Triangle

Course overview

Would you like the ability to communicate with people from across the globe in their native language? Imagine if your love for Spanish and Chinese could open up job opportunities in countries all around the world.

In addition to targeting your language skills, this course offers you a rich variety of modules in Hispanic histories and cultures while allowing you to uncover the complexities of contemporary Chinese politics, society and identities.

Many of our students say the year abroad is their course highlight. Not only do you have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in both the Spanish and Chinese languages and cultures, but spending time abroad can make you more independent and confident. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone won’t only benefit your degree, it’ll shape the person you are to become.

For more information on our teaching, research and what it's like to study with us see the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures website.

Why choose this course?

Year abroad

Spend a year abroad immersing yourself in both languages

Beginners welcome!

Start learning a language from scratch on our beginners' pathway

A great track record

100% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification

UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020

Employability

Access job opportunities in Spanish and Mandarin-speaking contexts throughout the globe

Great teaching

93% of students in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures agreed that staff have made the subject interesting

OfS National Student Survey 2021


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB - including a B in either Spanish or Mandarin
Required subjects

B in either Spanish or Mandarin (you may start one language at beginners' level)

IB score IB 32 including a 5 in either Spanish or Mandarin at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level (B programme) (you may start one language at beginners' level)

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year. You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A weekly lecture on a core module may have 50-60 students attending while a specialised seminar may only contain 10 students.

Teaching Quality

Our staff know that learning languages can sometimes seem challenging (they've all been where you are!) and take pride in their teaching. Demonstrating this our Modern Languages academics have been awarded seven Lord Dearing Awards over the last five years. These recognise outstanding student learning and are based on nominations from students and other academics.

Lord Dearing Winners: Erica BrasilPierre-Alexis Mével, Heike Bartel, Rino SoaresTara Webster-DeakinMarilena MinoiaManuel Lagares Alonso.

If you have worries about your work we won't wait for them to become problems. You will have a personal tutor from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures who will review your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Oral classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Following your year abroad your improved language skills and improved cultural understanding shall be assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments.

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Oral exam
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Written exam
  • Commentary

Contact time and study hours

As well as scheduled teaching you’ll carry out extensive independent reading and research. A typical 20 credit module involves between three and four hours of lectures and seminars per week. You would ideally spend 8-10 hours doing preparation work. Your lecturers will usually be academic staff.

Study abroad

In year three you will spend the academic year abroad in Spain or Latin America, and China. For Spanish you have the option to undertake study at a university, do a work placement or work as an English language teaching assistant. For your Chinese placement, you will benefit from the University of Nottingham's campus in Ningbo, China, where you will spend a semester developing your language skills and gaining first-hand experience of life in China.

We’re dedicated to ensuring that your Year Abroad runs as smoothly as possible and have university staff to provide you with support whilst you are overseas.

For more information, see Year abroad options in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Placements

During the four years you'll be with us, there are lots of opportunities for you to gain workplace experience.

During your year abroad - you may undertake a work placement in a Spanish-speaking country during your time abroad in year three.

The UoN Careers Service - the Careers and Employability Service are on hand to help you find just the right work experience, placement, internship or volunteering opportunity for you.

Nottingham Advantage Award - boost your employability with a range of employer-led projects and career development opportunities through the Nottingham Advantage Award.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies placement programme - Become 'workplace-ready' with our Work Placement and Employability programme tailor-made for students in the School of CLAS.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

What is a year abroad like?

Cassie gives us the lowdown on what a year abroad is like for a languages student.

Modules

Our first-year core modules are designed as an introduction. This means that we will build everyone's knowledge to the same level, so you can progress through to year two.

Spanish

In Spanish, in addition to a core module in the Spanish language at the appropriate level, you will be introduced to the culture and history of the Spanish-speaking world.

Contemporary Chinese

In Contemporary Chinese Studies you begin a structured course in Mandarin Chinese to lead you to final degree level. The course has entry points for beginners and post-A level students in Mandarin. Alongside your core language module, you will take a module introducing Chinese history, society and culture.

You must pass year one but it does not count towards your final degree classification.

Core Spanish modules - Beginners

Spanish 1: Beginners

Welcome to Spanish at the University of Nottingham — this is where your journey to Spanish fluency begins!

