BSc Translation Studies - Spanish

Why choose this course?

  • 2nd (84%) for Graduate Level Destinations six months after graduation, Guardian, 2014 
  • The Complete University Guide 2014 ranked Iberian Languages at Aston joint 2nd for Graduate Prospects (80%) out of 51 universities
  • Translation graduates can now receive accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
  • Aston is one of only a few UK universities genuinely specialising in translation and interpreting
ITI Corporate Member Logo

4 years full-time with integrated year abroad

UCAS Code: R400 

Typical Offers
A Levels: ABB - BBB from 3 A-levels, including Spanish Grade B.  General Studies accepted.

If your predicted grades are close to those stated in Aston's typical offers and if you are interested in Aston University and the courses we offer we encourage you to apply to us as one of your 5 UCAS choices. In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg AS grades, GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement. Applicants and their teachers/advisers are welcome to contact us with individual queries about entry qualifications via lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk.

View our Admissions Policy. 

IB: 32-33 points in the IB diploma including TOK/Bonus points. Standard level Maths and English 5 required and 6 in Higher Level Spanish.
Access: Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module.  Humanities or Social Sciences Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.  A-level grade B in Spanish or equivalent.
BTEC: National Extended Diploma DDD.   A-level grade B in Spanish or equivalent.  Mix of Diploma/ Subsidiary Diploma/A-levels acceptable.

We accept a wide range of UK, EU and International qualifications: please contact us for further advice.

Specific subject requirements:
GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C.

Tuition fees 2014/15: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. More on fees

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.



Our Translation Studies programmes combine the study of French and/or German and/or Spanish with professional and theoretical aspects of translation. The programmes are designed to prepare you for a successful career either in translation or in allied professions. By the end of the programme your language skills will have reached near-native proficiency and you will also have developed competence in translation and intercultural communication. The programmes focus on French, German and/or Spanish language, culture and society. They also develop insights into the wider socio-cultural context of translation.


Each of our Translation Studies programmes follows a clear progression, building upon your initial level and developing your full potential over the course of your studies. In each year of study, core modules in language and society are complemented by modules that focus on translation-relevant topics. The Third Year is spent abroad on a work placement (including work in a translation company), at an exchange university, or on an assistantship. In the Final Year, you will have the opportunity to practice your translation and interpreting skills and develop specialised translation competence in a subject area of your own choice. You will graduate as a confident speaker of French, German and/or Spanish with excellent intercultural and translation competence.


Sample module options: The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.

Year 1
Language and communication determine the way we interact with one another, shape our personal relationships and create an image of ourselves. On a larger scale, language and communication are among the main factors which shape societies and distinct forms of culture. This module offers an introduction to the basic concepts of language and communication. Linguistics, the science of studying language, languages and communication, offers a variety of tools and methods to analyse phenomena such as bilingualism, computer-mediated communication, language and globalization etc.

Assessment method: 1.5 hour class test (100%) 

This module introduces students to translation as a professional activity. They will be familiarised with key theoretical concepts of translation and their application in practice, so as to develop skills in translating. They will learn to produce translations into English that are appropriate for their specified purpose and readers, and learn to explain their own translation decisions.

Assessment method: group work coursework (20%), project work including written translation of Spanish into English (80%)

This module follows on from the Introduction to Translation, putting into practice many of the ideas students encountered there. The module is based on practical sessions that examine a range of language mediation tasks including summary translation, song translation, subtitling, liaison interpreting and translation editing. The class uses various language combinations and involves intensive small-group preparation.

Assessment method: group presentation (20%), individual translation project 1500 words (80%).
In this module students will work on different skills involved in language learning: from listening and speaking, to reading, writing, and translating. Relevant texts will be used in order to increase students’ awareness of Hispanic culture, economy, history and society in an attempt to learn the language in the context in which it is produced. Students will have two hours per week of scheduled interactive seminars and one hour of oral classes

Assessment method: Oral tasks (30%), portfolio on independent learning tasks (20%), exam (50%).

The module seeks to provide students with a clear vision of Latin America. It attempts to balance the region’s general historical background with its social, cultural, political and economic developments. Particular attention will be given to the specific characteristics of each country, highlighting their differences and similarities. Students will also be introduced to Latin America’s general trends as well as to its role in the international arena.

Assessment method: 2 hour exam (30%), 1,000 word written task (30%), 2 hour exam (40%) 

The first part of the module aims to provide students with an understanding of the main processes and protagonists contributing to the development of a modern, prosperous democracy in Spain. It will focus on the political, ideological and economic changes which shaped the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

The second part offers an overview of Spanish culture through literature, cinema, art and music. Topics such as Spanish national identity and the recovery of the past will be examined in order to understand the key factors which have shaped Spanish culture. The course will provide students with the tools required for critical analysis of distinct cultural expressions.

Assessment method: 800 word written task (30%), 2 hour exam (70%) 

Year 2

This module focuses on traditions of literary translation in Europe. Based on approaches to cultural exchange, students will learn about the history of literary translation in major European countries. Students are introduced to particular historical case studies, in the form of a short formal lecture, a student group presentation, and related discussion exercises, so as to get insight into the wider political, cultural and ethical context of translation.

Assessment method: oral presentation (20%), 1500 word essay (80%) 

This module introduces a selection of electronic tools that assist the professional translator. They will carry out practical translation exercises using translation memory systems, machine translation, terminology databases, subtitle editors and localisation tools. The knowledge gained in this module will be particularly useful for potential work placements with translation companies during the year abroad.

Assessment method: electronic portfolio (50%), project (25%), 15-minute oral examination (25%)

This module highlights the significance of intercultural and textual competence. Students will learn to identify and evaluate potential problems in crosscultural communication. By means of a variety of cross-cultural analyses of communicative settings and textual genres they will be familiarised with communicative conventions in English, German, French and Spanish. With special relevance to translation, the module will thus develop an insight into the significance of these conventions for effective (written and oral) communication.

Assessment method: 2000-word project in the target language (80%), oral presentation (20%)

This module aims to develop proficiency in written and spoken Spanish to a standard that enables the student to communicate effectively and confidently with Spanish native speakers and sustain a work or study placement in a Spanish-speaking country. Students will work on the different skills involved in language learning: from listening and speaking to reading, writing, and translating. Relevant texts will be used, in order to increase students’ awareness of Hispanic culture, economy, history and society to learn the language in the context in which it is used. 

Assessment method: Dossier on independent learning tasks (20%), oral tasks (30%), exam (50%).

This module focuses on the role of journalism as a cultural practice in the Hispanic world, analysing the impact that media may have upon society and exploring various ways in which journalists’ coverage of events not merely reflects the social world but helps constitute and shape it. After an introductory session to Spanish-speaking media today, the first part of the module focuses on a range of journalistic practices and genres, introducing students to different styles of writing for journalists and to the challenges of producing an accurate, readable narrative including examples from print and broadcast journalism. The second part provides a historical perspective on media in Spain and Latin America, followed by a concentrated study of the debates and controversies surrounding journalism and its relationship with society.

Assessment method: 2 hour exam (60%), oral presentation (40%).

Year 3 - Year Abroad
Final Year
This module will further consolidate students’ understanding of translation as a complex activity within a wider context. They will acquire knowledge of contemporary translation theories and cover topics such as children’s literature in translation, gender and translation, and the translation process. The seminars are based on discussion exercises, presentations, and a variety of practical case studies.

Assessment method: 3000-word essay (80%), seminar presentation (20%).

In this module, students consolidate and extend their skill in Spanish-English translation at a professional level. Classes are held in English, in a workshop format based on individual preparation of high-level texts from a range of genres, such as tourist leaflets, business texts and comics. Particular attention is paid to research skills and awareness of professional issues.

Assessment method:  takeaway translation into English (400-500 words) (40%), takeaway translation into English (400-500 words) (40%), commentary (500 words) (20%) 
This module aims to consolidate awareness of contemporary translation theories and to apply these to practical work, with a focus on features of specialised translation including the role of corpora. After being introduced to basic concepts and techniques of LSP Translation, each student chooses a domain for study and collects a corpus of texts in English and German/French/Spanish (depending on language combination). This corpus will provide the basis researching he text conventions, lexical and grammatical features, content and intercultural issues that must be considered when translating a text from that domain.

Assessment method: 1500-2000 word research report (50%), translation into English 3-hour class test (50%)

This module further develops and consolidates the Spanish language skills acquired during the three previous years of study and, if applicable, work placement. At the end of the module, students will have reached a proficiency level equivalent to a high C1/low C2 scale as defined by the European Common Framework for Languages. The module will cover linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic components corresponding to this level of communicative language competence.

Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on their professional skills as they develop their video project. In order to do this, they will create and publish online an e-Portfolio targeting prospective employers.

Assessment method: E-portfolio (25%), video production (25%), exams (50%).

This module will consist of the analysis of literary works belonging to different genres, countries and periods in the 20th century. This variety will provide a glimpse of the richness and variety of contemporary literature in Spanish. Works will cover the three main literary genres: prose, poetry and drama, and will be presented in a chronological order. Spain, Central America and South America will have a relevant presence in the module.

Assessment method: 2 response reports (300 words each) (20%), 2000 essay (80%)

In this module the student will research a chosen topic, agreed with the supervisor and the Module Convenor. The research may be on any subject considered appropriate for research at final year level within the Spanish Studies programme. Students will be expected to identify their own topic and approach. There will be maximum encouragement of individual initiative and research, while supervisors will encourage the exchange and construction of ideas, the development of a hypothesis where appropriate, and advice on dissertation organisation and presentation. 

