Welsh and Spanish (BA)

Within this degree scheme, students will have the opportunity to pair a rapidly growing international language with the Welsh language, its literature and culture.

By combining these two courses, students will acquire a wide range of transferable skills that will be valuable in a range of future careers. In addition, students will spend their third year in Spain, practising and developing their acquired language skills.

The Welsh programme is relevant to contemporary Wales and delivered by a school noted for its research quality and impact. The programme's main aim is to produce graduates who have three key attributes: firstly, a thorough academic and practical understanding of the Welsh language, its literature and culture; secondly, a high level of skill in written and spoken Welsh; and thirdly, well-developed employability and creative skills that are highly valued in today's competitive workplace.

The programme has been carefully designed with these attributes in mind, and so offers a wide range of core and optional modules which will provide you with a grounding in language and literature as well as the opportunity to specialise in areas of personal or vocational interest.

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.

Studying Spanish at Cardiff University enables students to access, analyse and evaluate current developments across the Hispanic world as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Spanish, students will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today.

Key facts

Duration4 Year(s)
Typical places availableThe School typically has 30 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 100 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB including Welsh and a language subject. Two AS subject may be considered in lieu of a third A-level. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus grades BB at GCE A-level, to include a B in a language subject and a B in Welsh.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points, including a 5 in Spanish if taken.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.
Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here.
QAA subject benchmark

Welsh, Spanish

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Siwan Rosser , Admissions Tutor

    Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo , Admissions Tutor

      Dr Rhiannon Marks , Course Administrator

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

        Year one

        Students studying this course will be able to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) Core and Optional modules from another participating Academic School. An overview of the module collections available can be found here.

        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 Welsh
        We provide exciting and challenging teaching in order to help our students succeed in a competitive environment. One of our core principles is that the teaching is informed and led by research. You will therefore learn about the latest ideas from scholars who are contributing to the development and future of their specialist subjects.

        The teaching is usually delivered through the medium of lectures and seminars which provide you with the opportunity to discuss the subject matter in detail within small groups. However, there is also an important role to be played by one on one tutorials, workshops and languages classes (especially for those following the second language route).

        Each module is supported by electronic teaching materials shared via Learning Central, part of the University’s virtual learning environment. You will receive personal pastoral care within the School, alongside the University’s central support services for accommodation, counselling, disability, dyslexia, finance and careers.

        Our programmes have been carefully designed and planned to ensure you experience a range of assessment methods including coursework essays, examinations/written class tests, dissertation, portfolios, written reports and oral examinations. This helps to ensure that you can demonstrate your skills to the best of your ability and reach your potential.

        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 Welsh
        The demand for Welsh speakers means that a degree in Welsh can be a highly valuable for jobs and roles that require bilingual speakers. Many of our graduates are now following careers in areas such as law, politics, media, performing arts, administration and education, and at all levels.

        In 2013/14, 100% of the School’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

        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

        Contact the School for detailed information

        Applications received

        Typical applications received

        Contact the School for detailed information


        QAA subject benchmark

        QAA subject benchmark

        Welsh, Spanish

        What are the aims of this Programme?


        Welsh is an exciting, broad and challenging academic discipline which involves producing, presenting and interpreting written texts and oral subjects, as well as the nature and history of the language. Studying the Welsh language fosters an open and flexible mind as well as the ability to consider different concepts. In turn, this will enable students to discuss and interpret modern developments as well as the cultures and values of the past. After studying Welsh, students will be ready to take advantage of all the opportunities that the language offers in today’s world.   

        CardiffUniversity’s School of Welsh has a definite vision with regard to its graduates. This vision is based on the belief that developing excellent academic skills provide the necessary ammunition to pursue a successful career in a wide range of fields. As a result, a typical Welsh graduate will be a successful communicator with the ability to analyse and interpret the world around them in a critical and creative way. They will have the ability to act independently at a high level, and their skills will benefit them in the academic world as well as in the workplace. These skills will be based on a sound knowledge and understanding of the Welsh language, its literature and culture, as well as an informed awareness of its place in the modern world.

