Students studying Politics and Spanish appreciate how the insights of political analysis (e.g. political theory, political institutions, international relations) and the tools of literary and linguistic inquiry combine to illuminate political and historical developments, including those in the contemporary world. By studying Politics and Spanish, students can also analyse a wide variety of literary, political, social, cultural and linguistic aspects of Spanish-speaking countries across the globe. All students follow modules in Spanish language which are of a broadly communicative nature, focusing on contemporary Spanish/Hispanic social and cultural issues and drawing on authentic materials. The degree takes four years to complete (which includes the study abroad year).
Politics and Spanish Degree highlights
Iberian Languages at QUB was ranked 5th in the UK by the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016
- After stage 2, you will spend an academic year working or studying in a Spanish-speaking country. 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.
- Students taking a BA in Spanish undertake an extended period of residence abroad (typically 8 months), normally working as an assistant in a school or undertaking a paid work placement in a Spanish-speaking country (options include Spain and Latin America). Students can also elect to study at a Spanish university, or do voluntary work. In addition to the benefits for oral competence, the residence provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Spanish and Spanish/Hispanic culture. 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 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. Politics offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s Library has an outstanding collection of resources relating to Spain and Latin America, as well as a range of political topics. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning, and the IT provision more generally is excellent.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Spanish at QUB has world leading experts in Spanish and Latin American literature and culture. Research in Languages at Queen’s was ranked 3rd in the UK in REF 2014 for Research Intensity and 5th for Grade Point Average.
- Students run both a lively Spanish and Portuguese Society and Politics Society, and staff offer support through a personal tutoring system, skills development programme and a structured framework for feedback.
“I chose Queen’s because the wide choice of modules essentially allows me to build my own degree. I enjoy the way we are taught through lectures and tutorials where we are given an overview of a topic, able to research more for ourselves, and then debate with our peers in tutorial sessions. The School is very open to the input of students and I enjoy the level of student engagement through societies and student-staff consultative committees.”
Jessica Simonds, Colwyn Bay, Wales 3rd Year
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.
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.
Perspectives on Politics
Spanish for Beginners
|Stage 1 Optional Courses|
World Politics: Conflict and Peace
Issues in Contemporary Politics
Introduction to Latin American Studies
Introduction to Iberian Studies
Modern Political Thought
|Stage 2 Optional Courses|
Politics and Policy of the European Union
The Politics of Deeply Divided
Security and Terrorism
British Politics in crisis
Spanish Memoirs and Autobiographies
Afterlives: Rogues and Mystics of the Spanish Golden Age
The Fantastic in Latin America
Issues and Culture
|Stage 4 Optional Courses|
Contemporary Critical Theory
Contemporary Political Philosophy
Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy: The Politics of Unsustainability
The Politics of Irish Literature
Northern Ireland: A Case Study
Scotland and N. Ireland: Points of Political Comparison
Middle Eastern Politics
Ethics, Power and International Politics
National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
Women and Politics
US Foreign Policy
War and Visual Culture
The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
Challenges to contemporary party politics
Politics, Public Administration and Policy-Making
Rewriting Love in the Renaissance
Failed Romances of Latin American Literature
Imperfect Heroines: Spanish fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries
|Stage 4 Optional Dissertation|
In their final year, students can to write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.
Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.
People teaching you
Dr Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa
Reader in Spanish Studies
Arts, English and Languages
Dr Sánchez Espinosa is Head of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and teaches Spanish language, and 18th-century Spanish literature and culture.
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
6 (hours maximum)
6 (hours maximum) hours of lectures
|Medium Group Teaching|
8 (hours maximum)
hours of small-group teaching
30 (hours maximum)
30 hours studying and revising in your own time each week (10 hours per module), including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial|
2 (hours maximum)
2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
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 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. 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:
In their final year, students can write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.
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.
A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-12 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely 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 their peers. During these classes, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
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 the year examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook or module guides which are provided to all students.
As students progress through this 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 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:
Formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. The vast majority of our written feedback is provided electronically to your personal online account.
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 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 Peninsular Spanish and Hispanic 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 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.
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 entry last year, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 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 made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (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.
Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and the standard required is an overall average of 70% in Level 3 modules. Applicants must also have the appropriate qualification to fulfil the entry requirements for Spanish.
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 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants 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 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 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. Typical careers pursued by graduates in Spanish can include publishing, education/teaching, translation/interpreting, PR, fast stream Civil Service, and banking.
Employment after the Course
Graduates go on to work in a very wide range of sectors, including media and communications, advertising, journalism, tourism, 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.
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 / MARFRIG who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as the British Council Assistantships Program, Santander Bank, and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
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
"Studying Spanish at QUB was a very rewarding experience for me personally and one that I would recommend to anyone considering it. The truth is that the 4 years passed in what seemed the blink of an eye, but it is clear to me that I really developed not just in terms of my language, but also my critical thinking, my ability to research independently and work as part of a team, my public speaking and many more valuable skills for entering into the world of employment. I am currently working at an educational technology start-up in Madrid where Spanish is the lingua franca. I know for a fact that being a native English speaker with a degree in Spanish from a renowned institution helped me to get my foot in the door here and I am putting into practice many of the skills I learned studying Spanish at Queen’s on a daily basis."
Michael, 2016 Spanish graduate
What employers say
‘We are looking for graduates who can be our future leaders who demonstrate qualities of courage, judgement and breadth. Where do we find such qualities? Linguists or arts graduates.’
Miles Cowdry, Director of Global Corporate Development, Rolls Royce PLC
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
All students in year 2 BA Spanish programme at joint honours level or above are eligible for consideration
Certificates of Distinction in Spoken Spanish: A certificate of Distinction in spoken Spanish is awarded to students whose performance is 1st class in their final year oral examination.
Queen’s Foundation Scholarship: Awarded by the School for the best overall performance in Spanish at Level 1.
The O’Rawe Prize for Academic Progress: This award recognises the achievements of the student at level 2 who has demonstrated the most significant academic improvement
The prize of £500 will be awarded to the student who, according to the established criteria shows the most academic improvement between their first year and their second year of study on the BA Spanish programme at joint honours level or above
Xavier Giralt Prize: This prize, which is derived from funds bequeathed by the late Xavier Giralt, will be awarded each year to one or more Final Year candidates in Spanish language, whose exceptional academic performance merits recognition
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.
Politics and Spanish costs
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional history exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000. 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. Students have a compulsory year abroad in year 3 of their degree. 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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