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Hispanic Studies and Global Sustainable Development (BASc) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)


Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)

3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with intercalated year spent either studying abroad or on work placement

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Department of Global Sustainable Development

Location of Study
University of Warwick

A modern languages degree equips you with excellent communication, research, critical and evaluative skills, all of which are highly sought after by employers. On our Hispanic Studies and Global Sustainable Development (BASc) degree you'll gain specialist knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and sustainability issues of the Hispanic world.

Course overview

The ability to communicate and express yourself confidently in more than one language is a vital skill for any Global Citizen. A degree in Hispanic Studies and Global Sustainable Development (GSD) provides you with the unique opportunity to develop your Spanish speaking skills, and confront critical challenges, including social justice and climate change facing the Hispanic world. You'll undergo a rigorous development of your language skills and explore Hispanic cultures with the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Throughout the three years, this programme strikes a positive balance between language modules and cultural modules.

You’ll also develop your professional skills by completing certificates. If you wish to study abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to spend part of your second year at our partner institution, Monash University, home to the world-leading Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Alternatively, you may choose to apply for an intercalated year spent either studying abroad or on a work placement (subject to you meeting departmental academic requirements).

Students are automatically enrolled on the three-year course, however you have the option to change to a four-year course with an intercalated year in the third year.

Course structure

Your course will consist of a 50:50 split, with half of the teaching provided by the GSD Department, and the other half by the Hispanic Studies Department in the School of Modern Languages.

Year One: Six required core modules - four in GSD worth 60 CATS and two in Hispanic Studies worth 60 CATS. Three of your GSD required core modules will focus on providing you with a critical understanding of the ‘three pillars of sustainability’: economy, environment, and society. Your fourth required core GSD module will be a GSD Project. One of your Hispanic Studies modules will be language oriented, according to your ability, and the other focused on culture. Optional certificates in Digital Literacy, Sustainability and Professional Communication (with a work placement) will be available.

Year Two: For the GSD half, 60 CATs of GSD modules will be comprised of one 30 CAT optional core ('Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System', 'Health and Sustainable Development' or 'Inequalities and Sustainable Development: Inclusion and Dignity for All') plus further module(s) totalling 30 CATS selected from the range of modules available across the University (including from within GSD) which have a global sustainable development focus. With Hispanic Studies, you'll further your language skills with a 30 CATS core language module, and you'll also undertake a 30 CATS Spanish culture module. There is also an opportunity to take the Certificate of Coaching Practice and the Certificate of Professional Communication (alongside a work placement).

Year Two (with Terms Two and Three abroad): If you opt to travel abroad to study at Monash University for part of the year, you'll take one of three optional GSD core 15 CATs modules in the first term whilst at Warwick ('Health and Sustainable Development', 'Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System' or 'Inequality, Wealth, Behaviour and Society'), together with further relevant second year modules from within or outside of the School for Cross-faculty Studies totalling 15 CATS. With Hispanic Studies you'll study 'Spanish Language through Films' (15 CATS) and a further 15 CATS cultural optional module. Whilst abroad, you'll be required to study relevant approved modules equating to 60 CATs selected from those offered by the partner institution.

Intercalated Year (Year Three): On the intercalated variant of the course, you’ll spend your third year studying abroad at one of University’s partner institutions, or on work placement.

Final Year: One core GSD module 'Dissertation' (30 CATS) plus further relevant modules from within or outside of the School for Cross-faculty Studies totalling 30 CATS with a GSD focus. With Hispanic Studies, you'll undertake a 30 CATS language module based on your ability, and a choice of optional cultural modules totalling 30 CATS.

How will I learn?

You'll attend lectures and take part in seminars, workshops and tutorials and work with your fellow students in teams on controversial, topical problems that pose significant sustainable development questions. You'll undertake fieldwork, archival research and engage in peer discussion to propose alternative solutions. You'll review the work of your fellow students.

You'll be taught by a range of academics from different disciplines who will communicate their expertise on a specific issue and describe their methodology for addressing it. Your role is to bring together these various approaches and to develop your own informed stance on each issue.

Contact hours

Core first year GSD modules have 23 hours of contact time. Each module is made up of lectures, workshops and, for the 'GSD Project' module, group supervision sessions and a field trip. In the second year, optional core GSD modules have around 45 contact hours each for the 30 CATS versions and half this for the shorter 15 CATS versions.