        Students at the School of Welsh will study at a vibrant university in the capital city of Wales, where opportunities in the Welsh language are expanding continually. One of the main characteristics of Cardiff University, and also the School of Welsh, is the emphasis placed on research-led teaching. In other words, students at the School of Welsh will be taught by members of staff that produce research of the highest quality, who then use this research when teaching a wide range of areas. Students will also benefit from opportunities to use their skills and knowledge in different contexts, be they academic (including a research project) or practical (including work experience).  

        The knowledge and skills of those students that graduate from the School of Welsh will be suitable for a wide range of occupations, including the following fields: education, media and other creative industries, the heritage industry, local and national government, business and marketing. A degree in Welsh is also excellent preparation for further study, whether in the field of Welsh itself, in other related academic areas or in occupational fields such as education, the law and public relations.

        The BA in Welsh and Spanish conforms to the standards set out in the Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)benchmarks. 


        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. 

        What is expected of me?


        Teaching sessions at the School of Welsh are interactive and practical, and therefore students are expected to attend every one of their classes (be they lectures, workshops, seminars or other sessions). In some cases, for example maternity or disability, we may make alternative arrangements for you.

        BA in Welsh and Spanish modules vary in terms of length, but as a rule they will be 20 credits. Each 20 credit module will require at least two hundred hours of study, including the hours spent attending classes, studying independently, preparing assessments and/or sitting examinations and tests. There will usually be approximately 30 hours of contact with a tutor for each 20 credit module, although this can vary in relation to the nature of the module.  

        Students and members of staff are expected to respect Cardiff University’s Policy on Dignity while Working and Studying, which can be seen here.  You should develop a professional attitude towards your work, including attending personal tutor sessions, checking your e-mails regularly and responding to them, being punctual when attending classes, and informing the School when you are absent. The School of Welsh is committed to helping you throughout your studies, so please tell us if you have any concerns. We will respect your confidentiality on every occasion. 


        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 BA Joint Honours in Welsh and Spanish 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.

        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. You will develop 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.

        What skills will I practise and develop?


        This degree programme will allow you to develop many valuable skills. Some of them will be specific to the field of Welsh, while others will be more general and very relevant to the workplace. These include the following skills: communication and presenting information, ideas and debates (orally and in writing, individually and as part of a team); using information technology (linguistic software, word processing, data bases, the internet); analysing and presenting numerical information; working in a group and developing interpersonal skills; identifying, recording and communicating relevant attainments with regard to your career; managing your own learning (including time-management); showing a commitment to continuous learning and development.  

        The project/extended essay will help you to gain in confidence when working independently and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of a wide range of practical research skills. The sessions with a director will allow you to develop detailed discussion skills and to develop original ideas. 


        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?


        The BA in Welsh and Spanish uses several different methods of learning and teaching. During your degree, you will attend lectures, contribute to seminars and group work, complete practical tasks, undertake a period of work experience and complete an extended piece of independent work under the guidance of a tutor. The learning will usually take place in the Humanities Building, although it is possible that you will undertake field work away from the campus. 

        The programme is based on a range of core (mandatory) and optional modules. Usually, a module will include a series of lectures or workshops supported by seminars for smaller groups, where the field in question can be discussed in more detail. Every year, you will be required to study 60 credits in the School of Welsh and 60 credits in Spanish. Most modules in the Schoolof Welsh are 20 credits in length. Students studying Welsh and a modern language will spend the third year of their degree programme abroad, before returning to complete their final year.  

        There are two routes in the first year, one for students that have studied Welsh as a first language and the other for students that have studied Welsh as a second language. Both routes will include core modules in the fields of literature and language. There will be an opportunity to discuss literature from different periods and to look at the Welsh language in terms of its grammar and its place in modern Wales. The first year will equip you with the research and presentation skills that you will need to complete your degree.

