In the 21st century, the knowledge of other languages and cultures is becoming increasingly important. Among these, the Spanish language and the cultures of Spain and Latin America have a great impact. Why learn Spanish? Why learn about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking cultures? 450 million people speak Spanish, which makes it one of the most useful languages in the world for travel and the language of one of the largest business, professional and academic markets.
Our courses provide an in-depth study of the language and of the vibrant modern cultures of Spain and Latin America, as well as historical and social aspects of these. We offer courses both for beginners and for those with a prior background in Spanish. Language skills open a wide range of career opportunities in business, teaching, the civil service, academia or publishing. Teaching is led by a team of researchers with a wide range of specialist fields including film and cinema, anthropology, history and literature of Spain and Latin America. These guarantee that the linguistic and cultural diversity of the studied countries is taken into account.
IB Diploma with a total of 32 points.
HNC or HND with Bs in graded units.
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.
A-levels or Advanced Highers ABB to include Spanish.
HND in European Languages and Business with Bs in graded units.
General entrance requirements apply.
International students can study our Undergraduate Certificate if they do not possess the necessary entrance requirements to be admitted directly to the first year of an undergraduate degree course.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
English Standard Grade (2), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent. Applicants with English Standard Grade (3) will also be considered, although alternative entry conditions may be made in this case.
This subject can be studied with no prior knowledge of the language.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
Dr Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar
Find out more
Students take Spanish plus two other subjects in Year 1.
Semesters 1 – 4
You may study Spanish at advanced level or as a beginner. The advanced course in the first four semesters comprises tuition in written and spoken Spanish designed to advance further your knowledge of the language. At the same time, you will undertake an introduction to modern Spanish and Latin American cultures.
The Beginners’ course concentrates on learning the language in the first two semesters with a dedicated language course, based on seminar-size classes. In the first semester of Year 2, beginners progress to an intermediate course, enhancing their knowledge of the language whilst being progressively introduced to the study of Spanish and Latin American cultures. In Semester 2, they are ready to join students from the Advanced course, having now acquired a good knowledge of the language and the necessary skills to study Spanish and Latin American cultures more intensively.
Semesters 5 – 8
An integrated, and consecutively structured series of language courses enhances your ability to use the language in both written and spoken forms.
At the same time, there is a wide variety of more specialised option modules from which to choose. Recent options deal with Atlantic Cinema, the Culture of the Andes, the Experience of Migration in Modern Spain, the Experiences of Indigenous Women in Latin America, Spanish Modernism, the Representation of War in Spanish Culture, Mexico’s Cultural Identity, Documenting Latin America, and Argentine History, Politics and Society in Film.
In your final year of study, you may write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, in place of taught modules. Only if you are taking Single Honours in Spanish and Latin American Studies is it mandatory to write a dissertation.
- Representations of Space in Spanish Cinema
- Representations of War in Spanish Culture
- Mexico's Cultural Identity in the 20th Century
- Argentine History, Politics and Society in Film
- Myths from Peru: Cultural and Religious Hybridity in a Colonial Context
Teaching and assessment
A wide range of teaching methods is employed, including: lectures, language tutorials, seminars, oral practice sessions with a native speaker, language and/ or IT laboratory sessions, and self-access of learning resources. Formal assessment is by coursework (in the form of language exercises, essays on set topics, oral presentations) and examinations of various types, including oral exams in Spanish; written examinations require essay-type answers, and language laboratory examinations test the advancement in language structures. Modules are assessed by coursework and examination.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Semester 1 - Spanish Beginners
Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Spanish
||Introductory Spanish 1 - for students who do NOT have a pass in Higher/A Level Spanish
||Religion, Ethics and Society
Semester 1 - Spanish Advanced
Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours in French and Spanish
||Introduction to Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures -for students with Higher/A level
||Spanish and Latin American Studies 1 - for students with Higher/A level Spanish
||Language and Society
Degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours in International Management and Intercultural Studies
||International and Export Marketing
Spanish can be studied with:
|Film and Media
|Global Cinema and Culture
|Human Resource Management
|Professional Education (Primary) with Modern Languages
Spanish can be studied as a component of other degrees. See Modern Languages for details.
