Take Spanish at UCC!

Spanish is one of the world’s most important languages – learn it and become part of a global community.

The Dept of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies is an Associate Centre of the Instituto Cervantes and offers a wide range of courses for students at all levels. 

If you’re a complete beginner and would like to learn Spanish, choose from:

If you already have some Spanish and would like to learn more, we have a range of evening courses for students at intermediate and advanced levels.

If you have some knowledge of Spanish and would like to get further academic training, why not think about the Higher Diploma in Arts (Hispanic Studies). This course will give you 60 credits of subjects in Hispanic Studies in one academic year and qualify you to degree level.

If you already have a degree in Spanish from UCC or elsewhere, why not think about one of our postgraduate options:

MA in Hispanic Studies 

MRes in Hispanic Studies 

MA in Translation Studies



All our degree options include Study Abroad with a range of partner institutions and you can also register to take the internationally recognized DELE exams run by the Instituto Cervantes.


Portuguese Studies

Take Portuguese in UCC!

For full details on all courses, go to our Portuguese website: Portuguese in UCC

Introduced by the late Professor Foley in the 1980s, Portuguese will be available for the first time as a subject in the BA in UCC from 2012.

Students have the choice of studying Portuguese through the BA and BA International, or as part of the subject of Hispanic Studies.

Students also have the opportunity to study at the University of Coimbra in Portugal  

From September 2012, students will also be able to register for Portuguese as part of the new Certificate in Languages and Certificate in Arts programmes.

Why study Portuguese?

As a result of its growing prominence as world language, Portuguese is a highly marketable skill, especially in the areas of commerce, engineering, health, translation and tourism.

Portuguese is an official language of the European Union and MERCOSUR - the economic alliance between several South American countries, including Brazil. Rapidly becoming one of the world’s leading economies, Brazil is already a leader in the areas of medicine, technology and energy, and will host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Spoken by 180 million people across four continents, Portuguese is also the official language of Angola, Mozambique, São Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Timor, co-official language in Macau, and, to a lesser degree, Portuguese speakers in Goa.

Portuguese-speaking Angola is rich in natural resources like oil and diamonds, and the country is often referred to as the African Kuwait Australian neighbour, East Timor, is also rich in oil and natural gas, but owes its quick economic growth to gold.

Portuguese has a rich and diverse history

For more information please contact


Galician Studies

Take Galician at UCC!

Galician Language and Galician Cultural Studies are available as options for both second and final year undergraduate students. Since 2009 there has also been a Galician section in the module HS2008 Business, Culture and Society in Spain and Portugal, specifically designed for students of the BComm International degree. In addition, the department offers the possibility of studying Galician literature at postgraduate level and welcomes any student who wishes to pursue postgraduate studies in Galician Studies, at both Masters and Ph.D levels. 

For a full list of available modules, see the Book of Modules


Why take Galician?

Galician is Galicia’s own language, one more of the languages that blossomed in southern Europe, in this case from the evolution of Latin in the roman province of Gallaecia. It was altered over time by the different peoples that lived there and by posterior political and social events. Modern Galician and Portuguese have many elements in common. In fact, they were originally the same language, which became the preferred language for poetry in the whole Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages.

After a long period called Os séculos Escuros [The Dark Centuries], in which the dominance of Spanish in the highest circles of life was almost complete, Galician culture was renewed with the Rexurdimento. This cultural movement started with Rosalía de Castro and the publication of her book Cantares gallegos (1863), which opened a new era of resistance and survival for Galician Language.

Nowadays Galician language is an official language together with Spanish and is the vehicle, among other cultural expressions, of a strong literary movement and inseparable part of Galician identity.



The Irish Centre for Galician Studies was established in 1998 by mutual agreement between University College Cork and the Galician autonomous government, Xunta de Galicia. The main objective of the Irish Centre for Galician Studies is to promote and disseminate Galician language and culture through teaching and the development of an active programme of cultural and research activities. for more information:





Catalan Studies

Take Catalan at UCC!

In the Dept of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies here at UCC, we have two lecturers who are experts in different aspects of Catalan culture - Helena Buffery and Stephen Boyd - as well as a Catalan-government sponsored language teacher. We are the only university in Ireland that has research-led teaching in Catalan Studies. You can learn the Catalan language in the second and final year of your degree, as well as study aspects of Catalan culture in optional courses about the different Catalan-speaking communities or urban space and identity in Barcelona. We also offer postgraduate modules in Catalan language, history, art, literature, cinema and performance, and organise public seminars and events about the Catalan-speaking regions. The Department is an official examining centre for International Catalan Exams [CIC].

For a full list of available modules, see the Book of Modules


Why study Catalan?

Watch the video below, "El català, llengua per a tothom" (Catalan, a language for everybody) to learn how modern, competitive and open to the world Catalan language is.

Have you ever been to Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Majorca (Mallorca) or Ibiza (Eivissa)? Have you ever admired Antoni Gaudí's architecture, or paintings by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró?

Have you watched Barcelona Football Club play? Do you know the Catalan Dragons or Perpignan's rugby union team USAP? Do you enjoy a glass of Freixenet cava or Estrella beer? Have you tried a Valencian paellaPatates braves? Garlic mayonnaise (allioli)?

If you've done any of these things, then you already know something about Catalan culture. In fact, you can probably already say a few words in the language. So why not come and learn more?

Like Spanish, Catalan is a Romance language spoken in eastern Spain, mainly in Catalonia and Valencia and also the Balearic Islands and parts of eastern Aragon. During the Middle Ages, it spread through trade and conquest to many parts of the Mediterranean. It is the official language of Andorra and continues to be spoken in parts of southern France (Rousillion) and in Alghero in Sardinia. Today it is a language that has co-official status in the Spanish regions in which it is spoken; it is claimed to have over 9 million speakers, and is widely used in all spheres of activity (from daily home life to education, literature, the media, sport and business). The language is especially prominent in Catalonia, where it is actively promoted by the Catalan government. Learning Catalan is an advantage if you want to live or work in the region, whether in Barcelona, along the coast or in the mountain resorts of the Pyrenees. 

As well as boasting many popular destinations for holiday-makers, the Catalan-speaking territories are culturally and commercially vibrant, with many internationally renowned writers, architects, artists,  performers and film-makers, and global brands like Mango, Torres, Estrella Damm, Freixenet, and F.C. Barcelona, amongst others. UCC has links with a variety of universities where you can continue to learn about Catalan culture, including the University of Barcelona, the University of Valencia and the University of Alicante (Alacant).


Here are some useful links where you can find out more:


Catalan Language:


Multilingual dictionary: 

20 chapters to learn Catalan:


Games in Catalan

Living in Catalunya: Vocabulary in Pictures


Catalan Culture


Catalan Press:




Theatres and Performance Groups:



For more information please contact Dr. Helena Buffery

Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

First Floor - Block B East O'Rahilly Building University College Cork Ireland