BA Spanish and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Our BA Spanish and Japanese joint honours degree will give you excellent proficiency in writing, speaking and understanding both languages.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Spanish and Japanese are spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in Spanish-speaking countries and with a huge range of study links in Japan, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can study and/or work for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Francaise - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences, including the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between Years 1 and 2, particularly for beginners).

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least the hiragana script prior to Week 1 of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from language tutors.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

Spanish

  • In Year 1, you are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core courses and you learn about key developments in the history and culture of Spain and Latin America.

Japanese

  • Year 1 Japanese language courses include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.
  • The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

Spanish

  • You follow a compulsory Spanish language course unit and take optional units in the cultures and histories of the Spanish-speaking world.

Japanese

  • The Japanese language courses in Year 2 continue to build competence and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships remain central to this process.
  • In addition students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of courses in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for residence abroad.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20062 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20161 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20362 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Optional
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is spent abroad  under approved conditions. 

Course content for year 4

You may choose to divide your studies equally between both languages or study up to two thirds from either language. There is an optional dissertation with one-to-one supervision from an academic member of staff. 

Spanish

  • You will refine your understanding and command of the Spanish language, and select options from a huge choice of modules, including Catalan language and culture, Latin American literature, Spanish cinema and popular music.

Japanese

  • Students will select from various Japanese modules in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51060 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Dissertation in Japanese Studies JAPA30000 40 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History SPLA31082 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31091 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31141 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Language, Art and Empire in the Early Modern Hispanic World SPLA31162 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 4

Facilities

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk