Religious Studies and Spanish (BA)

Religious Studies and Spanish BA (Joint Honours) enables students to combine the study of religion, which has formed part of human life since the beginning of human existence, with one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world.

Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day. It has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour.

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 in your third year provides a great opportunity for you to further improve your Spanish and to fully immerse yourself in another culture.

You will be encouraged to actively pursue your own areas of interest through the highly flexible modular programmes. This will lead to the development of transferable skills, ready for entry into the graduate job market. You will also spend a year abroad during the scheme, to utilise the skills that you have learnt.

Key facts

Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 320 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1800 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB. Three A-level subjects other than General Studies but including a modern foreign language.Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades BB at GCE A-level, to include grade B in a language subject
Typical International Baccalaureate offer26 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

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

Religious Studies, Linguistics

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Louise Child , Admissions Tutor

    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.  Year 3 is spent abroad.

    Year one

    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

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
    Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
    Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
    Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
    Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
    Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
    Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
    Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
    Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
    Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
    Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
    Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
    Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
    Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
    Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
    Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 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
    Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
    The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
    Business Spanish IML028720 credits
    Early HinduismRT133820 credits
    Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
    History of Christian Spirituality 1550 - Present DayRT432120 credits
    Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
    Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
    Bodies, Spirits, and Souls: The Person, Ethics, and ReligionRT133920 credits
    Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
    The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
    Foundational EthicsRT135620 credits
    God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
    Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT135820 credits
    Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
    Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT136020 credits
    Hebrew TextsRT230420 credits
    New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 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
    Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
    New Testament Greek Texts IIRT332720 credits

    Year three: Sandwich year

    Year four

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Spanish Language (BA Languages)ML038220 credits

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
    Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
    Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
    Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
    Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
    Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
    Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
    Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
    Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
    Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
    Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
    Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
    Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
    Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
    Gender and Sexuality: Islamic PerspectivesRT134520 credits
    Exploring GnosticismRT121820 credits
    Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
    Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
    Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
    Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
    Religion in Modern BritainRT733620 credits
    Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT122620 credits
    Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
    Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
    The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
    Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
    Politics and Society in SpainML038020 credits
    May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
    Catalan Language and Society (Prereq EU0294)ML038120 credits
    Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
    Spanish for professional purposesML038320 credits
    From East to West: at the roots of European CultureML239920 credits
    Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
    Dissertation (Single Honours - in English)ML038740 credits
    Dissertation (Single Honours - in Spanish)ML038840 credits
    Advanced Translation Practice (Spanish)ML038620 credits
    Spanish American PoetryML037920 credits
    Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
    Islam in The Contemporary WorldRT121120 credits
    Early HinduismRT133820 credits
    Indian Philosophy, Indian HistoryRT122320 credits
    New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
    New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
    Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
    The Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT420920 credits
    Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
    History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
    Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 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.

    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

    You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors.

    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.

    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.

    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

     ABB - BBB

    To include Spanish A level. Not including General Studies 


    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Religious Studies, Linguistics

    What are the aims of this Programme?

    Religious Studies and Spanish BA (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine a major world language with the study of religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues, and according to a range of methodological approaches (incl. textual hermeneutics, gender theories, cultural and theoretical anthropology, conflict studies, media, globalisation etc.).. The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics aims to create ‘global citizens’ of its students and, with in depth study of both Religious Studies and Spanish, graduates will be an asset for an increasingly global workforce. Students divide their modules equally between Religious Studies and Spanish (and in the first year potentially with a third subject). The emphasis on the Religious Studies side of the degree is on choice with students having a free choice of all the modules that are offered in Religious Studies, subject to caps on student numbers. Students are able, in the final year, to produce original work of their own in the form of a dissertation in Religious Studies. In Spanish students will develop high-level language skills, with the aim being to achieve near-native competency. Students will also spend their third year in Spain, practising and developing their acquired language skills.

