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BA (Hons) Spanish and Linguistics (with a year abroad)

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and study the science behind communication

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

RQ41

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

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Study a language with an amazing global reach of over 400 million speakers. Spend a year abroad studying, working or teaching in a Spanish-speaking country, consolidating your language skills.

Combine the study of Spanish with investigations into the nature of language itself. You'll be taught the language component of the course in Spanish, so you'll become confident using Spanish as a means of communication, and for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of Spanish culture and society which will underpin your abilities as a high-level communicator. There are many Spanish-speaking countries to choose from for your year abroad.

Your communication skills will be complemented by studying linguistics. This will enable you to understand and interpret language, and to learn the science behind how we communicate. You’ll engage with the study of language on a conceptual level as well as the detailed level of raw linguistic data. Our department is one of the highest-ranked centres for research in linguistics in the UK, and the strength and diversity of our research is reflected in our teaching.

The course has flexibility in terms of how much Spanish and linguistics content you study over the four years. Your knowledge and understanding of how a language works, and how we communicate, will give you a solid foundation for many careers.

Global communication

Spanish is one of the world's widely used languages with over 400 million speakers.

Course content

During your degree, you'll study modules in Spanish and linguistics and may have the option to study elective modules from another department.

Your language modules will explore the society and culture of Spanish-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in Spanish. These modules will help you to develop the cultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in each language.

Your linguistics modules will help you understand the nature of language itself: how it is structured, how it has evolved, and how we use and understand it within our society. These modules will enable you to think critically and approach your studies from an analytical point of view.

In your second and final years, you can tailor your degree to your interests. In the final year, you can choose from a range of advanced Spanish modules designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. You'll also become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. Many final-year linguistics modules offer you the opportunity to focus on Spanish language as the topic of research.

 

Year 1

If you have studied Spanish to A level: you'll take two Spanish modules and four linguistics modules.

If you are taking Spanish ab initio (from scratch): you'll take three Spanish modules and three linguistics modules.

Language

You'll take two 20-credit core modules in Spanish. These modules focus on developing your fluency, accuracy and communication expertise.

Ab initio Spanish

If you are taking Spanish ab initio, you'll take three 20-credit Spanish modules and three linguistics modules.

Linguistics

You'll take three or four 20-credit linguistics modules depending on your background in Spanish.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll study six modules overall: two Spanish modules, two linguistics modules, and two more from a range of options.

Language

You'll study one compulsory language module in Spanish.

You will choose one more 20-credit module in Spanish from the following options:

Your studies will focus on issues of culture and society in the Spanish-speaking world. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using Spanish in different registers. You'll tackle questions such as:

  • Why is the Spanish Civil War still a difficult topic in Spain?
  • What is the relationship between the human rights movement and democratisation in Latin America?

Linguistics

You'll study one core linguistics module.

You'll study one 20-credit module, either:

Option modules

You'll study two further modules in languages or linguistics, these can include one Languages For All module or an elective module offered by another department.

We can offer you unparalleled coverage of the field, with modules taught by world-leading academics in the core areas of syntax, phonetics and phonology, semantics, and sociolinguistics, and in sub-fields including second language acquisition, child bilingualism, and historical-comparative linguistics.

Year 3

Year abroad

You'll go to a Spanish-speaking country. We assist you in setting up overseas university study, teaching or work placements, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

You'll complete two essays while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade. 

Year 4

You'll study six modules overall: at least two Spanish modules, up to four linguistics modules, up to two electives from another department. 

You'll study two language modules in your final year. These are designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. By this stage in your degree, you'll be able to demonstrate oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural contexts. In each of these modules, you will write a research essay of around 3000 words. 

Language core module (20 credits)

Language option modules (20 credits)

Most linguistics modules require you to have taken certain modules in your first and second year. In some of these, you can choose to focus on a language of your choice. The list belows demonstrates some of the modules that are running this year:

Linguistics modules (20 credits)

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interact effectively, in a variety of contexts, having developed an awareness of and sensitivity to linguistic and intercultural norms and practices enabling you to solve bilingual communication-related problems.
  • Approach with confidence intricate, complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and convey their significance to different audiences.
  • Reflect on the learning process and apply a range of language acquisition strategies by taking advantage of both formal and informal bilingual settings in order to become an autonomous learner.
  • Acquire, synthesise and critically assess linguistic and culturally-sensitive information, from a variety of sources and formats, in order to better inform relevant linguistic research
  • Select and deploy appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language to gain a holistic and multifaceted understanding of a range of issues in the cognitive and social sciences.
  • Show sensitivity and perceptiveness concerning aspects of social, cultural, and political realities where language plays an important role and be able to highlight the relevance of linguistic issues to policy-making in a globalised and interconnected world.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively to specialists and the general public the nature and relevance of linguistic questions and controversies, the pivotal significance of language for human cognition, and the ways knowledge of language influences behaviour.
Everything about the University and the Department was welcoming when I came to visit, I could really see myself fitting into the community here where I couldn't anywhere else. Secondly, York is celebrated worldwide for its Department of Linguistics, and being able to say I study here is something I am proud of.
Roz, BA French and Spanish with a year abroad

