BA English Language and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Our BA English Language and Spanish course will enable you to investigate the sounds, words and grammar of the English language, and discover the origin of English, its development and variation across the UK and beyond, and how it is used in different situations.

You will acquire the skills required for analytical language study alongside the means to apply those skills to the study of historical and present-day English. In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation.

The course allows students to achieve near-native proficiency in Spanish and to study the language within its cultural and historical context.

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 is 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 in Europe and Latin America, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Special features

University Language Centre
Take advantage of the library, language labs and multimedia facilities at the University Language Centre.

Study or work abroad  

Your  year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Spanish-speaking country, and further develop your language skills. 

Learn from language experts  

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of each language, giving you a richer learning experience. 

Access outstanding resources  

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections. 

Get involved with interesting projects  

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. 

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK. 

Enjoy cultural activities  

Join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and activities.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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.

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).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

English Language

  • The first year provides you with an introduction to the full range of course options included in English linguistics and the basis for further and more specialised study. This diversity is essential in order to experience English language study at university level and make informed choices about your future course units. All students study obligatory course units on topics including the history of English, sounds of English, sociolinguistics and English grammar, adding up to one half of the year's credits.
  • For Joint Honours students, half your credits come from the other component of your programme.


  • In the first year of your course, you are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core courses and you will also learn about Spanish and Latin American culture and history.

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 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
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

English Language

  • Second-year course units build on first-year work, developing each subject area to provide a greater breadth and depth of experience. In the second year your study is more flexible.
  • Four course units must be chosen from a list of English Language options such as Introductions to Old and to Middle English Language, World Englishes, The Logic of English, and Language Variation and Change (altogether one third of the year's credits).
  • Joint Honours students choose further course units from the same wide range of Linguistics and English language options. At least one third of second-year credits must come from each of the two components of your programme.


  • Compulsory Spanish language course and options (usually two) chosen from a list.

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
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20021 20 Optional
Typology LELA20032 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20101 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20402 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 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
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 21 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

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

For more information on the period of residence abroad please consult Residence Abroad .

Course content for year 4

English Language

  • By the final year your study is tailored to your own interests by drawing on course units from a wide range of specialities. See example course units in the list below
  • You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth


  • Take a compulsory Spanish language course and choose from a wide range of optional course units.
  • Elect to do a 12,000-word dissertation supervised by a member of academic staff (you may not do a dissertation in both English Language and in Spanish)

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
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English LELA30031 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Historical Syntax LELA30962 20 Optional
Attitudes to Language in the English-Speaking World LELA31481 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics in English LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 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 24 course units for year 4


As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

For your English language studies, you will benefit from access to a wide range of technical facilities, online resources and unique collections at the John Rylands Library.

Learn more on the Facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: