BA Russian and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our BA Russian and Spanish joint honours degree will give you a grounding in writing, speaking and understanding the Russian and Spanish 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 Russian and Spanish 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 Russia and Spanish-speaking countries, 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. 

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 Studies Student Society and the Russian 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.

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.

Topics and themes introduced in first-year content courses are explored in depth in optional content courses in the second and final years.

As a result, these courses also help you to make informed choices for subsequent years of study based on your own interests.

Russian

  • During the first year of study, you develop crucial Russian language skills through dedicated grammar classes, oral practice with native-speaker lectors, language laboratory work, and a range of independent learning activities. Separate language pathways are offered for beginners, post A-level and more advanced students.
  • Our first-year content courses provide a solid base for your further studies, helping you to acquire and improve on important study skills and giving you a thorough grounding in concepts and debates crucial to an understanding of Russian society and culture.

Spanish

  • In the first year of your course, you are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core courses. You will also be provided with an introduction to the cultural and historical development of the Hispanic world and develop the skills required to be successful in your further study of Spain and Latin America.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 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.

Russian

  • During the second year, you continue with your intensive study of Russian language.
  • You also choose from optional courses in a range of areas (such as Russian culture and thought, literature, Central European and Balkan history and culture, and Polish language).
  • In addition, you begin to prepare for the compulsory year abroad, through meetings and consultations with our Residence Abroad Tutor and with final-year students who have recently returned from the year abroad.

Spanish

  • You follow a compulsory Spanish language course unit and take optional units in the cultures and histories of the Spanish-speaking world. The list which includes options such as the study of Latin American History, writing women in the Spanish Golden Age, the Cold War in Latin America, and visual cultures in Modern Spain.

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
Russian Literature and Society from Pushkin to Putin RUSS20700 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 4 RUSS51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20472 20 Optional
Between East and West: Russia’s Imperial identity in history and culture RUSS20841 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20061 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 SPLA20162 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20361 20 Optional
Culture and Cold War in Latin America SPLA20872 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 1 ULPL51010 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 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 study up to two thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

Russian

  • The compulsory element of your studies consists of an advanced Russian language course, which focuses on oral proficiency, translation from Russian and composition in Russian.
  • Optional courses such as Business Russian, translation studies, Soviet and post-Soviet popular culture and cinema, and politics and society in Russia, the Soviet Union and post-Soviet countries round out your studies.

Spanish

  • Continue your studies of the Spanish language and perfect your writing and oral skills.
  • Choose from a wide range of options, including the study of the supernatural in Latin American literature and film, the multi-ethnic condition of Latin American societies, and visual culture from the early modern Hispanic world.
  • You may also choose to complete a dissertation, which is supervised by an appropriate member of staff. In researching and writing your dissertation, you explore in depth a subject of particular interest to you. The topic of your dissertation may be related to one of the final-year optional courses, but this is not obligatory.

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
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Dissertation in Russian Studies RUSS30000 40 Optional
Russian Translation: Theory and practice RUSS30442 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 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 SPLA31142 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31152 20 Optional
Culture and Empire in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA31161 20 Optional
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Optional
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Optional
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 3 ULPL51030 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 22 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 more than 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 at facilities

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