Spanish MA (Hons) 2018 entry

As an MA (Hons) student of Spanish, you will develop language and communications skills to a high level of proficiency. You will be able to choose from a broad range of course options that reflect and explore the rich cultural heritage of Spain and Latin America, including: literature from the Golden Age to the present day, history, linguistics, film and translation.

Spanish at St Andrews caters both for students who are beginners and for those who have already studied Spanish as a main subject at school.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study abroad in Spain at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partners, or in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The MA (Hons) in Spanish is also available as a five-year course with an integrated year abroad. The integrated year abroad is an opportunity for students to spend a year working in a Spanish-speaking country between second year and third year. Find out more about integrated year abroad options.

Applications for 2018 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

UCAS code


Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Spanish MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 36

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of Spanish is necessary, and modules are not designed for native speakers.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.


St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in Spanish is a four-year course run by the School of Modern Languages. The course is available to both students who are beginners in Spanish and to more advanced students who have studied Spanish to A-Level or SQA Higher.

In the first two years, students will take modules which complement their level of Spanish entering the degree. Students of all levels will develop a deeper understanding and control of Spanish and are offered a broad view of Spanish and Latin American literature, civilisation and culture.

Alongside Spanish, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partner institutions in a Spanish-speaking country or at the University of Montevideo (Uruguay). In this case, study undertaken at one of these institutions replaces equivalent study in St Andrews. Studying abroad is optional.

In your fourth year you will take the final language modules to establish a sound knowledge of the Spanish language. Additional modules are focused on communication skills and in a number of areas such as Spanish and Latin American literature, linguistics, translation and history.

Graduates in Modern Languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only a high level of competency in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills will prepare you for a career in almost any industry.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Spanish at St Andrews.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Spanish along with modules in at least one additional subject.

Typically, you will take one Spanish module per semester during your first two years, with the option of an additional Spanish module in one semester of your second year.

During your third and fourth years (known as Honours), you will take four modules per semester. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Two different types of modules are offered in first year: intensive foundation courses for beginners or students with an SQA National 5 or GCSE in Spanish, and advanced language and literature courses for those with higher entrance qualifications such as a SQA Higher or GCE A-level.

Students who are beginners or who have studied Spanish to National 5 or GCSE-level are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • Spanish for Beginners 1: initiates Spanish language acquisition with a firm grounding in the syntax, morphology and vocabulary of the language.
  • Spanish for Beginners 2: builds on Spanish for Beginners 1 and further develops the understanding of Spanish grammar and language.

Students who have an SQA Higher or a GCE A-level in Spanish are required to take the following compulsory modules in first year:

  • Spanish Language and Texts 1: provides grammar and language instruction alongside reading Spanish texts to provide language in context.
  • Spanish Language and Texts 2: builds upon Spanish Language and Texts 1 through contemporary and early Spanish texts and increased linguistic difficulty in the study of spoken Spanish.

Students who are ex-beginners in Spanish who wish to move into mainstream studies of Spanish language and literature are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Spanish Language and Texts: ex-Beginners: involves revision and further developing an understanding of the language and intensive practice in oral, spoken and written skills.
  • Spanish Language and Critical Approaches to Texts 2: language material will reflect cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world, and literary texts are studied in the context of regions and eras including Middle Ages and Renaissance in Spain and modern Spanish America.

Advanced students must take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Spanish Language and Critical Approaches to Texts 1: skills in reading, listening, speaking and writing Spanish are developed through prepared work and class activities. Language material will reflect cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world, and major critical approaches in texts are studied with reference to the genres of poetry, prose and drama.
  • Spanish Language and Critical Approaches to Texts 2: further develops skills learnt in Spanish Language and Critical Approaches to Texts 1. Language material will reflect cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world and literary texts are studied in the context of regions and eras including Middle Ages and Renaissance in Spain and modern Spanish America.

