Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Studies - BA (Hons)

Overview

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – outside Spain, it is an official language in most of South and Central America except Brazil, and is widespread in many parts of North America.

91%
Iberian Languages at Kent scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

The programme at Kent gives you the opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of Spain and Spanish America while developing your language skills. You can study Hispanic Studies at Kent whether you have an A level or GCSE in Spanish, or whether you are a beginner or have some experience of the language. You also explore the history, literature and film of Spain, Cuba and countries in Latin America, giving you a fascinating insight into the Spanish-speaking world.

You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.

Many Hispanic Studies teaching staff are native speakers, and campus facilities include multimedia laboratories, which offer a variety of interactive language learning programmes and dictionaries, and access to audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made. Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    BBB

  • Certificate

    GCSE

    Grade B or 6 in a second language

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 at HL, including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

You take either LS300 or LS302 depending on your existing level of language ability. You then take LS312 plus 15 credits from a list of optional modules. Remaining credits may be chosen from optional modules within the school, or 'elective' modules from across University.

Optional modules may include

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Find out more about LS300

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Find out more about LS302

The module aims to provide students with a general understanding of the development of the Spain, the Spanish American nations, and their cultures, in order to establish the general historical and cultural framework.

The key periods covered include the emergence of the Spanish nation (711-1492); the Spanish Golden Age; the emergence of Spanish America (1492-1812); 19th Century Spain and the end of the Empire; Spanish America: the way to Independence (1812-1898); Spain from 1898 to the Civil War; Spain under Franco (1936-1975); Spanish America in the 20th Century (1898-1975); Transition to a Modern Spain (1975-2000); and Modern Spanish America (1975-2000).

Find out more about LS312

This module introduces Latin America through the lens of state formation. It examines the nineteenth century from the end of the colonial period and independence through to the decolonisation of Cuba. It has a particular focus on the cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Topics include the recurrence of internal and external wars, tensions between the center and regions, the development of export markets and its links to the creation of stability, caudillismo, and the importance of ideology in state building.

Find out more about LS319

This module offers an introduction to the history and culture of Latin America through a reading of short stories from different regions. Links are made between political events and circumstances, such as the Mexican Revolution and the subsequent Cristero Rebellion, 'La Violencia' of Colombia, the literary ‘Boom’ of the 1960s, and cultural genres, such as political writing and Magical Realism, in order to highlight how different writers explore key issues affecting their countries. The module begins by outlining common themes in Latin American literature, such as the experience of colonialism, independence indigenismo, and mestizaje, and the question of identity in a post-colonial context. It then focuses on individual short stories and explores the ways in which they communicate these themes.

Find out more about LS308

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

You take all compulsory modules and either LS504 or LS505 depending on your existing level of language ability. You then choose 30 credits from a list of optional modules. Remaining credits may be chosen from optional modules within the school, or 'elective' modules from across University.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module concentrates on listening, reading and speaking, and will also introduce writing. These various elements will facilitate students' achievement of the intended learning outcomes by developing their communication, reading, writing and general knowledge of the Catalan language. Students are encouraged to use resources specially selected for them and which are available online through Moodle.

Find out more about LS310

This module concentrates on listening, reading and speaking, and will also introduce writing. These various elements will facilitate students' achievement of the intended learning outcomes by developing their communication, reading, writing and general knowledge of the Catalan language. Students are encouraged to use resources specially selected for them and which are available online through Moodle.

Find out more about LS311

Optional modules may include

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Spanish course such as HISP3020 (LS302), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

The module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to the B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Spanish, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Spain as a foreign country. It is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

Find out more about LS504

This is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in HISP3000 (Spanish Lower Intermediate B1), to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Spanish through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Spanish.

Find out more about LS505

This module aims to provide an introduction to Catalan culture and to place it in the wider context of Spain and Europe. To this purpose students will be exploring different aspects of Catalan life and history, to include the language, the arts and the relationship between the Catalan-speaking lands and the rest of the state. The result of this exploration will be used as the basis for an analysis of the distinctive traits of Catalan culture. A selection of texts and audio-visual material will be studied and so will relevant criticism.

Find out more about LS515

This module will cover aspects of contemporary Spanish history and culture with specific focus on post-1975 filmic production but in the wider context of pre- and post-Franco society, history and politics. Students will become familiar with important issues such as national stereotypes, gender and sexuality, social transformations, as well as relevant concepts in Film Studies such as cinematic genre, spectatorship, and representation. While the module will focus to some extent on the individual voice of each of the directors, it will to analyse how their work represents major currents of development in Spanish cinema, both in relation to form and content.

Find out more about LS548

This module will provide an examination of the incorporation of indigenous and slave populations to political life in different Latin American countries from the colonial period to the present. It will focus on two main issues, namely the relationship between the state and indigenous populations as well as the process of abolition of slavery. These topics will be explored in a comparative perspective with an aim to understanding the legacies of unequal societies and their impact on current realities.

Find out more about LS562

This module explores the different ways in which Spain and Latin American countries have attempted to make transitions from dictatorship to democracy. The course provides an overview of the political, social and cultural developments in Spain and Latin America after conditions of dictatorship, from 1975 onwards in the case of Spain and from the 1980s and 1990s in the case of specific Latin American countries (Chile, Argentina and Peru, among others). The course takes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach by combining history, literature, film, journalism and comics. The chosen texts provide an insight into the political, social and cultural attitudes of post-dictatorship societies as well as into the changing role and conditions of cultural production in post-dictatorial democracies. Issues such as historical trauma and historical memory, forgetting and collective memory, and justice and truth commissions cut across the module.

