BSc Molecular Biology with a Modern Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Spanish Language 3

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA51030
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit consists of language tuition in spoken and written Spanish at post-A level standard, with special emphasis on grammatical accuracy and communication. On successful completion of the course, students should be able to perform at Level B1+/B2 of the Common European Framework for Languages. 

Students on the Modern Languages and Business & Management programme will be allocated to one weekly class for integrated skills where the thematic focus is on business and management issues, although the skills acquired will be the same for all students. They will share the 2-hour grammar and writing class with students of other degree programmes. 


Available on which programme(s)?  SPLAS Single Honours; all Joint Honours programmes with Spanish; Spanish minor post-A Level pathway 
Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?  No
Available to students on an Erasmus programme  Only available for Erasmus/exchange students who will be at Manchester for the whole academic year. 
Pre/Co/Antirequisite units  Students must have passed A-Level Spanish or have an equivalent level of competence. 
Medium of language  Spanish



The course aims: 

  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge foundations leading to the acquisition of a solid understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax. 
  • To enable students to communicate correctly in Spanish through a range of written, oral, and comprehension exercises, including prose and translation. 

Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of the course, students should be able to perform at Level B1(+) of the Common European Framework 

  • Passive and active knowledge of a range of grammatical structures of the Spanish language. 

  • An ability to communicate effectively in written and oral Spanish in a variety of situations and with an awareness of registers pertinent to this level of study. 

  • An awareness of potential cultural problems encountered in translation between English and Spanish. 

  • Awareness and understanding of the importance of independent learning in studying a language. 

Intellectual skills

  • The ability to understand a range of social, cultural, intellectual and professional issues in the Spanish speaking world through knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and cultural awareness. 

  • The ability to develop powers of analysis and use them to interpret acquired information and synthesise it as knowledge. 

  • Reason in a coherent and self-reflective manner.  

Practical skills

  • An ability to communicate in written and oral Spanish. 

  • The ability to manage time and work to deadlines. 

  • The ability to participate in pair and team work. 

  • Creative skills through creative writing and a task-orientated approach. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Oral, written, interpersonal and non-verbal communication. 

  • Self-management and study skills, including learning how to learn through self-reflection activities and self-evaluation.  

  • Writing and editing skills. 

  • Self-confidence and initiative. 

  • Critical thinking 

Employability skills

Communication and presentation skills. Time management. Problem-solving skills through reading, translation and role-plays. Information and technology use. Adaptability and willingness to learn.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Weighting within unit
A grammar test 25%
A written examination (essay and translation) 50%
An oral examination 25%
Weekly take-home coursework and online tests Formative

Resit Assessment

Assessment Task
A written examination (essay and translation) 


Feedback methods

Feedback Method Formative or Summative

Regular individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired. The tutor will also provide in-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises. 

Additionally, global feedback (delivered orally in class/posted to Blackboard/as a hand-out) on frequent errors or omissions will be provided to the whole class to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion.  

Peer feedback Formative
Marks and individual feedback given for all examinations.  Summative


Recommended reading

  • P. Muñoz and M. Thacker, A Spanish Learning Grammar (London: Arnold). 

  • Oxford or Collins Spanish Dictionary (not concise versions) 

  • Real Academia de la Lengua Española dictionaries on  

  • E. Spinelli, English Grammar for Students of Spanish (Arnold) 

  • R. E. Batchelor & M. A. San José, Using Spanish Vocabulary (Cambridge University Press) 

  • J. King (ed.), New Penguin Parallel Text: Short Stories in Spanish (London: Penguin) 

  • Study hours

    Scheduled activity hours
    Seminars 66
    Independent study hours
    Independent study 134

    Teaching staff

    Staff member Role
    Susana Lorenzo-Zamorano Unit coordinator

    Additional notes

    This module offers the opportunity for students to contribute to a newspaper (El Periódico de Español) and to participate in a series of cultural events organised by the Instituto Cervantes. Students may also want to join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Student Society (SPLASSS) to take part in a variety of social activities. 

    You will be expected to engage in regular independent language learning for which, guidance will be provided. You are encouraged to use the facilities in the Language Centre, which include on-line material, grammar and reference books, language laboratories, self-access materials and satellite TV. Attending the cultural activities and events organised by the Instituto Cervantes will also be encouraged. 

    This unit is only available to students registered for a single honours, join honours or minor in Spanish.  

    All other students who wish to take a Spanish language course are advised to do so through the LEAP (Language Experience for all Programmes) programme. 

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