Students on this course will receive intensive tuition in Irish and Spanish. You may also chose from a wide range of modules relating to Irish culture and society such as film-making, the short story, poetry, Gaelic identity, mythology and Scottish Gaelic, as well as a wide variety of literary, historical, social, cultural and linguistic aspects of Spanish-speaking countries across the globe. The degree takes four years to complete (which includes the study abroad year).
Irish and Spanish Degree highlights
Queen’s is the top ranked Irish programme and Spanish is 7th in the UK in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
- After Stage 2, you will spend an academic year working or studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Students have the possibility to go to Spain and Latin America and the choice to teach, study, complete a work placement, or volunteer. All students receive training focused directly on living and working/studying abroad.
- We have former students in senior positions in most Irish language sectors and we maintain good links with media production companies, the translation sector and language promotion agencies
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s has an excellent library for Irish materials and an outstanding collection of resources relating to Ireland, Spain and Latin America.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Queen’s has world-leading experts in the history of the Irish language and literature and in Spanish and Latin American literature and culture. Languages research at Queen’s was ranked 3rd in the UK in REF 2014 for Research Intensity.
- The Irish student society, An Cumann Gaelach, is one of the biggest in QUB. The society is extremely active and holds a range of events and activities each year (annual festival, Irish classes, concerts, annual dinner-dance, etc.)
- Strong emphasis on Irish language and culture. Students complete 4 hours of language per week (interactive classes based on the national syllabus for Irish)
- Irish has a bespoke online platform for language learning called Learning Branch (this contains a range of subject-specific language tasks and mirrors content in language modules)
- Students have a unique opportunity to engage with native speakers through attendance at an annual Gaeltacht residential in Rannafast, Donegal. The course lasts 3 weeks at takes place at the end of both Stage 1 and Stage 2.
- Spanish is 7th in the UK in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
- Students can study Spanish from Beginner level, post AS level, and post A level.
- Spanish and Portuguese Society: Students can get involved in a vibrant student network that organizes activities throughout the year (e.g. tapas nights, language intercambios) and includes many ERASMUS students at Queen’s as well.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience here at Queen’s. I have found my course to be both stimulating and enjoyable and the facilities really are ‘second-to-none’. The standard of teaching is first class and the support available to students is excellent. I would definitely recommend Queen’s to anyone."
Maolíosa McGarry (Stage Three)
Stage 1 Compulsory courses Gaeilge 1 (post A level )
Spanish 1 (post A level)
Intermediate Spanish (post AS level or Leaving Certificate)
Spanish for Beginners
Stage 1 Optional Courses Celtic Mythology
Introduction to Modern Irish Literature
Introduction to Iberian Studies
Introduction to Latin American
Stage 2 Compulsory courses Gaeilge 2
Stage 2 Optional Courses Irish:
Kings and Warriors
Skills in Irish Translation
Scannánaíocht na Gaeilge: Studies in Irish Film
Dúchas na Gaeilge: Irish Writing and the Short Story
Issues and Culture
Spanish Memoirs and Autobiographies
The Fantastic in Latin America
Stage 3 Placement Year Stage 4 Compulsory Courses Gaeilge 3
Stage 4 Optional Courses Irish:
Modern Irish Poetry
Language, Identity and the Emergence of Modern Irish Literature
Rewriting Love in the Renaissance
Failed Romances of Latin American Literature
Imperfect Heroines: Spanish fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries
The Spanish Enlightenment
The Sacred made real: Representing spirituality in Spain’s Golden Age
Disease and Society
People teaching youDr Marcas Mac Coinnigh
Senior Lecturer in Irish
Arts, English and LanguagesProfessor Greg Toner
Professor of Irish
Arts, English and LanguagesProfessor Mícheál Ó Mainnín
Professor of Irish
Arts, English and Languages
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 3 (hours maximum)
2/3 hours of lectures per week
Medium Group Teaching 9 (hours maximum)
8/9 hours of tutorials or small group teaching per week
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including independent reading, language practice, vocabulary development, guided study, online activities, coursework preparation etc
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.
