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The European Space for Higher Education believes that the English language use is a basic cross competency in any discipline, and especially important within the Health Sciences. The aims of this study were to describe the characteristics of English language training in the Bachelor of Nursing at three universities in Andalusia: Huelva, Cadiz and Cordoba and to get a better understanding of the students´ motivation, needs and expectations regarding English language learning at university level.

A descriptive cross-sectional observational study has been performed during the academic year 2012-13. The inclusion criterion was to be enrolled in the third year of Nursing Degree in selected universities. Two instruments were used for data collection. The first part consists of a comparative analysis of the Nursing Degree study plan of each university included. The analysis tool used for the comparison was observation grid which sets out the units to be evaluated consisting of seven categories: number of credits, type, content, structure, goals, skills, methodology, evaluation systems, systems of accreditation of foreign languages ​​and mobility programs existence.

Considering the absence of a specific instrument adjusted to the objective of this study, a questionnaire was designed taking as gold standard two previously validated questionnaires on motivation and expectations in learning a second / foreign language. Ethical permission was obtained from the University Ethical Committee.

The first part of the study focused on the analysis of the curriculum of the Degree in Nursing from the universities of Huelva, Cadiz and Cordoba, shows that in the three universities include English language learning in the curriculum. At the University of Huelva is included as an optional subject while in Cadiz and Cordoba is a compulsory subject. The total number of credits allocated to training in English is 6 ECTS and there is only one specific subject.

Regarding students questionnaires, they attached great importance to English language learning for their future career but showing significant differences in terms of its applicability in the different professional areas. Most of them expressed that the existing university academic offer does not meet their training needs.

The results show that the three universities contemplate compulsory accreditation of a second language, but with important differences in their curricula. creating difficulties to reconcile their studies with the accreditation of a second language, having to use external training and causing differences in the availability and application of it in their future professional career.