The emphasis in the BA in French and Spanish is on linguistic proficiency and inter-cultural awareness; language and identity are central to the programme. You will be critically reflecting on a variety of contemporary issues, historical periods and geographical areas (France and Spain, but also for example Latin America and the Francophone Caribbean), explored through a range of media including art, cinema, linguistics and literature. The degree includes residency (average 8 months) in a Francophone or a Spanish-speaking country.
French and Spanish Degree highlights
French is ranked 2nd, and Iberian Languages 5th, in the UK in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. In the most recent Research Assessment (REF 2014), Languages at Queen’s were ranked third in the UK.
- After stage 2, you will spend a period of residence (normally 8 months or more) in a French- or Spanish-speaking country. Students will have the possibility of acquiring professional experience by teaching in a school, undertaking a work placement, or doing voluntary work. They may also elect to study at a French or Spanish university.
- Students taking a BA in French and Spanish have a very genuine opportunity to acquire professional experience in a global context. They undertake an extended period of residence abroad in a French- or Spanish speaking country (typically 8 months), normally working as an English language assistant in a school, or undertaking a paid work placement (destinations include France and Spain, but also for example Mexico, Canada and Martinique). Students can also elect to study at a French-or Spanish-speaking university. In addition to the benefits for oral competence, the residence provides a unique opportunity for immersion in one of the cultures of the languages studied. Moreover, the Year Abroad is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal development, and further develops communication and language skills and intercultural awareness. The challenges of living abroad come to be a unique (and unforgettable) stage in their own personal development.
- Graduates of French and Spanish have risen to the top in a number of fields, including media, print journalism, translating, marketing, local government, fast-stream Civil Service, and a very wide range of local, national and international companies.
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s has an excellent library with an outstanding range of resources in French and Spanish cultures. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning, and the IT provision more generally is excellent.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- French and Spanish at Queen’s are taught by world-leading experts, with particular expertise in medical humanities, postcolonial writing, Latin American culture, Linguistics, Visual Culture, and Golden-Age and eighteenth-century Spanish culture. Research in Languages at Queen’s was ranked 3rd in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment (REF 2014).
- Students run lively French and Spanish Societies, and staff offer support through a personal tutoring system, skills development programme and a structured framework for feedback.
"My experience of studying French and Spanish at Queen's has been incredible. The classes and year abroad experience have really helped me improve my languages, but what I have loved most about this course has been the opportunity to learn about so much more than just the languages themselves. It has given me a passion for studying culture, history and literature from France and Spain."
Emily Rankin (joint French and Spanish)
In French, students must take TWO modules at Level 1 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester. In Spanish, students must also take TWO modules at Level 1 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester.
• French 1 or Intermediate French or French for Beginners
• Spanish 1 OR Intermediate Spanish OR Spanish for Beginners
• Introduction to French Studies 1
• Introduction to French Studies 2
• Introduction to Iberian Studies
• Introduction to Latin American Studies
In French, students must take TWO modules at Level 2 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester. In Spanish, students must also take TWO modules at level 2 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester.
• French 2
• Spanish 2
• Myth and Biography in Recent French Fiction
• French Noir
• Linguistic Variation in French
• Modern Autobiography
• Issues and Cultures of the US-Mexico borderlands
• Afterlives: Rogues and Mystics of the Spanish Golden Age
• Spanish Memoirs and Autobiographies
• The Fantastic in Latin America Year Abroad Modules
• Working and Studying Abroad (French)
• International Placement: Languages Year Abroad (French)
• Working and Studying Abroad (Spanish)
• International Placement: Languages Year Abroad (Spanish)
In French, students must take TWO modules at level 3 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester. In Spanish, students must also take TWO modules at level 3 – students must take the core and one optional which can be taken either semester.
• French 3
• Spanish 3
• Ambition & Desire: The Nineteenth Century French Novel
• Romance and Realism in Media Cultures
• Contemporary Francophone Chinese Fiction
• Caribbean Cultures
• The Structure of Modern French
• Rewriting Love in the Renaissance
• Identity, Sex and Sexuality in Post-Revolutionary Cuba
• Failed Romances of Latin American Literature
• Imperfect Heroines: Spanish fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries
People teaching you
Dr Maeve McCusker
Subject Lead, French
Dr McCusker is the Subject Lead for French, and teaches French language and modern French and francophone culture. She specialises in postcolonial writing in French.
Contact Teaching Times
|Medium Group Teaching|
11 (hours maximum)
25 (hours maximum)
22-25 hours preparing and revising
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 French 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 are:
A wide range of information associated with modules is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. Typically, lecture notes are provided through QOL for each module along with other support material. Much of the recommended reading is available through the same environment. Almost all coursework is submitted and returned, with marks and feedback, electronically.
Language enrichment classes
Students will have opportunities to develop oral skills and develop their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. All these classes are taught in small groups (typically 15-20 students). Students attend two language enrichment classes each week as part of each core language module. They also attend a one-hour oral class, facilitated by a native speaker, where they have opportunities to develop oral skills and apply grammar and vocabulary. These classes are taught in very small groups (typically 8-12 students).
