History and Spanish (BA)

History and Spanish BA (joint honours) enables students to combine the study of the fascinating subject of History with the popular European language of Spanish.

The BA in History and Spanish (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine learning about the past with a major world language. With in-depth study of both History and Spanish, graduates will develop the tools to compete in an increasingly global workforce.

This degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of other societies, and to cultivate intellectual skills such as the ability to assess evidence critically, to evaluate different interpretations of the evidence, to construct arguments on the basis of evidence, and to express opinions cogently in speech and in writing.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Spoken by more than 400 million people across more than 20 countries worldwide, it is one of the most useful languages in the world for business and leisure alike. It opens doors to a vibrant and diverse range of cultural experiences.

As a Spanish student at Cardiff University, you will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research in a wide range of topics relating to Spain and Latin America. You will also benefit from a flexible range of optional modules dealing with the literature, film and history of modern Spain and Latin America, including Catalan language and culture. The Year Abroad provides a great opportunity for you to further improve your Spanish and to fully immerse yourself in another culture. Studying Spanish at Cardiff University enables students to access, analyse and evaluate current developments across the Hispanic world as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Spanish, students will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today.

The time spent on each subject is effectively halved, enabling students to explore and understand key moments in history whilst developing their Spanish language skills. The programme is highly flexible, enabling students to select modules suited to their own interests and needs. In addition, students will experience studying in Spain during their third year.

Key facts

Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerGrades ABB, to include History and a modern foreign language. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrades ABB from the Welsh Baccalaureate and two A-level subjects to include History and a modern foreign language. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points from the International Baccalaureate, to include 6 points in Higher Level History.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

History, Linguistics

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

This is a four-year degree programme comprising some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

In Spanish, you develop high-level language skills with the aim of achieving near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and society of countries where that language is spoken.

History covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present day. There is a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

The degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study either discipline at postgraduate level.

Year one

In Year 1, you take 60 credits of History modules and 60 credits of Spanish modules, including a language module at either advanced or beginners’ level.

Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

Year two

In Year 2, you take 60 credits of History and 60 credits of Spanish, including a core module in that language.

Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
History and ICT: A Guided StudyHS170530 credits
India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML029920 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML029820 credits
Introduction to Catalan Culture and LanguageML029420 credits
Principles of Translation TheoryML229920 credits
Innovations in European LiteratureML129820 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
Business Spanish IML028720 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass CultureHS174830 credits
Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
"An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Revels and Riots: Popular Culture in Early Modern EnglandHS174330 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed 1840-PresentHS175230 credits
Diwydiannaeth, Radicaliaeth a'r Bobl Gyffredin yng Nghymru a Phrydain mewn Oes Chwyldro, c. 1789-1880HS175730 credits
Radicalism and the Common People, 1789-1880HS175830 credits
Latin American HistoryHS176130 credits
A Jagged History: Germany in the 20th CenturyHS176330 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Landmark Films from Spain and Latin AmericaML029120 credits
At the Roots of European CulturesML129520 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (Spanish)ML229720 credits
Miguel de Cervantes, Don QuijoteML029620 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Year studying abroad.

Year four

In Year 4, you choose a further 60 credits of History and 60 credits of Spanish, including a core module in that language. If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Spanish Language (BA Languages)ML038220 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society & Culture 1800-1914HS189630 credits
Race, Sex and Empire & India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
Politics and Society in SpainML038020 credits
Catalan Language and Society (Prereq EU0294)ML038120 credits
Spanish for professional purposesML038320 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in English)ML038740 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in Spanish)ML038840 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Spanish)ML038620 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
City Lives: Urban Culture and Society, c.1550-1750HS182630 credits
Cultures of Power: The Gentry of Tudor and Stuart EnglandHS182730 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Latin American HistoryHS185930 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Llafur, Sosialaeth a Chymru, 1880-1979HS186230 credits
War and Violence in Modern German History: Myth, Memory and MemorializationHS186330 credits
Kingship: Image and Power c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
Women's Voices in Contemporary SpainML039720 credits
European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
Dissertation (Translation)ML238920 credits
Dissertation Joint Honours - in EnglishML039620 credits
Dissertation Joint Honours - in SpanishML038920 credits
European Cinema DissertationML230320 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, field trips, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned.

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion enables you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

School of Modern Languages
Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.

Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study; to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

School of History, Archaeology and Religion
In 2013/14, 92% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

School of Modern Languages
In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment. 

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such as Translators, Language Assistants, Export Assistants and Proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.


4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available


Applications received

Typical applications received


QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

History, Linguistics

What are the aims of this Programme?

