Spanish and Economics (BA)

Our Spanish and Economics degree at Cardiff will provide you with a thorough understanding of economic analysis and will stimulate you to value this analysis in understanding economic problems and a wider range of social and political issues.

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.

Key facts

Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB including a B in a language
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerPass the Advanced Diploma and grades AA at A-level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer35 points, including Mathematics at 6SL or 5HL. One of the IB options must be in Spanish
Other qualificationsApplicants will also require GCSE English grade C and GCSE Mathematics grade B. Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

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

Languages and Related Studies, Economics

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo , Admissions Tutor

    For more information about the course structures, modules and teaching for these subjects, please visit the individual profiles of Economics and Spanish on our website.

    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

    Year three: Sandwich year

    Year four

    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.

    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 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

    The School admits 550 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

    Applications received

    Typical applications received



    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Languages and Related Studies, Economics

    What are the aims of this Programme?


    Spanish at Cardiff aims to give students a knowledge 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. 


    The overall and specific aims of the economics components of each of the three Economics with a European Languages Programmes are set out in the Programme Specification for the single honours programmes:

    • Economics

    • Business Economics

    • Banking and Finance

    The overall aim of the language components of the three programmes is to build on the student’s previous knowledge of the chosen language and to develop their skills in Economics and vocational foreign language communications.

    The Programmes offer the opportunity across the four years of study to follow a number of economics modules that will support the student’s choice of joint degree with a language. The Programmes encourage a range of transferable skills that will be of value to student in the subsequent careers.

    Specifically the language component of the three Economics with a European Language Programmes aim to:

    consolidate the students’ language skills.

    • enable the students to study effectively during their year aboard.

    • equip the students with the knowledge and skills to successfully undertake academic assessments and examinations for international business certificates.

    • enhance the students’ professional language skills.

    • develop the students understanding of the business environment and culture of their chosen EU country.

    • provide the skills that will allow student to take up a career using a foreign language.


    What is expected of me?

    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 Economics) as well as introductory modules on Hispanic and Economics(20 credits each). In years two and four students also have a core language course (40 credits, 20 in Spanish, and 20 in Economics) and make up the remainder of the 80 credits by choosing four optional modules (two in Spanish, two in Economics). 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?

    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.

    How will I be taught?


    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.


    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Core knowledge and understanding is taught and learnt through lectures, workshops, classes IT based language laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes provide the means for reinforcing knowledge and understanding.

    More advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language, and in classes working on authentic documents.

    The use of the University’s language services laboratories (audio studios, interactive computer, language learning software, interactive video packages, video viewing facilities, networked PC’s and continental satellite TV) is incorporated into teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to use the full range of open access facilities.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are taught and learnt through workshops, classes; IT based laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes focused on foreign and English documents provide the means for reinforcing intellectual skills.

    More advanced intellectual skills are acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language and working on various forms of communication.

    How will I be assessed?


    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.


    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Knowledge and understanding are assessed summatively through written tests, aural tests, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes. Individual feedback indicating errors, strengths, weaknesses and direction for improvement are offered to each student.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are assessed summatively through written tests, aural test, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes, as part of group activities discussing current affairs. The smallness of the groups makes continuous and detailed individual feedback to each student possible.                                                                                                                                   

    How will I be supported?

    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:

    • 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 specific outcomes for the language component, in terms of knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills are set out below.

    Students who gain the award will have demonstrated achievement of the following language Learning Outcomes:

    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • be familiar with the basic economic and business vocabulary of their chosen language.

    • have a sound knowledge of advanced grammar and syntax of their chosen language.

    • comprehend various forms of communications in their chosen language.

    •understanding the key economic and business features of their chosen European country.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • translate economics and business documents competently.

    • analyse and comment on various forms of communication in their chosen language.

    • discuss current affairs accurately in their chosen language.

    • write intelligently in their chosen language on economic and business subjects, including those relating to their chosen country.                                                                                                                

    Other information

    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

    Admissions tutors

    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.