Politics and Spanish (BA)
Expertise in politics and government combined with fluency in Spanish opens the door to a wide variety of career paths.
Students on this programme can choose from the full range of Politics modules, while expert language training is accompanied by optional modules on Spanish society and culture. A particular feature of this four-year degree is the Year Abroad where your third year is spent in a Spanish-speaking country in order to practise and improve your language skills. Many of our graduates regard living in Spain as one of the most significant experiences of their university studies; having a positive impact on their personal development and career.
Politics is a fascinating subject that has a significant impact on our everyday lives. The field of politics allows students to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability. Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.
As one of the most spoken languages in the world, with between 400 and 500 million speakers internationally, Spanish is becoming increasingly popular at degree level. The ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language is a highly marketable skill.
|Typical places available||The School typically has 185 places available|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives 600 applications|
|Scholarships and bursaries||http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/scholarships|
|Typical A level offer||ABB including a foreign language (excluding General Studies).|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grade A in the Core and grades BB at GCE A-level, to include a Modern Foreign Language|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||32 points overall, including 5 in a language at higher level|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Politics and International Relations, Languages and related studies
Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo , Admissions Tutor
The programme is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.
The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. This degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor it to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Introduction to Translation Theory||ML8101||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (French)||ML8102||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (German)||ML8104||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (Italian)||ML8105||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (Spanish)||ML8106||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (Japanese)||ML8107||20 credits|
|Introduction to Translation Methods (Portuguese)||ML8108||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Spanish Language (Year 1) Advanced||ML5101||20 credits|
|Spanish Language Year One Beginners||ML5102||20 credits|
|Introduction To Hispanic Studies (Advanced)||ML5110||20 credits|
|Introduction To Hispanic Studies (Beginners)||ML5111||20 credits|
|Introduction to Political Thought||PL9196||20 credits|
|Y Da, Drwg a'r Gwleidyddol - The Good, the Bad and the Political||PL9193||20 credits|
In year two you choose three Politics and three Spanish modules. Please note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.
Year three: Sandwich year
You will spend the third year of your degree in Spain or another Hispanic country studying at one of our partner universities or working for a Spanish speaking company or organisation. While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress.
The School has established links with universities in Cáceres, Ciudad Real, Granada, Lleida, Santiago de Compostela, Sevilla, València and Vic. In Spanish America we have exchange agreements with universities in Lima (Peru) and Guadalajara (Mexico). All students on a Socrates exchange receive an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend abroad.
In your final year you choose three politics and three Spanish modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.
Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.
Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.
Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.
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.
In 2013/14, 96% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, Oxford City Council, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.
Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.
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.
The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics admits around 230 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics - 1300
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Politics and International Relations, Languages and related studies
What are the aims of this Programme?
Politics at Cardiff is an exciting, extensive and challenging academic programme which covers a broad range of areas in the study of Politics, including International Relations, Political Theory, European Union, domestic political systems and public policy.
Our students can study not just Single Honours Politics, but also International Relations & Politics and Joint Honours Politics with a wide range of other subjects, including Law, Economics, Sociology, History, Languages and other Arts subjects.
In the Politics programme we aim at
· Providing a flexible structure that facilitates a broad and balanced education in the key areas of politics
· Producing graduates with the intellectual and employability skills appropriate both for further study and for a range of working environments
· Providing opportunities for students to fulfil their academic potential, acquire research and transferable skills, maximise their career potential and achieve personal growth
· Providing students with a sound basis of knowledge, understanding and skills in the main areas of politics.
A degree in politics from Cardiff is highly respected by employers, both within the political environment and outside. Our graduates are able to demonstrate a wide portfolio of acquired skills, such as oral and written communication skills, research skills and analysis, teamwork, self-management and problem solving skills which are in demand across both public and private sectors.
Spanish at Cardiff aims to give students aknowledge both broad and detailed of the languages, literature, cultures, societies, history, and politics of the Spanish speaking world. The language which will be acquired and learned to near-native proficiency is Spanish and the programme also acquaints students with the other languages of Spain and of the Americas. The course comprises both language and content elements: these are mutually reinforcing (i.e. by reading a book in Spanish you acquire more of the language and by acquiring more of the language, you have more access to the diverse cultures which use it). The language work integral to the course develops skills in translation, aural comprehension, written composition, grammar, and spoken fluency. Content modules enable students to pursue their interests in Spanish as it is used across a variety of media and occupations, from film to politics, and from philology to business. Development of professional language skills remains a core element of the programme throughout: students choose content from optional modules (including Catalan language and culture) to complete their studies in years two and four. The third year is spent abroad in a Spanish speaking country. The programme offers exchanges with eight universities in Spain as part of the Erasmus scheme as well as with partner universities in Mexico and Peru. A British Council assistantship or voluntary and paid employment can also fulfil the requirements for the third year. The programme accommodates both post-A level students and ab-initio candidates who follow a more intensive language course in years one and two. The achievement of transferable skills, such as graduate-level vocabulary and writing skills are also important aims of the programme.
What is expected of me?
· Attend all Lectures and seminars
· Engage with all forms of in-course assessment to allow self-reflection on progress towards the learning outcomes
· Engage in independent study in addition to taught study. Increasing independence of learning is expected as the programme progresses
· To complete the required reading and self-directed study.
· Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.
Students are expected to attend all timetabled teaching (lectures, seminars, small group teaching, tutorials) for the modules on which they are enrolled. Students are also expected to stay up to date with communications from their lecturers and tutors through email and/or Learning Central. In the first year, each contact hour should correspond to at least two hours of private study; in the second and fourth years each contact hour should correspond to at least four hours of private study.
Students are required to undertake a full academic year of study abroad. While they are overseas students are expected to engage fully with the culture and society of the host country in order to further the language learning process.
Students who fail to engage may be excluded from the University. Students must reference their essays accurately, avoiding plagiarism, which, if proven, can have serious consequences for a student. Advice is provided by tutors and in handbooks on how to avoid plagiarism.
Full expectations of students are outlined in the Student Charter.
Students are expected to treat their peers and the staff who teach and administer their courses with dignity and respect.
Cardiff University is a workplace and campus committed to diversity and equality and students are expected to be mindful of University policy.
How is this Programme Structured?
The programme is offered as a full-time course of study over four years (including year three which is spent abroad). In year one students follow core courses in language (20 credits Spanish and 20 credits French) as well as introductory modules on Hispanic and Politics (20 credits each). In years two and four students also have a core language course (40 credits, 20 in Spanish, and 20 in Politics) and make up the remainder of the 80 credits by choosing four optional modules (two in Spanish, two in Politics). Optional modules are semesterised with the exception of Catalan, which is a double semester option.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?
What the student should provide:
Many students choose to invest in personal copies of unabridged bilingual dictionaries and reference grammars. While copies of most course materials are available in the library, many students opt to acquire personal copies of set texts.
What the University will provide:
The School provides a number of IT and study rooms; students have full borrowing rights across the University libraries; the University also provides email and internet access, including enrolment in the virtual learning spaces used to support contact hours (Learning Central). The School provides enrolment in the Erasmus programme in the third year for students who select this pathway for completion of the compulsory year abroad.
What skills will I practise and develop?
This degree programme will allow you to develop a number of valuable skills. Students who are awarded a Single or Joint Honours Politics degree will be able to:
· Gather, organize and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources;
· Develop a reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information and exercise critical judgement;
· Reflect on their own learning and make use of constructive feedback;
· Manage their own learning self-critically.
· Communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing;
· Use communications and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation of information;
· Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management;
· Collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals.
You will practise skills which enable you to communicate in Spanish, in writing and also orally. You will develop the ability to express yourself conversationally as well as to speak knowledgeably about the broad range of issues which form the disciplines of Hispanic Studies. Skills in translation, composition, and oral proficiency will be developed through the language elements of the programme; skills in understanding and reflecting critically on a text will be developed in the content modules. Seminar work will allow you to practise and develop public speaking and presentation skills. The year abroad will enhance your independence and problem-solving skills. This set of skills will be transferable to real and workplace environments and the emphasis on written and oral presentation equips you well for communicating and for standing out from the crowd. You will acquire near-native proficiency in Spanish. You will also develop your abilities for forming and critiquing evidence-based arguments. Interpersonal skills are developed through participation in small group teaching and seminars.