        Furthermore, during the second year, you will follow a further module (or modules in the case of the Welsh as a second language route) on the Welsh language and the different ways in which it is used in today’s Wales, including a period of work experience. You will also follow several optional modules in fields of your choice.

        In the final year, you will choose further optional modules, as well as writing an extended essay or project on a subject of your choice – either 5,000 words (20 credits) or 10,000 words (40 credits). 


        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 least 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?


        During your time studying for a BA in Welsh degree, you will be assessed using each one of the following methods:

        • essays
        • examinations
        • reports
        • individual oral presentations
        • self-appraisals
        • extended essay or project (up to 5,000 or 10,000 words)

        Depending on your degree route and your choice of modules, you could also be assessed using the following methods:

        • classroom tests
        • group presentations
        • portfolios (of linguistic exercises or creative work)

        There will also be opportunities to prepare formative tasks. These are tasks that do not count towards your final mark but which give you the opportunity to receive feedback on your progress. These tasks can be oral presentations during seminars, drafts of essays, short written pieces or computer-based tasks. The feedback can be in oral, written or electronic form.

        The School of Welsh welcomes applications from disabled students; we may be able to offer alternative assessment methods in some cases. 


        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?

        We will support your studies in several ways. Firstly, you will have a personal tutor who will meet you at least three times a year to discuss your progress and any other matters that arise. You will be given punctual feedback on all your assessments (including examinations), and your personal tutor will be able to help you make effective use of the feedback in order to improve your work in the future. Several modules also include formative assessments. You will receive feedback on these assessments, but they will not count towards your final grade. 

        Every module will use the Learning Central website, which is CardiffUniversity's Virtual Learning Environment. Through the Learning Central site, you will have access to materials that are relevant to the module, such as multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, discussion circles etc.                             

        You will have an opportunity to reflect on your progress and the skills that you have developed through a section of Learning Central called Personal Development Planning. There, with help from your personal tutor, you will be able to record your achievements in different fields (whether they are part of the curriculum or not).

        Furthermore, centrally, the university offers 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.

        What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?


        A typical BA in Welsh and Spanish graduate will be able to do the following:

        ·         demonstrate intellectual skills that enable close reading, description, analysis and the production of different types of texts (including producing texts in the field of creative writing in the case of some students)

        ·         analyse the core role of language in the process of creating meaning, and the ability to appreciate the affective force of language

        ·         appreciate how cultural preconceptions affect the process of forming an opinion

        .         evaluate relevant texts, concepts and theories in the field of Welsh and discuss them by using appropriate vocabulary

        ·         show an understanding of a range of texts from different historical periods and from different genres

        ·         show a good understanding of the position and importance of the Welsh language in the modern workplace

        ·         implement the knowledge, understanding and skills that they have developed:

        o   in the workplace, by completing a period of work experience and a critical evaluation of the experience

        o   by completing an essay or extended project which is a product of independent study under the guidance of a tutor, showing the relevance of that work in relation to the next step of your career

        ·         utilise basic numerical skills when evaluating data in relation to the Welsh language

        ·         use information technology to present and analyse materials in an effective and polished manner, including the use of software to correct and improve the language

        ·         produce written and oral Welsh of a high standard

        ·         use other written linguistic registers, orally and in writing, in different contexts, including the workplace


        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   

        Other information


        The following are amongst the most significant characteristics of this degree programme:

        ·      the opportunity to follow a degree programme that develops skills that are relevant to both the academic world and the workplace.

        ·      the emphasis on practical research skills, that will benefit you throughout your career

        ·      the emphasis placed on independent learning in a supportive environment

        ·      the experience of being taught by staff that will recognise you as an individual

        ·      the experience of being taught by lecturers that undertake original research work of the highest quality and push the field’s boundaries


        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. 

        Admissions tutors

        Dr Siwan Rosser , Admissions Tutor

          Dr Carlos Sanz-mingo , Admissions Tutor

            Dr Rhiannon Marks , Course Administrator

              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.