All students (both advanced and ex-beginners) also have the option of taking the following module, recommended in particular for students wishing to continue their Spanish studies at Honours level:

  • Spanish Language and Critical Approaches to Cinema: enhances the language skills of the student, with intensive practice in oral, spoken and written skills. The syllabus is based on a selection of films from Spain and Latin America, which are used as sources for thematic discussion and linguistic development. Weekly film viewings in advance of scheduled classes are part of the programme. Ex-Beginners will normally take this module in Semester 2.

If you take Spanish in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning. Students of all language levels take the same core modules in Spanish language, including advanced oral, writing and communication skills.

Modules at Honours level in previous years have included (but are not limited to):

  • Strange Girls and Domestic Angels: Women’s Writing in Spain
  • Post-1975 Writing in Spain 1
  • Autobiographical Writing in Twentieth-Century Spain
  • The Argentine and Chilean Avant-Garde (1920s-1930s)
  • Literary Translation
  • Spanish American Literature 1 (Gauchos and Indians)
  • Linguistic Study of the Spanish Language
  • Mexico in the Nineteenth Century
  • Action Heroes and Anti-heroes in Early-Modern Spain
  • Tales of the Nation.

In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of up to 5,000 words or 10,000 words, written in English, on a topic agreed with a supervisor. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

All Modern Language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical languages classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors to practice language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Sub-honours Spanish modules are delivered through lectures (50 to 100 students), seminars (12 to 15 students) and language classes (12 to 15 students).

At Honours level, you will attend lectures and seminars (10 to 20 students) and language classes (10 to 12 students).

When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical language classes you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • practicing Spanish grammar and pronunciation
  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Spanish. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all staff in the Department of Spanish on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of Spanish, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.


Almost all of the modules in Spanish are assessed by at least 40% coursework, with the remaining 60% made up from additional coursework or practical and written examinations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance. The Department of Spanish aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.


Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Spanish as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

  • Ancient History
  • Arabic
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Economics
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mediaeval History
  • Middle East Studies
  • Modern History
  • Persian
  • Philosophy
  • Russian
  • Scottish History
  • Social Anthropology
  • Theological Studies

Modern language degrees

It is possible to combine a degree in Spanish with two modern languages. Any combination of French, German, Italian, Persian, and Russian is possible.

You can also take Spanish as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • Spanish

You can also take one modern language:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian

And one other subject:

  • Comparative Literature

If you are taking:

  • Spanish

You can also take one modern language:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Persian
  • Russian

And one other subject:

  • Ancient History
  • English
  • International Relations
  • Latin
  • Management

If you are taking:

  • Spanish

You can also take one modern language:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian

And one other subject:

  • Greek

"With" degrees

You can take Spanish as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Spanish:

  • Economics with Spanish
  • Geography with Spanish
  • Mathematics with Spanish
  • Spanish with Geography

Your future


In a job market that is becoming increasingly global, competency in global languages is valued by employers across all sectors, including industry and business. They recognise that a modern languages degree shows wide cultural experience as well as other personal transferable skills needed in employment.

Graduates go into areas such as teaching, journalism, law, international business, publishing and media, the civil service and NGOs.

Recent Spanish graduates have gone to work for:

  • the British Council
  • HSBC’s executive training programme
  • Citibank
  • Christian Salvesen
  • Harper Collins
  • Glasgow City Council.

In addition, many graduates pursue postgraduate study in languages and literatures, translation studies and teaching. Others study law or information technology.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Working abroad

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Modern Languages, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

The School of Modern Languages, in collaboration with The Byre Theatre, runs Byre World, an exciting programme of events related to the literature, film and cultures of the wider world.

Students of Spanish may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • At Home and Abroad Society (AHAsoc) promotes study and work abroad programmes along with all forms of international cultural exchange.
  • St Andrews Hispanic Society is passionate about all things Spanish and Latin American including food, music, culture and more. The society holds weekly conversation practice, social dinners, sangría nights and lots more.

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the Multimedia Centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


Department of Spanish

School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2954

Spanish website