You willdevelop your linguistic skills and acquire an appreciation of the culture, literature, and history of the Spanish speaking world. You will gain team work and interpersonal skills through participation in seminars and small group teaching. You will become better at managing your own time, taking initiatives and acting independently. Your studies will also enhance your employability prospects by giving you the challenge of managing a year abroad, and taking up opportunities to act as a staff-student representative, as a teaching assistant, or as a student ambassador teaching Spanish in Cardiff’s catchment area.
How will I be taught?
The Politics programme uses several different methods of teaching and learning. During your degree, you will attend lectures and participate in seminars. The lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi. The Seminars are kept small and usually average between 12-15 students. It provides an opportunity for students to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist students to integrate the information and ideas received from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. The seminars are also designed to give students an ample opportunity to participate and to provide close contact between them and members of the academic staff.
Furthermore, the programme is delivered through students’ independent reading, preparation of essays and presentations, as well as feedback on essays and presentations by academic staff.
We also host guest lectures, as an extracurricular activity, which features visiting guest speakers, usually eminent practitioners and academics involved in various aspects of international relations and politics.
Language modules are taught in small group format. For the various aspects of language work you will be assigned to a group of between 12 and 15 students and lecturers and tutors will provide you with guided exercises to do in the course of the class, in addition to illustration of syntactical and lexical problems. Oral feedback from tutors is immediate in small group teaching and is also provided through regular submission of assessed written work. In each year of the programme you will have between four and five hours of language classes per week.
Most content modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and personalised feedback. Weekly lectures provide guidance concerning the issues and bibliography to be followed up in your own reading and writing. Lectures are usually supplemented by seminars throughout the semester. For each seminar you will complete at last four hours of private study, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present the conclusion of your reading around a particular text or other assignment. In your essays you will combine a range of sources into a coherent argument of your own, supported by evidence of reading and of familiarity with the core text. Students who select the dissertation option in year 4 work closely with a supervisor and teaching takes the form of regular meetings with the tutor.
For some optional modules, such as the Student Ambassador scheme, teaching will also involve practical work in schools and in pairs or tandem arrangements where students enrolled at Cardiff work in collaboration with an incoming Erasmus student from one of the partner universities in Spain.
The programme is not currently available through the medium of Welsh although students can opt to complete assessed work (including exams) not intended to be in the target language in either Welsh or English.
How will I be assessed?
These programmes are assessed mainly by essays and examinations. Other forms of assessment include seminar presentations, class tests, book and article reviews, and dissertation.
Modules are assessed by submission of essays and other work (for example, assigned translations or self-study units), preparation of written or oral reports, dissertation, and examination (written and oral). The weighting of feedback varies and as a rough guide examinations comprise 70% of assessment and classwork 30%. During the year abroad, students on the Erasmus programme submit work and attend exams in Spain and the partner universities transmit the grades to Cardiff. Students in Mexico or Peru also sit local exams at the universities where they are enrolled. Those doing British Council placements or voluntary and paid work, are assessed by projects written in Spanish which are submitted to staff in Cardiff in the course of the year abroad. Students may receive an oral proficiency mark for grades above 70% in the year 4 oral exam.
Students receive feedback both on formally assessed pieces of work and through the teaching and learning process more generally. Marginal comments and a completed assessment sheet form the feedback for written work, with further discussion and guidance on improvement available during a tutor’s office hours; oral assessment will convey feedback about presentations and reports delivered in seminars. Elements of language work will provide assessment through exercises embedded in Learning Central, the virtual study environment.
How will I be supported?
- Each module uses the Central Learning website, a Virtual Learning Environment at Cardiff University. Through the Central Learning site you will have access to relevant materials for the module, such as multimedia materials, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, discussion groups, etc.
- Academic Tutors have office hours for students to meet and discuss any learning queries as well as the opportunity in seminars.
- The School has a wide programme of visiting speakers and guest lectures and students are encouraged to attend.
- There will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your progress and on the skills that you will develop through a section on the Central Learning site called Planning Personal Development.
- Furthermore, centrally the university has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.