Assessment method:  5000-6000 word dissertation and 300 word abstract  in the target language (70%). 20-minute viva (30%).

Number of credits: 10 

Language of delivery: Spanish 

Module content: The module focuses on the cinemas of Latin America and Spain. The module begins with a brief examination of film techniques and language, followed by a concentrated study of contemporary cinematic trends (80s, 90s, 00s). The module attempts, in the limited time of one teaching period, to trace a continuum of representative styles, genres and themes and to expose the student to a sizeable repertoire of artistically rich films. 

Method of learning and teaching: The class will consist of an introduction by the lecturer to the concepts to be covered every week, followed by a brief segment devoted to clarifying any problems encountered while doing the pre-assigned readings and films (private study) for the weekly class meetings.  Usually the second half of the class meetings will have a Seminar format with the goal of focusing in more depth on some of the issues reviewed in Lectures and including a hands-on approach to the subject such as an in-depth discussion of the movies and readings assigned.  Discussions and team-work will be a crucial component of the Seminar format. Films are available in LSS Film Library for preparation and private study.

Assessment method: 2 response reports (300 words each) (20%), 2000 word essay (80%) 

 Aston is 6th for Languages Graduate Level Destinations sixth months after Graduation - Guardian 2013

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different cultures and societies, their communication skills and motivation for team work. Recent destinations for Language and Translation Studies graduates include:  

  • English Teacher, Business Language Skills
  • PR Graduate Scheme, LIDL
  • French Customer Service Co-ordinator, CRP
  • Bilingual Sales Coordinator, Narrow Aisle Ltd
  • Language Assistant, British Council
  • Translator/Analytical Support, B&Q
  • Immigration Assistant, Australian Embassy UK
  • Marketing Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • Graduate Trainee Managers for British Airways, Aldi Stores, John Lewis and Selfridges
  • Journalist, Tatler Magazine
  • Account Manager Interpreting, Smoby (French Toy Company)
  • Senior AdministratorMichelin
  • Public Relations Officers for a number of companies
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching Qualification at universities including King’s College London, Warwick University and Exeter
  • Marketing Assistant at Beiersdorf

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. We teach our courses in Spanish, which means that our students are at a real advantage when it comes to gaining maximum benefit and experience from the year abroad. 

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor when you join us and you will be encouraged to make regular contact with them throughout your studies. Personal Tutors are there to help discuss academic and, in some cases, personal issues. Personal Tutors can also often offer support by writing references for placement/graduate employment and academic research.

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, translation tasks, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

For further information, see the Translation Studies - Spanish programme specification.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla - Lecturer in Spanish

Stephanie Panichelli-Batalla

''My primary research interest in the Cuban Revolution was fueled by an inspirational professor from my home university – Dr. Nadia Lie, Professor of Latin American Studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). My Master’s thesis, on the relationship between former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Colombian Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez, was commercially published in 2004 and translated into six languages. I discuss the subject matter in my First Year module “Culture of Latin America” when we study the writers of the literary boom and their relationship to the Cuban Revolution. My current research focuses on the Cuban International Solidarity Missions. We analyse this topic in our Second Year module, “Contemporary Latin America”. After a lecture about the Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Revolutions, I ask my students to read a range of articles about these solidarity missions (from extremely supportive to particularly critical). We then spend one seminar debating the topic, which the students find very interesting. They offer and hear unique perspectives on this unusual programme.''

Professor Christina Schäffner - Professor of Translation Studies

Christina Schaffner

“My main research interests are directly related to translation and interpreting studies, in particular text analysis and translation, translation and politics, news translation, and translation competence development. In 2010, we held the 6th international conference ‘Critical Link’ at Aston, devoted to public service interpreting. This conference and the subsequent volume of selected papers, which I have co-edited, are of particular importance for the Interpreting module we offer to Final Year students since the latest developments in interpreting practice and research can feed into our teaching. My research into translation competence development has always been inspired by and fed into classroom activities. In various publications I have been able to illustrate how competence in practical translation can be enhanced if each task is approached on the basis of a solid theoretical and methodological framework.”

 Campus accommodation guaranteed for first year and final year students returning from year abroad

The Third Year of your course is spent abroad in a Spanish speaking country - increasing your fluency, enhancing your cultural awareness and adding value to your degree. The year abroad is an integral and assessed part of language studies at Aston University, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree. A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away. Find out more about the Year Abroad.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777

Student Profile

Student Profile

Anna Petri, Graduate 2013

BSc Translation Studies, French and Spanish

During my year abroad, I had a work placement in a translation agency in Mons, Belgium and a study placement in Granada, Spain. I found that the course had prepared me very well for the work in the translation agency in Belgium and found that the ‘hands-on’ modules in particular (such as Translation & Technology in 2nd year) gave me an advantage.


Download the course brochure

Fees and funding

Fees and funding



Outstanding graduate career prospects


Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our YouTube channel
See our photos on Flickr

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research