The very strong interconnection between the lecturers' research interests and the resulting diversity of disciplines and their interrelationship make Spanish and Latin American studies a unique experience which can combine film and cinema, literature, history, social sciences and anthropology with each other.
The broad variety of possible degrees, i.e. subject combinations, are distinctive to the University of Stirling and enable students to choose subjects according to their genuine interests. These include, for example, the often chosen Single Honours Spanish and Joint Honours French and Spanish, but can also comprise most other disciplines, such as Business, Journalism or Marketing and Spanish, Intercultural Studies and languages. From Spanish and Latin American Studies students Stirling requires a mandatory semester (not a year) abroad (ERASMUS), which may be complemented by a professional year in a Spanish-speaking country (British Council).
Honours students of Spanish are required to spend a period of residence abroad, usually in Semester 6, studying at a Spanish-speaking university. In certain degrees, including Single Honours Spanish, the whole of Semesters 5 and 6 can be spent at a Spanish university. There are ERASMUS exchange agreements with the Universities of Barcelona, Léon, Santander, Navarra, Córdoba, Granada and Santiago de Compostela. In Latin America, there are exchange agreements with Mexico City and Santiago de Chile.
In addition you also have the option of working for a year abroad between Semesters 4 and 5, which students often spend in paid employment, typically as a language assistant teaching English in a school.
This course offers several particular features.
- Spanish for All: beginners without previous knowledge as well as those who have learned Spanish already can start studying the language from their first semester.
- Research and Teaching: all lecturers integrate their own research into the teaching, which creates an up to date and motivating state of the classes' content.
- Language and Culture: in Stirling we lay special emphasis on the combination of the study of language and culture and their interrelationship, using examples from practical life as well as different theoretical approaches.
- Critical and Transferable Skills: it is our aim for students to gain a critical awareness of the Spanish and Latin American world(s) and at the same time acquire abilities to transmit their knowledge to other fields of study and practical work.
- Spanish and Education: students can combine languages and education, and through this be well prepared for a secondary school education career when finishing their studies at Stirling.
- Lecturers for Students: our tutors are always ready and open for small group or individual conversations, either to clarify questions or help students deepen their interest in a certain field.
It is one of our main academic objectives to train young people to become critical members of society who can use their own judgement. This training is based on applied and theoretical approaches which students elaborate and deepen together with their lecturers. Our education also aims at independence and creativity. In order to obtain these results, lecturers emphasise the learning process and motivation of the student (rather than adopting a teacher-centred attitude).
All our students want to become efficient in speaking and writing in the Spanish language and they tend to enjoy the combination of culture and language aspects. Towards the end of their studies they are open to and ready for different kinds of careers, mostly in some sector of the private economy or, for example, in the civil service. Increasingly students opt for a combination of Spanish and Education which qualifies them as secondary school teachers. Each year more students take a Single Honours degree, which means that they get immersed in particular aspects of Spanish and Latin American language and culture(s). Other students accompany their main field of interest (e.g. business studies) by the efficient learning of Spanish so as to broaden their employability.
Content (of the final year course) was interesting and challenging. Stirling’s teaching is brilliant and staff are always available for students. Going to university is about much more than just learning a language; there are so many other important skills to learn (how to manage your workload, how to get help when you need it, etc). The Honours year provides the opportunity to work hard and improve and we are able to be proud of our achievements and degree. Also, the degree helps towards further study or work.
Vicky Huyskens, Spanish and Latin American Studies, graduated in 2011
Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar (MA, PhD, Habilitation) joined the University of Stirling in 2006, after having taught at Bonn University (Germany) and previously at St Andrews University. She is Senior Lecturer in Latin American and Amerindian Studies. Her research focuses on Amerindian cultures and languages, and she combines ethnohistory, cultural anthropology and ethnolinguistics, fields that enable her to study the culture and language of the so-called 'indigenous peoples'. She has had several tasks in administration, among them that of School Chief Examiner as well as that of Director of Stirling University Centro de Estudos Galegos. She is (co-)coordinator of the University research groups on 'Latin America and the Caribbean', 'Translating Christianities' and 'Crossing Cultures'.