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,120

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to Language and Linguistic Science.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Language

Our focus at York is on effective communication in Spanish. That is why:

  • we teach mainly in small seminars (not more than 15)
  • classroom interactions are in Spanish
  • we use authentic Spanish materials (eg resources designed for native speakers of the language)
  • we emphasise issues of culture and society, allowing you to develop a high level of cultural awareness to underpin your language skills

Linguistics

Core linguistics modules are taught through lectures (some with over 100 students), accompanied by sessions in smaller groups (15–20 students). With more advanced linguistics modules, you'll typically have more interactive classroom activities, such as group presentations or practical sessions, in addition to lectures. In final-year linguistics modules, most teaching is in smaller groups. Depending on the module, your work may focus on library-based study using primary research papers, lab-based analysis of linguistic corpora, or lectures and seminars in one the advanced areas of specialism of our staff.

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 11 hours per teaching week in the classroom (including both languages and linguistics), or 12 hours per week if you are taking ab initio Spanish. Contact hours in the final year will vary depending on individual module choices.

In addition to your classroom time, you should expect to devote at least 30 additional hours a week to independent study. This will include completing exercises, reading and digesting assigned papers, researching projects, writing and revising coursework, and preparing for assessments. Twice a year, in the middle of Autumn and Spring Terms, we have a reading week, which is devoted to independent study. You will receive guidance on your goals for each reading week.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures and seminars228 hours192 hours0 hours180 hours
Placement0 hours0 hours1200 hours0 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Facilities

All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are always accessible. Most first-year modules provide additional self-study practice exercises on the VLE.

We have our own departmental e-Lab for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software, corpora of different varieties, and online language-learning materials. Several undergraduate modules are taught in this laboratory and you'll receive training in using these resources.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms eg written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on an assignment, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Your year abroad is assessed, you must satisfactorily complete certain criteria in order to graduate with a degree that has 'with a year abroad' in the title.

  • Two essays in the target language submitted to York during the year
  • You must fulfil your year abroad obligations (for example attending courses and completing all the local assessments if you're at university, or carrying out your teaching duties if you're on a teaching assistantship).

However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that, it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam. This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages, there are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams68%64%0%49%
Coursework27%28%100%34%
Practical exams5%8%0%17%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Spanish seminar

Learning in your target languages

In our French, German, Italian and Spanish programmes, we emphasise oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural context. All our core language modules are taught in your target languages, in small groups. We teach a range of content modules, with topics on current issues, media, film, social trends and politics, and with an introduction to translation in the final year. Our focus is on your competence in the culture and language, providing you with the means to function in the language at a professional level.

The staff at York are inspiring, approachable and most of all, great at teaching languages.
Jacob, Spanish and Italian student

Read more on Jacob's blog.

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and linguistics at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.

Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation.

Apart from your knowledge of language and linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.

There are specialist careers that lead directly from your languages degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: translation and interpreting, teaching (primary and secondary), clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), academic research and higher/further education, forensic linguistics (forensic speech science).

Find out more about how we can help make you more employable 

Career opportunities

  • marketing and communications
  • publishing
  • broadcasting and journalism
  • local government and public service
  • business, finance and accountancy
  • teaching
  • translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • effective communication skills
  • intercultural awareness
  • critical thinking
  • project management
  • independent learning
  • data analysis
  • problem solving
  • team working

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

Our typical offer is AAB. ABB offers may be made in certain cases (see our typical offers page). 

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD.
Cambridge Pre-U D3,D3,M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate 35/34 points
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB
Other qualifications

Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers of who wish to study their own language.

You can take the Spanish part of this programme ab initio (ie, from scratch, or with a qualification below A-level), or you can study Spanish on a route designed for those who have an A level in the subject.

Applying for the ab initio route in Spanish

Qualifications

GCSE or AS level Spanish may be appropriate qualifications for entry onto the ab initio programme. However, even if you do not have one of these qualifications, but you can demonstrate an aptitude for languages through other experience (eg, successful study of a different foreign language), you may be eligible for this programme.

Language interviews

Some students who do not have an A level in the language that they wish to study may nonetheless already have A level standard knowledge of the language (eg, a student who took GCSE and then spent time in a country where the target language is spoken, before university). At the time of application, we will conduct an interview and task, to determine which route would be most appropriate for students who do not have an A level in a language they wish to study.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. 

  • IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all units
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 61 overall with 51 in all parts
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade C
  • GCSE/O level English Language (as a first language): grade C

See also the University's information page for English language requirements.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science

Related courses

You can study Spanish on a variety of other courses:

You can study linguistics on other degree courses, too:

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