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:
- E-Learning technologies
A wide range of information associated with modules is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. Typically, lecture notes are provided through Canvas for each module along with other support material. Much of the recommended reading is available through the same environment.
- Gaeltacht Course
Students taking a BA in Irish spend a total of six weeks on a dedicated summer course in Rinn na Feirste in Donegal. Here students engage with native speakers while staying in accommodation with a host family. Intensive, structured tuition is provided by qualified native Irish speakers during the course involving approximately 60 hours of placement learning during each course. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in Irish, the residence course provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Gaeltacht culture and establishes a tremendous camaraderie among students.
- Language enrichment classes
Intensive 2-hour language enrichment classes in Irish provide students with opportunities to develop oral skills and develop their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. These classes are taught in very small groups (typically 12-15 students). Students will also be expected to attend one class per week on language accuracy.
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 25-50 students). Only a small number of our modules are delivered in this way.
- Oral classes
Students will have opportunities to develop their Spanish oral skills and apply grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. All these classes are taught in very small groups 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.
- 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 with whom to discuss any difficulties they might encounter and who can answer any queries they might have.
- 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 and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Almost all of the teaching in Irish is carried out in small groups (typically 15 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.
- Year Abroad
Students taking a BA in Spanish undertake a year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country after Stage 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.
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, 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 a world class library and its Special Collections in the library has a targeted policy for collecting resources relating to Ireland. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning
- E-Learning technologies
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 last year's intake, applicants for this BA programme offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 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 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 the overall BTEC grade 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.
Access courses, BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to Irish 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.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit 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 on this pathway will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, particularly in a world where critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness and communication skills are at a premium.
Typical careers include teacher, language development officer, translator, manager, TV presenter, producer, writer and researcher. Graduates may also enter careers in business, management consultancy, law, and banking.
88% of our graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Starting salaries may be in the region of £21,800. A Higher Education Funding Council report for 2008 showed that 3.5 years after graduation, languages students have the fourth highest mean salary (after graduates in Medicine, Pharmacy and Architecture).
Employment after the Course
Former graduates in Irish and Spanish have gone on to work as teachers and translators. Graduates may also enter careers in business, management consultancy, media and communications, advertising, journalism, and tourism. They are particularly in demand in careers requiring a high level of communication and presentation skills, as well as strong critical and analytical thinking.
Queen’s has strong links with a number of employers including the Department for Communities, the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies, and employers are routinely invited to address the Irish students. Many of our students work in primary and secondary schools as classroom assistants and language assistants while studying for their degree. Other opportunities to gain employment experience are provided by media companies located in the area and theatre and community groups in Belfast
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
John Devlin Fund: Awarded annually to the Final Year student with the highest overall mark in the Irish Language module at Stage 3.
Students receive a certificate of distinction for first class performance in the Stage 3 oral in Irish and Spanish.
The Donohoe prize is awarded for the highest mark in the Irish oral examination in Stage 2.
The Emrys Evans Book prize is awarded at Stages 1 and 2 for the best performance in the written Irish language examination
The O’Rawe Prize for Academic Progress recognises the achievement of the student at Stage 2 who has demonstrated the most significant academic improvement.
The Xavier Giralt Prize will be awarded each year to one or more Final Year candidates in Spanish language whose exceptional academic performance merits recognition.
There are a number of undergraduate prizes available to top-performing students in Irish and Spanish. In addition to Foundation Scholarships recognizing outstanding achievement in Stage 1, 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.
Fees and Funding
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 for 2023 will be updated later in 2022, and 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.
Irish and Spanish costs
Joint honours Irish students are required to spend 2 periods of residence in the Gaeltacht between Years 1 and 2 and between Years 2 and 3. The trips are subsidised by the School but each student is required to pay a contribution per residency (currently £180, i.e. £360 in total). Students have to pay their travel to and from the Gaeltacht.
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.
Queen's University Belfast is committed to providing a range of international opportunities to its students during their degree programme. Details of this provision are currently being finalised and will be available from the University website once confirmed.
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 2023 from 1 September 2022.
Advisory closing date: 25 January 2023 (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 2023) 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 2023. If you apply for 2023 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 2023.
- 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