French and Spanish are spoken as official languages in 49 countries across Europe, Africa and the Americas and this course will open up a wide range of opportunities for you, both at home and abroad. You will develop advanced knowledge and skills in French and Spanish language, culture, history, politics, society, and translation, as well as a range of transferable skills valued by employers. If you choose to study a year abroad, you will also be introduced to interpreting.
At the University of Sunderland we recognise not everyone can study both French and Spanish at school, so we offer specially designed intensive courses in either language so you can start from beginner or GCSE level – we only require you to have AS-level or above in one language. We also cater for students who have A levels in both French and Spanish who study the advanced streams in both languages from Year 1.
- Spending the Year Abroad in France or Spain or divided between the two countries
- Fees waiver for the Year Abroad through a University of Sunderland bursary
- Open access Language Centre for independent study
- Three advanced digital language laboratories for teaching and interpreting
- If you are interested in Spanish or French and want to combine this with another subject, you may be able to via the Customised Award Scheme
- Opt-in available to our Teacher Training route (subject to interview); BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education with QTS where you may be able to access a £9,000 bursary
- Excellent feedback and support from tutors which has been praised by external examiners
- Our modules have been praised by external examiners as up-to-date and carefully designed to engage students
BA Joint Honours French and Spanish allows the flexibility of studying both languages post AS/A level or taking one from scratch or post-GCSE level.
Choose to study a three or four year course depending on whether you choose to go abroad.
If you decide to spend your third year abroad you will receive a fees waiver for that academic year. You can spend the whole academic year in France or Spain or divided between the two countries. You can spend the year as an exchange student at a partner university, work as a Language Assistant or on a work placement.
The Year Abroad is a unique opportunity to experience French and/or Spanish culture at first hand and to enhance your linguistic skills. It will broaden your horizons and help you develop self-reliance and confidence.
Depending on your chosen pathway, you will graduate with one of four degree titles:
BA Joint Honours French and Spanish (with Year Abroad)
BA Joint Honours French (with Year Abroad) and Spanish Studies
BA Joint Honours Spanish (with Year Abroad) and French Studies
BA Joint Honours French and Spanish Studies
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught in small groups allowing for interaction with tutors and other students. Classes are interactive and use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods such as individual, pair and group work, discussions and debates, language laboratory activities, presentations, and grammar workshops. In your final year you will have the opportunity to carry out an independent research project. As a University of Sunderland student, you will also be invited to our research seminars and the Languages Film Club.
Your progress will be assessed through a mixture of course work and end of module assessments including essays, summaries, presentations, oral interviews, portfolios and listening and reading tasks. Some modules include a learning portfolio of weekly tasks carried out outside class. This encourages independent work and allows regular feedback.
Graduates in languages are sought after by employers not only for their linguistic skills but also for their broad intellectual training and range of transferable skills.
Popular career choices for linguists include teaching and translating but languages graduates also find employment in tourism, business, the media, government, the publishing industry and many other fields. Companies of all sizes are working in an increasingly globalised world and have a need for expertise in languages.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work as teachers (at home or abroad), in tourism, travel, and business, and many have gone on to further study.
It’s not just your proficiency in French and Spanish that will make you attractive to employers. As part of your course you will develop your skills in communication, presentation, team work, information handling, initiative, self-reliance, intercultural awareness and other soft skills. These are exactly the skills which employers tell us they are looking for.
Teaching career options
The national shortage of language teachers means becoming a teacher may be an attractive career option for you. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has identified a need for more qualified language teachers in secondary schools. Alongside Joint Honours French and Spanish, we also offer BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education leading to recommendation for QTS. A £9,000 bursary may be available to you in your final year if you take up this route.
If you are interested in teaching you have the option of transferring to our teacher training course (subject to interview). The average starting salary for a teacher is £22,917 and experienced teachers can earn up to £59,857. In-house translators start at £18,000 to £21,000 rising to £30,000.
Our languages team
You will be taught by supportive and approachable staff who will encourage you to actively pursue your interest in French and Spanish. Staff have a wide range of experience and expertise in a variety of specialisms within French and Spanish, as well as links with the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) team. Members of the Languages Team are involved in a range of research, scholarly activity and staff development in the areas of language teaching methodology; this informs the design and delivery of our courses.
Our curriculum has been praised by external examiners as carefully designed to engage students with up-to-date topics. You will have the opportunity of undertaking individual research projects developing research skills and specialised knowledge.