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International Relations with Spanish or History?

Hi all, I really want to study IR at uni with either history (has always been my passion and I enjoy the modern parts, as well as it tying in nice with IR) or Spanish (definitely my favourite subject in year 12 and I love the language and would like to live in Latin America at some point). Or I could just do standalone IR and try and do little bits of Spanish and History as I go. Would love to do a placement year also. Any advice anyone?
If you did International Relations with Spanish I'm pretty sure it'd be a 4 year course with the opportunity to work/study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. I'd say look at different university courses to see exactly what you could do with either of these two combos.

I'm sorry I can't give anymore advice. Best of luck :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by hyacinth77
If you did International Relations with Spanish I'm pretty sure it'd be a 4 year course with the opportunity to work/study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. I'd say look at different university courses to see exactly what you could do with either of these two combos.

I'm sorry I can't give anymore advice. Best of luck :smile:

Thanks for your help, I have already looked extensively at many courses with both combos and still can't make it my mind. At a lot of unis they often have a language learning center (eg Leeds) so I suppose I could do Spanish in my free time. I'm just struggling to write my Personal Statement if I try and put all three subjects in.
Original post by ciaomao
Thanks for your help, I have already looked extensively at many courses with both combos and still can't make it my mind. At a lot of unis they often have a language learning center (eg Leeds) so I suppose I could do Spanish in my free time. I'm just struggling to write my Personal Statement if I try and put all three subjects in.


Language learning centres tend to be for people who want to learn a language from scratch, but I haven't actually looked very much into them so please take that with a pinch of salt. It's up to you but if you're still unsure I'd suggest talking to your parents, family and friends. For now maybe write two drafts of your personal statement and see which one you prefer?
Reply 4
Original post by hyacinth77
Language learning centres tend to be for people who want to learn a language from scratch, but I haven't actually looked very much into them so please take that with a pinch of salt. It's up to you but if you're still unsure I'd suggest talking to your parents, family and friends. For now maybe write two drafts of your personal statement and see which one you prefer?

Good Idea. You think there is any chance I could write a personal statement with all three? Like a paragraph on history (linking to IR, eg how history affects IR today idk) and one on Latin American IR for example (and saying I would like to continue studying Spanish as either part of my degree or in my spare time)? I'm afraid this might be a bad idea as the unis may think I am indecisive (I am hahaha)
Original post by ciaomao
Good Idea. You think there is any chance I could write a personal statement with all three? Like a paragraph on history (linking to IR, eg how history affects IR today idk) and one on Latin American IR for example (and saying I would like to continue studying Spanish as either part of my degree or in my spare time)? I'm afraid this might be a bad idea as the unis may think I am indecisive (I am hahaha)

I'd say not to do that. I had a similar problem when I couldn't decide whether to do Spanish with French or Linguistics or maybe Philosophy. My first few drafts ended up being all higgledy-piggledy and I had to make a final firm decision to apply for Spanish with French (which I've never studied before so good luck to me haha)

Regardless I'd mention your interest in Spanish and the languages influence- maybe talk about your interest in Latin American politics if you're into that. But please don't mix it all in because it screams the message "Aaah I don't know what I want to study!"

Best of luck :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by hyacinth77
I'd say not to do that. I had a similar problem when I couldn't decide whether to do Spanish with French or Linguistics or maybe Philosophy. My first few drafts ended up being all higgledy-piggledy and I had to make a final firm decision to apply for Spanish with French (which I've never studied before so good luck to me haha)

Regardless I'd mention your interest in Spanish and the languages influence- maybe talk about your interest in Latin American politics if you're into that. But please don't mix it all in because it screams the message "Aaah I don't know what I want to study!"

Best of luck :smile:

Good plan, thanks for your help. I've got a solid intro down just need to figure out what else to write haha. Best of luck with your Spanish and French, what unis have you firmed or applied to or whatever?
have you considered a scottish university? the curriculum here allows it so that you can take three different subjects in first year, which would give you more time to decide on which you prefer. typically at least two of them need to be from the same faculty so if you're interested in this idea then do a bit of research and see which of those three subjects are most competitive or compatible - for example, when i applied to edinburgh i was stuck between their history, politics, and IR courses, so i put down IR as their website said it would be hard to opt into afterwards having not selected it on UCAS initially.

otherwise, it is definitely possible to write a personal statement with all three, but it requires laser focus, zero waffling, and absolute conviction and clarity to be able to convince the admissions team of your love for not one, not two, but three subjects, and how when put together they interest you. i'm not an expert but imo talking about latin american history or IR is a great idea, particularly if you're applying for a course with latin american modules or even a full focus - i also applied to hispol of the americas at UCL and had a whole paragraph about my passion for american history. again this is just my personal experience so don't take my word as gospel!
Reply 8
Original post by franklyfruity
have you considered a scottish university? the curriculum here allows it so that you can take three different subjects in first year, which would give you more time to decide on which you prefer. typically at least two of them need to be from the same faculty so if you're interested in this idea then do a bit of research and see which of those three subjects are most competitive or compatible - for example, when i applied to edinburgh i was stuck between their history, politics, and IR courses, so i put down IR as their website said it would be hard to opt into afterwards having not selected it on UCAS initially.

otherwise, it is definitely possible to write a personal statement with all three, but it requires laser focus, zero waffling, and absolute conviction and clarity to be able to convince the admissions team of your love for not one, not two, but three subjects, and how when put together they interest you. i'm not an expert but imo talking about latin american history or IR is a great idea, particularly if you're applying for a course with latin american modules or even a full focus - i also applied to hispol of the americas at UCL and had a whole paragraph about my passion for american history. again this is just my personal experience so don't take my word as gospel!

Hi yes I have looked a little at Strathclyde uni, so I might apply to there but obviously at some point I am probably gonna need to choose a mix or just stick to one combo as I am not interested in applying to 5 Scottish Unis, might look at Edinburgh too thanks. The problem I came across was with Leeds honestly and I love the look of their IR and Languages course and it kinda made me want to jump ship from history and IR which I had initially wanted to do. I feel like I could definitely write more about Spanish in my PS, not that I couldn't write much about history because I love history aha, but I've volunteered as a teaching assistant for year 7 Spanish class for a year now so it would be a waste not to put that in their (either in the paragraph about Spanish or in the extra-curriculars I suppose). I love the IR + Modern History course at UEA a lot honestly as it has some cold war modules (my fav aha) and allows you to do language modules which would allow me to carry on with Spanish. Honestly, I might just be overthinking the whole thing and trying to decide my course based on what I can write in my PS :'(
Original post by ciaomao
Good plan, thanks for your help. I've got a solid intro down just need to figure out what else to write haha. Best of luck with your Spanish and French, what unis have you firmed or applied to or whatever?

Hey, no problem!
My initial predictions were a bit rubbish (BBB) and it took a lot of pushing my parents to let me apply to universities that were further away.
So my five options were
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Kent
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Nottingham
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Reading
Modern Languages (French and Spanish at Queen Mary
Spanish and Latin American Studies at UCL- I fit the contextual offer :smile:

I ended up with four offers, minus UCL (they decided to have me wait six months before rejecting me) For context, I deferred from the beginning so all of these options were applied for to start in September 2023.
I ended up firming Queen Mary and insuring Reading (the grades are the exact same so if I don't get BBB I'm finished). Looking back now I wish I was more stubborn in applying for universities further up north like York or even Edinburgh. I really like the Scottish university system and I feel like it would've been super cool to study something I could then incorporate into my degree in the last two years of uni. Quite frankly I don't really like my firm or my insurance, and I'm willing to apply again as it's relatively easy to get offers for Modern Languages (after all hardly anyone studies it)

But I don't know where I want to study to be quite honest with you :frown:
I'm on a gap year from now till next August so hopefully I can reapply and go to a university I'm at least a bit passionate about.

Hope this helps :smile:
Original post by ciaomao
Hi all, I really want to study IR at uni with either history (has always been my passion and I enjoy the modern parts, as well as it tying in nice with IR) or Spanish (definitely my favourite subject in year 12 and I love the language and would like to live in Latin America at some point). Or I could just do standalone IR and try and do little bits of Spanish and History as I go. Would love to do a placement year also. Any advice anyone?

Have you considered courses under the heading of Liberal Arts, such as:

https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/la01/

You might also find something under the general label of Combined Honours.
Reply 11
Original post by hyacinth77
Hey, no problem!
My initial predictions were a bit rubbish (BBB) and it took a lot of pushing my parents to let me apply to universities that were further away.
So my five options were
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Kent
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Nottingham
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at University of Reading
Modern Languages (French and Spanish at Queen Mary
Spanish and Latin American Studies at UCL- I fit the contextual offer :smile:

I ended up with four offers, minus UCL (they decided to have me wait six months before rejecting me) For context, I deferred from the beginning so all of these options were applied for to start in September 2023.
I ended up firming Queen Mary and insuring Reading (the grades are the exact same so if I don't get BBB I'm finished). Looking back now I wish I was more stubborn in applying for universities further up north like York or even Edinburgh. I really like the Scottish university system and I feel like it would've been super cool to study something I could then incorporate into my degree in the last two years of uni. Quite frankly I don't really like my firm or my insurance, and I'm willing to apply again as it's relatively easy to get offers for Modern Languages (after all hardly anyone studies it)

But I don't know where I want to study to be quite honest with you :frown:
I'm on a gap year from now till next August so hopefully I can reapply and go to a university I'm at least a bit passionate about.