Optional GSD modules are available with between 20 and 50 hours for scheduled contact time, depending upon how the module is taught. For example, some modules have lectures, seminars, film screenings and research supervision, whereas others have lectures and workshops. Some modules include field trips.

Hispanic Studies language modules typically have 4-5 hours contact time per week, across a combination of seminars, presentations, and small group teaching.

Class size

Seminar groups comprise between 10 and 15 students.

How will I be assessed?

In the first year, two of the GSD core modules have an exam worth 40%. The remaining 60% of these modules and the other core GSD modules are assessed by methods other than formal examination. In the second year, GSD optional cores and options do not have traditional examinations. The final year core GSD module is a Dissertation/Long Project and so is assessed via 'coursework'. The overall percentage of the course that is assessed by coursework depends upon the options taken.

Assessment types include: Research papers, reports, policy briefings, posters, portfolios and critical commentaries, presentations in public fora, language assignments, traditional academic essays and examinations including written and oral language examinations.

The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks, and each contributes 50%.

Study abroad

Integrated study abroad: There is an option to spend the second and third terms of second year abroad studying at Monash University. Students may be based in Melbourne, Australia or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Students spend the first term of their second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Monash University in February for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms).

During their time abroad students study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards the final degree classification awarded by Warwick.

Intercalated study abroad: organised with the International Office, this is an opportunity to study for a year long unaccredited period at one of Warwick’s partner universities. This takes place between second and third year, with students studying a full course load but without any formal contribution towards their overall degree grade. This will however be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

Work experience

As part of their degree programme, students have the option to take part in both short and long work placements which are formally recognised on the Higher Education Achievement Report. The work placements enable you to engage in the world of work and learn about the professional environment. Additionally, it is an opportunity for you to apply theory to practice, develop skills, learn from industry professionals as well as explore a future career path. This ultimately supports you in developing your employability skills and prepares you for future employment.

The two work placement options are:

Intercalated year-long work placement: You have the opportunity to complete a four year degree, in which the work placement takes place after you have completed your second year.

Certificate of Professional Communication: You can take this optional certificate in your first or second year. As part of this certificate, you’ll undertake a short four week work placement which takes place during the summer.

General entry requirements

A level:

  • AAB to include an A level in a modern or classical language
  • You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
  • We make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances at ABB including Spanish, plus grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE.


  • 36 to include a modern or classical language at Higher Level 5, and Mathematics and English


  • We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels, including an A level in a modern or classical language
  • You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

Additional requirements:

Second personal statement: If you meet (or are predicted to meet) the minimum entry requirements, we will invite you to submit a second personal statement to Warwick, addressing your reasons for applying to the course. We will contact applicants directly to request the second personal statement and provide guidance at that time.

You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

Contextual data and differential offers

Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)

All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).

Find out more about standard offers and conditions for the IFP.

Taking a gap year

Applications for deferred entry welcomed.


We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

Year One

Modern Spanish Language 1

Do you have A level or an equivalent in Spanish and want to consolidate, extend and refine your skills to advanced level? This module will equip you with sound grammatical and linguistic foundations, with the aim of increasing your confidence in reading, listening, speaking and writing in Spanish. You'll use authentic resources in a variety of media from around the Hispanic world, including books, articles, newspapers, television and radio, as well as taking part in our virtual language exchange with students in Colombia, and culminating in production of a language portfolio to demonstrate your competence in the spoken and written language.


Modern Spanish Language for Beginners

As a beginner in the acquisition of the Spanish language, you’ll gain a keen grammatical awareness, a sound understanding of cultures and societies across the Hispanic world, and most of all, confidence in reading, listening, speaking and writing in Spanish. Using authentic resources, including newspapers, television and radio, and our virtual language exchange with students in Colombia and Ecuador, you are expected to end your course able to sustain everyday conversations in Spanish, read authentic texts, follow the gist of TV extracts and write at an intermediate level in Spanish. You'll also work on basic translations to and from Spanish as a means of consolidating your knowledge.

