Studying Politics and Spanish at Queen’s, you will 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, you will 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
In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Iberian Languages is ranked • 7th in the UK overall • 2nd for Research Quality • 5th for Research Intensity.
- 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 Politics and 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). You 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.
- Queen's is ranked 26th in the UK for graduate prospects (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020).
- Queen’s is ranked in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020).
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.
- Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019).
- 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, democratic innovations, European Union politics, ethnic conflict, and international relations.
Spanish at Queen’s is one of the few areas in the UK where you can study courses that cover the 15th-21st centuries in Spain and Latin America. Subject include:
• Visual Cultures (cinema, art, textiles, photography)
• History (colonialism, disease, Civil War)
• Digital Humanities
- 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've really enjoyed my time studying Spanish at Queen's. The lecturers are all really friendly and approachable, and the small class sizes make it easy to get to know your tutors and classmates. The language classes are well-organised and cover all aspects of language learning, such as grammar and vocabulary acquisition, conversational fluency and contextual cultural information."
Introduction In order to ensure that students studying Politics and Spanish degree have sufficient grounding in both subjects, you will take an equal number of Politics and Spanish modules. At level 3, you will have greater flexibility in terms of your module choices, having the option to substitute either a dissertation or internship in place of two taught modules. Stage 1 The first year is about building your knowledge and understanding in Politics and Spanish. You will take two compulsory Politics modules (Perspectives on Politics and Contemporary Europe) and a double module in Spanish (appropriate to your level of proficiency in Spanish). Stage 1 Optional Courses You will take one additional module in Politics and one in Spanish, from among:
• World Politics
• Issues in Contemporary Politics
• Comparative Politics
• What is to be done? Sustainability, climate change and just energy transitions in the Anthropocene
• Introduction to Latin American Studies
• Introduction to Iberian Studies
Stage 2 You will take two modules that will provide you with a solid grounding in political theory (Modern Political Thought) and research methods (Studying Politics) as well as a double module in Spanish (Spanish 2) Stage 2 Optional Courses You will also take one optional module in Politics and one in Spanish, from among:
• Politics and Policy of the European Union
• The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies
• Security and Terrorism
• International Relations
• International Organisations
• British Politics in Crisis?
• American Politics
• Irish Politics
• Apocalypse! The End of the World
• Identity Politics in Diverse Societies
• The Northern Ireland Conflict and Paths to Peace
• Spanish Memoirs and Autobiography
• Writing the First Spanish Republic
• Afterlives: Rogues and Mystics of the Spanish Golden Age
• The Fantastic in Latin America
• Issues and Culture of the US-Mexico Borderlands
• Representation in Lusophone Africa in Postcolonial Cinema
Stage 3 Placement Year Stage 4 In year 4 you will have more flexibility and choice.
Politics and Spanish students can required to take:
• THREE modules from the list of options in Politics PLUS THREE modules in Spanish (including Spanish 3); OR
• PAI3097 Internship (double weighted) and ONE Politics module from below PLUS THREE modules in Spanish (including Spanish 3); OR
• PAI3099 Dissertation (double weighted) and ONE Politics module from below PLUS THREE modules in Spanish (including Spanish 3)
Stage 4 Optional Courses • Contemporary Political Philosophy
• Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy
• The Politics of Irish Literature
• Northern Ireland: A Case Study
• Middle Eastern Politics
• National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
• Arms Control
• Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
• Gender 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
• Brazilian Digital Culture
• Imperfect Heroines: Spanish fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries
• Disease and Society in Colonial Latin America
• Inner Journeys
• The Sacred Made Real: Representing Spirituality in Spain’s Golden Age
• The Politics of the Global Economy
• Global Political Economy of Energy
• European Cultural Identities
• Political Parties and Elections in NI
• Radical Hope: Inspiring Present-day Sustainability Transformations
• The Placement
Note: Modules at Stages 2 and 4 are subject to change based on availability.
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 youDr 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.
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
Email: email@example.com Telephone: +44(0)2890975028
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
Personal Study 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.
- E-Learning technologies
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.
- 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.
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 (essays, policy parters, portfolios, blog posts, etc.) 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.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below 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. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this degree offering A-Level/ BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). The Selector will check 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 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), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of 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 Higher National Certificates and Diplomas will also be considered.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only. Some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account and a minimum of 5 passes at Grade C is required.
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 a Faculty/School 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.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example,
• British Council (provide sponsorship for our year abroad placements )
• Rolls Royce,
• Moy Park
• MARFRIG (members of the employer liaison panel for the course).
Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations
• British Council Assistantships Program,
• Santander Bank
• 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."
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.’
Director of Global Corporate Development, Rolls Royce PLC
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
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.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,630 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,630 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £17,900 International £17,900
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees
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.
A limited amount of funding may be available to contribute towards these additional costs, if the placement takes place through a government student mobility scheme.
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 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 www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
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/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2022 from 1 September 2021.
Advisory closing date: 26 January 2022 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2022) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2022. If you apply for 2022 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
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 name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
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 2022.
- 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.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS