European Studies with Spanish (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24 - 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
European Studies with Spanish (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Area Studies


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

To study Portuguese as your major language, you need an A-level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Francisco Carballo

Lecturer in the Politics and Culture of Latin America

Goldsmiths, University of London

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS111-4-AU-CO  Interdisciplinary Research and Problem-Solving: An Introduction  Compulsory  15  15 
02  CS112-4-SP-CO  Ways of Knowing  Compulsory  15  15 
03  HR106-4-SP-CO  Democracy in Europe and the United States, 1789-1989  Compulsory  15  15 
04    (LA430-4-AU and LA431-4-SP) or (LA440-4-AU and LA442-4-SP) or (LA421-4-AU and LA422-4-SP)   Compulsory with Options  30  30 
05    HR107-4-AU or HR172-4-AU  Optional  15  15 
06    EU option(s) from List D (European Studies)  Optional  30  30 
07  CS107-4-SP-CO  Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    LA440-5-AU and LA442-5-SP or LA450-5-FY   Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02    2nd year EU option(s): Discipline A  Optional  30  30 
03    EU option(s): Discipline B  Optional  30  30 
04    CS200-5-AU or (CS207-5-AU and option from list)  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    CS241-5-SP or option from list  Optional  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LA460-6-FY-CO  Mastery Spanish  Compulsory  30  30 
02    Final year EU option: Discipline A (30 credits)  Optional  30  30 
03    CS307-6-AU and/or EU option: Discipline B (30 credits)  Optional  30  30 
04    CS831-6-FY or CS301-6-FY - CAPSTONE  Compulsory with Options  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To provide a multidisciplinary programme of study with which to assess the historical, political, social and cultural development of contemporary Europe.
  • To provide students with high level language proficiency in a modern European language chosen from French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • To provide students with opportunities to experience and acquire a number of different critical approaches through a balanced mix of teaching, reading and research in a range of academic disciplines from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • To develop students' analytical, critical, research and problem-solving skills.
  • To develop students' intercultural skills necessary for living and working confidently in a different cultural environment, through the experience of a period of residence abroad and the study programme of the year abroad.
  • To prepare students for further study in single or interdisciplinary programmes or in further vocational training.

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: A knowledge and understanding of the fundamental historical processes that have shaped Europe.

    A2: A knowledge and understanding of the legal and political processes of contemporary Europe and of European integration.

    A3: A knowledge and understanding of the social and political issues that influence the various ways in which contemporary Europeans view themselves.

    A5: An awareness of stylistic and sociolinguistic variation, and a corresponding level of ability in translation, interpreting and creative writing.

    A6: A knowledge of phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical, pragmatic and discourse competence in Spanish.

    Learning methods

    A1-A3 are acquired through European options lectures and classes in Years 0, 1, 2 and 4 and through a course of study at a European university in Year 3.

    A4 and A5 are acquired through language courses in all years and through the Year Abroad using a wide range of methods that can combine any of the following: analysis of authentic materials, group discussions in the foreign language, web and laboratory work.

    Assessment methods

    Assessment is by unseen and oral examinations and/or continuous coursework consisting of essays or assignments.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Use their discipline-based training to think critically and analytically in relation to a number of different academic disciplines.

    B2: Apply a wide range of relevant primary and secondary written, oral and visual sources.

    B4: Demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.

    B5: Reason critically, identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate methodologies and theories in English and Spanish.

    Learning methods

    B1-B4 are acquired through classwork and the submission of coursework in all years.

    Students are expected to do independent research to consolidate classwork.

    B1 and B3 are also acquired through feedback on course work.

    B2 and B3 are acquired through language instruction in all years and during the Year Abroad, as is B4.

    Assessment methods

    All these skills are assessed in continuous coursework plus oral and written exams in all years.

    B1 and B4 are also assessed by examinations.

    C: Practical skills

    C2: Students will be able to present high-quality written materials using appropriate language, referencing, effective layout and design, graphs, tables and illustrations.

    C3: Students will be able to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.

    C4: Students will attain corresponding levels of fluency and accuracy in using the language as a medium of understanding, expression and communication (both oral and written).

    C5: Students will be able to organise and communicate ideas clearly and coherently in a range of disciplines in English and Spanish in both written and oral form..

    Learning methods

    C1 - C2 are acquired through classes, coursework and preparation for examinations.

    C2 is acquired through classes, lectures, essays and assignments.

    C3 and C4 are acquired through class training in the two years prior to the period of study abroad and the guided but relatively independent process of organising and successfully completing a period of living and studying in Europe.

    Assessment methods

    C1 - C2 and C4 are assessed through unseen examinations, coursework essays and assignments in all years, including the Year Abroad.

    C3 and C4 are assessed through the work of the Year Abroad.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Both orally and in writing students will be able to present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and relevant manner in English and Spanish and to work independently and effectively in a range of academic, cultural and social contexts in Europe.

    D2: Students will be able to produce a word-processed essay or other text in an appropriate form in English and in Spanish and to use on-line resources, email, presentation packages and electronic information retrieval systems.

    D4: Students will be able to identify a research problem and apply relevant research methodologies to resolve it.

    D6: Students will be able to reflect on their own learning, to seek and make use of feedback on their performance and to recognise when further knowledge is required and to undertake the necessary research.

    Learning methods

    D1 and D6 are acquired through participatory classwork and language study in all years.

    D1 and D2 are also acquired through the work of the Year Abroad.

    D2, D4, and D6 are acquired through independent learning and the presentation of continuous coursework in all years of study.

    Students are encouraged to participate in group work to the benefit of the group as a whole, to listen effectively and provide critical feedback in an appropriate manner.

    Assessment methods

    All key skills are assessed through coursework or assignments on a continuous basis, including the work of the Year Abroad.

    D1 is also assessed through written and oral examinations.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

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