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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.

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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
INTLC101International Languages and Cultures15.022B (Hamilton) & 22G (Online)
This paper introduces students to major world cultures and their languages in a comparative context. Students will gain a critical understanding of culture and diversity through examining the languages and cultures of China, France, Japan, Spain and Latin America.
SPNSH131Spanish for Beginners 115.022A (Hamilton) & 22G (Hamilton)
The first of two papers that offer an introduction to Spanish language for beginners. Emphasis is given to communication underpinned by knowledge of the grammatical system of the language. This course aims to provide students with proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish and it takes students towards level A1 of the Common Eu...
SPNSH132Spanish for Beginners 215.022B (Hamilton)
The continuation of SPNSH131. This paper aims to build confidence in the language skills already acquired. Equal attention is given to each of the skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This course aims to improve students' proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish and takes students to level A2 of the Common Europe...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
INTLC200Spanish & Latin American Business Culture: Intercultural Competence 115.022A (Online)
In this intermediate paper, students will acquire knowledge of Spanish in a practical and professional context related to business and tourism. Additionally, students will acquire geographic literacy and cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world and basic linguistic competence in Spanish.
INTLC222European and Latin American Cultures15.022A (Online)
This paper explores aspects of European and Latin American cultures, history and society. This paper is taught in English and is open to all students, including those who have no prior knowledge of French and Spanish.
SPNSH231Intermediate Spanish 115.022A (Hamilton) & 22A (Online)
This intermediate language acquisition paper enables students to gain competence in grammar and conversation as well as in Spanish and Latin American cultures and conversation. This course aims to improve students' proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish and it takes students to level B1 of the Common European Framework of R...
SPNSH232Intermediate Spanish 215.022B (Hamilton) & 22B (Online)
This paper is a continuation of SPNSH231. Students further develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and understanding Spanish. There is a focus on practical work, as well as written and spoken Spanish. This course aims to improve students' proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish and takes students to level B2 of the Comm...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
INTLC380Study Abroad 115.022G (Block), 22I (Block) & 22X (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.
INTLC390Directed Study15.022A (Hamilton), 22B (Hamilton), 22D (Hamilton) & 22H (Hamilton)
At the discretion of the relevant Programme Convenor, students undertake independent but guided research on a topic of the student's choice
SPNSH300Spanish Internship15.022A (Hamilton), 22A (Online), 22B (Hamilton), 22C (Online) & 22H (Hamilton)
SPNSH300 enables students to either credit professional practice such as work experience - here or abroad (i.e. language assistants in Spain or Latin America) or complete tasks related to an independent or collaborative research project.
SPNSH310Advanced Spanish Language15.022A (Hamilton)
This is an advanced language paper designed to enhance oral, aural and written proficiency in the language. The course aims to improve students' proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish. One aspect of the paper's multidisciplinary learning context, is that students will engage in a variety of exercises such as listening to au...
SPNSH312Cultures of Spain15.022B (Online)
This paper, conducted in English, offers both a historical and a contemporary approach to regional and national identity construction in Spain. The paper aims to provide students with a solid foundation on Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Basque and other regional cultures. Through a selection of cultural readings, students will gain a ...
SPNSH321Spanish-English Translation Methodology and Practice15.022B (Hamilton)
This paper applies translation theory through a variety of texts and contexts such as journalism,literature, humour, film, and subtitling.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
SPNSH900Spanish PhD Thesis120.022I (Hamilton), 22J (Hamilton), 22K (Hamilton) & 22X (Hamilton)
No description available.

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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]