BA Hons Social Policy & Spanish

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: R4L4
  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Study abroad: year abroad studying/working in Valencia or Zaragoza

  • Applicant visit day: March each year

Study with us

  • learn about the social and economic challenges facing both Scotland and the UK
  • focus on contemporary language and culture
  • opportunity to study Spanish as a beginner
  • address some of the major questions of our time, such as how social policy should adapt to a changing global, digital, connected and information-rich world
  • gain insight into how different societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs
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Why this course?

Social Policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services to meet individual and social needs. Key social policy issues examined include poverty; economic, race, age and gender inequality; social justice health; education; criminal justice and housing.

It utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to improve our understanding of how societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas. 

This programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and place these in a broader international perspective. It draws on disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology, social anthropology and politics.

With more than 500 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Speaking Spanish will help you conduct business more confidently in countries that are becoming increasingly important in world markets. 

Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and/or studying in another country.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

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We're ranked 3rd in the UK for Social Policy

What you’ll study

Spanish

In every year, teaching focuses heavily on language work, but you'll also discover the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.

Year 1

Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher Spanish or equivalent qualification in their chosen language and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary Spanish language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.

Year 2 & 3

You'll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. In the cultural class each year, you'll learn more about the history, politics, literature, and cinema of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.

Year abroad

Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining experience on a work placement or studying at a foreign institution. 

This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language, but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.

Year 4

In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. You'll also have the chance to write a dissertation in Spanish. If however, you choose to write your dissertation for your other Honours subjects, you'll take two of our cultural classes. These classes reflect the research expertise of our staff and currently focus on topics such as social and political issues in Spanish and Latin American cinema, Spanish 20th century philosophy and history or an Introduction to Translation theory.

Major projects

At Honours level, you'll work on a specific project for your dissertation. You'll be supervised by a member of our teaching staff.

Postgraduate study

We welcome enquires from prospective students interested in doing a research MA or a PhD in the areas of Contemporary Latin American fiction and film. Topics of special interest include:

  • the politics of the fantastic
  • gender
  • class
  • identity
  • socio-political marginality
  • dictatorship
  • repression

If your interests align with these topics and you would like to have an informal discussion with your potential supervisor, please email Dr Jesús Rodero.

Student competitions

The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year. Our students usually do well in this competition; in 2019, one student secured £2000 towards his project.

Social policy

Year 1

Our Semester 1 module provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security.  The Semester 2 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’.  At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?

Year 2

You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.

Year 3

You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you.  You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.

Year 4

You'll take a core module in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.

Major projects

All honours students will have the opportunity to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake independent research into an issue which is particularly important to you.

It might be based on a detailed analysis of original sources, such as policy documents or statistical records, or you might choose to generate your own data, using interviews or focus groups.  The opportunity to undertake original research into a topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.

Postgraduate study

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Course content

Social Policy

Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland

This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy.  It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.

Private Issues & Public Problems

This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’.  Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.

Spanish

Spanish 1A

This course will further your knowledge of the Spanish language and develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language through intensive practical and communicative language work. This course aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You'll extend your knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and focus on the development of contemporary Latin America and on how issues relating to it are reflected in its cultural production (for example, films, journalism, songs).

Spanish 1B

Following on from Spanish 1A, this course will broaden your knowledge of the Spanish language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Spain through the materials used. Practical language activities, such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to Spanish through audio, video and written texts, will enable you to progress from the levels achieved in Spanish 1A. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish 2A in semester 1 of second year.

or

Introduction to Spanish 1A

This course aims to give an introduction to the Spanish language, assuming limited or no previous knowledge of Spanish. It introduces everyday Spanish language, as well as certain aspects of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The class is intended to help students to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish.

Introduction to Spanish 1B

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Introduction to Spanish 1A. The class will broaden your knowledge of Spanish language and enhance skills already acquired of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish. This class also introduces students to new aspects of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.

Social Policy

Scottish Social Policy since 1845

This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.

Key Concepts in Social Welfare

This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.

The Making of Social Policy

This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level.  It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas.  It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process.  These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.

Spanish

Spanish 2A

This course will introduce you to more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the different cultures of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+/B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish 2B

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2A and will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, improving and developing further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish at third-year level. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish & Latin American Studies II

This course will explore the interlinked themes of independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America. The class is intended to give students a broad overview of Spanish and Latin American social, political and cultural history through the examination of specific texts and films, as well as to develop their critical and research skills.

Social Policy

Research Skills in Social Policy

This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy.  It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design.  It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.

Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context

This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom.  To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems?  To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues?  How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?

Spanish

Spanish 3A

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2B and will consolidate the students’ knowledge and use of the Spanish language within an appropriate cultural context in order to enable the student to live, study and work in a Spanish-speaking country. This course aims to bring you up to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish 3B

This course aims to build on and develop the knowledge acquired in Spanish 3A and will focus on two relevant topics which includes the preparation for the year abroad. This course aims to bring you up to level B2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition to the final exam, a comprehensive project will comprise the other 50% of your final mark for this course. This project will enable you to put into practice and further develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge you have developed since you started studying Spanish at Strathclyde.

Spanish & Latin American Studies III

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America - Hispanic Studies 2 (R4200), and adds a dimension of critical and theoretical awareness, as well as developing critical skills through a study of individual texts and films from Spain and different countries of Latin America, to build an understanding of the history and cultures in which they were produced.

Year abroad

This is the year abroad, spent either studying in a foreign university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours.

Social Policy

The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective

This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon.  It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries.  It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.

Dissertation

Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.

Spanish

Compulsory classes

Spanish Honours Language 4

There are three strands in the Spanish 4 Language programme, which are closely integrated with each other: Language A (writing in Spanish), Language B (analysis and translation into English of Spanish texts), and Language C (oral presentation and interpreting). The programme will enable students to function in the target language at a sufficiently high level of ability, both spoken and written, to be accepted as a fully competent member of the target language community, and effectively to discharge a professional role within and/or in relation to that community.

Hispanic Studies 4

This is a level four Honours class designed to build on the knowledge of Hispanic cultural studies acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies 1A, II and III. The purpose of this class is to explore contemporary issues in Hispanic cultures. Class content will reflect the research specialisms of staff in Spanish and the actual texts and films studies may vary from year to year to reflect student demand and staff availability, as determined by the research focus of the subject. Each year, the class will focus on specific aspects of Hispanic history, politics, society and/or cultures. For example, possible class titles are: Gender and Sexuality in the Hispanic world; The Politics of the Fantastic in Hispanic Fiction and Film; Dictatorship and Resistance in Hispanic Cinema.

Elective classes

The Latin American Short Story

This course builds on and develops the knowledge on Latin American literature and culture acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies II and III; and adds a dimension of theoretical analysis, as well as developing critical skills through a study of texts from the different countries of Latin America.

Shaping Spain: Ideas, Beliefs & Identity

Rooted in the Spanish History of Ideas, this course explores the condition and motivations for the development of some of the existing main currents of thought in Spain since 1989. It encourages a critical understanding of Spanish history and contextualises the work of several Spanish seminal thinkers (Unamuno, Ortega, Azaña and Zambrano) and it explores their thought in relation to the key themes of the course: ideas, beliefs, and identity.

Assessment

Social policy

You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including not only traditional essays and exams, but also oral presentations, group work and other forms of assessment.

Spanish

Our assessment methods include:

  • written examinations, including translations
  • writing for a specific purpose
  • essays

Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course.

You'll also write a dissertation in the final year.

Learning & teaching

Spanish

We focus on the four important language skills:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories. Outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed Spanish television.

In later years you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA
  • 2nd sitting: AAAABB

(Higher English, Higher Spanish, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AABB
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB

(Higher English B, Higher Spanish B, and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)

*Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

A Levels

Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
Year 2 entry: AAA-ABB

(A Level Spanish B, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

36

(Maths SL5)

HNC

Social Sciences:

Year 1 entry: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country by visiting our country pages.

Additional Information

  • deferred entry is not normally accepted
  • student numbers for optional classes may be limited in years 3 and 4

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

2020/21

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

TBC

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation in early 2020 by the Scottish Funding Council.

(2019/20: £1,820)

Rest of UK

TBC

Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2020/21, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

(2019/20: £9,250)

International

£15,300

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional costs

Course materials & costs

The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  Students can print course materials at their own expense.   

The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.  

Study abroad 

Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4. Students who choose to study in France or Spain are eligible for an Erasmus and grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad. This, however, is not a full maintenance grant.  

Typically, students will receive around £3,000 for a full academic year of study abroad. Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs. These costs will vary dependent on the country of study. An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.

A range of scholarships are available for students of Modern Languages and awarded on a competitive basis. 

Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend. In the case of France, this amounts approximately to €964.88 per month gross (€800 net after social security deductions). Similar stipends are paid in Spain. 

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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International Students (Non-UKScholarships, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

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Careers

The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:

  • local & national government policy development and research
  • regional & urban development
  • business administration & management
  • third sector/charity research & policy development
  • children’s services
  • education
  • health & social welfare
  • protective services

Modern language graduates are in high demand across a range of areas. Some language graduates become teachers or translators, while others work in multilingual or international environments. Many of our students now work in journalism and broadcasting.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

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Social Policy & Spanish

Qualification: BA

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Contact us

Undergraduate Selection

Our team are available to chat from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT.

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8600

Email: hass-ug-selectors@strath.ac.uk