These introduce you to basic information about new topics as a starting point for your own further 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 small number of our modules are delivered in this way, e.g. Level One Introductory modules to French and Francophone Cultures.
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 with whom to discuss any difficulties they might encounter and who can answer any queries they might have.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Almost all of the teaching in French and Spanish is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide significant opportunity for you to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of your classmates. You will also be expected to make presentations and other contributions to these groups. All of our language teaching and, where appropriate, other modules, are delivered through the medium of French in small-group situations.
Students taking a BA in French undertake an extended period of residence abroad (typically 8 months), normally working as an assistant in a French school. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in French, the residence provides a unique opportunity for immersion in French and francophone culture. The Year Abroad is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which students can study at a 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 intercultural awareness. The challenges of living abroad come to be a unique (and unforgettable) stage in their own personal development
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which you will be assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Language modules are assessed through a variety of written tasks, class tests, a formal written examination and an oral exam at the end of the year. All other modules are assessed through a variety of forms of coursework which may include book reviews, projects, creative writing, presentations, essays and language tasks. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students at the beginning of their first year. All assessment, apart from oral exams, is marked and returned anonymously.
As students progress through the course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module convenors, personal tutors, advisers of study and 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:
Formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
General comments or question and answer opportunities during or at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Immediate, on-the-spot feedback from your teacher during language and oral classes.
Individual consultations addressing specific queries with lecturers during designated consultation hours.
Online or emailed comment to specific queries.
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.
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.
Queen’s has an excellent library with an outstanding range of resources in Spanish, French and Francophone cultures. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning, and IT provision more generally is excellent.
A level requirements
Post A-level French
ABB including A-level French.
Note: for applicants who have not studied A-level French then AS-level French grade B would be acceptable in lieu of A-level French.
Beginners Level French
ABB + GCSE French grade B or evidence of linguistic ability in another language.
Note: the Beginners' option is not available to those who have studied A-level or AS-level French.
Post A-level Spanish
ABB including A-level 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.
Beginners Level Spanish
ABB + GCSE Spanish grade B or evidence of linguistic ability in another language.
Note: the Beginners' option is not available to those who have studied A-level or AS-level Spanish.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year's entry, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally be made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course will also be considered.
Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits, provided the subject requirements for entry to French and Spanish can also be met. Where offers are made, these are conditional on both achieving an average of 70% in the Access course and meeting the entry criteria for French and Spanish.
BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to French and Spanish are also fulfilled.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: 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.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a French 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 at Queen’s are well regarded by employers (local, national and international) for their communication and critical thinking skills, and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
Typical careers pursued by our graduates include business, media, marketing, translation, publishing, education/teaching, translation/interpreting, PR, journalism, fast stream Civil Service, and banking.
88% of our graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Starting salaries are in the region of £21,800. They are employed in a range of organisations, from the BBC and UTV to the Civil Service, from the Irish News to the European Parliament, and including a very wide range of local, national and international companies.
Employment after the Course
Graduates in French and Spanish go on to work in a very wide range of sectors, including media and communications, advertising, journalism, tourism, civil service, teaching and translation. They are particularly in demand in careers requiring a high level of communication and presentation skills, as well as strong critical and analytical thinking.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Santander and the British Council.
Our past students have also gained work placements with organisations such as the British Council Assistantships Program and with Citibank.
"The communication skills I learnt during my degree have been extremely valuable in my current position, from being able to give client presentations with confidence to editing, writing and proofreading advertisements across different media channels. The skills I developed from completing my year abroad, submitting translations and résumés, as well as presenting in three different languages throughout my degree, trained me to work effectively within the Communications industry and made me stand out as a candidate during the interview process."
Susannah who graduated in 2014 with a joint honours degree in French and Spanish, is now an Account Executive at ASG & Partners, a Communications and Advertising agency based in Belfast.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
In French, the AN Troughton Award and The Samuel and Sarah Ferguson Travel Prize recognise academic achievement at Levels One and Two.
In Spanish, the O’Rawe prize is awarded for excellence at Level Two.
Students in both languages who achieve a first class mark in their final year oral examination are awarded a certificate of distinction.
The Chris Shorley Prize rewards the best performances in the Language exam in Level Three.
The Richard Bales Prize is awarded to the student with the highest mark in an optional module in Level Three
The Xavier Giralt prize is awarded to a Level Three student whose performance has been deemed exceptional.
There are a number of undergraduate prizes available to top-performing students on this pathway. In addition to Foundation Scholarships recognizing outstanding achievement in Level One, we have a range of endowed prizes.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,160|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,160|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
French and Spanish costs
Students have a compulsory year abroad in year 3 of their degree. Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider. Placement options include: Erasmus Work with British Council as Teaching Assistant: Students currently receive approximately €780 net per month and an Erasmus monthly grant of approximately €300 . Erasmus Study Placement: Students currently receive an Erasmus monthly grant of €300. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
How do I fund my study?
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application 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 2019 from 1 September 2018.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).
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.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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