Designed for students who have little or no prior experience of the language, this module will support you as you develop all the key areas of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening and speaking. To keep the classes interesting and relevant we'll use a wide range of source material from newspapers, audio-visual content and websites.

Through this, not only will your speaking and comprehension skills improve, but also your grammar usage and ability to understand the language in different contexts. By the end of this module, you'll be able to read basic texts, follow everyday conversations and engage in social conversation.

You'll also become more culturally aware of the countries that make up the Spanish-speaking world and get a better understanding of their varying current affairs and cultures.

Literature in Spanish

This module is designed as a foundation for all later modules covering Spanish and Portuguese literatures. The main aims of this module are to give you a general introduction to literature and the study of literature, while providing you with a partial overview of literary writing in the Spanish language. As well as to introduce some of the key theoretical issues of literary study and instil good reading and critical habits. Through this you will be tested on your skills in close reading, textual analysis, seminar participation and the ability to write cogent and convincing commentaries and essays. This module is worth 20 credits.

Core Spanish modules - Post A Level

Spanish 1

Welcome to Spanish at the University of Nottingham — this is where your journey to Spanish fluency shall really begin to take off!

Designed for students who have completed an A level in the language, this module will support you to improve in all the key areas of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening and speaking. To keep the classes interesting and relevant we'll use a wide range of source material from newspapers, audio-visual content and websites.

Through this, not only will your speaking and comprehension skills improve, but also your grammar usage and ability to understand the language in different contexts.

You'll also become more culturally aware of the countries that make up the Spanish-speaking world and get a better understanding of their varying current affairs and cultures.

Literature in Spanish

This module is designed as a foundation for all later modules covering Spanish and Portuguese literatures. The main aims of this module are to give you a general introduction to literature and the study of literature, while providing you with a partial overview of literary writing in the Spanish language. As well as to introduce some of the key theoretical issues of literary study and instil good reading and critical habits. Through this you will be tested on your skills in close reading, textual analysis, seminar participation and the ability to write cogent and convincing commentaries and essays. This module is worth 20 credits.

Modern Latin American History

Through a combination of lectures, guided reading and research you'll explore the main patterns of Latin American political, economic and social history, between independence in the 1820s and the end of the twentieth century.

We'll focus on specific concepts, terminology, events and people, so as to develop an understanding of different perspectives and interpretations of the history in question. We'll also encourage you to appreciate the interaction between the ‘political history’ of major events and protagonists in official positions of power, and the ‘social history' of populations who both contributed to, and were affected by, political change.

You will learn to develop a critical approach to the study of history through a variety of materials; gain an ability to distinguish between the particular and the general and to develop the tools for comparative analysis.

Optional Spanish modules

Depending on your language abilities you will take one or two modules from this group.

Literature in Spanish

This module is designed as a foundation for all later modules covering Spanish and Portuguese literatures. The main aims of this module are to give you a general introduction to literature and the study of literature, while providing you with a partial overview of literary writing in the Spanish language. As well as to introduce some of the key theoretical issues of literary study and instil good reading and critical habits. Through this you will be tested on your skills in close reading, textual analysis, seminar participation and the ability to write cogent and convincing commentaries and essays. This module is worth 20 credits.

Modern Latin American History

Through a combination of lectures, guided reading and research you'll explore the main patterns of Latin American political, economic and social history, between independence in the 1820s and the end of the twentieth century.

We'll focus on specific concepts, terminology, events and people, so as to develop an understanding of different perspectives and interpretations of the history in question. We'll also encourage you to appreciate the interaction between the ‘political history’ of major events and protagonists in official positions of power, and the ‘social history' of populations who both contributed to, and were affected by, political change.

You will learn to develop a critical approach to the study of history through a variety of materials; gain an ability to distinguish between the particular and the general and to develop the tools for comparative analysis.

Core Contemporary Chinese Studies modules

You will take one Chinese Mandarin language module appropriate to your existing knowledge:

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners

This is the start of an exciting journey where we'll take you through the basics of learning Mandarin.

Designed for beginners, this module will cover Chinese phonetics, grammar and vocabulary helping you to start feeling confident in understanding and communicating in your new language.

We make our sessions as practical and communicative as possible by using a core textbook, supplemented by a wide variety of Chinese learning resources including online news articles, graded storybooks and online video/audio files.

