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Spanish AS & A Level at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

Studying Spanish is more than doing a language to go on is linked to the understanding of societies, cultures and the economy. In other words, it will help you to understand the world you live in.

This course offers you the opportunity to become competent in the language but, equally important, it will provide you with skills that employers look for: critical thinking and problem solving, excellent memory capacity, a global outlook, intercultural competence, a great team player. You will stand out from the crowd for a good reason!

In Spanish A Level you study a range of cutting edge topics through the practice of the four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing). You learn about the world around whilst you develop further your research skills and analitical skills. You will have many opportunities to practice your abilities in class and through a range of visits and partnerships. 

Course content

Advanced Subsidiary [AS]

The structure of this course has recently changed.

The first year is a stand-alone one year linear course co-taught with A-level.The A-level is a two-year linear course with all assessments at the end of Year 2.

Year 1 content (2016-17)

You will study:

  • one theme from social issues and trends, for example cyberspace or equal rights
  • one theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture, for example celebrity cult or historical places
  • one book or film
  • grammar

You can then decide whether to continue straight to A-level with no exam, sit the first year exams for an AS-level qualification or sit AS-level exams and decide whether or not to continue to A-level.

Year 2 content (2017-18)

A-level students study:

  • a further theme from social issues and trends, for example racism
  • a further theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture, for example social movements
  • one book (or if book studied in Year 1, one film or a second book)
  • grammar
  • individual research project

Both the A-level and the AS-level include an element of translation both ways.

You can choose to progress to the full Advanced Level [A2] in the second year of study and the topics covered are:

  • The environment
  • The multicultural society
  • Contemporary social issues
  • Two cultural topics: a director, a writer, etc

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE’s at Grades A*-C or at point 4-9 (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and will count as 1 GCSE equivalent.
  • GCSE Spanish grade B/ point 6 or above.
  • Spanish spoken at home or direct Hispanic connections


The four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking - are assessed by examination. We do not do any coursework.  We carry out regular mock assessments so that you become very familiar with the exam format (see samples below) and you always know the grade you are working at.

Future opportunities

There are many misconceptions about where studying a language might take you.  Some people think that the only jobs available to you if you study Spanish will be teaching, translating or interpreting. 

There are plenty of other opportunities in a large variety of fields such as diplomacy and national security, medicine and engineering.  By studying Spanish you will develop key skills such as the ability to build relationships in and across borders, critical thinking and problem solving, a global outlook and intercultural confidence. Businesses and organisations not only want to recruit people who talk a language, but they want to recruit people who have a deeper understanding of foreign environments and practices and who are first-class communicators, particularly if the communication is hard-to-reach!

Further information

There are opportunities throughout the year to go on trips to the cinema, theatre, universities and conferences. We also do extra-curricular activities, such as talks, workshops, support sessions and celebrate special dates in the calendar.

Some students choose to go on a work experience placement, intensive course or exchange in Spain. All these activities will add to your learning experience and will help you to forge friendships. They are also a great asset for your university application or if you are seeking employement or an apprenticeship.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

Key information