Module code: SPA3024

Module Overview

Student journey: Although this module is not compulsory, all final-year students are expected to take at least one iteration of the final-year 'Advanced language skills modules', which means that students enrolled in the Business Management and French course will take this module. Depending on their degree combination, students may also opt to do two versions of this module. The module builds on and develops language and language-related skills acquired at Levels 4 and 5 and on PTY It extends the L4 and L5 Language-focused modules. It is similarly intended to advance language proficiency in all key skills, while equipping students with a wide range of methodological skills: critical summary writing, formulating research questions and structuring essays, delivering convincing oral presentations. For those who have completed a third-year placement, the module aims explicitly to channel newly-acquired language skills in order to enhance academic performance and employability. The module is also intended to provide extensive and targeted support for the preparation and writing of the final-year dissertation in both the short and long modes.

This module is taught in the target language in semester 1 of FHEQ Level 6.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

FAY Stephen (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 60

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Academic writing, tailored to the dissertation

  • Advanced grammar

  • Oral presentation skills

  • Research skills: documentary research, critical source analysis, identifying relevant research themes and formulating research topics, using sources purposely, acquiring and using specialised terminology, structuring outlines.

  • Connects to modules in L4 and 5 for focus on contemporary cultural contexts and societal challenges and for language and methodological skills)

  • Working under time pressure

  • Topics to be decided in advance, but could change each year depending on current issues, and subjects of dissertations. The focus will be on socially relevant topics, one of which will always be connected with Sustainable Development Goals.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation RECORDED ORAL PRESENTATION 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • proficient knowledge and understanding of the use of the target language

  • ability to analyse and interpret texts critically and mobilise prior knowledge

  • ability to select and synthesise information from written and oral texts

  • ability to take notes effectively and use IT skills to find and present relevant information

  • ability to use the language effectively under pressure

  • subject-specific knowledge of Spanish language in a professional and academic environment

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A 12 -minute Recorded Presentation using a PowerPoint-type visual support (50%)

This takes the form of an assessment-centre type exercise, in which students are given a set of documents one week before the scheduled exam, and are asked to analyse it formally and thematically.

  • Written Coursework (50%)

Using a document set by the module tutor, students complete three tasks, in Spanish, on topics covered in the module. This assesses ability to write accurate and appropriate Spanish, demonstrate knowledge and understanding of topics covered, within a limited time frame. Tasks could include summary writing, synthesis, literature review-type writing, designing a structured analytical outline, paraphrasing extracts from the text, and text analysis. The set document will usually be a research article/official document of about 10 pages or 8,000-10,000 words.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative assessment is central to the module, which is centred on individual, group and whole-class production tasks.

  • All students are expected to take part in a group mock for the oral presentation, providing valuable opportunities for peer- and self-review, as well as feedback from the module leader.

  • Verbal feedback is delivered in class and individual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • The module's overall aims are: to enable students to communicate fluently and accurately in speech and in writing, and
    to use the target language appropriately in a range of academic and professional contexts
  • to be able to synthesise, summarise and present an informed opinion on a range topical issues, both in speech and in
    writing, in the target language
  • to foster the ability to deliver complex oral and written presentations at a very high level and under time pressure

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will: understand and use with confidence advanced grammatical/syntactical structures in Spanish KCPT
002 Undertake research across a broad range of media, produce a synthesis of information and develop informed critical perspectives on a given topic relating to contemporary societal challenges KCPT
003 Perform advanced writing and speaking tasks in sophisticated Spanish: summaries of long written, audio and visual sources, critical source analysis, paraphrasis, etc KCPT
004 Express their informed opinions (orally and in writing) in accurate, appropriate and specialised Spanish on topical issues arising across the Spanish-speaking world and globally, such as the ethics of living and working in hyperconnected societies, environmental sustainability and the preservation of cultural diversity KCPT
005 Deliver proficient and confident recorded presentations in Spanish on complex topics, demonstrating a purposeful use of visual tools such as PowerPoint and recording platforms, within a limited time-frame KCPT
006 Recognise and understand cultural differences in approaches to topical issues such as language preservation, climate crises and the impacts of social networks across the Spanish-speaking world, evidencing a high degree of cultural awareness KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy will enable students to:

