BA Romance Languages

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Two BA Romance Languages students smiling at the camera

In choosing to study a BA in Romance Languages you'll be exposed to up to three Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian). By comparing the common roots of the languages you will enhance your language skills with a deeper understanding of literature and culture. With access to excellent facilities you will emerge from your degree with a key set of core and transferable skills demanded by employers. Expand the sections below and discover more ...


This degree scheme, unique to Aberystwyth University, involves the study of up to three Romance languages: French, Spanish and Italian. You may study one of the languages starting at beginner’s level. You will be encouraged to find and explore comparisons between the languages, and to reflect on the relationships between different languages of the same family and their respective cultures and literature. 

The Department takes seriously its two major commitments - teaching (our commitment to you, as students) and research. In the Guardian subject table for 2016 we scored 92% for satisfaction with our teaching. You will be taught by top-flight research-active academics, from year one onwards. The Department has secured several times the sector average in competitive external funding. Staff members have organised numerous conferences both here in Wales and elsewhere (France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Morocco), and give papers regularly at international conferences. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. Having submitted 77% of eligible staff it also found that 95% of the university's research was on an internationally recognised standard.

The Department has excellent facilities, including a well-equipped Language Resource Centre, which offers state-of-the-art computing facilities and video recording equipment, and a wide range of learning materials, such as live television broadcasts from Europe. The University library with its wide range of books and academic journals is situated right next to the Department, while the world-renowned collections of the National Library of Wales is a short walk away.

92% of our 2014 European Languages graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating. 78% were found to be working in 'professional' level work or in 'graduate' level education, 9 percentage points more than the overall national average (DLHE 2014).

Our Staff

All of the lecturers in the Dept of Modern Languages are qualified to PhD level and are research active. We also employ language tutors, some of whom have a PhD, and all of whom are experienced teachers. We occasionally employ native-speakers from our partner universities abroad (lectors) who come to us highly recommended on the basis of their academic achievement at the home university, and many of whom have trained as teachers. The fourth group is part-time staff who are employed on the basis of their expertise in a particular specialist area.  

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Options You must choose 60-100 credits of the following modules (maximum TWO Advanced languages/ONE Beginners language):

Semester 1

French Language (beginners) FR10700

French Language Advanced FR19900

Italian Language (beginners) IT10700

Italian Language Advanced IT19900

Spanish Language (beginners) SP10700

Spanish Language Advanced SP19900

Semester 2

French Language (beginners) FR10740

French Language Advanced FR19930

Italian Language (beginners) IT10740

Italian Language Advanced IT19930

Spanish Language (beginners) SP10740

Spanish Language Advanced SP19930

Year 1 Options You must choose 20-60 credits of the following or other content modules (you must include as part of these credits the appropriate 10 credit content module (FR12910, IT10510, SP10610 or EL10610) for each advanced language you take):

Semester 1

Introduction To European Film EL10500

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10800

Hispanic Civilization SP10610

Semester 2

Introduction To European Film EL10520

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10820

Images Of France: The French Family FR12910

Hanes A Diwylliant Ewropeaidd IE10420

The Making Of Italy IT10510

Year 2 Core (20 Credits) You must take:

Semester 1

Romance Linguistics EL20220

Year 2 Options You must choose 60-90 credits of the following modules:

Semester 1

French Language FR20100

Italian Language IT20100

Spanish Language SP20100

Semester 2

French Language FR20130

Italian Language IT20130

Spanish Language SP20130

Year 2 Options You must choose 10-40 credits of Level 2 EL, FR, IC, IE, IT or SP content modules.

Year 3 Core (120 Credits) During your Year Abroad your registration will be as follows:

Semester 1

Year Abroad Assessment ELS0000

Year Abroad Assessment ELS0100

Semester 2

Year Abroad Assessment ELS0060

Year Abroad Assessment ELS0160

Year 4 Core (20 Credits) You must take:

Semester 1

Dissertation EL30100

Semester 2

Dissertation EL30120

Year 4 Options You must choose 60-90 credits of the following modules:

Semester 1

French Language FR30100

Italian Language IT30100

Spanish Language SP30100

Semester 2

French Language FR30130

Italian Language IT30130

Spanish Language SP30130

Year 4 Options You must choose 10-40 credits of Level 3 EL, FR, IC, IE, IT or SP content modules.


A degree in modern languages will equip you with a wide range of skills to prepare you for the world of employment. You will acquire all the skills of an Arts degree - communication skills, critical analysis and the ability to structure and argument, for example - but with the added advantage of having lived independently in one or more county abroad. Alongside this, the university can offer a range of initiatives to improve your employability. The University's Careers Advisory Service participates in the Go Wales project, a service offering high quality work placements, jobs, work experience and training schemes, with the possibility of work in a European country. The Careers Advisory Service also organise a number of employability events throughout the year, on issues such as writing a CV or giving presentations. The Careers Service will also be able to assist you in planning for your future, and looking for work placements and jobs during and after your studies. During your time in Aberystwyth, you will also have the chance to complete the Personal Development Portfolio, in which you record and reflect on your academic studies, the development of your skills and your plans for the future. You will find it a useful way of tracking your progress through your studies, and deciding what career might be suitable for you.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The Department of Modern Languages provides a relaxed and welcoming environment in which to study. Most staff are native speakers of their particular language, and you will be taught in small groups of no more than twenty students (or ten for weekly conversation groups), which will allow you the space to develop your skills alongside a group of your peers and with regular help from the teaching staff. Assessment is through written and oral exams, and continuous written, oral and listening tests. You will develop a good framework in the four key skills of language study (reading, writing, speaking and listening) that will enable you to progress as the degree develops. Specialist content modules will develop your existing skills, and help you to gain a detailed understanding of the culture and current affairs of the relevant country. Your Year Abroad (taken in the third year) will give you the opportunity to study in countries where two of your major languages are spoken. Help is available from the Department in finding appropriate locations in which to study. The fourth year will consolidate the skills learned on the Year Abroad, and teach you to employ a complex range of vocabulary and registers, preparing you for employment using the relevant language. The dissertation will enable you to undertake independent study of an area of your interest, and will help develop your analytical skills. You will find the Department friendly and welcoming, and committed to your education. From the first week you will be assigned a personal tutor who can provide assistance with any difficulties you might have with the degree or with university life

Student Views

When I first heard the course name 'Romance Languages', I wasn't entirely sure what it meant. It was only in my second year when I took up a Romance Linguistics module that I truly understood the many links between the languages - that they all stem from Latin - that makes learning them together so much fun! I love noticing new similarities between the Romance languages and I was thrilled when I started Italian from scratch to see how similar the grammar was to French, which I'd already studied at school. Learning Italian has actually strengthened my French skills and my knowledge of Spanish vocabulary has made learning Italian a piece of cake. I love my course! Jade Cartwright

I think that the Romance Languages course is a really interesting course to do, because the core module in Romance Linguistics really helped me to gain a better understanding of the languages I was studying (French, Spanish and Italian), and it also shows why some of the English language is the way it is. The course enables you to major in three languages which is a plus side when it comes to your year abroad as you get the opportunity to live in three different countries. Jamie Weightman

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: Q990

Tariff Required: 280

Entry Requirements: Grade B in relevant A level Modern Language. GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics

Course Length: 4 Years

Related Courses: