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BA International Relations with Spanish

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Major-minor combined, Single Honours, Study abroad year

For 2024-2025:
£9,250 (UK)
£22,380 (International)
More detail.

Our diverse programme allows you to combine the study of Spanish with International Relations.

In a world of growing interdependence, the need for a wider understanding of international affairs becomes more crucial every day. Our International Relations with Spanish BA allows you to combine study of a modern language with international relations, which is itself interdisciplinary and covers such topics as politics, economics and the diplomatic history of the 20th century.

The third year is spent studying at a European university. You will spend one third of your time in language studies and two thirds taking courses in international relations. When you return to Birmingham for your fourth year, you will study advanced courses in your language and in international affairs.

Why study this course?

  • If you want to take advantage of a unique work placement opportunity as part of your final year, our BA International Relations degree includes the opportunity to undertake a Professional Development module as part of your optional module choices.
  • Students on our International Relations degree, are eligible to apply to be part of a delegation to the annual International Model NATO Conference, held in Washington DC in the Spring Term. This experience provides you with a unique opportunity to participate in a role-play exercise of decision-making at NATO, working with delegates from universities and institutions across the globe. Students selected for this Conference will be provided with bursaries that cover the cost of Conference registration, accommodation and subsistence.
  • Each year we work with the Guild UN Modelling Society to put on a Model UN event. This is open to all students in POLSIS and attracts students from all around the world. Learn more about our student experience activities
  • Each year we offer up to 10 research internships to undergraduate students in the Department of POLSIS or IDD. These are open on a competitive basis to all undergraduate students in the School of Government. Successful students are hired as paid research assistants for 5 weeks, where they work with a member of academic staff in the Departments of POLSIS, IDD, or DPAP on a research project.
  • Studying at the University of Birmingham will boost your employability prospects -  we are the first choice for leading graduate employers searching for graduate recruits (High Fliers Research 2024).

Students applying for this degree at Birmingham will join the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS).


Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024.

Modules in the first year

In the first year of your degree you receive a thorough grounding in the study of international relations, and your chosen language. The modules you take in the first year are designed to provide you with a foundation for more advanced, specialised study in the second and third years of your degree.


  • Understanding International Relations
  • Global History
  • Spanish Core Language Advanced modules I and II
  • Pathways to International Relations Research I and II
  • Debates in World Politics I & II

Modules in the second year

The second year is designed to permit specialisation in areas of particular interest while deepening your language skills.


  • Spanish Core III and IV - Advanced Hispanic Cultures in Global Contexts
  • Spanish Core V - Student Research Project
  • International Relations Theory

and you will choose one of the following two modules:

  • Global Governance
  • International Security

In addition, you will be able to choose 40 credits from the following:

  • British Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Digital Democracy
  • Globalisation, Capitalism and Welfare
  • Political Ethics
  • Politics of Sex and Sexuality
  • Russian Politics: From Revolution to Putin
  • The Political Economy of Energy and Energy Security
  • UK Politics in a Time of Crisi
  • US Politics

Modules in the final year

When you return to Birmingham for your fourth year you study advanced courses in your language and in international affairs.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.


  • POLSIS Dissertation
  • Spanish Core Vi and VII - Language and Contexts
  • Spanish Language VI and VII - Language and Contexts

You will choose 60 credits from the following, or 40 credits from the following and 20 credits of modules outside the main discipline with permission from the Undergraduate Director:

  • Challenges to Liberal Democracy in Europe
  • China: State and Society
  • Conflict and peace in deeply divided societies
  • Contemporary International Political Economy
  • Controversies in Contemporary Democracies
  • Corruption and Clientelism: Global Perspective
  • Environment and climate politics: from global to local
  • Gender and World Politics
  • Gender and World Politics: The politics of gender, sex and sexuality
  • Global Security
  • Law, Politics and the International System: Mediating Power beyond the State
  • Parties and Voters across the Globe
  • Political Theory and Social Criticism
  • Politics of South Asia
  • Professional Development
  • Rising Powers and Global Order
  • Strategy, Leadership and Foreign Policy
  • The Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • The Politics of Gender, Sex and Sexuality
  • The Politics of Memory
  • Topics in British Politics
  • Understanding Migration

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024-25


Full-time £9,250.

Learn more about fees and funding and Tuition fees.


Full-time, Band 1 (Classroom) £22,380


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards.

How To Apply

apply through UCAS at using code: L2R4.

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.


The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Find out more about transferring from another college or university.

Learn more about applying.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level grade B in Spanish
General Studies:
not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all considered.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students starting their course in 2024 the entry requirements are 6,6,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall including an appropriate language at HL grade 5.

Standard English language requirements apply

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

On your degree you will be taught by staff from the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS). We take an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that as well as providing you with engaging content about the subject, we also help you become an independent and self-motivated learner. Throughout the degree, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates – qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop these skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods on the degree. They may include:

  • Lectures – where academic experts introduce you to topics, sharing their knowledge in challenging and provocative ways. Students are provided with reading recommendations alongside the lectures, which will allow you to deepen your understanding of topics and develop your critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars – where you discuss and present topics in smaller groups, allowing you to develop your ideas, share interpretations, and debate opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials – your opportunity to discuss your work with your personal tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops – problem-solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff, usually involving group work.  

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make your transition to degree-level education.

Learn more about the student experience in POLSIS.

Contact hours

Contact hours vary depending on module choice. As well as time with your lecturers and personal tutor, the academic and professional services staff (such as our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time studying your degree here at Birmingham.

Personal Tutor

From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic advice and encouragement, guidance toward welfare services when needed, and helping you get assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time at the University of Birmingham.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside lectures, allowing you to consolidate lecture material through discussion, and test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Independent study alongside your time in the classroom is an essential part of the degree and requires motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry, inspired by the taught content, and become an independent thinker.


Throughout your degree you will be taught by lecturers who have worked in the field of political science and international relations. You can learn more about the staff in the school by visiting the School of Government staff pages.

Learning settings

This degree is taught by staff in our internationally renowned Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), located in the Muirhead Tower on our main Edgbaston campus.

Departments from across the School of Government are all based within Muirhead Tower. The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200-seat lecture theatre.

Your lectures and teaching will take place in a variety of versatile lecture theatres and breakout rooms. Our rooms are all equipped with wireless connection and constantly updated technology including all the audio-visual equipment that you would expect from one of the UK's premier institutions.

Throughout your time on the International Relations with Spanish BA course, employability is a key area of focus.


We help to make sure that you are employable through a range of department led and university wide initiatives which include:

Input from Professional Careers Advisers in your Curriculum

During the first year of your studies Careers Advisers from the University Careers Network team attend lectures in your course to support you with career planning from an early stage. The lectures will cover career planning, researching career and internship opportunities, developing the skills that graduate employers are looking for, and presenting yourself with impact to a potential employer.

Find out how the University of Birmingham is Investing in your future.

Professional development module

You will have the unique opportunity to take advantage of a work placement as part of your final year by undertaking the Professional Development Module as part of your optional module choices.