    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:

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.
    • 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 administrator 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 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 Religious Studies 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:

    • Spanish Language

    • Introduction to Hispanic Studies Typical Optional Modules in Year One:

    • Introduction to Religion 1

    • Introduction to Religion 2

    • Introduction to the Bible

    • The Story of Christianity

    Year Two

    Core Modules in Year Two:

    • Spanish Language

    Typical Optional Modules in Year Two:

    • Memory and Textuality in Contemporary Spain

    • Landmark Films from Spain and Latin America

    • Politics and Society in Spain

    • Borders and Identities in Post-War European Cinema

    • Catalan Language and Culture

    • The Spanish American Short Story

    • Business Spanish

    • Emotions, Symbols and Rituals

    • Religion and Gender

    • Islamic History, Islamic Thought

    • Buddhism

    • Jainism

    • Philosophical Analysis of Religious Texts

    • Reformation History

    • New Testament Gospels and Acts

    Year Three

    Core Module in Year Three:

    Intercalary year abroad

    Year Four

    Core Module in Year Four:

    • Spanish Language

    Typical Optional Modules in Year Four:

    • Minority Voices and Contact Zones in Spanish and Latin American Film, Fiction, and Autobiography

    • Catalan Language and culture

    • Politics and Society in Spain

    • Spanish American Poetry

    • Women’s Voices in Contemporary Spain

    • Dissertation

    • Islam in the Contemporary World

    • Early Hinduism

    • Sufism

    • Bodies, Spirits and Souls

    • Ancient, Medieval and Modern Judaism

    • Money, Sex and Power in the Early Church

    • Religion in Modern Britain

    • Christian Social Ethics Today

    *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?

    Dictionary and set texts. 

    What skills will I practise and develop?

    On completion of the degree programme students should be able to

    • communicate ideas effectively and fluently;
    • use communication and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation od information;
    • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management;
    • gather, organise and deploy information from a variety of sources;
    • develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement;
    • develop the learning ability needed to undertake further training of a professional or equivalent nature;
    • reflect on his or her learning progress and make use of constructive feedback;
    • manage their own learning self-critically.

    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 of topics, skills 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.
    • Year Four 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 optional 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?

    A range of teaching methods and learning styles are used throughout the degree programme.  Lectures (using a wide variety of sources such as texts, images, film, music, drama) initially introduce students to the general subject matter as well as provide students with guidance on further reading to deepen their knowledge and understanding in private study.  The lectures are supported by seminars, where the smaller group sizes encourage acquisition of more specialized knowledge, understanding and skills using methods such as group work and discussion, oral presentations and source criticism.  Consistent and constructive feedback (oral and written) by the academic staff in lectures, seminars and personal one-to-one meetings ensures that each student optimizes their learning potential.

    Each one-hour seminar requires six to eight hours of preparation; in the seminar itself you will use the knowledge acquired during the preparatory time to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will receive feedback on your ideas and arguments from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument using evidence from a range of scholarly and academic sources.  You will receive individual feedback on your essays from lecturers: written and oral.

    Modules in Year One usually comprise of two weekly lectures, supplemented by weekly seminars in small groups. In Year Two, and especially Year Four, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

    Spanish is taught in small interactive classes designed to enable students to acquire grammatical precision and advanced written and oral communication skills.

    None of the degree programme is available through the medium of Welsh. 

    How will I be assessed?

    Spanish is assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment and examination to enable students to receive regular guidance and feedback and to monitor their own progress against the learning outcomes. Option modules are assessed by essays and examination to enable students to demonstrate their capacity for critical engagement with evidence and the discipline-specific knowledge required to produce a coherent, reasoned argument.

    Religious Studies is assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays.  Students may also write source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation.  In certain modules, they give oral presentations as part of their assessment.

    Progression is built into assessment: Year One tasks are smaller and completed under more guidance than Year Two and subsequently Year Four.  Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on longer pieces of work, independent written work, e.g. written portfolios as 100% assessment model; 8,000 word final year dissertation. Modules in the final year also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on critically handling a larger number of bibliographic tasks and items.

    Students receive extensive feedback in a variety of forms, including Essay Clinics on formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, essay tutorials, lecturer contact-hours (in office and electronically). 

    How will I be supported?

    Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor in both Religious Studies and German 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. 

    As appropriate, modules use the Learning Central electronic learning environment, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials, as copyright permits, and electronic tests. Students undertaking the Open Choice Dissertation or the Open Choice Translation are allocated a research supervisor at the start of the academic year. Opportunities for students to reflect on their general abilities and performance are provided through Personal Development Plans (which we call ‘CV Building’). 

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

    Graduates from this programme will be able to:

    • demonstrate a high level of language competency in Spanish, both orally and in writing;
    • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of religions in a global context, in history and in the present;
    • demonstrate a general understanding of the various approaches adopted by Religious Studies to the study of religious traditions and theologies;
    • demonstrate understanding of debates concerning religious and theological issues in historical context and contemporary society;
    • demonstrate critical understanding;
    • 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 Louise Child , 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.