Hispanic Studies BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: RR45
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered
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Hispanic Studies covers the languages, literatures, cultures and histories of Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Study as part of joint-honours at 100:0 Choosing this subject as a Single Honours

Liverpool is one of the few UK universities to offer Basque, Catalan and Portuguese Studies, which makes our programmes more diverse and stimulating than many. Spanish and Portuguese are truly global languages; Spanish has over 400 million speakers and Portuguese has over 200 million.

At the University of Liverpool we take a pluricultural and plurilingual approach to the Luso-Hispanic World. We have a strong interest in looking at Spanish in and beyond Spain with an emphasis on the variety of different languages and cultures encountered both on the Iberian Peninsula and in Latin America. As one of the longest established centres for the study of Latin America, we have considerable expertise in Latin America, which will add further depth and breadth to your degree and lets you specialise in Latin American Studies from Year Two. Not only will you become a confident reader, writer, listener, and speaker of Spanish, you will also gain a thorough understanding of many aspects of Hispanic Studies.

Teaching throughout all four years of your degree is informed by this plurilingual and pluricultural understanding of the Luso-Hispanic world, and you will have the opportunity to choose from the wide range of languages on offer. Most of these languages can be studied in a range of combinations with other languages and subjects.

We have a vibrant community of students who are involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities including Iberian Week and Latin American Week, the Lusophone and Hispanic Film Clubs, an annual Symposium, Visiting Writers, and much more.

Programme in detail

Each year you take two modules in Spanish language at the appropriate level, plus students of advanced Spanish will take two further modules in Portuguese, Catalan or Basque which you will learn from scratch if you take Hispanic Studies as a Major or as a Single Honours degree. In Year One you will also take foundational modules which introduce Iberian and Latin American histories, languages and cultures; students of advanced Spanish taking Single Honours will also take a ‘Language awareness’ module, which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics, and a module on Iberian Literature.

During your second and final year you complement your study of Spanish and Catalan, Basque or Portuguese by choosing four (two for a Major) modules from a wide range including options on Latin American literature and cultures, Basque, Brazilian, Latin American and Spanish cinema and Spanish literature from medieval to modern times. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies.

At the University of Liverpool, Spanish may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language, where no previous qualification in the language is necessary. In the first year our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of Spanish. If you are a beginner, a fast moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of your first year.

You will spend one year working in a Spanish, Basque, Catalan or Portuguese-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Spanish or in the other languages or follow courses at your host university. It is possible to divide the Year Abroad between Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Portuguese speaking areas.

If you combine Major Hispanic Studies with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the Year Abroad in a Spanish, Catalan, Basque or Portuguese-speaking area.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

Each year you take two modules in Spanish language at the appropriate level, plus students of advanced Spanish will take two further modules in Portuguese, Catalan or Basque which you will learn from scratch if you take Hispanic Studies as a Major or as a Single Honours degree. In Year One you will also take foundational modules which introduce Iberian and Latin American histories, languages and cultures; students of advanced Spanish taking Single Honours will also take a ‘Language awareness’ module, which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics, and a module on Iberian Literature.

During your second and final year you complement your study of Spanish and Catalan, Basque or Portuguese by choosing four (two for a Major) modules from a wide range including options on Latin American literature and cultures, Basque, Brazilian, Latin American and Spanish cinema and Spanish literature from medieval to modern times. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies.

At the University of Liverpool, Spanish may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language, where no previous qualification in the language is necessary. In the first year our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of Spanish. If you are a beginner, a fast moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of your first year.

You will spend one year working in a Spanish, Basque, Catalan or Portuguese-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Spanish or in the other languages or follow courses at your host university. It is possible to divide the Year Abroad between Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Portuguese speaking areas.

If you combine Major Hispanic Studies with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the Year Abroad in a Spanish, Catalan, Basque or Portuguese-speaking area.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a Joint

Studying Hispanic Studies at 50% will enable you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to Spanish with the option of studying a second Iberian language from Year Two. It will also help you to understand the society, history, politics, linguistics, culture, literature and cinema of the Luso-Hispanic world. In Year One you will also take foundational modules which introduce Iberian and Latin American histories, languages and cultures.

During your second and final year you will study two Spanish language modules at the appropriate level plus two content modules from a range of options on Latin American Literature, Latin American and Spanish cinema and Spanish literature from medieval to modern times. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures. From your second year onwards, if you are studying advanced Spanish, you have the option of studying another Iberian language from beginner’s level for one of your optional modules.