Language, Text and Identity in the Hispanic World

How has the Spanish language travelled around the world and what happens when it co-exists with other languages? How do writers use language to explore identity, and what happens when they work between two (or more) languages? What skills do we need as readers to interpret the nuances of texts that travel between languages? This module will equip you with the skills to understand and appreciate the cultural and sociolinguistic diversity of the Hispanic world and give you a strong grounding in the sociolinguistic, literary and cultural analysis of texts that address this diversity. The module explores the different varieties of Spanish spoken around the world, along with some of the principal languages that share its territory. It also reads a variety of texts that negotiate national and gender identities across linguistic and cultural borders, with a focus on those that travel between non-hegemonic Hispanic contexts and the Anglosphere.


Images and Representations of the Hispanic World

Where did the familiar stereotypes of Spain and Latin America come from? How have they circulated and been received at different times and in different places? And how have Spaniards and Latin Americans represented themselves to travellers, tourists, artists, and even invaders? Through the study of representations of the Hispanic world, you'll investigate significant topics including (de)colonisation of the Americas, stereotypical views of the Hispanic world and the imagining of Spanish identity through art and film in the 20th century. You'll be expected to read widely and independently, and to gain the analytical skills needed to conduct close textual and film analysis.


Icons of the Hispanic World

You’ll be introduced to major cultural landmarks from across the temporal, geographical and disciplinary range covered within Hispanic studies. You’ll engage with iconic figures at the heart of the Hispanic cultural imagination, and with canonical authors whose work has been influential in a Hispanic context and beyond. You'll acquire the skills required to conduct close analysis and critique of primary sources, both written and visual, in a variety of genres, and in so doing, foster your linguistic competence and increase your awareness of the range and diversity of Hispanic culture. There will be opportunities to improve your research techniques and to present clear and cogent arguments based on your analysis of primary sources.

Economic Principles of Global Sustainable Development (GSD)

What is economic development, what does it look like and how can it be measured? These are questions that are explored in this module. You’ll learn about the relationship between economic activity and social and environmental development, the economic theories that underpin sustainable development policy interventions, and how those theories impact upon policy design. After studying this module, you’ll be able to apply the economic principles that you’ve learned to the analysis of GSD problems. You’ll also understand how economic policies intended to address those problems are developed and be able to offer informed critiques of such policies.

Environmental Principles of GSD

This module is structured around an emerging global consensus that humans are compromising the global biosphere by transgressing nine Planetary Boundaries: the result of which will be fundamental and unrecoverable change that significantly compromises the operating space of human development. We focus on the natural science of these environmental issues – covering well known topics like climate change and biodiversity loss, but also lesser realised problems, such as biochemical flows. We evaluate existing governance and management efforts, and try to develop responses of our own. You’ll be taught how to write a Policy Briefing and will prepare one on your chosen subject, aimed at a specific key decision maker. Then, you’ll convert your Brief to a Policy Pitch: a two minute ‘sell’ of your research. By the end of this module, you’ll possess key knowledge of environmental principles and also skills valuable for creating meaningful change in the real world of work, governance and/or activism.

Social Principles of GSD

This introductory module examines in-depth the most crucial concepts that allow you to analyse and interpret the social and political issues related to GSD. You’ll be considering complex, topical issues that allow you to understand and evaluate the most pressing social and political contexts of sustainable development at national and international levels. Upon completing this module you’ll have acquired specific knowledge and understanding that allows you to offer a well-informed evidence-based explanation of the key challenges that face our world, focusing on the social and political contexts.

You’ll also be able to explain the global social threats that are caused by economic development, consider and reflect critically on the reasons why some countries developed while others stayed poor, engage critically with various strategies that have been suggested to end extreme poverty, understand and write critically about the continuing challenges of providing “Education for all” and “Health for all”, and write critically about the notion of goal-based development.

GSD Project

During this module, you'll collaborate with your peers on a task of investigating the issue of sustainable transport. You'll be immersed in a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data that you'll gather, examine, analyse and critique. As well as deepening your understanding of the economic case for sustainable transport, you'll be strengthening your academic research skills to deconstruct a major problem, formulate and test hypotheses, evaluate the evidence, and undertake field research, including interviews and focus groups.


Intermediate Year^

Modern Spanish Language 2

On this module, you'll extend your competence in Spanish. You'll deepen your understanding of advanced grammatical and linguistic structures, increase the range and sophistication of your vocabulary, and refine your use of register in authentic spoken and written discourse. You'll use resources from a variety of media from around the Hispanic world, and take part in our virtual language exchange with students in Latin America and Spain. At the end of the course, you should have sufficient mastery to discuss different topics, report on your independent reading and support your opinions with solid arguments.


Modern Spanish Language 2 (Post-beginners)

Health and Sustainable Development

Your starting point on this module is the sustainable development goals for health and well-being, gender equality and reducing inequalities, with an overarching theme of how our bodies relate to various forms of development. You can expect to articulate your knowledge of major global inequalities and apply your understanding across different cultural and social norms. You'll ask provocative questions and critically engage with the way the environment is affecting health outcomes, and critique the efficacy of policy measures that aim to address health-related global crises. You’ll also improve your research skills by generating original, well-researched arguments for policies that address health and inequalities outcomes.


Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System

At least 800 million people are chronically undernourished globally, and the global population is projected to increase to a staggering 10 billion by 2050. From this challenging starting point, you’ll be working with active researchers from across various disciplines at the University of Warwick. You'll become acquainted with contrasting disciplinary approaches to the investigation of food systems, and be able to analyse scholarly concerns surrounding food security, sovereignty and sustainability. You’ll evaluate competing solutions and research, evaluate and synthesise academic and other credible research and analysis in order to respond critically to the essential topics and questions in this exciting field.


Inequalities and Sustainable Development: Inclusion and Dignity for All

This new module focuses on issues of inequalities shaping our societies, economies, environments and politics. Starting with the question does inequality matter, you'll critically reflect on the UN’s decision to integrate inequalities into the Sustainable Development Agenda. You'll then explore six different dimensions of inequalities (work, politics, environmental justice, societal discrimination, automation and globalisation, opportunities and empowerment) and gain an understanding of the complexities of these problems. Finally, you'll appreciate the challenges faced by today’s policy makers who aim to reduce inequalities.


Final Year

Modern Spanish Language 3

On this module, you'll consolidate your fluency in spoken and written Spanish, and refine your translation skills to advanced level. You'll practise oral and discursive expression using a range of advanced linguistic structures, vocabulary and registers. You'll be engaged in independent study, for example in researching and preparing work for presentation in class in order to develop your communicative and intercultural competence and the capacity to structure your own learning.

GSD Dissertation/Long Project

In this final-year module, you’ll bring together all of your learning and experiences on the course – the theoretical concepts and principles and your practical know-how - in order to address a specific sustainable development problem of your own choosing – one that concerns you most and which you’d like to tackle. You’ll be supported by an academic supervisor to devise a suitable project and to undertake research to explore the issue, taking a transdisciplinary approach to your investigation in order to produce an original intervention. This may be a concept paper, a practical project, a film production, a long essay, an advocacy campaign etc. – use your creativity! You’ll design a strategy for disseminating your findings (e.g. at a conference presentation, via online publication or an article in a journal or at a public meeting that you have arranged). This provides you with an opportunity to get your voice heard in a forum where it matters and could have lasting impact.

Examples of optional modules/options for current students:

  • Challenges of Climate Change
  • Human Rights and Social Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Debt, Money, and Global Sustainable Development
  • The Energy Trilemma
  • Realising Sustainable Development

Tuition fees

Find out more about fees and funding.

Additional course costs

There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

Your career

As a GSD graduate, you have a wide range of career pathways that are available to you. This is demonstrated by the variety of work placements that our students have completed with employers from different sectors.

Our students have been successful in securing work placements with employers from the private, public, and third sectors. This includes:

  • Research Institutions
  • Governmental Bodies
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Intelligence Agencies
  • Housing
  • Environmental Consultancies

Our students have undertaken diverse roles such as:

  • Marketing Assistant
  • Sustainability Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Researchers

You will learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:

  • Analysing and problem solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation
  • Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions
  • Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings
  • Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data
  • Organisation: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised
  • Collaboration: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude

Helping you find the right career

We have a dedicated Employability and Placement Manager who can offer you careers guidance. They can provide information about suitable placement opportunities and support you to secure appropriate work experience. They give specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, and provide on-going support for you whilst on placement. They also deliver the associated Certificate of Professional Communication.

Find out more about careers support at Warwick.

Georgina, current student

"Very small classes"

"The best part of studying in the SMLC is the feeling of community. Unlike other courses, we often have very small classes, which makes you feel as though you can get to know your tutors and cohort better than if we always sat in large lectures."


