Spanish and Spanish American Studies have grown enormously in British universities in recent decades, largely as a result of a general appreciation of the importance of Spanish as a world language and of the diversity of the cultures of Hispanic origin, including in the USA. The Sub-faculty of Spanish at Oxford is one of the largest teaching units of Hispanic studies in the United Kingdom, and its intake of both undergraduates and postgraduates has expanded in response to the general expansion of the subject at university level. The Sub-faculty is also dedicated to promoting Spain’s minority languages and is one of the very few universities in the UK to offer teaching and research opportunities in Galician studies, under the auspices of the Centre for Galician Studies. It also receives funding from the Catalan government for a Generalitat Teaching Fellowship in Catalan.
The Sub-faculty enjoys a flourishing research culture in which its traditional strengths in medieval and Golden-Age literature, and also in the history of the language and linguistics, are complemented by its research strengths in the modern and contemporary literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The vigorous growth of Spanish has been recognised by the University in recent years through the award of a number of new posts in the Sub-faculty.
The undergraduate course at Oxford reflects the diversity and richness of the languages and the cultures of Spain as well as of the South and Central American countries. Most undergraduates coming up to read Spanish at Oxford will also be studying another modern language. Spanish can be studied on its own as a single language, in combination with another language, or in one of the various Joint Schools (with Linguistics, English, History, Philosophy, a classical language, or a Middle-Eastern language). The degree course normally lasts four years and includes a year abroad, which may be spent studying at a university (or teaching English) in Spain or another Spanish-speaking country.