Besides language skills, we recognise the importance of employability skills, such as creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving . We'll also integrate drama activities including story or script writing, performing and dubbing to not only help you gain new skills but build confidence in your new language.

You will also begin to learn about Chinese culture and society helping you to put your new language understanding into context.

Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level

Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!

We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).

You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

And

Culture and Society of Contemporary China

In this module we will look at the social and cultural changes that have taken place in China, since 1979. The module will begin by setting out the programme of economic reform, introduced by Deng Xiaoping in order to integrate the Chinese economy into global flows of goods, services and investments. For example, we will outline the measures introduced to increase foreign direct investment in the country and map the different global companies that have set up business in China since the Reform.  

We will then look at the complex set of social and cultural changes that have taken place in China as a consequence. In this respect we will look at issues such as internal migration from the countryside to the city and international migration from China to the rest of the world. We will address the profound impacts on education, health and social care policy.

We will also look at the rise of the consumer society in China. The focus here will be on issues to do with travel and tourism, leisure time and holidays, the national diet and the rise of the internet, social media, online shopping and electronic payment systems using apps such as ‘wechat’.   

Topics covered may be taken from:

  • Chinese Open-door policy and reform ( economy reform and its impact)
  • The economic impacts of the Reform with the emphasis on foreign direct investment
  • Internal migration
  • International migratory flows
  • Education, health and social care policy
  • The rise of consumer society
  • Travel and tourism industry
  • Retail sector in China
  • Online shopping and electronic payment systems
  • Dietary change 
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 12 May 2022.

In Spanish and Chinese, your language studies will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad. You will also take modules in culture, history, politics and society in both Spanish and Chinese Studies.

You must pass year two which is weighted at one third of your final degree classification.

Core Spanish modules

One of:

Spanish 2

This module will build on the language and cultural skills developed in year one and get you started on your exciting journey towards degree-level Spanish. Over the year, we're going to take you to the next level so by the end of the module you'll be ready to spend time living in a Spanish-speaking country.

We'll further develop your grammar and communication skills, building your confidence so that you feel happy working or studying abroad during year 3. We know the thought of essay writing in another language may feel daunting, but we will help you develop these skills to competence.

To prepare you for participating in conversation with fluency we'll pay special attention to developing your ability to use complex sentence structures and rhetoric. You'll get plenty of practice during laboratory classes where you'll have access to a wide range of contemporary audio-visual materials.

Spanish 2: Beginners

This module will build on the language and cultural skills developed in last year's beginners' classes and will get you started on your exciting journey towards degree-level Spanish. Over the year, we're going to take you to the next level so by the end of the module you'll be ready to spend time living in a Spanish-speaking country.

We'll further develop your grammar and communication skills, building your confidence so that you feel happy working or studying abroad during year three. We know the thought of essay writing in another language may feel daunting, but we will help you develop these skills to competence.

To prepare you for participating in conversation with fluency we'll pay special attention to developing your ability to use complex sentence structures and rhetoric. You'll get plenty of speaking and writing practice during classes, collaborative projects and on your own time through a wide range of online and in-person interactive activities.

Optional Spanish modules

New World(s): Contacts, Conquests and Conflict in Early Modern Hispanic History and Culture

Explore relations between early modern Spain, Portugal and their empires through art, cinema and historical documents to better understand the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in Latin America today.

Together we’ll study paintings starting from the mid-15th century in Portugal where voyages of ‘discovery’ were well under way, to Mexico and Brazil in the late eighteenth century.

To explore the political and cultural relations between the old countries in Europe and the new lands in the Americas we’ll read travelogues, testimonies and political discussion about the New World and look at modern cinematic and theoretical responses to the conquest and colonisation of the Americas.

These complementary areas of history and culture are perfectly balanced to help you understand how the Portuguese and Spanish empires are so relevant to contemporary global geo-politics.

Modern Spanish and Spanish American Literature and Film

In this module you will explore a cultural period in the Hispanic world characterised by profound social change and the emergence of major world-figures of modern art (eg Pablo Picasso). It is structured around key literary and artistic movements from Spain and Spanish America from the early 19th century to the late 20th century, such as Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism. A large part of your focus will be reading literary and visual texts of the period in relation to the socio-economic and political context of Spain’s and Spanish America’s rapid, but hugely uneven, modernisation.

Individual novels, plays, films, paintings or poems will also be used to exemplify and explore particular movements and historical moments. You will develop skills in close analysis of complex texts, an understanding of some of the major directions of Spanish and Spanish American literature in the 20th century, and the ability to relate texts studied to historico-cultural contexts. This module is worth 20 credits.

Hispanic Cinemas

Take your understanding of Spanish and Portuguese further by delving into the rich history of cinema in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa. This will assist your language skills and also deepen your knowledge of a diversity of global cultures.

In the first semester we'll examine cinema from Spanish America since the 1960s, then, in the second semester, cinema from Brazil, Portugal and Africa. In so doing, we'll address questions of cinematic style and technique, socio-historical contexts and the politics of film-making.

Don't worry if you're just starting out on your language journey, the films will be available with English subtitles.

Core Contemporary Chinese Studies modules

Depending on your language abilities you will take one of:

Mandarin Chinese for Research

This module will focus mainly on:

  • reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
  • writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
  • understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
  • communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts
Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level

This module includes: 

  • topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today 
  • vocabulary on the above 
  • grammar knowledge for the level 
  • language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions 
  • understanding of authentic materials on the above topics 
  • productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level

Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!

We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).

You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

And:

China Beyond the Headlines

This module emphasises sociological theories with reference to current events and social policy making in China. Topics change every year according to what is in the news, but may include:

  • nationhood, identity and ethnicity
  • gender, family and sexualities
  • inequalities, social capital and welfare
  • health, education and popular culture
  • crime, deviance and justice

Optional placement module

Work placement

Combine our in-depth sector knowledge with the Careers and Employability Service skills development experience to get noticed when applying for jobs and during interviews.

From constructing an outstanding CV to practicing graduate level interview skills we'll build on your existing abilities.

You'll also get something concrete to talk about through a multi-week work placement. This will be tailored as far as possible to your subject and career aspirations.

This sort of attention to detail is what makes Nottingham graduates some of the most sought after in the job market.

This module is worth 20 credits.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

You will spend the academic year abroad in Spain or Spanish America and China.

For the Spanish part of your year abroad you will have the option to undertake study at a university, undertake a work placement or work as an English language teaching assistant.

For your Chinese placement, you will benefit from the University of Nottingham's campus in Ningbo, China, where you will spend a semester developing your language skills and gaining first-hand experience of life in China.

For more information, see Year abroad options in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

You will develop your command of both languages and their use in increasingly sophisticated contexts, and study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, history, politics, society, film and translation.

Although Spanish and Contemporary Chinese Studies are taught separately you may choose a uniting theme for your final year dissertation.

You must pass year four which is weighted at two thirds of your final degree classification.

Core module in Spanish

Spanish 3

Following your time spent living in a Spanish-speaking country this advanced module will be your final step towards fluency, training you in a more formal, sophisticated register of spoken and written Spanish.

We'll continue to use a wide range of authentic Spanish texts to further deepen your knowledge and confidence at this advanced level. We'll look at how the texts are put together so that you may use these skills within your written and spoken Spanish, taking you to the highest level of proficiency.

Optional Spanish modules

Spanish American Narrative and Film

This module looks at key 20th century Spanish American novels and short stories and considers issues such as race, gender, sexuality and the conflict of cultures. You will be trained in using a broad range of tools of narrative and rhetorical analysis so as to engage in debates about literary representation and aesthetics, and will hone your use of these through a programme of research tasks, seminar presentations, group discussions, and written assignments.

Literature and Films, Conflict and Post-Conflicts

Explore how literature and film can give us a deeper insight into the experiences of conflict in 20th and 21st-century Latin American and Iberian societies.

Together we’ll investigate the way in which film and literature have reflected, resisted, interrogated and remembered the socio-political violence and conflicts that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries so far in Europe (with a particular emphasis on the Iberian Peninsula) and Latin America (including Brazil).

Your Spanish and Portuguese language skills (along with translations or subtitles where needed) will help you adopt a comparative approach focussing on the formal experiments and common preoccupations of filmmakers and writers across different national cultures and historical contexts.

