Undergraduate prospectus 2021


Spanish and Latin American Studies BA

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Spanish grade A required.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
Spanish grade A required.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

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

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects including Spanish at grade 6, 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 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit. 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.

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.

Covid-19 study abroad updates
For this academic year, if you were due to study abroad, you should have been contacted by your department with more information. Further guidance can be found on FAQs for 20/21 Study Abroad students about coronavirus (COVID-19).    If you are planning to study abroad in 2021/22, UCL and your department will be in contact with you at the start of the upcoming academic year with information on the application process.      If you plan to study abroad in future years, UCL and your department will provide relevant information and guidance nearer to the time.   


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or 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

Core or 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.

Core or 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

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.


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.

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Spanish and Latin American Studies BA.


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 commited 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 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU 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 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£21,260 (2020/21)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, 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.

Modern European Languages Scholarship


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

£2,500 per year
Based on academic merit

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: 15 January 2020


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: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 24 February 2020