflict and Peace

Thereafter, Politics may be studied at Levels 2 and 3 as a Single Honours subject (12 modules) on its own, or as a Major (eight modules), Joint (six modules), or Minor (four modules) component along with another subject. The Politics element of the Law with Politics LLB comprises four modules, two at each of Levels 2 and 3.

At each Level there is a mix of compulsory and optional modules, depending on the mode of study. Students select the appropriate number of modules from the following indicative list.

Level 2 modules

  • American Politics
  • British Politics
  • Democracy, Ethics and Economics
  • International Organisations
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Politics and Policies of the European Union
  • Security and Terrorism
  • Studying Politics
  • The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

Level 3 modules

  • Arms Control
  • Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
  • Contemporary Critical Theory
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Ethics, Power and International Politics
  • Global Resource Politics
  • Far Right in Western Europe and North America
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • Minorities in Europe
  • Northern Ireland: A Case Study
  • Political Parties and Elections in Northern Ireland
  • Political Parties, Representation and Democracy
  • Politics, Public Administration and Policy-making
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Security and Technology
  • The Politics of Irish Literature
  • The Politics of Sustainable Development
  • Theories of Global Justice
  • US Foreign Policy: War
  • War and Visual Culture
  • Women and Politics
  • Internship
  • The Placement
  • Dissertation

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. 

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 you to achieve your full academic potential.

On the BA in Politics 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.  Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics and outline theoretical and methodological concepts as a starting point for further study. Lectures may also provide opportunities to ask questions, and receive advice on assessments.
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (rarely more than 15 students).  The majority of seminars and tutorials are taught by permanent members of the academic staff.  Such small-group teaching provides opportunities for you to engage with active researchers who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Language classes:  Almost all of the teaching in Modern Languages is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students) in English and Spanish.  Written language classes meet for two hours each week, and involve intensive work on developing linguistic competence, vocabulary, idiom, knowledge of grammar, comprehension and translation skills, essay-writing skills etc. Students should expect to prepare work in advance of each of these classes, where they will receive regular written and oral feedback on their work.
  • Oral classes:  Students have opportunities to develop oral skills and apply grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts, and through the study of topics related to contemporary Spain and Latin America. All these classes are taught in very small groups (typically 6-12 students) and are facilitated by native speakers. 
  • Year Abroad:  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which you can study at university, work as an English-Language Teacher, or undertake a paid work placement 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.
  • E-Learning technologies:Most information associated with lectures and assignments is 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, interactive group workshops, online discussions, and web-based learning activities.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student, when private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date, and research and preparation work for assignments is carried out.  Academic staff will provide tailored bibliographies for research projects and self-directed reading.
  • Work-Related learning/Field Trips:  Students have a variety of opportunities to participate in work-related learning and field trips (including visits to Stormont and the Irish Parliament); there are also meetings with alumni to advise students on opportunities for graduate employment.
  • Supervised projects: In final year, students may choose a year-long double-weighted dissertation module in Politics which requires them to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that they have chosen. Alternatively, students can apply for an internship (a double-weighted module) where they will produce a learning journal and a 12,000 word project that relates directly to their placement.  In both cases, students will receive support from a supervisor, who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback throughout. All supervisors are world-class experts in their field. 
  • Personal Tutor:  Every undergraduate isallocated a Personal Tutor at the start of Level 1 for the duration of their degree programme. The Personal Tutor who is a member of the academic staff meets with his/her students throughout their academic career and provides advice on personal development, employment opportunities, and their general progress through university.

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 for BA Single Honours and BA Joint Honours with English, French, History, International Studies, Irish and Spanish. BBB for other BA Joint options.

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

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Politics, however, if you plan to study Politics as a Joint Honours degree or with Law 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

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s 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.

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. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Studying for a Politics and Spanish degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree have the proven ability to analyse subjects in depth and develop coherent arguments in written and verbal form, as well as linguistic fluency and experience of living and working abroad, all of which are highly sought after skills in a global job market. In addition, the subject-matter studied as part of a degree in Politics and Spanish is related to a wide range of contemporary issues, which allows graduates to understand the contemporary world in a broad cross-cultural perspective.

Over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline. We have found that employers of all kinds wish to employ Politics and Spanish graduates who have developed their employability skills, sought work experience beyond the university and learned how to learn.

Although many of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, business, the civil service, translating/interpreting or social and community development work significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. 

The following is a list of the major career sectors (and some starting salaries) that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

  • Management Consultancy - £20,000-30,000
  • Accountancy – £20,000-30,000
  • Voluntary sector/charities - £15,000-18,000
  • Public Relations - £20,000
  • Banking: £28 000
  • Export Marketing: £15 000 - £25 000 
  • Publishing, Media and Performing Arts: £16,000-25,000
  • Teaching: £21,500
  • Fast Stream Civil Service - £25,000
  • Translation / Interpreting: £18 000 – £26 000
  • Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)



Further study is also an option open to Politics and Spanish graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.

Those students wishing to pursue further study in Politics after their first degree can choose from a number of specialised MA programmes, each of which consists of six taught courses and a dissertation. The programmes are: Politics; European Union Politics; Irish Politics; Comparative Ethnic Conflict; Violence, International Relations; Terrorism and Security; Legislative Studies and Practice. The School also provides opportunities to undertake an MPhil or PhD by thesis.

For further details see: http://www. or

Placement Employers

Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:

  • the BBC
  • the Police Ombudsman’s Office,
  • the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments,
  • the Local Government Staff Commission,
  • the NI Electoral Commission,
  • the NI Local Government Association,
  • Mencap
  • All the Northern Ireland Political Parties
  • Ministerial Departments at Stormont
  • British Council Assistantships Program
  • Santander
  • Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers 


Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.  

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

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.

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History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

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