You will discuss questions around a range of themes which may include; authoritarianism, confronting colonial and neo-colonial practices, racial and class inequality, social injustice, gender and sexuality, and living on with the legacies of past traumas.

You can expect to discuss works by writers such as Roberto Bolaño, Ruben Fonseca, Alejandro Zambra, Mariana Enríquez, Clarice Lispector and Liliana Heker. Feature films and documentaries by Alfonso Cuarón, Pedro Almodóvar, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Claudia Llosa, Patricio Guzmán and Susana de Sousa Dias will also be discussed.

Brazilian Slave Society

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the centrality of the history of slavery in the study of Brazil, and of the significance of Brazilian slavery in both the transatlantic slave systems, and slave societies across the Americas.

In the process, you will learn to recognise and use the different historical approaches, tools and skills employed in the historiography of slavery studies, and in social history in general, and to incorporate them into their own analyses of aspects of Brazilian slave society.

Politics and Literature in Contemporary Spain

You may believe that politics and literature are two distinct fields of study, but this module will help you understand the complex but integral relationship between the two.

We’ll explore the representation of key social and political issues within contemporary Spanish literature. You’ll discover how literature in late capitalism, and contemporary ‘Hispanic’ authors in particular, dealt with issues of language, identity, culture, society, nationhood, gender, class, memory, time and writing.

We also explore debates regarding the consistency of the categories of ‘Spain’ and ‘Spanishness’ when analysing cultural production in contemporary Iberia. This shall lead us to assess the competing discursive practices involved in remapping the notion of Spanish canonical literature at the beginning of the new millennium.

Business and Society in Spain

Taught in Spanish, this module will allow you to examine Spanish business from both an historical and contemporary perspective.

Main themes include: the economic legacy of dictatorship, changes in the global and European regulatory environment, the influence of neoliberal thinking, the role of entrepreneurship, the relationship between state and business, and the response by Spanish business to the spread of the knowledge economy and rapid technological change.

We’ll also consider recent challenges to business in Spain. In particular, the impact of the 2008-2013 economic crisis on the private sector, the criticism of business involvement in a number of high-profile corruption scandals and proposals by new political formations (such as Podemos) aimed at increasing state regulation of the private sector. Finally, the module includes in-depth case studies of the Spanish fashion and tourism industries.

Making the Cuban Revolution: Ideology, Culture and Identity in Cuba since 1959

Free education from cradle to grave has been central to modern Cuba’s cultural and ideological identity. This module will encourage you to explore Cuba’s revolutionary change since 1959, through an examination of its evolving ideologies. You’ll review the critical factors of nationalism, dependency, radicalism and leadership which shaped developments from the original rebellion up to the present day.

 

Together we’ll discover the role of education policies and the ways in which a ‘cultural revolution’ was fundamental to the socialisation process of, and popular participation in (or dissent from) the Revolution.

 

This study will help you form conclusions about both the meaning of ‘ideology’ within the context of the Revolution, and the international geo-political significance of Cuba's self-definition and evolution.

Literature and Film under Franco

One of the best ways to truly understand a nation is to study its culture. Together we’ll explore a key moment in 20th century Spanish history, literature and film-making. By looking at the context and circumstances in which filmic and literary texts were produced under Franco you’ll develop awareness of generic conventions in both literature and film and perfect your skills in close textual analysis. 

You will gain a solid knowledge of the Franco régime and of the literature and film produced at this time, plus an understanding of the conditions for cultural production under the Dictatorship. 

By the end of the module, you will have developed a good command of the concepts and vocabulary required to analyse literary and filmic texts, a capacity for close reading and textual analysis, as well as presentation skills and research and essay-writing skills.

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

In this module students learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables students to gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.

Dissertation in Hispanic Studies

This module aims to provide you with the training necessary to be able to engage independently, under the guidance of a supervisor, in self-directed research on a topic that the student selects on the basis of an aspect of your Year Abroad experience.

Through a series of one-on-one tutorials, and the submission of a proposal, a literary review, and chapter draft, the student is advised on how to sustain an argument over up to 7,000 words, and how to underpin this argument with appropriate and innovative research.

Core Contemporary Chinese Studies modules

Depending on your language abilities you will take one of Chinese Mandarin language modules below.

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level

This module includes: 

  • topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today 
  • vocabulary on the above 
  • grammar knowledge for the level 
  • language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions 
  • understanding of authentic materials on the above topics 
  • productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Research

This module will focus mainly on:

  • reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
  • writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
  • understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
  • communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts

Optional modules in Chinese Studies

China in Global Politics

China, as the new and upcoming superpower, has become a focal point of global attention. This module introduces you to the major topics in China’s interaction with the evolution of China’s foreign policy since 1949 as well as its role in the international political economy.

The module will explore how domestic politics and other developments have contributed, on the one hand, to the rise of China as a great power of the first league and to the emergence of a 19th-century European-type of nationalism, on the other.

Much of the module will be an examination of China's political and economic relations with major powers and regions such as the US, Asia, the EU, the UK, Russia and Africa, the responses towards China from these powers and regions, and major issues in their relations. This module will also survey China's role in critical global issue(s) as well as the global order and governance.

China in the Media: A Clash of Narratives

After assuming his role as General Secretary in 2013 Xi Jinping stated in a meeting on propaganda and ideology that the task ahead was to "tell China’s story well, and properly disseminate China’s voice." It marked the beginning of an intensified global propaganda campaign. In stark contrast, recent years have also witnessed an intensification of western media reporting upon topics that are typically considered taboo in the Chinese domestic discourse.

This module will juxtapose 'official' and 'unofficial' narratives about China. Drawing on a wide range of domestic and international media sources you will go beyond the news headlines and learn to put media reports in their historical, political, social, and cultural contexts.

You will learn how to synthesize insights gained from official Chinese media, unofficial and more independent Chinese sources as well as international media reports about China. Typically, you’ll explore foreign affairs and international relations; technology and business; cultural and creative industries, as well as social policy issues ranging from health, education to social security.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (e.g. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Year Abroad - Reduced fees (subject to change)

As a year abroad student, you will pay reduced fees. For students spending their year abroad in 2022 this was set at:

  • Home/EU students: £1,385
  • International: 50% of the relevant international fee

Costs incurred during the year abroad

These vary from country to country, but always include:

  • travel
  • accommodation
  • subsistence
  • insurance

Depending on the country visited you may also have to pay for:

  • visa
  • vaccinations
  • self-funded language courses
  • additional administration fees and study supplies in the host country or organisation

There are a number of sources of funding:

  • Student Finance Loan
  • Means-tested travel grant
  • University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

Your access to funding depends on:

  • the course you are taking
  • your residency status
  • where you live in term time
  • your household income

You may be able to work or teach during your year abroad. This will be dependent on your course and country-specific regulations. Often students receive a small salary or stipend for these work placements. Working or teaching is not permitted in all countries. More information on your third year abroad.

Volunteering and placements:

For volunteering and placements e.g. work experience and teaching in schools, you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Optional field trips:

Field trips allow you to engage with source materials on a personal level and to develop different perspectives. They are optional and costs to you vary according to the trip; some require you to arrange your own travel, refreshments and entry fees, while some are wholly subsidised.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

Studying languages can open up a world of opportunities. From banking to charities and from teaching to MI5, businesses and organisations across the globe seek to employ language specialists.

During this degree you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of modules, allowing you to tailor your studies around personal interests. In doing so you’ll start to identify potential career paths and begin to discover your areas of professional interest.

In addition to language skills, you’ll develop transferable skills highly sought after by employers such as confident communication skills, strict attention to detail and the ability to work within different cultures and organisational styles.

“My [language] studies have helped me to develop excellent communication skills, as well as helping me to hone my reading, writing, listening and speaking skills for both my target languages.  I have also become a much more resilient learner, being able to persevere when things start to get tough and independently solve issues where possible.” Charlotte Allwood , French and Contemporary Chinese Studies BA

Find out more about careers of Modern Language students

Average starting salary and career progression

78.1% of undergraduates from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £24,477.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" I think at first most people are put off Mandarin because it sounds and looks like a hard language. But once you get past that initial perception, it really is such a logical language; everything makes sense, and it is extremely mathematical! The characters are really relaxing to write too. You can’t beat the surprised faces either when you tell people you speak Chinese! "
Rosie Lloyd, Spanish and Contemporary Chinese Studies BA

Related courses

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.