Hispanic Studies BA (Hons)

Key information


Hispanic Studies covers the languages, literatures, cultures and histories of Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

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 in Spain, in Portugal and in Latin America. This programme allows you to develop Spanish language skills (whether from beginner or A-level standard) to proficiency level (at least C1 of the CEFR), as well as introducing you to a broad range of aspects of Hispanic studies from linguistics through historical and cultural study (including literature and film) to practical skills such as translation and interpreting. Not only will you become a confident reader, writer, listener, and speaker of Spanish, with the option of studying a second Iberian language (Basque, Catalan or Portuguese), but you will also gain a thorough understanding of many aspects of Hispanic Studies.

We have a vibrant community of students who are involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities including Iberian and Latin American Week, 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 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 literatures and cultures, Basque politics, Latin American and Spanish cinema and Spanish literature from medieval to modern times. You may also, subject to approval, choose from the range of modules offered within the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies. In final year there is the opportunity to take an optional module in translation as well as pursue an independent translation project.

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 in a Spanish, Basque, Catalan or Portuguese-speaking area working as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. It is possible, and sometimes recommended, 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 split the Year Abroad between a Spanish, Catalan, Basque or Portuguese-speaking area and another country.

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

Split your degree between the study of Spanish language and cultures and another subject of your choice. 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 (Basque, Catalan or Portuguese) from Year Two.

If you split your degree between Hispanic Studies and another subject area, you will study a Spanish language module, at beginners or advanced level, and another language or cultural module per semester, alongside two other modules in your other subject.

In Year One, you will study two Spanish language modules at the appropriate level and two foundational modules. 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, Spanish literature from medieval to modern times, or Basque, Catalan or Portuguese as a second language.

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.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

124 Year One undergraduates in 2018

UK league tables

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

Department resources

The Department has recently moved to a fully-refurbished Grade I listed building in the beautiful Georgian Abercromby Square. We have our own Language Lounge which is stocked with language-learning resources and provides a beautiful and contemplative environment for group work or private study. It has five PCs specialising in language learning programmes. We have our own Modern Language film collection which is available to students for loan.

Research performance

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 72% of our staff publications as world-leading or internationally excellent with the remaining 28% considered to be of recognised international quality. This ranks us above Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Exeter.

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At Liverpool, you can choose which level to learn at with confidence, knowing we are specialists in teaching languages to all levels. Beginners will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language; advanced students will see their knowledge broadened and deepened.

Access new facilities

Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of 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”.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the university. As part of your modules, you may visit an exhibition, deliver a language taster in a school, do an internship in one of our partner organisations, or interview a film maker. Our department routinely organises visits by award-winning writers, directors and translators who will share valuable insights into their work and we recently received a University Learning and Teaching award for enriching the experience of students in and beyond the classroom.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

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. A reduced fee is payable for the year which you spend abroad. If you are studying two languages you will normally split the year between two countries.

Higher than average salaries

Did you know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) say that students who study abroad as part of their studies are more likely to be in further education or employment six months after graduating and to earn higher than average salaries, and that they are more likely to graduate with a 2.1 or First Class degree?