Key Course Information
A-Level Requirements *
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Professional Year Out
*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.
Spoken by almost 500 million people worldwide, in over 20 countries, Spanish is the world’s second most widely spoken language, spanning every continent across the globe. Spanish is a vibrant and growing subject and as such it is a major vehicle for international commerce and trade, as well as the doorway into a variety of rich and fascinating cultures.
The degrees offered analyse a wide variety of literary, historical, social, cultural and linguistic aspects of Spanish-speaking countries across the globe.
Study Abroad: all students taking Spanish will spend a compulsory period of residence in either Spain or Latin America. Students have the possibility of acquiring valuable professional experience by teaching in a school, undertaking a work placement, or doing voluntary work; they may also elect to study at a Spanish university.
Support: students run a lively Spanish and Portuguese Society, and staff offer support through a personal tutoring system, skills development programme and a structured framework for feedback.
A-level: ABB including Spanish for Single and Joint Honours except Joint Honours with Social Anthropology for which the target is BBB including Spanish.
Note: for applicants who have not studied A-level Spanish then AS-level Spanish grade B would be acceptable in lieu of A-level Spanish.
A-level: ABB + GCSE Spanish grade B or evidence of linguistic ability in another language for Single and Joint Honours except Joint Honours with Social Anthropology for which the target is BBB + GCSE Spanish grade B or evidence of linguistic ability in another language.
Note: applicants who have studied AS-level or A-level Spanish would not be eligible for admission to the Beginners’ option.
All applicants: if you plan to study Spanish as a Joint Honours degree or as part of a BSc/LLB/MSci degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course.
Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Spanish
All applicants: if you plan to study Spanish as a Joint Honours degree or as part of a BSc/LLB/MSci degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course.
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: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
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: www.ucas.com/apply.
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)
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
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.
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.
Studying for a 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 at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
The First Destination Survey showed that none of our language graduates were unemployed six months after graduating in 2010. A Higher Education Funding Council report for 2008 also showed that 3.5 years after graduation, languages students have the fourth highest mean salary (after graduates in Medicine, Pharmacy and Architecture).
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in law, business, banking and translation, 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:
Employer Links – Consultations: We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Santander and the British Council who provide sponsorship for our year abroad placements as well as Rolls Royce, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Moy Park / MARFRIGwho are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
Placement Employers:Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
Graduate Careers and Achievements: Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:
- Hilary Oliver, Managing Director, Cameo Productions
- Carla Leonard, Business Performance Manager, Barclays
- Nuala McKeever, Comedian
- Niall Donnelly, Reporter, UTV
The Prospects website provides further information concerning the types of jobs that attract languages Graduates.
Further study is also an option open to Spanish graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics as shown on the School website.
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.
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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