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BSc French and Spanish

Why choose this course?

  • The Complete University Guide 2014 ranked French at Aston 5th for Graduate Prospects (80%) out of 58 universities
  • The Complete University Guide 2014 ranked Iberian Languages at Aston joint 2nd for Graduate Prospects (80%) out of 51 universities
  • 2nd (84%) for Graduate Level Destinations six months after graduation, Guardian, 2014
  • Contemporary and applied focus, with a high level of teaching delivered in French and Spanish

4 years full-time with integrated year abroad  

UCAS Code: RR1K

Typical Offers:
A Levels: ABB - BBB from 3 A-levels, including French and Spanish Grade B.  General Studies accepted. Applicants with AS level in one of French/Spanish considered on an individual basis, subject to interview. 
IB: 32-33 points in the IB diploma including TOK/Bonus points. Standard level Maths and English 5 required and 6 in Higher Level French and 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 French and Spanish or equivalent.
BTEC: National Extended Diploma DDD.   A-level grade B in French and 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 French studies course is designed to develop your linguistic skills to near-native proficiency and fluency. We stress the development of your practical command of French, emphasising language as a means of communication and mutual understanding. Our programme is also designed to develop your understanding of French culture and society – its traditions, its complexities, its underlying ideas – and to develop your critical, analytical and collaborative skills. Language classes are supplemented by a series of thematic modules, also taught in French, which focus on contemporary French society, and particularly on French politics, history, sociolinguistics, media, film and literature. You will be taught by research experts with international reputations in their fields, all in a lively, friendly, experienced and enthusiastic department.

Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people worldwide, so the global market has a huge demand for people with a knowledge of the language and the cultures of the Spanish speaking world. The Spanish programme at Aston is committed to equipping you with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary to operate effectively in this global, multilingual and multicultural world. We are devoted to the study of Spanish in context and therefore we consider the understanding of the diverse cultures and societies of the Spanish-speaking world to play an essential role in understanding the world in which we live. This means that along with near native proficiency in written and spoken Spanish, you will also graduate with an in-depth understanding of the issues that shape contemporary Hispanic cultures and societies.

Sample module options: The following module descriptions are indications only -  the University reserves the right to change the modules on offer, the module content and the assessment methods.  

Click on the module titles to find out more.

Year 1

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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.

Methods of learning and teaching: Two hours per week will consist of reading comprehension, grammar consolidation, translation, debates, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary exercises. The third hour will be devoted to oral skills. Attending textual and oral skills is mandatory.

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

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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.

Method of learning and teaching: A typical class will start with an introduction of the main ideas and concepts to be covered. The semester will be divided into lectures and seminars, which will focus on the most important issues introduced during the lectures. This will include a hands-on approach to the subject characterised by discussions and group activities.

Assessment method: 800 word research exercise (30%), exam (70%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module seeks to provide students with an introductive overview of contemporary Latin American culture. It will introduce students to works of Latin American art, cinema, literature and architecture, as well as other relevant art forms, including music, dance, popular festivals, etc. All these will be discussed within their social, political, and historical contexts.

Method of learning and teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in Spanish followed by a seminar in which students are expected to contribute through discussions, presentations and team work. Students will be required to do some readings or viewings in advance in order to be prepared for the seminars.

Assessment method: Oral Presentation (20%), exam (80%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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.

Methods of learning and teaching: Students will attend weekly two-hour sessions, comprising a more formal lecture and a seminar. In lectures, students will be presented with the historic, social and cultural framework of the module. Seminars will be student-led. Students are expected to work in teams; prepare prescribed topics for debate and discussion; and to use their linguistic skills in a formal context.

Assessment method: Written exams (70%), research task (30%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: French

Module Content:

  • Revision of French grammar;
  • Practice of the following text types: résumé, dissertation.
  • Reading comprehension;
  • Aural comprehension.

Method of Learning and Teaching: Textual and Grammatical Skills classes will consist of lectures, discussions of reading and personal research, interactive workshops and exercises in class as well as in the computer lab.

Assessment method: Exam (90%), oral presentation (10%).

Number of credits: 10

Module content: 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 (20%), coursework (40%) and examination (40%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: French

Module content: This course aims to give students a basic knowledge of French culture, starting with an attempt at definition and focusing on contemporary literature and text analysis. Rather than attempt to give a very general introduction to French culture, the course will aim to provide students with the tools to analyse, discuss and enjoy aspects of contemporary culture.

