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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > Spanish with Philosophy
More in this section Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Spanish with Philosophy BA

For 2018 entry this course will be replaced by BA Modern Languages with Philosophy.

UCAS code R4V5
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »


This course offers you the opportunity to combine study of Spanish (75% of the course) with Philosophy (25%) and to spend your third year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.

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).

At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.

With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us.


Core modules

Year 1

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 your presentation skills.

Spanish: Intensive Spanish for Beginners 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.

The core module in Philosophy is:

Epistemology and Metaphysics

This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.

Year 2

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.

The core modules in Philosophy are:

Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Mind and World

This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.

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

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

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

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

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Introduction to Logic

This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Mind and Conciousness

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.

Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.

Year 4

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

Optional modules in Philosophy and related subjects include:

The Philosophy of Aristotle


The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2


Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics


Philosophy Under the Roman Empire


Moral Problems in Politics


Nietzsche and Foucault


Philosophy of Psychology


Practical Ethics


The Philosophy of Religion


Husserl to Heidegger


Critical Theory and Hermen


Recovering Reality


The Self and Others


The Varieties of Scepticism


The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 14 course units at the rate of four per year in years 1, 2 and 4, and two units during the year abroad. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. 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.

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: If Spanish is taken at  A-level a grade B is required along with five GCSEs  graded A*- C including English and Maths.

Preferred: History, Government & Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy, RE, English Literature, Sociology.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including grade 5 in Spanish if taken with a minimum of 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus on essay based A level grade B.  If Spanish is taken grade B is required.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus two A levels grades B,B including an essay based subject.  If Spanish is taken grade B is required.
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 including B in Spanish if taken plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in an essay based subject.  If Spanish is taken 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. 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 overall with 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.

As a modern linguist you will have excellent communication, analytical and research skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently in Spanish, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. Having spent a year abroad you will have developed the kind of sensitivity to different cultures that is highly prized in the workplace. This experience and the skills gained will make you highly employable and ready to pursue a career in international business, finance, media and communications, the arts, law translation, travel, consultancy and teaching, both in Britain and abroad.  

  • Full time employment or further study achieved by 75% of Spanish graduates and 90% of Philosophy graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • Graduates have entered a wide range of careers including many language-related fields, such as: international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting. Other graduates have gone on to be language assistants and teacher trainers, and many have gone on to advanced study in a variety of fields.
  • Recent employers include: Mazda Motor Europe, British Council, Oxfam Head Office, Merlin Entertainments Group and Ralph Lauren. 

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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