English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) – 2020 entry
Why choose this course
We have an excellent reputation for challenging, innovative and forward-thinking teaching and research. Our English literature courses are ranked in the top 10 for creative writing in The Complete University Guide 2020 and top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, while our Spanish courses ranked 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2019.
Our BA English Literature and Spanish course is innovative and interdisciplinary, allowing you to develop a high level of literary, linguistic and cultural competence.
What you will study
The English literature part of this course covers a range of literary periods, authors, genres and theories. You’ll analyse classic works, as well as innovative texts and genres, such as travel writing, nineteenth-century theatre, and beat writing.
The foreign language component is taught almost exclusively in Spanish, giving you high-level language training. You’ll spend your third year on placement in a country where Spanish is spoken, giving you the opportunity to study English literature at 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 course complement one another and enhance your learning, giving you unique insights into language, literature and culture.
BA (Hons) UCAS: QR3K
4 years with professional trainingView KIS data set
Professional Training placements
A Professional Training placement provides you with 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 many of our students are offered employment on graduation by their placement provider.
The Professional Training placement year gives our students an insight into their subject and career potential, and early access to professional experience. It can be invaluable in developing work-based skills and helping them secure a graduate career.
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 development of academic knowledge should be coupled with stimulating and continuous professional training so that you graduate with a wider range of skills, making you more employable. Our Professional Training placement scheme is one of the main reasons for our very high employment rates.
Professional Training is compulsory, whether you take it in a work placement or a study period abroad. We recognise its essential role in our courses by awarding 120 credits for placements, 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’ll have 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 course. 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 away in 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 the second year, you’ll attend Employability Week and Placement Week. This includes one-to-one meetings with an experienced team of placement tutors 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, and accommodation, as well as talks by current placement providers, employers or experts in a particular industry.
In the past, guest speakers have included representatives from 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.
If you opt to work for all or part of your year abroad (rather than study), you'll receive at least one visit from your placement tutors. The purpose of this unique approach to work placements is to support you in your transition to a new language, a new country and a new work environment.
Your visiting tutors will also assess your performance at work, mediate between you and your placement organisation, and help prepare you for your final year back at university.
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. So, 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 our online placement opportunities platform called Surrey Pathfinder, within which students can select and apply for placement vacancies. 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 the 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:
- Customer Relationship Manager, Eton College
- Journalist (freelance and with specific publications), The Guardian, Mail Online, The Wall Street Journal, VGR (US gaming website)
- Marketing and Public Relations, Marlin PR
- Account Manager, Allianz UK
- 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, University of London
- École supérieure de commerce de Paris, Madrid/Berlin
- MBA European Business, University of Reutlingen, Germany
- MBA International Marketing, Sorbonne, Paris
- MA European Studies, Cambridge/Sorbonne
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- Certificat d’aptitude pour l’enseignement secondaire.
The School of Literature and Languages offers a broad range of postgraduate courses in translation studies. Graduates of our internationally recognised courses 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.
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.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
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 among 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.
Culture and arts at Surrey
As a BA English Literature and Spanish student at Surrey, you’ll be introduced to an exciting and though-provoking cultural environment. We combine conventional teaching with a wide range of opportunities for you to engage with our vibrant research culture and arts activities. Our skilled and dedicated academics produce internationally-recognised research, conveying ideas enthusiastically and accessibly.
Regular visiting guest speakers and research seminars provide additional specialised expertise to the course, and encourage students to consider areas for further study.
We also host a range of events which enable you to immerse yourself in contemporary writing, through the annual Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the Surrey Poetry Festival, and the Surrey New Writers Festival, all of which are run by the School of Literature and Languages. The School also regularly hosts talks by major and new writers, annually appoints a Poet in Residence, and has as its Distinguished Writer in Residence the acclaimed author and film-maker Iain Sinclair.
Guildford is home to a wide variety of arts activities, including the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which puts on new and canonical plays, the Guildford Book Festival - a partner of the School of Literature and Languages and a host of galleries, libraries and archives that will stimulate and support your independent studies.
We’re also only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres. Outside of your studies and in your own time, you’ll have the opportunity to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre, and to watch new films in the major West End cinemas and classic films at the National Film Theatre.
This wide choice of activities will complement your studies at Surrey, and you’ll be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your studies.
Global Graduate Award in Languages
This course gives you the opportunity to study an additional foreign language alongside your course. You can start a new language, brush up a half-forgotten one or continue a language you have learned previously.
The course 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 11 languages at different levels:
- British Sign Language.
Our language teaching is communicative and student-centred. We put special emphasis on listening and speaking skills, and the course 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 course is made up of 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 (PDF) 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.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Optional modules for Year 1 - FHEQ Level 4
Students pre-A level Spanish do SPA1047 Spanish language I (Ab Initio) and SPA1049 Spanish language II (Ab Initio).
Post A level Spanish students do SPA1046 do SPA1046 and SPA1048
Students without A level or equivalent in a language will take two ab initio modules in the first year, in place of Language for academic purposes and Language for professional purposes. For all other modules they will join post-A level students.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students choose four of the listed optional modules (two in English and two in Languages)
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students must choose either ELI3033, ELI3034 or SPA3017. If the student chooses ELI3033 or ELI3034, s/he must choose 5 of the listed optional modules, maintaining a balance between the two languages. If the student chooses SPA3017, the student must choose SPA3022 which becomes a compulsory option. Students should maintain a balance between the two languages.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the School of Literature and Languages.
MOONEY S Dr (Lit & Langs)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
BA (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
Professional training To be confirmed
Overseas students: please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.