Map NZ Map World


Spanish is one of the major languages of Western Europe, and the most widely spoken language of the Americas, with a substantial number of native and second language speakers, ranging from Metropolitan areas of Canada and the US through Mesoamerican countries, most of South America and even in the Philippines.

Enrolment into the PGCert, PGDip, BA(Hons) and MA in Japanese will be suspended from 2022.

At undergraduate (Bachelors) level, a Spanish specialisation is offered through a major in International Languages and Cultures.

With more than 470 million native speakers worldwide, Spanish ranks as the world's number 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language, according to Ethnologue. Knowing Spanish, the language of Miguel de Cervantes, opens the doors to a wide range of countries and cultures, especially in America. Its official status in more than 21 countries, spanning South, Central, and North America, as well as parts of Africa and Europe, its rapid expansion as a second language and its versatile role as a language of tourism, diplomacy, international businesses, popular culture, etc., make Spanish the most relevant world language today after English.

Besides being the official language of Spain, Equatorial Guinea and 20 more countries in Latin America, the US (52.6 million) has become the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world after Mexico (121 million). Spanish is also one of the most widely taught languages in the world - taught in the US, UK, Brazil, China and the Philippines - according to official statistics.

Worldwide, there is a high demand for Spanish teachers in the education sector, including in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Other professions hiring professionals who know Spanish include working as an interpreter, translator, the medical profession, social worker, law enforcement professional, diplomacy, ambassador, international relations, business, journalism, management, computer specialists, technicians etc.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Ethnographer
  • International Development Worker
  • Lecturer
  • Museum Curator
  • Overseas Aid Worker
  • Research or Policy Analyst
  • Teacher
  • Travel and Tourism Operator
  • Translator
  • Diplomat

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
SPNSH131Spanish for Beginners15.024B (Hamilton)
Learn the basics of written and spoken Spanish including greetings, family, city life and daily routines. No previous knowledge of Spanish is needed.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
INTLC200Spanish & Latin American Business Culture: Intercultural Competence 115.024A (Hamilton)
This paper analyses cultural traits from Spain and Latin America and examines how these attributes may impact on business and tourism industries.
SPNSH231Intermediate Spanish 115.024A (Hamilton)
Extend your previous knowledge of Spanish to express past and future situations. Topics will include shopping, local places of interest, and employment.
SPNSH232Intermediate Spanish 215.024B (Hamilton)
Students will extend their language skills, and cover toipcs such as travelling, eating out and wellbeing.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
INTLC301Research Methods in International Languages and Cultures15.024B (Hamilton)
After workshops covering intercultural contexts in research, bibliography, literature reviews, ethics, data collection and editing, students will prepare a research report.
INTLC312Visual Cultures of Spain and Latin America15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper, conducted in English, offers both a historical and contemporary approach to regional and national identity construction in Spain and Latin America. Through a selection of cultural readings and viewings, the paper aims to provide students with an understanding of the interface of culture and visual culture in relation to...
INTLC380Study Abroad 115.024G (Block), 24I (Block) & 24X (Block)
This paper will enable students to undertake appropriate individual study abroad programmes as part of their undergraduate degree. Each study programme should have a significant component of time spent offshore, with a series of assessments being agreed in advance with the paper convenor.
SPNSH331Advanced Spanish 115.024A (Hamilton)
This paper is designed to enhance proficiency in Spanish at an advanced level. It will focus on contemporary cultural issues, and historical themes related to pre-Hispanic indigenous civilizations.
SPNSH332Advanced Spanish 215.024B (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on advanced Spanish language learning and is a continuation of Advanced Spanish 1.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
SPNSH900Spanish PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

Subject links

European Languages Programme

Spanish is available as a pathway within the International Languages and Cultures major or supporting subject for the BA, and as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

The focus of the specialisation is to provide students with the opportunity to develop language skills that might enhance their ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

International Languages and Cultures major with a specialisation in Spanish
International Languages and Cultures is available as a major for the BA, and may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees. A major in International Languages and Cultures with a specialisation in Spanish requires a total of 135 points and students must complete SPNSH131, SPNSH231, SPNSH232, SPNSH331, SPNSH332

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the Catalogue of Papers for the most up to date information.

Spanish in other majors
A minor, or specialisation in other majors requires 60 points above 100 level in Spanish, students must complete SPNSH231, SPNSH232 and SPNSH331.

The point of entry into the Spanish programme depends on previous experience. Those with no previous experience of Spanish take SPNSH131. Students with 14 credits at Level 3 in NCEA Spanish, or equivalent, will gain direct entry into SPNSH231.

If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: [email protected]


School of Arts
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4932
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]