English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
We have an excellent reputation for challenging, innovative, forward-thinking teaching and research. Our English literature programmes are ranked in the top 10 for creative writing in the Complete University Guide 2019 and top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, while our Spanish courses ranked in the UK top ten of the ‘Iberian languages’ category of the Complete University Guide 2019.
Our English Literature and Spanish programme is innovative and interdisciplinary, allowing you to develop a high level of literary, linguistic and cultural competence.
What you will study
The English Literature element of the degree covers a range of literary themes, genres and theories and the foreign language component is taught almost exclusively in Spanish, providing high-level language training.
You will spend your third year on placement in a country where the language is spoken, giving you the opportunity to study English literature in one of our partner institutions across Europe and/or work in one of the many companies with which we have links.
The two elements of this unique programme complement one another and enhance your learning, giving you unique insights into language, literature and culture.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||QR3K||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||QR3K||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
English Literature and Spanish placements
We believe that the acquisition of academic knowledge should be coupled with a strong and continuous professional training so that our students graduate with a wider range of skills that will make them more employable.
The Professional Training placement is one of the reasons for our very high employment rates in the School of English and Languages.
Professional Training is compulsory, be it in the form of a work placement or a study period abroad. We acknowledge its essential role in our degrees by awarding 120 credits for it, which (while not counting towards your final degree classification) appear in the final university transcript alongside your academic module marks.
In your third year, you are given the opportunity to practise and develop your linguistic, intercultural and transferable skills while working and/or studying abroad. Our placement team will help you organise a placement that fits your needs.
Where you go, and how many placements you do, depends on your degree programme. Whether you do a study or work placement depends on your interests and skills.
The majority of our students spend their third year working abroad, gaining valuable international work experience.
During your first year
The Professional Training placement cycle begins right from your first year, when you learn about the cultures and societies related to your chosen languages and practise CV writing and presentation techniques.
During your second year
In your second year, you’ll take a module called Preparation for the Professional Training Year. This includes one-to-one meetings with an experienced team of placement tutors (one for each language), who can advise you on a placement that suits your abilities, interests and future career plans.
The preparation also includes sessions on CV and cover-letter writing, finances while on placement, health and safety in the workplace, insurance, accommodation, and so on, as well as talks by current placement providers, employers or experts in a particular industry.
In the past, guest speakers have included representatives from Microsoft UK, Hilton Spain and Vifor Pharma Switzerland.
During your placement year
Your Professional Training placement starts when you have secured a work placement or a study exchange. Our students make excellent candidates for placements in areas such as marketing, international relations, sales, PR, translation and even finance.
Some examples of organisations that have participated in this scheme include:
- Macmillan Iberia
- Terra Consultoria
- Hotel Villa Magna
- 1Global Translators
- Hotel Villamagna
- Havas Group
- King's Group.
If you decide to do a study exchange, you’ll be able to choose from a number of partner universities in Europe with which we have Erasmus+ bilateral agreements.
At the end of your Professional Training placement, our goal is for you to be able to reflect upon and articulate your experience so that you can discuss it in a future job interview upon graduation. To this end, we’ll ask you to update your CV, write a placement report and give a presentation to first and second-year students about your experience.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our graduates are exceptionally employable as a result of their academic excellence and their experience abroad. Our students’ proficiency in languages, combined with their significant understanding of intercultural processes and socio-political contexts, gives them a distinct advantage in an increasingly competitive international employment market.
We emphasise transferable skills such as presentation and research techniques, and communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries, which ensures that our graduates meet the expectations of prospective employers.
Language graduates from the University of Surrey have gone into a wide range of careers. Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:
- Graduate Trainee, Dale Carnegie Training
- Editorial Assistant, The Handbook
- Junior Account Executive, Livewire Public Relations
- Teacher of English, Teach First
- Editor and Marketing Executive, Warner Group Publications
- Commercial Graduate, Coca Cola
- English and Spanish Tutor, self-employed.
Many of our students go on to further study across Europe. Examples include:
- MSc in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
- École supérieure de commerce de Paris (ESCPEAP), Madrid/Berlin
- MBA European Business, University of Reutlingen, Germany
- MBA International Marketing, Sorbonne, Paris
- MA European Studies, Cambridge/Sorbonne
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
- Certificat d’aptitude pour l’enseignement secondaire (CAPE).
The School of Literature and Languages offers a broad range of postgraduate degree programmes in translation studies. Graduates of our internationally recognised programmes are well prepared for the professional market, as well as for further research.
We are proud that our MA Translation course has been selected to join the European Commission’s European Masters Network (EMT).
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
Our language teaching facilities include digital language labs, a multimedia lab, state-of-the-art interpreting facilities, our own virtual learning environment and an e-portfolio system that appeals to the most creative amongst you.
Between classes, you can use our Language Study Area, designed for independent language learning, in the University’s purpose-built Learning Centre, which is open 24 hours a day, six days a week, as well as during most of Sunday during semester time. Here, you can work at your own speed and concentrate on aspects of the language that are most important to you. Practice and confidence-building are crucial to successful language learning.
We have a computer network of 28 PCs offering the latest in language learning technology, including specialist software to practise subtitling and audio description, and interactive programs in 18 different languages to develop your language skills.
You can read the international press and choose from a range of books and audio materials which are graded and colour-coded for easy access to your language and level.
If you prefer film or video as a means of learning, you can access our media store of programmes and films, watch online, live satellite TV from five countries, or choose a foreign film from our world cinema collection.
The Global Graduate Award in Languages
This course gives you the opportunity to study an additional foreign language alongside your degree programme. You can start a new language, brush up a half-forgotten one or continue a language you have learned previously.
The programme is open to all Surrey students free of charge, and students from departments across the University are brought together by their mutual interest in foreign languages and cultures.
All language modules are accredited for undergraduate students. While these credits do not count towards your degree, they are recorded on your transcript as the Global Graduate Award in Languages. You may choose a language module in each year of your undergraduate studies.
We offer ten languages at different levels:
- Mandarin Chinese
- English (Advanced)
Our language teaching is communicative and student-centred. We put special emphasis on listening and speaking skills, and the programme materials are authentic and related to real-life situations. We have a team of about 30 dedicated and experienced tutors, all of which are native speakers or of native-speaker qualification.
This programme comprises one two-hour session a week for 19 weeks over two semesters.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.