BA Modern Languages

"We look at the Hispanic world as a whole, we don't just focus on Spain, and that really is reflected in the way that we're taught. So in our speaking classes, we don't have to just speak the variety of Spanish from Spain - we can also speak Columbian Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Chilean Spanish, and equally in our cultural modules, we're taught history or literature from Spain and Latin America and the Phillipines ... so it's a lot broader in that sense."


Hispanic Studies and French BA

Why did you choose to study languages at Warwick?

"The vibe here on campus doesn’t compare to anywhere else, it's so unique and for me, I have such a buzz and excitement when I'm speaking my foreign language with a native speaker, with my friends or with my lecturers and with my teachers at A-levels, so I thought, I really want to carry on with that and improve that so I can feel that buzz even more."

How did you decide on which languages to study?

"I decided to study Hispanic Studies and French because it's Hispanic studies here at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, not just Spanish, so we look at the Hispanic world as a whole, We don't just focus on Spain and that really is reflected in the way we're taught, so in our speaking classes, we are not just, we don't just have to speak the varieties of Spanish from Spain, We can also speak Colombian Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Chilean Spanish and equally in our cultural modules we're taught history or literature from Spain and equally Latin America and even the Philippines as well, there's an option to study the Hispanic culture there, so it's really, it's a lot broader in that sense."

What has been your favourite module so far?

"My favourite module so far at Warwick has been HP305, Galician Connections: Culture and Identity on the Atlantic Rim. So in first year we look to the different regions in Spain, the socio-linguistic patterns there in the different regions, as I say, and then one of the reasons that really interested me was Galicia. So when I saw this module was offered in second year, I thought I actually do want to specialize in that and I want to look at that in more detail."

Why study cultural modules whilst learning a language?

"The cultural modules at Warwick really are fantastic in reinforcing your language skills that you're learning at the moment and vice versa. In my Spanish cultural modules in first year, obviously I was still learning the language, so reading different texts and literature, although it was a challenge at first, actually it was just reinforcing everything that I was doing in my grammar classes."

Where did you go for your year abroad?

"For my year abroad I went in the second year and I decided to split the year on two study placements. So the first term I was studying at the likely to refer to Sorbonne in Paris for five months. I stayed in Paris for six months, so I decided to stay for a bit longer, and then the second term I was studying in Seville, at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide and both placements were just fantastic."

What are your plans after University?

"At the moment, I'm actively thinking about going into translation or interpreting. So after studying in Spain, looking at the translation theories and interpreting there, the specific institution, then coming back to Warwick and carrying on that, that interest and pursuing that interest with the translation theories module that the school offers, that's really made me want to pursue that as a career perhaps. To just help someone access another culture is so rewarding and that's what translation and interpreting means to me. So that's why that's what I'm thinking of, I think."

Be the change you want to be

Hear from our student Luke about how he's putting into practice what he's been learning on his degree. Luke has implemented a practical solution to a problem in the local area by setting up a social enterprise to help tackle food insecurity.

"To me there are three pathways which a student can take within their lives.

The first pathway is that they can ignore the world issues, which we’re currently facing. Secondly, you can choose to acknowledge these issues but not do anything about it. And thirdly, you can recognise these issues are happening, and you can be the change you want to be.

This is what a GSD student represents. They notice these world issues and they want to make a change within our society.

One of my greatest passions is tackling food insecurity throughout the world. Millions of people are still going hungry every day and this is one of the biggest problems which our society is facing at the moment.

GSD is all about studying these problems in great detail and working to develop solutions from this, and so I’ve received a lot of support from the GSD community in starting up a social enterprise called Food Intercept.

We’re collecting edible fruit and vegetable waste from Coventry Food Market. We’re taking this fruit and vegetable waste to Mum’s Kitchen, a kitchen in Coventry which employs single minority women and provides financial and social support to them. Mum’s Kitchen are turning this edible food waste into meals, which we are now selling within the GSD common room. Using the profits which we make from the sales, we’ve been able to provide financial and social support to these single minority women within Coventry.

Therefore we have been able to make a sustainable impact within our community and use the lessons which I have learned from GSD to help solve problems in the local area.

It’s making these small changes within our society that are going to incrementally build up and make the big changes which we need in order to achieve global sustainable development.

I’m Luke, I’m a GSD student at Warwick."

This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.