In teaching period one, it will focus mainly on 2 texts, L’Etranger by Albert Camus and La Place by Annie Ernaux. These texts will be complemented by a number of extracts from 20th century novels. The focus of group activities during the term will be text analysis and discussion, with a particular emphasis on the themes of alienation and protest or contestation. The course will provide students with the tools required for text analysis, not only of literary texts but also of texts in general.

Other cultural aspects will be studied, in particular the cinema of ‘La Nouvelle Vague’. Students will be given the tools to analyse cinematographic production, and will be expected to view at least 5 films from the period studied.

Teaching period two will be structured around student led sessions, in small groups. These will meet on a rota basis, every 3 weeks. The groups will be expected to concentrate on one aspect of culture, either literature or cinema. 

Method of Learning and Teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in French followed by an hour of group work, discussion and presentations in French in Term 1. Discussion and presentations will be led by students, often in groups of 2 or 3, on topics and texts distributed the week before to give students maximum time to prepare and to read. In teaching period two, there will be student led structured seminars, in 3 groups, each presenting a chosen aspect of French culture in turn. (Each group will therefore meet once in 3 weeks).

Assessment method: Group presentation (20%), exam (30%) and essay (50%).

Year 2

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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. 

Method of learning and teaching: Weekly classes of three hours in Spanish, group work, individual work, role-play, presentations, independent study.

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

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module aims to chart the trajectory of Spanish politics, economy, society and art since 1975. We will study the political process which led Spain to become a Parliamentary Monarchy after a military dictatorship in a reasonably non-violent atmosphere. We will pay particular attention to the role of democratic Spain in the European Union but will also look at other international connections.

Method of learning and teaching: The method will consist of a lecture and a seminar. The lecture will be an introduction to political, economic, social and artistic issues, providing a context for more specific studies. The seminars will be dedicated to deepening students' understanding of issues presented in lectures, consolidating their familiarisation with the relevant vocabulary and developing oral skills. Seminars will provide a framework where students can express their opinions, interests, comments and conclusions about different topics in a very active way. So, discussions, team work and an open mind are essential requirements to make the most of each seminar.

Assessment method: Report (30%), exam (70%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module seeks to provide the student with an in depth understanding of contemporary Latin America. It will focus on the region’s most recent 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 general trends of Latin America as well as to its role in the international arena.

Methods of learning and teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in Spanish followed by a seminar in which students are expected to contribute with discussions, presentations and team work. Students will be required to do some readings or viewings in advance in order to be prepared for the seminars.

Assessment method: Class participation (20%), exam (80%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module focuses on the role of Spanish around the world. It deals with various linguistic and cultural issues related to several Spanish-speaking communities in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Topics include: standard peninsular Spanish, varieties of peninsular Spanish, standard varieties of Spanish in Latin American, other varieties of Spanish in Latin America, Spanish in the US, Spanish in contact with other languages (Arabic, Catalan, English, French, German, Quechua, etc.). 

Method of learning and teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in Spanish followed by a seminar in which students are expected to contribute with discussions, presentations and team work. Students will be required to do some readings or viewings in advance in order to be prepared for the seminars.

Assessment method: Dossier on seminar tasks (20%), exam (80%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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.

Methods of learning and teaching: This module will be delivered by weekly lectures and group seminars. In part A of the syllabus, lectures seek to explore the skills involved in writing for publication in different journalistic genres and the industrial context in which journalists work, whereas seminars will be practical workshops in which students learn to develop specialist writing skills for print and broadcast journalism. In part B of the syllabus, lectures will provide the theoretical framework necessary for students’ understanding of the debates concerned, while seminars will be forums for students’ presentations and for analyses of different news coverage on newspapers, radio and television.

Assessment method: Class test (60%), oral presentation (40%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: French

Module content: Along with a variety of language exercises, the module will focus on your textual comprehension skills and on the analysis of an advertising report (for Joint, Single, and Combined Honours French programmes) or a marketing report (for IBML) in the first TP, and on textual production in the second TP. Here, we concentrate on the production of a report based on a portfolio of press documents relating to specific issues in contemporary French society.

Method of learning and teaching: Classes of two hours in French (lectures, seminars, workshops, group work and presentations) are organised weekly. You will be asked to prepare material for the following session and to submit written analyses for regular feedback. Whilst oral proficiency is not explicitly tested in this module, you are required to participate actively in-group discussion, expressing and justifying your views. Translation exercises are used as a method to further the learning experience.

Assessment method: Exam (80%), grammar test (20%).  

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French.

Module content: This module aims at furthering students’ understanding of the origins, evolution and development of French in its social context. It shows how extra-linguistic factors have an impact on the dynamics of variation and change. Lessons are a mixture of lecture, discussion of readings and in-class activities.

Method of learning and teaching: Lectures and interactive seminars (discussions, reading and analysis), consultations, as well as directed work.

Assessment method:
Essay (80%), class work (20%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French

Module content: This module examines social conflicts and issues that have been critical in the making of contemporary France. It considers how such conflicts and issues have changed with the evolution of French society, from those that defined France in the post-war years (economic modernisation, demographic change, new employment patterns, the ‘rural exodus’ etc) to those that define France today (national identity, immigration, religion, the banlieues, law and order, unemployment, gender etc). The module looks closely at a number of fault lines and fractures in French society and seeks to assess how social ‘conflict’ and ‘consensus’ are negotiated in France today.

Method of learning and teaching: Each two-hour session comprises both lectures in French and seminar/group activities also in French. The lecture programme provides the necessary background that underpins the learning outcomes listed above. Discussion and activities in the seminar hour permit the development of key themes and issues, and provide the opportunity for addressing related questions.  

Assessment method: Exam (100%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French

Module content: A number of assessed and practice exercises will structure the course. They will include:

  • Exercises in receptive language skills developed through listening and reading exercises. This will entail synthesising audio-visual or written material, reporting back orally on written or audio-visual material.

  • Exercises in productive language skills (speaking) developed through individual presentation of press reviews, group presentation based on a video project and debates, as well as role-plays.

Method of learning and teaching: A one-hour weekly class in French. The classes will be structured around the practice of the assessed exercises, which will involve work as a whole class (debates and their preparation; comprehension exercise), in small groups (group project and presentation) or individual contributions (press reviews). Students will be expected to critically evaluate each other’s work, and to give oral feedback to each other. They will be expected to prepare for each class, either by gathering material and acquiring information on a topic (discussion and debate) or by preparing a structured presentation (press review).

Assessment method: class exercises (100%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French

Module content: This course, delivered in French, enables students to acquire familiarity with main areas and problems of French politics, and with key concepts used in the analysis of political institutions and political culture. This knowledge forms the conceptual, methodological and analytical basis for many of the politics-related issues students will treat throughout their programmes.

Method of learning and teaching: Lectures: weeks 1-5, 7-10, Seminars: Group Work / Discussions / Presentations: Weeks 2-5, 7-11.

Students are expected to familiarise themselves quickly with the general literature, and then go on to more specialised reading in preparation for seminars and the exam. Week 6 is reserved for Guided Study and Consultation, and in week 11, the 2-hour seminar will help students reflect on the course content and prepare for the exam. 

Assessment method: Exam (100%).

Year 3 - Year Abroad
Final Year

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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.

Methods of learning and teaching: Students will attend weekly two-hour sessions in which they will explore and work on all aspects of communicative language competence development. Each week, students will have to complete a series of exercises related to the topics studied in class. In addition to this, students are also expected to work independently using the resources available at the Cadbury Room, L&T support office, and the university’s library (i.e.: DVDs, books, magazines, newspapers, etc.).

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

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: 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. 

Method of learning and teaching: Plenary sessions will provide information on the expectations for an LTS dissertation and viva and will present objectives, methodology, and a timetable for the module. These sessions will be supplemented by individual and group meetings between supervisors and students. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with deadlines set by the supervisor.

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: 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.

Method of learning and teaching: The method will consist of a lecture and a seminar. The lecture will be devoted to introductions of cultural contexts, authors’ biographical notes and main issues regarding the texts. It will be also a question time for students to deepen on the reality of a country and/or an author. The seminar is meant to focus on the text; that is why, students must read the texts in advance as part of their private study. Seminars will provide a framework where students can express their opinions, interests, comments and conclusions about the texts in a very active way. So, discussions, team work and open mind are essential requirements to make the most of the seminar. Therefore, students will consolidate their familiarization with literature and develop oral skills.


Assessment method: Four short reports (40%), essay (60%).

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: Six reports (40%), essay (60%).

Number of credits: 20

Module content: Building on the year abroad, the module is designed to further improve students’ productive language skills. We focus on a range of current issues and controversies in French politics and society, and classes encourage development of increasingly sophisticated written and oral skills and increased fluency, accuracy and comprehension. These activities are underpinned by ongoing grammar learning.

Method of learning and teaching: The module will comprise one two-hour seminar, taught by the module tutor.

Each two-hour seminar will involve a range of activities using written textual material from a range of sources, using French as the medium of communication. Activities will include practical work with regular feedback on written practice work, pairs and group work. Much research, preparation and analysis will take place independently, through guided practice.

