What courses? Spanish; Hispanic studies (often offered as part of a joint honours degree with a multitude of other subjects)

What do you come out with? BA

Why do it? "Studying Spanish in order to learn the language? This and much more: 400 million speakers, most of them living in Latin America and also many in the USA. At university one can find out how immigrants in the USA speak 'Spanglish'; that South America has a vibrant cinema scene, or one can learn about the mysterious Incas of Peru. 'Spanish' means so many different ways of expressing oneself and of living as well as learning, how to approach different themes and the disciplines used to study them. And of course, all this variety opens up just as many professional opportunities, e.g. publicity, museums, management, publishing." - Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Saenz, senior lecturer in Latin American studies at the University of Stirling

What’s it about? The language, literature and culture of Spain; discovering in excess the erotic paintings of Salvador Dalí, the architecture of Gaudi, bull-fighting and the musical flavour of flamenco dancing. The course structure tends to be a healthy mix of literature and language. The first year at most places is a foundation year in which you will learn about key elements of the literature, film, history and society of the Spanish-speaking world. After this your options broaden and you’ll have the chance to pursue interests in Latin American studies and you can even take up modules in Catalan or Portuguese. Lively discussions and debates will form a lot of the practical elements of the degree where you’ll be able to discuss and learn about current and topical issues. A year abroad in your third year will be a fundamental part of your study; expect lots of oral classes in preparation to brush up on those speaking skills!

Study options: A degree usually lasts four years, one of which is spent abroad. Common year abroad options include studying at a Spanish or Mexican university or working as a teaching assistant in Spain or Latin America.

What will I need to do it? Oxford wants three As at A-level, including an A in Spanish; no surprise there. Durham asks for AAB and Cardiff and Lancaster want ABB. A level Spanish is essential for post A level courses but beginners’ courses in Spanish usually require another modern language at A level.

What are my job prospects? Graduates go into business, translating, teaching, law, the media and further education. According to The Times’ Good University Guide 2012, 65 per cent of graduates are in graduate-level jobs or further study within six months of completing their undergrad, while only 6 per cent are unemployed. Expect a starting salary of around £20,500.

Where’s best to do it? Oxford came top of the Complete University Guide 2012, closely followed by Cambridge, Durham and St Andrews. Student satisfaction was highest at Northumbria (which only offers Spanish as part of a joint degree with either English or European studies), Cambridge (as part of their modern and medieval languages programme) and Oxford.

Related degrees: Italian; German; French; English; Celtic and Gaelic studies; Chinese; Arabic and Middle Eastern studies; African studies.

people And here is why...
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?