BA Spanish and Latin American Studies

This four-year programme combines the study of Spanish language and its varieties with modules in the literature, film, history and cultures of Spain and Latin America, from the early modern period to the present day. Year three is spent abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. If you are interested in Portuguese, you may study it ab initio along with Spanish on this programme, or look into the various combinations on our Modern Languages BA.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Spanish grade A required.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer

BBC more about contextual offers
Spanish required at grade B.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Spanish at grade 6, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

30 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects including Spanish, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Spanish at D3 required.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). Spanish grade A at Advanced Higher required.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB. Spanish A level grade A required.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL is a leading, exceptionally well-connected centre for Hispanic and Latin American studies, with a wealth of expertise in all areas and periods. Portuguese and Brazilian studies are a recent and thriving addition, with expertise ranging from Renaissance Portugal to Modernist Brazil and Lusophone Africa.

  • You will have high-quality language instruction combined with innovative, research-led cultural teaching. Literature: Cervantes through Borges to contemporary fiction; film: Buñuel to current Latin American trends; and history: Cortés through Andean cultures to 20th century dictatorships.

  • Your third year is spent in a Spanish-speaking country - an experience which benefits your linguistic and cultural understanding. We have links with leading universities in Spain and Latin America.

  • You will benefit from the resources of the UCL and Senate House libraries, the Instituto Cervantes, Canning House, and numerous Spanish-speaking embassies. London hosts the UK's largest Hispanic community and provides a wealth of cultural events, from film festivals to literary evenings.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The integrated study of language, literature, history and film is the hallmark of this degree. You are required to take modules to the value of 120 credits each year comprising an introductory core module in year one, Spanish language modules (with the option of also studying Portuguese), as well as choosing from a wide range of optional modules in all years on subjects including Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American literature, history, and film.

You will also take comparative modules from the School of European Languages. Culture and Society (SELCS). This will allow you to study subjects like literature, film, art and culture in a wider, cross-cultural frame.

You will be exposed to broad cultural movements, issues and approaches and be able to draw on the full range of specialisms within the school.

Please click here for a current list of undergraduate modules in SELCS.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Spanish and Latin American Studies.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

  • Introduction to Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Spanish Language I

Optional modules

You will have a choice of first-year modules on Spanish and Latin American literature, history and film. You may also benefit from our first-year modules on Portuguese and Brazilian literature and history. In addition, you will choose from a range of interdepartmental modules offered by SELCS. Options may include the study of linguistics, film, and history. Example modules in our department include:

  • The Spanish Ballad Tradition from the Middle Ages to Lorca
  • Experiments in Modern Spanish Drama
  • Introduction to Spanish Film
  • Civilisation and Barbarism in Argentine Literature
  • Cultural Responses to the Mexican Revolution
  • The Latin American Supernatural
  • Beginners' Portuguese
  • Introduction to Portuguese Literature
  • The Brazilian Novel

Compulsory module(s)

Spanish Language II

Optional modules

You will select a total of 90 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

  • History of Colonial Latin America
  • History of Spain in the 20th Century
  • Introduction to Latin American Film
  • Women's Writing in Latin America
  • The Literature of the Spanish Inquisition
  • La Regenta and the Spanish Realist Novel
  • The Essay in Spanish America
  • Golden Age Theatre in Spain
  • Art and Empire in the Iberian World
  • Intermediate Portuguese
  • Portuguese Travel Literature
  • Brazilian Literature in Film
  • SELCS Interdepartmental Intermediate modules

Year abroad

You will spend your third year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.

You can participate in a university placement with one of our partner universities, undertake a work placement, or have a British Council language assistantship abroad (subject to availability/ approval), to make the most of your cultural and linguistic immersion. The experiences and skills developed while abroad further academic and personal development, cultural and social awareness, provide a foundation for further study and enhance career prospects.

For further information and a list of partner universities, please see the SELCS Year Abroad website.

Compulsory module(s)

Spanish Language III

Optional modules

You will select a total of 90 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

  • The Works of Cervantes
  • The Works of J. L. Borges
  • Latin American Vanguard Movements
  • The Andean World of J. M. Arguedas
  • The City in Latin American Culture
  • History of Latin America in the 20th Century
  • The Battle for Memory in the Contemporary Spanish Novel
  • Spanish Film from the 1990s: New Ways of Seeing
  • Childhood in Latin American Cinema
  • Cultural Dilemmas
  • Reading and Writing Spanish Microfiction
  • Advanced Portuguese
  • Portugal and Its Empire in the 20th Century
  • Short Fiction and the Making of Modern Brazil
  • SELCS Interdepartmental Advanced modules

Your learning

Language teaching takes place in small classes. There is an emphasis on the interaction between teacher and student to ensure the scope and pace of learning meets your needs. You will also attend lectures and small-group seminars in which the literary, historical and cultural elements of your studies will be discussed. Extra resources including conversation groups, personal tutorials and other activities are available.


You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, essays, language work, projects and other coursework. Additional weight will be given to your achievements in the later years of your programme.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


In addition to your language competence you will develop skills in close and critical reading, research and writing methods, the analysis and communication of complex materials and the ability to organise your time. These skills will be of value in your future employment.

Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese opens up exciting career possibilities around the world with graduates having understanding of literature, culture, media, politics and business across the continents. Beyond the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish and Portuguese are fast-growing languages in many other parts of the world, including the UK.

Career pathways include teaching, finance, journalism, law, education, commerce, arts administration, the civil service, the media, or translation and interpreting. The pursuit of further study is also an option open to you.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK students
£9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas students
£24,000 (2022/23)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

Additional costs

In addition, please note that if you wish to study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad website.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

£500 per year
Based on financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We will be looking for a demonstrable interest in literary, historical and cultural studies, and will be curious to know your motivation for applying for this programme. Evidence of extracurricular interest in the culture of Spanish-speaking countries, such as reading books, newspapers and magazines, watching films, or travel to one of these countries, will be looked on favourably.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 26 January 2022


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, we shall invite you to a Post Offer Open Day. There, you will be able to experience the sort of teaching we offer and the lively atmosphere of SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as your cultural awareness, motivation for study and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

Applicants must have A level or equivalent knowledge of Spanish. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are a native speaker of Spanish.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 15 September 2022