BA

Spanish with French

Key Facts

Code R4R1
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBC with B in Spanish and French unless to be studied as a beginner

  • Course Length

    4 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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If you choose to study a language not only will you acquire a high level of linguistic competence (oral, aural, written) but you will also immerse yourself in the study of your language in the wider European social and cultural context. You will spend the third year of study abroad, and during this period your academic study will be reinforced with practical experience. The Department is renowned for the friendly and supportive way it treats its students. On successful completion of your degree you will have developed a range of skills and capabilities sought by employers. Our Languages graduates are often employed as teachers or translators, but high-level language skills are also in demand in the financial sector, in law, the business world and the wider public sector.

Top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Spanish (NSS 2016)
1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of French (NSS 2016)

Department of Modern Languages: 96% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

96% of undergraduates from the Department of Modern Languages who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning

Overview

To enable you to take the combination of subjects that best suits your interests and requirements, the University offers a wide range of Major/Minor combinations. Major/Minor degrees enable you to study two subjects, but devote 2/3 of your time to one of them. If a language is studied as a Major or Minor element, the degree is a four-year scheme. 

Spanish is spoken by over 350 million people globally, with increasing cultural and commercial importance in North America and Asia whilst France is one of Britain’s main economic partners and is Europe’s foremost investor abroad. Skills in these languages are vital to the UK’s economic, political and strategic interests and languages graduates are in demand by employers. Whilst you will acquire the same skills as other Arts graduates, you will have one major advantage compared to other students: you will have lived independently in at least one foreign country, and have learnt the important social skill of intercultural communication. Employers value the independence, the social confidence and the high level of linguistic skill acquired during this time. 

The Department of Modern Languages offers a range of attractive degree schemes which will equip you not only with a high level of linguistic competence but also provide you with a sound knowledge of the culture within which the language or languages you are studying is/are used. During your time as a student you will be able to choose from a range of modules which appeal to a variety of interests. The Department is relatively small and this means that staff and students form a close-knit and friendly community. Many of the modules relate to staff research interests and you will benefit from being taught by staff who are experts in their fields and who are active members of national and international research communities.

The Department at Aberystwyth takes seriously its two major commitments – teaching and research. Knowledge is advancing at a faster rate than most textbooks are, and the Department believes that it is essential that students learn from experts at the forefront of academic research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.

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.  

Modules

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.

Employability

Career Prospects

Your BA in Spanish with French opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. Modern linguists are statistically amongst the most employable graduates. Many of our students go on to teach the languages they themselves have learned and a high proportion of our graduates go into administrative and managerial posts. A degree from the Modern Languages Department is a qualification which opens the door to many professions in Britain, such as the civil service, tourism, social work, librarianship, publishing and broadcasting, and our degrees also take our students across the world.

Your year abroad will set you apart from the majority of graduates, demonstrating your ability to live in a foreign environment, and immerse yourself in a different culture. Alongside this, the university will offer you a range of initiatives to help improve your employability skills. Paid work and work experience opportunities are available in the University and the town, and the Careers Advisory Service are able to assist you in planning your future, putting together a CV, and looking for work during and after your studies. Furthermore, the University’s Personal Development Portfolio, in which you record and reflect on your academic studies, the development of your skills and your plans for the future is a useful way of tracking your progress through your studies, and can help you to decide what career might be suitable for you. 

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Spanish with French will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
  • effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
  • the ability to work independently
  • time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
  • research skills

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching & Learning

Spanish and French are available both for beginners and advanced students. Beginners follow an intensive course in the first year including guided and independent work in the Language Resource Centre. In the second year beginners and advanced students are taught together.

Language classes aim to further your mastery of written and spoken Spanish in ways that are varied and interesting. Assignments consist of a variety of exercises (e.g. listening comprehension, essay-writing, translation, oral presentations) and you are also expected to complete computer-assisted language-learning exercises. You will have at least one class a week with a native speaker of Spanish, in addition to which there are other regular opportunities to use your Spanish, e.g. in debating classes. There are also regular screenings of Spanish-language films.

There is an attractive choice of modules which will enable you to expand your knowledge of the cultural and socio-political factors that have shaped Spain and Spanish America, and to refine your capacity to analyse them. Cultural modules such as Hispanic Civilization allow you to study the development of Spanish language and culture over time, while modules on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature from Spain and Spanish America will deepen your understanding of linguistic, cultural and political issues. In addition, you will be able to study transatlantic Spanish-language cinema and modern Spanish cinema in depth. There are also modules on current affairs which will allow you to explore topical issues in contemporary Spain in Spanish and to develop your linguistic skills while also honing your critical faculties.

In addition to the core language module, students who take French as a Minor subject with Spanish will be able to choose one 10-credit elective module in each year. Modules in Current Affairs and Business French are available as well as French literature.

Within the Erasmus framework we currently enjoy special links with the universities of Cádiz, Córdoba, Lleida, Oviedo, Valladolid, Rennes, Paris-Sorbonne, Toulouse, Besançon, Nantes, Perpignan and La Rochelle. Your year abroad, which forms your third year of study, may well be the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding feature of a degree in Modern Languages. Having to spend a year living independently in a foreign country gives you an edge when it comes to impressing employers, as well as providing you with a memorable experience.

The Department believes in giving students a relatively free choice about the year abroad, although we do of course give you plenty of advice. Many students study at one or more universities. You can study at one university in the winter semester and spend the next semester in a country where your second language is spoken. Or, if you prefer, you can work as an English assistant in a school. Being an assistant has the important benefits of a regular salary every month and daily contact with a large number of people, which means many opportunities for communicating in the foreign language.

You could also choose to be in other employment, and a good proportion of our students use their own initiative to find themselves employment for a year. There are also various EU-funded schemes which offer work placements abroad, e.g. Comenius or Leonardo. Full details will be made available to you in your second year. You can also choose a combination of these possibilities, for example studying for one semester and working for one; assistantships are also available for some countries for half-years.

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC with B in Spanish and French unless to be studied as a beginner

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM with specified subjects

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28 points overall with 5 points in Spanish and French at Higher Level unless to be studied as a beginner

European Baccalaureate:
68% with 70% in Spanish and French unless to be studied as a beginner

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