  • develop their language skills as a medium for proficient and specialised understanding, expression and communication, through listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language

  • acquire explicit knowledge of the linguistic structures, grammar, terminology and stylistic registers through attending classes and reading in the target language

  • work and learn independently, , through small group classes, group work, reading and preparing different tasks outside contact hours and through participating in seminars

  • develop research skills, through reading and presenting findings, through class participation and in the written assignment

  • gain confidence in preparing and performing complex language-based tasks, through opportunities for anonymous participation and formative assessment throughout the term

  • engage in analytical and evaluative thinking, to analyse and interpret texts and other cultural products, through attending classes and engaging in individual study

  • develop communication skills through interactions in class

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Two contact hours per week over Semester 1.

  • Classes consist exclusively of interactive seminars; flipped classroom methods are used to maximise class time and student engagement.Students are expected to read extensively outside classes in order to follow and participate in seminars.

  • Student-led approaches: classes are structured around the students' work, with structured tasks focused on assessment preparation and support for dissertation writing.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SPA3024

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability is at the heart of this module, which was designed and amended with student input, with a focus on 1) consolidating the communication skills developed through the professional training year; 2) preparing students for careers using Languages and for highly competitive graduate scheme recruitment tasks. In addition to the advanced oral and written proficiency and extensive research capabilities, the key employability skills honed by this module include: working under time pressure to deliver complex research-based tasks, creating and delivering online and recorded presentations on specialised topics, acquiring and using specialist terminology in the context of critical analyses.

This, in turn, requires advanced Digital Capabilities, which are prominent in both the teaching and learning methods of the module and its outcomes. Students learn to use and critically assess a wide range of online resources, drawn from academic databases but also the mass media, social networks, para-academic websites, podcasts and platforms such as YouTube. These resources are used in class most weeksand discussed critically individually and as a group. This is extended by the module's standing thematic focus on 'Social networks and their societal impacts', which is one of the two broad themes structuring the module in each iteration and providing the topic of one of the module's two assignments. This broad theme includes sub-themes such as fake news and possible ways of countering them, the psychosocial impacts of social media uses, and social media as platforms of democratic engagement. Lastly, students' digital capabilities are greatly extended by the first assignment, a recorded presentation which develops and assesses their proficiency in designing and delivering engaging recorded material, reflecting the digital turn of the academic and professional worlds as a result of the pandemic.

Sustainability is the module's second core theme, and is also the basis for one of the module's two assignments. Various aspects of sustainability are explored, such as cultural/ linguistic preservation in the Spanish-speaking world, environmental crises and ecological mobilisations, as well as the societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Hispanic world. This working theme encourages students to consider sustainability within the context of their degree in Spanish.

Global and Cultural Capabilities are by definition central to a degree in Modern Languages, and the module content and delivery are continuously revised for each iteration in order to decolonise the curriculum, by incorporating reading and reflection on the global Hispanic world . The theme of cultural preservation and a general emphasis on communicating across different cultures are also foregrounded in the documents the students work with and in the module aims.

Resourcefulness and Resilience are requirements as well as objectives for this module. Being able to deliver at this advanced level in terms of skills, theoretical engagement and linguistic performance requires sustained work from students within and outside the module. A great deal of independent work in a wide range of demanding new tasks is essential to ensure progress and the successful completion of the module. The module is delivered in the first semester of L6, when most students return from a year-long PTY abroad and start working towards their dissertations. In this, the module both articulates and contributes to a clear and coherent learning journey that connects past and present modules and the learning experiences acquired therein. The module is intended to support students, but also requires a proactive and methodical approach to the ongoing tasks that will hone intellectual and professional self-confidence and stamina. The problem-based and timelimited assessments of this module will develop agile thinking and acting. The mock oral assessment (and the formative tutor-student and peer-peer feedback that features throughout the module) offers a low-stakes opportunity to experiment, test, and potentially fail and to learn from this experience and improve.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (Spanish with German) BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and Spanish BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.