All students are allocated a Personal Tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs. He or she will schedule regular meetings to discuss progress and to provide advice and guidance. Students communicate with their lecturers and tutors outside contact lectures and seminars by visiting them during advertised office hours and/or by email.
Modules make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, on which students will find course kits, links to related materials, and instructions for the submission of course work. Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are made available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module and through scheduled meetings with personal tutors.
Half way through each semester one week is set aside for reading and private study: this allows students the opportunity to apply themselves to the preparation necessary for the completion of their coursework and exams. During this time, tutors visit exchange universities in Spain to offer guidance and support to students on their year abroad.
The assessment framework is able to incorporate reasonable adjustments for dyslexic and disabled students. Where students with sensory impairments are able to produce and understand written and spoken English or Welsh (or another first language), reasonable adjustments can be made to facilitate the acquisition and use of a second language (for example, the provision of adaptive software for students with impaired vision or the use of induction loops for students with hearing impairment). The year abroad is an essential requirement of the programme and students who are not able to travel overseas would therefore not be able to complete the course.
Applicants with dyslexia and/or disabilities may find useful the information published by the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service for prospective students.
What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?
Graduates from this programme will be able to:
Politics programmes aim to develop in students a critical understanding of key aspects of modern politics, including International relations, domestic politics of key European states, European Union politics and political theory, along with a command of associated transferable skills.
Students who are awarded a Single or Joint Honours Politics degree will be able to:
· Identify and explain the central concepts of political science, and demonstrate familiarity with the vocabulary of political discourse;
· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of normative and empirical Political Theory;
· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of modern politics, including the structure and operation of selected European political systems at the national and European Union levels and international politics embracing global and regional studies;
· Demonstrate particular expertise in Political Theory and/or European Politics and/or international relations in the case of Joint Honours students, and in the case of Single Honours students: for Political Theory this means a critical understanding of key ideas selected from the history of political thought and contemporary political theory; for European politics this means a critical understanding of the structure and operation of selected European political systems at the national, European and/or regional level, along with an awareness of the social, economic and cultural contexts of political behaviour and theoretically-informed views of the factors that account for political change; for international relations this means a critical understanding of the nature of the international system and of global power structures, with main foci in terms of agencies such as States, International Organisations and other Transnational actors, along with an awareness of international political theories;
· Appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;
· Apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and behaviour;
· Examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events;
· Make use of contemporary research, such as articles in refereed journals.
Graduates from this Programme will be able to:
- Produce a high level of fluency in oral and written Spanish
- Express ideas and concepts clearly in written and spoken Spanish and English
- Demonstrate proficiency in the core language competencies
- Assess the central role of language in the process of creating meaning and knowledge
- Demonstrate intellectual skills which allow detailed reading, assessment, and production of texts of different types
- Demonstrate and defend reasoned and evidence-based arguments
- Appreciate how language and culture are interlinked in the production of meaning and understanding
- Evaluate and critically discuss texts, concepts and theories relevant to the fields of Hispanic Studies
- Demonstrate an understanding of a range of texts (including film) from different historical periods, from different genres, and from different areas of the Spanish speaking parts of the world
- Demonstrate a good understanding of the position and importance of Spanish as a global language in the modern world
- Use information technology to present and analyse materials in an effective manner, including the use of software to check and improve language
- Achieve skills in self-motivation and self-directed study
· the opportunity to pursue a degree programme which develops the skills that are relevant to the academic world and the world of work alike
· the emphasis on practical research skills that will benefit you throughout your career
· the emphasis placed on independent learning in a supportive environment
· Further information on schemes, modules, teaching methods and assessment can be found on the Politics website.
Cardiff University is one of the primary users of the Erasmus mobility scheme in the UK; in addition to offering students a convenient (and financially supportive) means of studying in Spain, EUROP’s engagement with the scheme means that our students are working alongside peers from Spain (and other European countries) throughout their time at the university.
Students taking this course may be particularly interested in the following features that are likely to increase their employability:
--The possibility of working with the British Council as an assistant during the year abroad.
--The opportunity for all students to organise, on their own initiative, a suitable work placement abroad in one or both semesters of the intercalary year.
--The possibility of gaining practical work experience by taking part in the Student Ambassador Scheme
Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo , 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.