Each 2-hour seminar will also incorporate oral/aural skills, giving students the opportunity to further develop their productive oral and their aural comprehension skills.

The module objectives will be developed through in-class discussion, based on reading and preparation as indicated each week. Documentation skills will be developed through guided research using both the School Intranet and the Internet, in conjunction with other printed resources available in the School and in the main university library.

The seminars will also involve student oral group presentations, as a means of preparation towards assessed written work. Students will have the opportunity to practice and develop their presentation skills in a structured programme throughout the academic year.

Assessment method: Exam (75%), group oral presentation (25%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: French
 
Module content: This is an independent study module, for which you devise, research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, related to France or another Francophone country. The module develops your analytical and evaluative skills as well as your linguistic fluency and accuracy. Independent study is supplemented by small group classes and/or one-to-one consultations with your dissertation supervisor, enabling you to develop your presentational and communication skills.

Method of learning and teaching: Plenary sessions will provide information on the expectations for an LTS dissertation and viva and will present objectives, methodology, and a timetable for the module. These sessions will be supplemented by individual and group meetings between supervisors and students. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with deadlines set by the supervisor.  

Assessment method: 5000-6000 word dissertation and separate 300 word abstract in the target language (70%). 20-minute viva: 3/4 minutes of presentation on the dissertation topic and 15 minutes of questions from two examiners (30%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French

Module content: This module analyses the French overseas territories, and critically situates their role and status with respect to France and, more widely, the international system. We analyse the different geopolitical contexts in which the territories operate, and discuss their social, cultural, political, economic and strategic identities and relationships with France.

Method of learning and teaching:
A one-hour lecture followed by a one hour seminar each week, where students will be required to present an analysis, based on selected texts or audio-visual material, of one of the topics addressed during the lectures. These presentations will be followed by general discussions involving all the students. There will form part of the assessment for the course. 

Assessment method: Essay (70%), presentation (30%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: French

Module content: This module examines the Vichy regime of 1940-44, when France was occupied and collaborated with Nazi Germany. It shows how the liberal, democratic, assimilationist model of French Republicanism was abolished by an authoritarian, repressive, ultra-nationalist regime. It explores the historical and political background to Vichy, its policies and personalities, its progressive radicalisation, the tensions between state collaboration and pro-Nazi ‘collaborationism’, and the difficulty of defining Vichy as a political regime. It also considers the aftermath of Vichy and the legacy of this brief regime within the Republican culture of contemporary France.

Method of learning and teaching: The module aims to build subject specific knowledge (historical, political, cultural) as well as developing analytical and textual skills, and to improve proficiency and range in the use of both spoken and written French. Proficiency in spoken French will be developed in seminars, for which students will be required to read, prepare and discuss set texts and other materials, and to participate actively in discussion.

Each two-hour session comprises both a lecture and seminar/group activities. The lecture programme provides essential historical and contextual background as a foundation for the learning outcomes listed above. Seminar work will include analysis of diverse materials, printed, audio-visual and other (historical studies, political writings and documentation, political speeches, propaganda tracts and posters, video documentaries and extracts). The seminars will provide the opportunity for detailed discussion of key themes and issues. Supplementary guidance on reading will also be provided to support coursework and revision for the Examination by which this module is assessed.

Assessment method: Exam (100%).

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 French and 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 French Joint Honours programme specification and the Spanish Joint Honours 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.'

Dr Graeme Hayes - Senior Lecturer in French 

Graeme Hayes

'I work on social movements, particularly environmental movements, and especially in France. I have just returned from a two-year EU research fellowship in Rennes, working on protest movements such as the current campaign against the construction of a new airport just north of Nantes. My work centres on collective memory, and what I call ‘activist tradition’ – in other words, how contemporary campaigns relate to previous campaigns, how the meaning of the past is a focus of dispute, and how this affects the forms that social movement campaigns take today. I teach a Year 2 module here at Aston called ‘French Society: Conflict & Consensus’, where I get to talk about these issues and ideas – how disputes about the environment, or about industrial relations, or about the education system, or about rioting in the suburbs, aren’t just disputes about what should or shouldn’t happen today and tomorrow – but also what it means to be French, what liberté and égalité and fraternité should be, what the Republic is. It’s great preparation for students about to go on their year abroad.'


The third year of your course is spent abroad in a French and 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 International 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.

Campus accommodation guaranteed for first year and final year students returning from the Year Abroad.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777
Emaillss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk


Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Schielan Babat, Graduate 2013

BSc International Relations, French and Spanish

What I love about studying French and Spanish at Aston is that it is not merely focused on the linguistic aspect but includes modules on French and Spanish history, society and culture.

 

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