Course Content (including module information)
All students follow modules in Spanish language which are of a broadly communicative nature, focusing on contemporary social and cultural issues and drawing on authentic materials.
The degrees take four years to complete (which includes the study abroad year).
All our classes are taught in small groups, giving students the opportunity to participate fully in discussions and receive detailed personalised feedback on their work.
Beginners' students undertake an intensive language course, specifically designed to bring them beyond A-level standard within a year.
Post-A-level and AS-level students will consolidate their language skills and will take a Language for Special Purposes strand, which will enable them to develop competence in important employment-related skills.
Students will also take optional modules introducing them to key concepts and historical moments of Iberian and Latin American culture, literature and society.
Levels 2 and 3
These provide the opportunity to build upon the linguistic skills and cultural awareness developed in Level 1. In both years, students take a compulsory core module, comprising advanced language study and a cursillo, or 'mini-module’.
At Level 2 a cursillo prepares students for their year abroad.
At Level 3, students choose cursillos based on their pathway and interests.
Options include language for professional purposes (Legal Spanish, Business Spanish), or a variety of historical, cultural, linguistic and literary topics. Optional modules are designed and taught by internationally-recognised specialists, staff who have a diverse range of research interests, from poetry and prose to film and visual art.
Modules currently available may include:
- Disease and Society in Colonial Latin America
- Failed Romances of Latin America
- Rewriting Love in the Renaissance
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 our students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA in 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 create a supportive 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 both English and Spanish. These provide significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff 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. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups. All of our language teaching and the vast majority of our other modules are delivered through small-group seminars.
- 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 a native speaker (from Spain or Latin America). Students will be expected to attend 1 oral class per week as part of your core language module.
- Lectures: Theseintroduce 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 (normally delivered in larger groups of approximately 40 students). Only a few of our modules are delivered in this way, e.g. Introduction to Latin American Studies.
- 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; 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: Students taking a BA in Spanish undertake a year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country after Level 2. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which students can study in a Spanish University, work as an English-Language Teacher, undertake a paid work placement etc. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal development, gives them a job placement, further develops communication and language skills, and the challenges of living abroad come to be a unique (and unforgettable) stage in their own personal development.
- 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.