Spanish and English Literature (BA)
The Joint Honours degree in Spanish and English Literature provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.
Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences in the two subjects. This is a four year degree with a third year spent studying abroad.
Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.There are no compulsory modules in English Literature at Cardiff after year one. We give you choice – but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions from a diverse range of options which includes Creative Writing.You are free to follow a traditional programme covering multiple periods and genres or to build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.
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.
As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills and that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.
Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Typical places available||The School typically has 185 places available|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives 600 applications|
|Typical A level offer||AAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted. B in a Modern Language.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||35 points, 6 in Higher English and 6 in a Modern European Language.|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Languages and related studies, English
Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo, 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.
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|
|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|
|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|
Year three: Sandwich year
You spend year three studying abroad.
You will take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in Spanish.
School of English, Communication and Philosophy
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy offers intellectually stimulating programmes of study, shaped by the latest research. We have a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge.
Our programmes foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory, and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team-working, independent research, and time management. A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.
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 English, Communication and Philosophy
In 2013/14, 91% 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.
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy admits around 360 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
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
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy = 1500
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Languages and related studies, English
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.
This programme offers opportunities to study all periods of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century and from many different parts of the world. Year 1 is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in Year 2 and the Final Year. You take three subjects worth 40 credits each: these must include English Literature I and your other joint honours subject and may also include either English Literature II or Medieval and Renaissance English Literature. In Year 2 you select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. In Final Year there is a range of more specialised modules in which you can pursue interests developed in the previous two years and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you further to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study. Joint honours students take 60 credits in each of their two subjects in their second and final years. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and able to articulate your responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective.
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.
Students are expected to attend and participate in the lectures and seminars for all modules on which they are enrolled. In line with University policy, attendance will be monitored at specific ‘points of engagement’ throughout the year. Students with good cause to be absent should inform their module leaders, who will provide the necessary support. Students with extenuating circumstances should submit the Extenuating Circumstances Form in accordance with the School’s procedures.
The total number of hours which students are expected to devote to each 20-credit module is 200. Of these, 30 hours will be contact hours with staff (lectures and seminars); the remaining 170 hours should be spent on self-directed learning for that module (reading, preparation for seminars, research, reflection, formative writing, assessed work, exam revision).
Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.
How is this Programme Structured?
The BA Joint Honours Spanish and English Literature degree is a four-year degree programme. It is structured so that students acquire in successive years near-native language competency and the skills to become independent researchers, equipped for high-level professional employment.
The programme is offered in full-time mode. In Year 1, 40 credits are studied in French, in Year 2 and F, 60 credits are studied in French. The Third year is a year spent studying or working abroad in France or in a Francophone country and is compulsory. The Year abroad attracts 120 credits. Year 1, 2 and 4 each contain a 20-credit core French language module. In Year 4, students must also choose 20 credits in either French for Professional Purposes or Advanced Translation Practice.
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.
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.
Many of the learning outcomes listed above involve practising skills that are transferable to numerous areas of employment. In addition, students who engage with the programme will practise and develop the ability to:
- Communicate effectively with others.
- Think analytically about problems.
- Use electronic and other sources of information as appropriate to the project chosen.
- Take responsibility for their own learning programme and professional development.
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.
Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars, with all modules including seminar or small-group teaching. Each module presents the student with a set of intellectual challenges which have in common a concern with the question of how to read the literary (or other cultural) text and how to write about its significance and meanings. Teaching stresses the importance of the way texts interact with their contexts, and each module is designed to encourage you to focus on a number of specific texts and to prepare carefully a considered answer to specific topics dealt with in the module.
The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include such activities as: interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student presentations or group presentations, small-group work within seminars, translation classes, formative writing exercises, journal entries, and film showings. Students are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable them to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate.
Written feedback is provided on both formative and summative assessment and students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with module tutors in seminars and, where appropriate, on a one-to-one basis in office hours.
In the final year of the degree students have the option of choosing to write a dissertation on a topic of particular interest to them.
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.
All modules offer the opportunity to undertake formative work appropriate to the module. The form(s) of summative assessment for individual modules are set out in the relevant Module Description. Most modules are assessed by assessed essay and/or examination, but some include other forms of assessment such as journal entries, a portfolio, or presentations. The assessment strategy is structured to lead students from specimen question papers towards the production of an informed answer. Emphasis in assessment is placed on the writing of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students are noted in the Module Descriptions.
Students will receive written feedback on written assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and their contributions to seminars. The opportunity to understand and use feedback constructively will also be provided through regular meetings with Personal Tutors at key moments every year.
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.
Every student is assigned a personal tutor and will meet him/her for regular Academic Progress Meetings (one per semester). There is a form to fill in before each Academic Progress meeting which is designed to help you reflect on the written feedback and the reasons for the marks you have received from the previous round of assessment. You will discuss this feedback and your reflections on it with your personal tutor.
In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks and students may make appointments to see their personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues. Staff may also be contacted by email. Details of the office hours and email addresses of staff are provided in the Module Guide for each module.
Use of Learning Central, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, will vary from module to module as the module leader feels appropriate for the specific contents of the module but will normally at least include making lecture handouts available online.
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
Graduates from this programme will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and attributes in the following areas:
A Knowledge and understanding
- Awareness of different literary periods, movements and genres and of the variety of English literature.
- Understanding of the importance of historical and cultural contexts.
- Knowledge of the critical issues and/or debates surrounding or raised by texts.
- Understanding of the shaping effects of historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of texts.
B Intellectual (analytic and cognitive) skills
- Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
- Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.
- Ability to analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of literary periods.
C Subject-specific (writing) skills
- Ability to apply high level critical skills of close analysis to literary texts.
- Knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.
- Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the workings of language and literary styles.
- Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating 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
English Literature at Cardiff is taught by staff with an international reputation for innovative and influential research. Our passion for the subject and the strength and range of our scholarship enable us to offer a degree which is:
- Inclusive.We teach across the whole chronological span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century; we teach writing in English from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, America, the Caribbean, India, and Australia. We are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.
- Challenging. Research-led teaching means students engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of the discipline. We see the study of literature in its various contexts as broadening horizons.
- Diverse. After Year 1 there are no compulsory modules. We give you choice – but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed choices. You have the freedom to construct a traditional programme covering multiple periods and genres or to build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms. Our teaching is varied, too, ranging from traditional-style lectures to smaller-group seminars in which students develop their writing and presentational skills in a supportive environment designed to help them take responsibility for their own learning.
- Engaged. At Cardiff we do not think of literature as isolated from the rest of culture or separate from society. We are proud of our reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment, and digital technology. We also maintain a strong tradition in Creative Writing, taught by writers making their mark on contemporary culture.
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.
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