Spanish and Spanish American Studies have grown enormously in British universities in recent decades, largely as a result of a general appreciation of the importance of Spanish as a world language and of the diversity of the cultures of Hispanic origin, including in the USA. The undergraduate course at Oxford reflects the diversity and richness of the languages and the cultures of Spain as well as of the South and Central American countries. The Sub-faculty of Spanish at Oxford is also dedicated to promoting Spain's minority languages and you may study Catalan or Galician as an option within the study of your main language or languages.
Options for studying Spanish at Oxford
Spanish can be studied on its own as a single language, or in combination with one of the following languages/subjects:
- A modern European language: French, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Modern Greek, or Czech (with Slovak). Students who do not have an A-level or equivalent in the relevant language may (in all cases except French) combine Spanish with a beginners’ version of the language. It is also possible to combine Spanish with Polish. We generally expect all students wishing to study Polish to be beginners, though those with experience are also very welcome to apply.
- A Middle Eastern Language offered by the Faculty of Oriental Studies: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish. These languages are all available to beginners with no prior knowledge of the language.
The study of European languages at Oxford provides both practical training in written and spoken language and an extensive introduction to the literature and thought of the language(s) you have chosen. You will learn to write and speak the language(s) fluently, and will be able to choose from a broad range of options including linguistics, film studies and advanced translation. You can study the literature of a language chronologically or focus on particular periods - the medieval, the early modern or the modern era.
A degree in Spanish, or Spanish combined with another language/subject, is normally four years in length. Modern Language students usually spend the third year of their course abroad (except if they are taking Beginners’ Russian, in any available combination, in which case they spend the second year abroad). This is often as a paid language assistant in a foreign school, though you may work abroad or study at a foreign university.
Spanish on its own
If you study Spanish as a single language, you will study additional papers in literature and film studies. You may also choose to study some Linguistics options.
Spanish with another European language
If you are studying for a joint degree combining Spanish with another language, you will spend around half your time studying Spanish language and literature, and around half studying the other language and related literature.
Spanish with a Middle Eastern language (BA in European and Middle Eastern Languages)
If you are studying for a joint degree combining Spanish with Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish, you will spend around half your time studying Spanish language and literature, and around half studying the other language and related literature. In the first year, there is less literature in the European language to allow for intensive focus on the Middle Eastern language. You will normally spend your second academic year at an approved course of study in the Middle East. You are strongly advised to spend the adjacent summers where the European language of your choice is spoken.
Spanish and another subject (English, Classics, History, Linguistics, Philosophy)
If you are studying for a joint degree combing Spanish with another subject, around half of the degree programme will consist of Spanish language and literature, and around half will be made up of courses related to the other subject.
For more information, please see Spanish on the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages website.