Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies


Learn the Catalan language, or explore Catalan culture and society.

Choose from language courses for complete beginners and more experienced speakers, or learn about Catalan culture and society through film, literature and art from 1900 through to the present day.

You can take Catalan courses in your first and second years of undergraduate study.

There are four to choose from, and all four courses are Level 8 and give you 20 credits.

Catalan Language 1 

Course code: ELCH08021 SCQF: Level 8, 20 credits Language level: beginner Year taken: 1 or 2 Duration: full year  

Catalan Language 2

Course code: ELCH08024 SCQF: Level 8, 20 credits Language level: CEFR A1+ Year taken: 1 or 2 Duration: full year  

Our language courses start at complete beginner (Catalan Language 1) and allow you to progress to being an independent user of the language (Catalan Language 2). Using a flipped classroom approach, you will gain a basic grounding in written and spoken Catalan, including through reading and listening to the language.   

You'll engage with Catalan culture and explore the linguistic differences within the Catalan-speaking areas, such as Barcelona, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Both courses are 100% coursework assessed with an emphasis on small group learning. You will take part in online quizzes, complete written assignments and give oral presentations.

Studying Catalan language and culture has certainly been a highlight of my university experience. I took the courses in my second year and both of them were highly engaging. I was then lucky enough to secure a place at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona for my third year (my year abroad). Whilst in Barcelona, my grasp of the language and cultural understanding were exceptionally useful and allowed me to engage with the people there in an amazing way. Catalans are the best and I would recommend studying Catalan to all students and especially to those who study Spanish or French.

Final year student, Spanish and English Literature MA (Hons)

Catalan Culture and Society 1: From 1900 to 1975

Course code: ELCH08023 SCQF: Level 8, 20 credits Period covered: 1900 to 1975 Year taken: 1 or 2 Duration: full year

Catalan Culture and Society 2: From 1975 to the Present

Course code: ELCH08022 SCQF: Level 8, 20 credits Period covered: 1975 to present Year taken: 1 or 2 Duration: full year

Our cultural courses are an interdisciplinary survey of the society and politics of the Catalan-speaking world from the start of the 20th century to the present day. The first course (Catalan Culture and Society 1) takes you from 1900 to the end of Franco's dictatorship in the 1970s. The second course (Catalan Culture and Society 2) looks at what has happened from the beginning of the democratic period to now.

You will explore culture and society through key pieces of art and architecture, a novel, poetry and short stories, songs and film. All materials are in translation - you do not need to speak Catalan to engage with them. Themes will include the modernist confrontation between the individual and society, political resistance and tensions, gender identity, immigration and much more.

I took the beginners’ language course two years ago and enjoyed it so much that I have continued learning independently ever since. The classes are a safe space to practise speaking, as everyone is a novice and excited to learn a new skill. You will cover many aspects of Catalan culture and be supported all the way by dedicated and patient staff.

Catalan Language 1 learner

How to sign up

You sign up for a Catalan course through the School at the University of Edinburgh in which your degree programme is based. For example, the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

The process is the same as for any of your other courses, so usually you’ll go through a Student Adviser.