At the University of Liverpool, Spanish may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language where no previous qualification in the language is required. In the first year, our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of Spanish. If you are a beginner, a fast moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of your first year.

In Year Three you will spend one year in a Spanish-speaking country (or if relevant, Basque or Catalan-speaking region or Portuguese speaking country) as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Spanish or follow courses at your host university.

For entry to Hispanic Studies with another language you will need an A level in at least one of the languages studied. You will spend half the year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, or if relevant, Basque or Catalan-speaking region or Portuguese-speaking country.

Study as part of joint-honours at 25:75Choosing this subject as a Minor

All of the Hispanic Studies languages are available as individual minor subjects: you can study Spanish at either beginners’ or advanced level (if you already have an A Level in Spanish), or Portuguese, Catalan or Basque at beginners’ level. 

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

102 Year One undergraduates in 2016

UK league tables

Ranked 19th for Modern Languages in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Graduate prospects

87.6% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014/15)

National Student Survey

91% of students are happy with the teaching on their programme (National Student Survey 2016)

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At the University of Liverpool, language is at the heart of our teaching and staff from across the Department take part in its delivery. Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of our departmental life. It is a lively place where you can work on your language skills with the aid of online resources, watch foreign-language films, meet someone for a chat in your chosen language or simply settle down with ‘un espresso’, a foreign-language newspaper and take in the beautiful views of our fabulous Georgian Abercromby Square.

Many of our students will start a language from beginner’s level. Indeed, in languages such as Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque most of our students will start that language from scratch. At Liverpool, you can choose with confidence, knowing that we are specialists in teaching languages to beginners and you will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language. As a beginner, you will take our fast-track modules to achieve between GCSE and A level standard within a year. From Year Two, you will be integrated with post-A-level students studying your language.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

Whether you study languages as a Single Honours degree or as a Minor, you have the opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of your programme. You’ll spend your third year teaching English, attending university, completing a work placement or working for a non-government organisation (NGO) in one or more countries relevant to the language or languages you are studying. This opportunity offers you a unique first-hand experience to step out of the classroom and immerse yourself in the country’s culture and develop your language skills further.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our degrees help you make connections within and across language areas. If you study a language as a Single Honours degree, you can take a different language from scratch or from A level standard which you can continue into final year.

We also offer modules that enable you to compare the culture or linguistics of one or more language areas. These include modules on German and Italian film, as well as linguistic topics such as the linguistic landscape.

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the University. For example, some French modules include sessions in Special Collections and Archives in the University’s Sydney Jones Library, whilst others run seminars in conjunction with National Museums Liverpool. In Hispanic Studies, the Etxepare Basque Institute fund a lecturer, internships and visiting speakers. The Spanish Embassy, the Institut Ramon Llull (the Catalan language and cultural institute), the Instituto Camões (the Portuguese language and cultural institute) and the Instituto Cervantes (the Spanish language and cultural institute) all support our annual Iberian and Latin American Week, a week of cultural and language activities related to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. These take place on campus and at a variety of venues throughout the city.

We will help you make the connection between university study and your future career, either through offering work experience opportunities as part of your degree or through transferable or specialist skills gained during your studies. Our work placement modules in Year Two allow you to use your language skills on a work placement in the Merseyside area. Our Year Abroad scheme offers you the opportunity to undertake a year- long teaching placement or an ‘International Year in Industry’ in a business or other organisation.

From the end of Year Two of your studies, you can gain qualified teacher status in a scheme supported by the Department of Education. Once you register on this programme, you will be eligible for the Teacher Training Bursary, a tax-free sum of up to £9,000. If you are interested in a career in translation and interpreting, you can gain these skills in our language modules from Year Two. In the Final Year, you can choose to take a specialist translation studies module or prepare a translation of your chosen text to submit as a dissertation.

You will also gain insights into the creative and practical aspects of the translation process at our annual translation workshop, led by a visiting professional translator or network with potential employers at our annual ‘Careers in Translation and Interpreting’ event.

Pursue your own adventure

Many of our modules allow you to focus on topics that particularly interest you. For example our language modules often let you choose and research a subject that interests you as part of your assessment, whether a book report or oral presentation. In cultural modules, you can choose or even devise your own essay question.