Hope this helps :smile:

Good luck with your reapplying! You should definitely retry for UCL, such a beautiful uni with so much history. If they did IR I would for sure put that in my top 5. I'm from up north and am definitely looking at York to apply to (for standalone IR), as I love the city very much and visit often. Good luck with your French and Spanish, idk my predicted grades yet but I got BBC at my working at and I'm hoping for AAB for predicted.
Reply 12
Original post by ageshallnot
Have you considered courses under the heading of Liberal Arts, such as:

https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/la01/

You might also find something under the general label of Combined Honours.


Thanks for this, I'll definitely have a look at some of these courses of combined honours. Don't think I'd ever get into Durham though aha
Original post by ciaomao
Hi yes I have looked a little at Strathclyde uni, so I might apply to there but obviously at some point I am probably gonna need to choose a mix or just stick to one combo as I am not interested in applying to 5 Scottish Unis, might look at Edinburgh too thanks. The problem I came across was with Leeds honestly and I love the look of their IR and Languages course and it kinda made me want to jump ship from history and IR which I had initially wanted to do. I feel like I could definitely write more about Spanish in my PS, not that I couldn't write much about history because I love history aha, but I've volunteered as a teaching assistant for year 7 Spanish class for a year now so it would be a waste not to put that in their (either in the paragraph about Spanish or in the extra-curriculars I suppose). I love the IR + Modern History course at UEA a lot honestly as it has some cold war modules (my fav aha) and allows you to do language modules which would allow me to carry on with Spanish. Honestly, I might just be overthinking the whole thing and trying to decide my course based on what I can write in my PS :'(

if you really love the Leeds course then i would say go for it! provided you've done enough research into the modules to ensure you'd enjoy it, and that you're happy with the uni and location itself, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing your mind. i'd say that ultimately the courses trump your personal statement - yes, you need the PS to get the acceptance, but there's no point in tailoring your PS to get into a course you're not 100% happy with if you know you'd have had more fun somewhere else. also i applied for mixtures of history/politics/IR and i still managed to shoehorn in the fact that i'd peer tutored an english class lmao as long as you can relate what you've done to necessary skills relevant to the course then it doesn't matter. you've still got ages to decide so don't stress too much, i'd probably say to have a think about what it is about the Leeds and UEA courses that you enjoy so much and then try and look for those things, if that makes any sense?
Reply 14
Original post by franklyfruity
if you really love the Leeds course then i would say go for it! provided you've done enough research into the modules to ensure you'd enjoy it, and that you're happy with the uni and location itself, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing your mind. i'd say that ultimately the courses trump your personal statement - yes, you need the PS to get the acceptance, but there's no point in tailoring your PS to get into a course you're not 100% happy with if you know you'd have had more fun somewhere else. also i applied for mixtures of history/politics/IR and i still managed to shoehorn in the fact that i'd peer tutored an english class lmao as long as you can relate what you've done to necessary skills relevant to the course then it doesn't matter. you've still got ages to decide so don't stress too much, i'd probably say to have a think about what it is about the Leeds and UEA courses that you enjoy so much and then try and look for those things, if that makes any sense?

Hi, thank you for the reassurance. I've got a few open days booked for UEA, York, Leeds and Loughborough, so maybe I'll look around and see which I like best. The courses at UEA and Lboro are both history and IR and I like the look of them both tbf especially the UEA course and Lboro as a Uni itself. The fact that I can study languages in my free time is also something that has pushed me a bit towards history as both UEA, York and Lboro do language courses outside of the degree. With IR though there is already some opportunities to study modern history so not sure if it's worth doing IR with history specifically whereas I could be doing Spanish instead. So yeah, definitely going to have to think about it and visit some unis! Thanks again :smile: and will definitely try and shoehorn the Spanish class thing into my PS haha.
Original post by ciaomao
Hi yes I have looked a little at Strathclyde uni, so I might apply to there but obviously at some point I am probably gonna need to choose a mix or just stick to one combo as I am not interested in applying to 5 Scottish Unis, might look at Edinburgh too thanks. The problem I came across was with Leeds honestly and I love the look of their IR and Languages course and it kinda made me want to jump ship from history and IR which I had initially wanted to do. I feel like I could definitely write more about Spanish in my PS, not that I couldn't write much about history because I love history aha, but I've volunteered as a teaching assistant for year 7 Spanish class for a year now so it would be a waste not to put that in their (either in the paragraph about Spanish or in the extra-curriculars I suppose). I love the IR + Modern History course at UEA a lot honestly as it has some cold war modules (my fav aha) and allows you to do language modules which would allow me to carry on with Spanish. Honestly, I might just be overthinking the whole thing and trying to decide my course based on what I can write in my PS :'(

Hi @ciaomao :h:

How are you getting on with looking at unis? I must say it's a really good thing that you are thinking about what you want to study course wise in so much depth, I think that is really important. Personal statements can be intimidating and stressful but just stay focused on what you're passionate about throughout the entire application and decision making process.

If you have any questions or queries about UEA, or being a student in Norwich at all then please do feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to help. Wishing you the very best of luck with your applications!

Danielle :smile:
Film and Television Studies

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