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Spanish (BA)

  • R400

4 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Spanish is one of the world's major languages. Spoken by over 400 million people across more than 20 countries worldwide, it is one of the most useful languages in the world for business and leisure alike. It opens doors to a vibrant and diverse range of cultural experiences. As a Spanish student at Cardiff University, you will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research in a wide range of topics relating to Spain and Latin America. You will also benefit from a flexible range of optional modules dealing with the literature, film and history of modern Spain and Latin America, including Catalan language and culture. The Year Abroad provides a great opportunity for you to further improve your Spanish and to fully immerse yourself in another culture.


A degree in Spanish at Cardiff University enables students to access, analyse and evaluate current developments across the Hispanic world as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Spanish, students will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today.

Spanish at Cardiff can be taken by students who have an A level (or equivalent) in the subject, as well as by students who have no prior knowledge of Spanish. Studying for a degree in Spanish involves immersing yourself in both the language and the culture of the Hispanic world. At Cardiff, we place great emphasis on reading, writing, oral and aural skills, which are vital for communication. In language classes, you will be taught by native speakers of Spanish. What makes a degree in Spanish at Cardiff University different is the dedicated staff, international environment, breadth of research-led teaching and the extensive range of institutional links for the Year Abroad, which have been built up over many years.

Key Facts

UCAS Code R400
Duration 4 years
How to apply
Typical places available  The School admits 170 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 650
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB (including a modern foreign language)
Admissions Tutor Dr Carlos Sanz Mingo
Tel Number

029 2087 4145

Email address
School website

The structure of the degree is based around modules with a specific number of credits, which are awarded after successful completion. The credits earned count towards the total number of credits required for the degree. While some of the modules at each stage are compulsory, the degree structure also leaves room for individual choice.

Year 1

  • Spanish Language Year One Beginners
  • Spanish Language Year One Advanced
  • Introduction to Hispanic Studies (Beginners)
  • Introduction to Hispanic Studies (Advanced)
  • Year 2

    Option Modules (note that the list of modules is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year).

    Year 3 – Year Abroad

    You spend the third year of your Spanish degree in Spain or in another Hispanic country. You have a range of options, which include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school, or working for a company or organisation in a Spanish-speaking country.

    While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned to the Year Abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may even get a visit from one of your Spanish tutors who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.
    You will also have the opportunity to share your experience by entering the Year Abroad Photo Competition, which rewards one student on each of the language degree programmes (joint or single) in French, German, Italian and Spanish with a £50 prize.


    The School has established links with universities in Cáceres, Ciudad Real, Granada, Lleida, Santiago de Compostela, Sevilla, València and Vic. In Spanish America we have exchange agreements with universities in Lima (Peru) and Guadalajara (Mexico).
    All students going on an Erasmus exchange enjoy a grant for each semester they spend in Spain. Since other students have gone from Cardiff to all of the above mentioned destinations before you, their experiences provide a helpful guide about what to expect. Returning students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have helped us to set up an extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with user-friendly advice throughout your year abroad.


    As a teaching assistant on a scheme run by the British Council, you could go to a major city or to a small, rural town. This option provides excellent experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. The British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. Your school should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live on arrival.
    You also have the possibility of taking a placement, for example, in a Spanish organisation or company. These arrangements can be made through any personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. You will of course need to make sure that the position you are going for affords you plenty of opportunity to speak Spanish. Such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

    Experience another culture

    No matter what the arrangement, the Year Abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your Spanish, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain further study or work experience. Most of our graduates in Spanish regard having lived in Spain as the most significant experience during their university studies at Cardiff, with a positive impact on their personal development and career.
    Past students have described it as "the best experience of my life".

    It is the best possible preparation for your final year and it gives language graduates the maturity and self-confidence that makes them so popular with future employers

    Student views

    Deian Timms, year abroad spent in Granada

    This is an excerpt from a video diary filmed by Deian Timms throughout his year abroad. View Deian's complete video diary.

    Year 4

    Spanish no longer distinguishes between Beginners and Post A-level students by your final year. All students of Spanish take the language module.

    Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year.

    Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

    Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Seminars are kept small and usually average between 12-15 students. This is designed to give you ample opportunity to participate and to provide close contact between you and members of the academic staff.

    Different seminar formats are used. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

    Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.


    The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby develop your capacities to apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political questions; acquire detailed knowledge about a particular area of politics; use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

    Pastoral Care

    You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.


    Typical A-level Offer ABB including a modern foreign language. (General Studies is not accepted)
    Typical WBQ Offer B (Spanish or another language), B at A2 and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a pass in the Core
    Typical Int Bacc Offer Considered on individual merit

    Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

    Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

    Modern language degrees provide students with a range of communication and intercultural skills. Students are in high demand both for their cultural awareness and linguistic skills. Graduates in modern languages go on to further study and teaching but are also sought after in telecommunications, in international organisations and institutions, such as the charity sector and European bodies and agencies, and in public administration.

    The diversity of careers in Modern Languages is testament to the range of linguistic, social and intellectual skills which are integral to modern language training and which are highly valued on the job market. Two very distinct language-related career areas are open for consideration – specialist language careers which revolve around the language concerned and secondly, careers which use language, whilst keeping their main focus on another skill/area of expertise.

    In 2010, 57% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while a further 31% were engaged in further study.

    Next intake: September each year

    School Contact

    Name: Alex Ford (UG)  

    Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0824 



    School Website:

    More information

    School of Modern Languages