Spanish and Latin American Studies (Graduate Diploma)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time

Attendance

Two evenings a week

This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Spain and Latin America, while also improving your Spanish and your research and study skills.

The course has been designed for those who want to refresh their knowledge of Spanish in preparation for a Master's degree, particularly if you've taken a break from studying and need to refamiliarise yourself, or if you have a degree in a different but relevant subject area. The course will also suit international students who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American language and culture while experiencing life and study in the UK, as well as teachers who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge, but who do not necessarily want to undertake a full MA quite yet.

This programme will develop your Spanish language skills, enabling you to communicate fluently and accurately with native speakers in both informal and professional contexts. It will also develop your ability to critically analyse Spanish and Latin American language, linguistics and culture, including art, film, history, literature and urban studies. You will learn the latest theoretical approaches to cultural critique and explore a wide range of cultural forms within their social and historical contexts.

Highlights

  • Designed for students who require further training to progress to an MA programme, such as Birkbeck's MA/MRes Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cultural Studies.
  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research.
  • Our affiliated research centres, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS) and Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), provide important platforms for this exchange.

Course structure

This course consists of 120 credits. You take one compulsory module - a research project - and choose two option modules at Level 6.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    Applicants should have a first degree in an appropriate subject and will be expected to have language skills in Spanish equivalent to A-level + one year, or C1 (CEFR), also equivalent to a pass in Spanish 4.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for eligible Master’s students.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 5300 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 9650 pa
  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Language modules are taught using a variety of methods and materials from a wide range of media. Literature and culture modules are taught in either English or Spanish.

    While different teaching methods are employed, a mixed-mode delivery is usually used: part-lecture, part-student activity, either singly or in small groups, and part-open discussion.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Language modules are assessed via coursework that includes a project and other tasks, as well as oral and written in-class tests. Literature and culture modules are assessed via two essays of 2500-3500 words.

    You also undertake an 8000-word research project that allows you to explore a topic that interests you in depth.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates go on to careers in international organisations or business, translation, teaching, media and creative industries, research or journalism. Possible professions include researcher, journalist, or teacher. This degree may also be useful in becoming a translator, academic librarian, or archivist. Find out more about these professions.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.