Spanish and History BA (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine a major world language with the study of social and political history. The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics aims to create ‘global citizens’ of its students and, with in depth study of both Spanish and history, graduates will be an asset for an increasingly global workforce. Students divide their modules equally between History and Spanish (and in the first year potentially with a third subject). The emphasis on the History side of the degree is on choice, and on giving students the opportunity to study History modules that include Spanish components, but students have a free choice of all the modules that are offered in History, subject to caps on student numbers. Students will also spend their third year in Spain, practising and developing their acquired language skills. Students are able, in the final year, to produce original historical work of their own in the form of a dissertation.

What is expected of me?

It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching, but as a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing academically by attending lectures, language classes, seminars and tutorials. It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

  1. It is in the lectures that you find out what the key topics in your subject are, which can help you structure your additional reading.
  2. Your seminars are the place for you to discuss issues raised in the course and from your reading, and to enhance and develop your understanding.
  3. Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.
  4. Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group.

Attendance atlectures, seminars, and tutorials is COMPULSORY. Therefore if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or the Departmental secretary in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in subject Handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.

The Department expects that Students will:

  • attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)
  • prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials
  • avoid plagiarism (plagiarism being work which uses the words or ideas of others without acknowledging them as such)
  • take responsibility for their own learning, with appropriate guidance  monitor their own progress and take account of the feedback given
  • show respect for their fellow students, tutors and the learning environment
  • manage their time effectively so that they are adequately prepared for all classes and assignments
  • complete their assessments on time and in compliance with the instructions given
  •  take responsibility for advising themselves of the regulations governing assessments
  • ensure that they are registered for the requisite number of modules and that the academic registry are aware of which modules they are taking
  • read all handbooks carefully and take appropriate action
  • regularly access their University e-mail account
  • ask members of staff before using their names as referee

How is this Programme Structured?

BA History and Spanish is a four year degree programme. It is structured so that you acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment.

Year One

Core Modules in Year One:

  1. Spanish Language
  2.  Introduction to Hispanic Studies

Typical Optional Modules in Year One:

  1. Medieval Europe
  2. Modern Wales
  3. The Making of the Modern World
  4. Early Modern England and Wales
  5. Making Global Histories: Asia and the West

Year Two

Core Modules in Year Two:

  1. Spanish Language

Typical Optional Modules in Year Two:

  1. Memory and Texuality in Contemporary Spain
  2. Landmark Films from Spain and Latin America
  3. Politics and Society in Spain
  4. Borders and Identities in Post-War European Cinema
  5. Approaches to History
  6. Exploring Historical Debate: An Independent Study
  7. Heresy and Dissent 1000-1450
  8. The Crusades
  9. War, Peace and Diplomacy c.900-c.1250
  10. The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649
  11. Managing the Mind: Psychiatry, Psychology and British Culture, 1800-2000
  12. A Great Leap Forward: China Transformed 1840-Present
  13. From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000
  14. India and the Raj 1857-1947
  15. Dynamics of Witchcraft 1450-1750
  16. Medicine and Society in Britain and Europe 1789-1919
  17. Migrant Wales 1790-1939

Year Three

Core Module in Year Three:

Intercalary year abroad

Year Four

Core Module in Year Four:

  1. Spanish Language

Typical Optional Modules in Year Four:

  1. Dissertation
  2. Military Orders 1100-1320
  3. Slavery and Sin
  4. Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval Europe
  5. Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945
  6. Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma 1951-1975
  7. Crime and Disorder: England and Wales 1500-1750
  8. Race, Sex and Empire: India 1765-1929
  9. Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918
  10. Culture, Society and Identity in Wales 1847-1914
  11. Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39
  12. Identity and the British State: Wales, 1485-1660
  13. Women, Health and Medicine in British Society, 1870-1980
  14. The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture 1800-1914

*The modules available can change from year to year depending upon staff and teaching schedules, and are not guaranteed.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?


What skills will I practise and develop?

The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. In broad terms:

Year One introduces you to a variety and range of approaches.

Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods.

Year Three is a year abroad.

Final Year provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the production of a Dissertation based on original research.

You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners.

How will I be taught?

Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and individual feedback. Lectures, usually one per week, provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

Core courses in Years One and Two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly seminars in small groups. In Year Two and especially Year Three, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with individual supervision for extended essays and dissertations. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses. The marking criteria for this work measure the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes for the Programme.

Progression is built into assessment, in that students do smaller guided tasks in Year one, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Four.

You will receive feedback through formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, and essay tutorials.

How will I be supported?

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Please see the relevant Notice Boards for information on your Personal Tutor. If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, and you wish urgently to discuss matters with a member of staff, you may seek advice from the Senior Tutor or another member of staff. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical understanding;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of human society across a wide geographical and chronological range;
  • identify patterns of change and to locate detailed examination of particular themes, episodes and events within them;
  • develop a reasoned, coherent, argument about specific problems, deploying appropriate evidence, and demonstrating awareness of the limits of their knowledge;
  • achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team.

Other information

Students will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. Students learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally.

Admissions tutors

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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