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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > History and Spanish
More in this section History

History and Spanish BA

For 2018 entry this course will be replaced by BA Modern Languages and History.

UCAS code VR14
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department History »


This joint degree allows you to equally split your studies between History and Spanish language and literature.

Studying History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times. Exploring what people have felt, thought and done in the past expands our self-awareness. It will help to satisfy your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.

Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects, enabling you to spread your studies across the medieval and modern worlds, from Ancient Rome through to modern China, from Saladin through to Margaret Thatcher.

  • 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

As a student of Spanish, you will not only learn to speak and write fluently, you will also develop excellent communication and research skills, and combine language proficiency with cross-cultural perspectives.

You will be able to tailor your study of Spanish to suit your specific areas of interest, choosing from a fascinating multidisciplinary range including translation, literature, photography, drama, film and other visual arts from the sixteenth to the twenty first-century and from all the corners of the Spanish-speaking world.

Our language classes are taught in Spanish by dedicated language specialists, most of whom are native speakers; they will ensure that you gain valuable exposure to different varieties of Spanish. You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying, in cities as diverse as Havana, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Mexico, Seville and Salamanca, when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture, and truly broaden your horizons.

  • We have three language pathways so whether you are a beginner, advanced or native-level speaker when you start, by the time you graduate you will be fluent in Spanish: confident in reading, understanding and analysing text and able to write with ease and accuracy.
  • Our research staff are engaged in research at the highest level internationally; we are in the top 10 of UK Modern Language departments for research quality and the top in London (Research Assessment Exercise 2014).

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in History are:

History and Meanings

This module examines the development of historical writing and debates around the meaning of history. Overall, the framework is chronological, taking you on a journey from Herodotus and other historians of the ancient world, through to the development of history as a professional discipline in the nineteenth century, and finally on to more recent debates about ‘postmodernism’. Both western and non-western history-writing traditions are discussed for comparative purposes. On the way, in both lectures and in small tutorial groups, you will need to think about the nature of historical ‘truth’ and objectivity, and will be asked to reflect upon your own status and practice as historians.

Public History

History has never been so popular. This course explores the development in recent years of ‘public history’, or the ways in which the past is used and written about by academic and popular historians, the heritage industry, journalists, the state, and the wider public. The module examines the nature of ‘public history’ through a series of case-studies, including topics such as how history is presented on the television and in film; history in museums and heritage sites; community and oral history; the memory of the Holocaust; debates in European societies about ‘making amends’ for slavery and the colonial past; and the uses of history in contemporary South Asia. You will be given the opportunity to make your own contribution to the field through your own ‘public history’ project.

Spanish: Spanish 1

This is your core Spanish language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Spanish language. There are three hours of seminars per week well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. Teaching is done in small groups and conducted largely in Spanish. The module consists of a combination of textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in situ exercises with homework revision; grammar work; lexical work and oral and listening work to develop lexical and communicative skills through the use of varied media such as the use of audio-visual aids, oral presentations and debates. You will take part in group discussions and have the chance to develop and practice your presentation skills.

Spanish: Spanish 2

This is your core Spanish language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Spanish language. It consists of a combination of textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in-situ exercises with homework revision; grammar work; lexical work and oral and listening work to develop lexical and communicative skills through the use of varied media such as the use of audio-visual aids, oral presentations and debates. Through oral practice you will have the opportunity to take part in group discussions and have the chance to develop and practice youyr presentation skills.

Spanish: Intensive Spanish 1

This is your core Spanish language module (beginners’ pathway). It is taught intensively in five weekly seminar hours. The first three hours are devoted to work on reading, writing and listening comprehension skills combining both in-situ exercises with homework revision that students will have prepared for the day. The fourth hour is reserved for oral practice, which happens in the form of debates, role plays or text commentaries. The fifth hour is a grammar lecture in which new verb tenses and grammatical structures are introduced.

Year 2

The core modules in History are:

Independent Essay

This module allows yous to undertake a small research project of your own. You will sign up for one of approximately twenty-five advertised thematic ‘workshops’ run by academics within the department, and through a series of seminars will explore key themes and debates that allow you to identify a project of your own choosing. The course also includes training in research and writing skills, and is excellent preparation for your final-year dissertation.

