A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Qualification Level(s)

Available as:

  • AS level (One year)
  • A level (Two years)

Course Description

A popular and accessible language, Spanish is spoken by 400 million around the world as their mother tongue. This is around 6% of the world population and ranks just ahead of English! Boost your employment prospects in many areas such as tourism and business.

Grade 6 or above in GCSE Spanish and grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language.

Please note – we will offer A Level Spanish provided we recruit sufficient numbers on the course.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will be evaluated on a listening assessment based on a recording featuring Spanish speakers and a reading assessment on varieties of text types and genres. You will also learn how to translate a previously unseen passage from Spanish to English and in reverse. You will study literary texts like El Coronel no Tiene Quien le Escriba (1961) or films like Voces Inocentes (2004). Spoken assessment is on themes; The Impact of Tourism on Spain, Festivals, Fiestas, Costumes and Traditions or the Spanish Civil War.

The communication skills of listening and responding in Spanish, and reading and writing in Spanish will all be practised, developed and tested during the course. Due to the nature of language learning, you must be prepared to put in a significant amount of private study to consolidate and practise these skills. This would ideally double the amount of time spent in class and includes practice work in grammar and learning a wide vocabulary.

There are three papers at the end of the course:

  • Paper 1 is listening and reading, responding in Spanish and a translation into English task.
  • Paper 2 is writing – this is made up of two essays about the film and/or book we study, plus a translation into Spanish.
  • Paper 3 is speaking – this is made up of questions and a discussion around aspects of Spanish society, and an individual study project and discussion of your findings. At AS Level this discussion would reflect themes studied in the year of the course.

Make the most of your developing academic skills by participating in the E6 Programme which will prepare you for life after College. You will be able to join in an Enterprise project, undertake an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) or discover the world and how you can contribute in it by volunteering through the National Citizenship Service. These are excellent additions to your CV or university application.

Universities very much value language skills but there is no universal entry requirement that students must have studied a modern foreign language at GCSE or equivalent. However, there are, of course, specific requirements for studies at degree level which include languages, so we strongly encourage students to check universities’ websites for details of these.

There is a wide variety of roles in which a language is considered useful, beneficial or essential; e.g. Broadcast journalist, Customs and Excise employment, Diplomatic service officer, English as a foreign language teacher, International aid/development worker, Logistics and distribution manager.

Speaking exams, which are recorded and externally marked, take place in May, and the listening, reading and writing components take place as part of the A Level exams cycle in June.