Research Skills

This module will ensure that you have a cogent, practicable and interesting research topic to write your independent essay, and that you are equipped with the appropriate skills and a timetable for undertaking and producing research and writing in a timely manner. You will be encouraged to consult with the module leader and your supervisors to develop your research topic.

Spanish: Intensive Spanish for Beginners 2

This is an intensive course with four hours per week of contact in each term, plus an extra hour of oral practice. The first two hours are devoted to work on reading, writing and oral skills combining in-situ exercises with homework revision that you will have prepared for the day (usually a journalistic text). The third hour is reserved for the listening comprehension exercises which sometimes take place in language laboratories. The last hour is a grammar lecture in which new verb tenses and grammatical structures are introduced and subsequently put into practice during the next two hours of the following week.

Spanish: Principles and Practice of Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Classes will focus on a piece of Spanish or English from a literary or (quality) journalistic source. You will be required to draft an English or Spanish translation of it in preparation for the class, which will be spent discussing the relative merits of different versions. Some time will be devoted to vocabulary acquisition and the consideration of professional translations too.

Year 3

The third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying or working or both. It is usually expected that students will spend at least 9 months overseas, in countries where the native langauges match the languages the student is studying. Students studying two langauges will be expected to divide their time between two relevant countries, i.e. one for each langauge. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures will support students in finding a suitable study or work placement, but students are also expected to explore opportunities independently and the ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with the student. Alternatively students may choose to enrol for courses at a partner university in the relevant country. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme; students on placement will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards their degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for courses taken will be credited towards their degree. The same applies to the assessment of spoken language on return to Royal Holloway from the period of residence abroad.

Year 4

The core module in History is:


You will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your own choosing, with an academic supervisor vho will provide regular consultation.

Spanish: Spanish 3

This is your core language module in Spanish, in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending Spanish. It is taught entirely in Spanish, and takes the form of a combination of formal grammar lectures and seminars focused on written and oral skills. The module concentrates on textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in situ exercises with homework prepared in advance; grammar work: theory and practice; lexical work. You will deliver presentations in Spanish and take part in debates. You will also refine your knowledge of aspects of contemporary Spanish by studying films, podcasts, news broadcasts and other audiovisual aids.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Optional modules in History include:

Gods, Men and Power - An Introduction to the Ancient World from Homer to Mohammed


Republics, Kings and People - The Foundations of European Political Though from Plato to Rousseau


The Rich Tapestry of Life - Early Modern England, Europe and the Wider World, 1453 to 1789


Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000


Mao to Mandela - Twentieth Century Leaders of the Non-Western World


Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages


Spanish: International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices

Spanish: The Birth of Film

Spanish: Introduction to Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Spanish: Passion and Betrayal on the Spanish Stage

Spanish: Text and Image in the Hispanic World

Spanish: Culture and Society in Modern Spain

Spanish: Culture and Identity in Latin America

Spanish: Authors and Readers in 20th Century Spanish American Fiction

Spanish: Comparative Hispanic Culture

Spanish: Visualising Cuba - Text, Image and Representation

Year 2

Optional modules in History include:

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic


The Persuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250


The Flowering of the Middle Ages - Politics, Pestilence and War, 1300 to 1500


The European Crucible, 1914 to 1947 - Politics, Culture and Society


New World, Lost World - The Tudor Monarchy 1485 to 1603


The Georginas - Politics, Society, and Culture 1688 to 1832


Nineteenth-Century Europe - Society and Culture, 1789 to 1905


Twentieth-Century World History - The Middle East, Africa and Latin America


Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East


The Victorians - British History, 1837 to 1901


History of the USA, 1787 to 1877


Spain, 1898 to 1939


Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1939 to 1989


Awakening China - From the Opium Wars to the Present Day


Science in Greek and Roman Antiquity


Mutiny to Modi - the Indian Subcontinent from the 19th Century to the Present


History: Spain, 1898 to 1939

History: Spain - from Dictatorship to Democracy

Spanish: Principles and Practice of Translation, English into Spanish

Spanish: Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film

Spanish: Myths of the Feminine in the Spanish Novel

Spanish: Twentieth Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film

Spanish: Religion and Society in the 16th and 17th Century Hispanic World

Spanish: Love in the Contemporary Spanish American Novel

Year 4

Optional modules in History include:

Faith and Fire - Religious Culture in England, 1375 to 1525


The Origins and Impact of the Second Crusade, 1145 to 1149


Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response


Berlin - A European Metropolis from Kaiser to Kohl


The History and Historiography of the Holocaust


The Clash of Powers and Cultures - Sino-American Relations during the Cold War


Christians and Pagans  - From Constantine to Augustine


Victorian Babylon - Life, Work and People in London, 1840 to 1890


Comparing Religious Fundamentalisms in the 19th and 20th Centuries


Migration, Identity and Citizenship in Modern Britain


The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present


Talking Cures and Troubles: The Oral History of Health and Medicine in Britain, 1948 to 2000


Drawing the Line - Independence, Partition, and the Making of India and Pakistan


Progress and its Discontents - European Culture, 1890 to 1914


Spanish: The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Fiction

Spanish: Advanced Literary Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Spanish: Contemporary Mexican Cinema

Spanish: Spanish American Literature - An Overview

Spanish: Seducing The Nation - Spanish Cinema 1940s to 1980s

Spanish: Conflict in 20th Century Latin American Literature and Culture

Spanish: Journeys of Discovery in Twentieth Century Spanish American Literature

Spanish: Dissertation

Our teaching combines a majority of seminars and small group work as well as role play and conversational activities, with some lectures. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources such as Powerpoint slideshows, copies of selected primary and secondary texts, audiovisual materials, class and seminar preparation aids, links to relevant external sites, quizzes and grammar and essay writing guidance, and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally and who holds regular surgery hours at least twice weekly.

Each course is assessed using a varied range of methods such as coursework and end of year examinations. Coursework includes essays, language exercises, translations and reports. Oral presentations and computer-based tests are used in some course units to assess grammar and comprehension skills. You can, to some extent, choose course units which suit your own assessment preferences.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. In the final year you will complete a 10,000 word dissertation for History. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year, year abroad and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

You will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

Typical offers

Typical offers


The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken.
Required/preferred subjects

Required: Grade B in one essay based subject, if Spanish is taken at A level a grade B is required, as well as five GCSEs graded A*-C including English and Maths.

Preferred: History

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level including Higher Level History with a minimum of 32 points overall. Or 6,6,5 at Higher Level including 5 in an essay-based subject, with a minimum of 32 points overall. If Spanish is taken at Higher Level then a grade 5 is required.

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus an A level grade B.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A levels grade BB including an essay based subject.
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
Scottish Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher Level including History or AA at Advanced Higher Level including B in an essay-based subject. If Spanish is taken at Advanced Higher Level a grade B is required plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in an essay-based subject at Higher Level. If Spanish is taken at Higher Level a grade H3 is required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject area. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
IELTS 6.5 overallwith 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Combining History and Spanish at Royal Holloway will provide you with a unique skill set and open up a wide range of career options as well as provide a basis for further study. Spanish is a major world language spoken by some 350 million people in 24 countries, Hispanic Studies graduates are consequently much in demand in the workplace.

As well as gaining practical skills in translation and interpretation, your degree will also demonstrate that you enjoy being challenged, are able to think through issues and problems in a logical and consistent way and have a understanding other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment. 

  • 75% of the most recent Spanish graduates and 86% of history graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different language-related fields including international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting.  
  • Our careers service offers a range of tailor-made careers events, one-to-one careers advice sessions and skills workshops specifically for history students.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: The cost of your year abroad will vary by country. Typical living costs to consider will be accommodation, food and household items, entertainment, travel, books and bills (including your mobile phone). You'll also need to budget for travel to and from your country of study. Additional costs compared to studying in the UK will also depend on personal choices and it is important to research the cost of living before the year commences.

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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