Find out more about LS571

What is sustainability? It has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from 'Our Common Future', also known as the Brundtland Report (1987) which refers to 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' While the concept of sustainability has its roots in the natural sciences, it is becoming evident that theories and practices of sustainability are of relevance in social and cultural studies as much as biophysical relationships.

The module begins with an examination of the wide-ranging definitions of sustainability and of the contribution to the discourse from Humanities subjects. We proceed to analyse a range of case studies representing the four disciplines of Modern Languages in SECL at Kent: French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies. The case studies highlight cultural practices ranging across time periods and geographies in which sustainable processes are key. They may include the cultural history of sustainability or 'Nachhaltigkeit' in the German context; the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the debate in psychoanalysis on the themes of exploitation/sustainability and competition/cooperation in relation to ecological practices and the environment; the works of Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau and the challenges to French/Eurocentric concepts of sustainability; and the culture and practice of urban organic farming – organopónicos – that arose out of the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s and which have circular economics, cultural development and educational practices at their core.

The module concludes with a consideration of how the case studies illustrate theories and practices of sustainability, and how in turn they may be considered catalysts for further engagement in questions of sustainability

Find out more about SCL505

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

All Hispanic Studies BA students are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.

Compulsory modules currently include

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work abroad (either as British Council language teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Find out more about LA514

Stage 3

You take all compulsory modules and either LS552 or LS553. You then choose 45 credits from a list of optional modules. Remaining credits may be chosen from optional modules within the school, or 'elective' modules from across University.

Compulsory modules currently include

The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending Spanish. It concentrates on translation into Spanish and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken Spanish. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.

Find out more about LS506

This module will improve communicative competence in Catalan; develop written expressive competence in Catalan through study of Catalan syntax and grammar structures; improve the ability to develop reading speed, fluency and oral accuracy, and the capacity to interpret educated written Catalan. It will develop translation skills, and provide a thematic framework for language study by analysing texts related to cultural and socio-linguistic Catalan issues.

Find out more about LS552

Optional modules may include

The module investigates a variety of films and texts produced by Cubans both in Cuba and in exile from the time of the Revolution to the present day. In analysing these texts, an impression will emerge of how different writers and artists respond to the powerful presence of the revolutionary regime and to the pressures inherent within that system. Textual analysis will run parallel to an investigation of the history and politics of the revolutionary period, highlighting key moments and issues that become decisive elements within the texts.

Find out more about LS554

This module explores the difficult experiences of terrorism and state terror in Latin America through films and documentaries. Between the 1970s and the 1990s Argentina, Chile, Central America and Peru lived through extreme instances of insurgency and state sponsored violence. The course will examine the tensions in society brought by these experiences as well as the efforts to come to terms with these memories. The main texts that will accompany this course will be the reports produced by the different commissions that sought truth and redress from the 1980s to the present.

Find out more about LS563

This module is intended to introduce undergraduate students to independent research and provide the opportunity for sustained, detailed study of a topic of their choosing. The topic chosen must relate to a specific aspect of Hispanic culture or language. Originality and feasibility are important aspects of writing dissertations and topics must be scrutinised and approved in advance by the module convenor or dissertation supervisor. Students can expect guidance from the module convenor and an academic supervisor throughout the process, including one-to-one tutorials.

Find out more about LS567

This module will take a close look at the figure of the "monster" in Iberian culture, ranging from medieval considerations of the monster in medieval bestiaries to eighteenth-century medical treatises of monstrous forms to twentieth-century depictions of monsters. The module will focus on the historical context out of which a particular meaning of the monster emerges. In order to do so, the course will draw on high and popular culture, a variety of disciplines, and a variety of media (literature, prints, paintings, films). Discussions will be supplemented with relevant historical, critical and theoretical readings. The monster in this course will be an interpretative model for an understanding of how notions such as “normalcy”, “beauty”, the “classical body” are constructed and will enable us to look at issues of otherness, gender, and race. Drawing on theoretical approaches to literary and visual representations, it aims to raise questions around concepts such as the gaze, power and identity.

Find out more about LS550

This module focuses on the cultural history of Barcelona and Havana the iconic capitals of Catalonia and Cuba. Many of the key events and movements of the past century are intimately linked to these two cities, from the collapse of the Spanish Empire and the birth of the new the Latin-American republics, the emergence of nationalism, the development of alternative modes of self-government and their engagement with modernity. Changes and continuities in the political, social and physical topography of Barcelona and Havana will be traced by studying representations of both cities in a range of texts and films from the mid twentieth to the early twenty-first century. Alongside feature films and prose genres such as short stories and reportage, the module will also consider theoretical texts on the city and the contribution of urban life to modern Hispanic culture. Central themes are the interplay of the individual and the collective, urban anonymity and liberation versus alienation and uniformity, multiculturalism and migration.

Find out more about LS580

This module is aimed at those students who would like to follow a career as Primary or Secondary School teachers, but is also suitable to those who would like to consider a career in HE language teaching by providing them with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Languages in the primary and secondary school context as well as in HE.

Find out more about SCL502

This module examines the various ways in which cinema can be used to articulate a political message or advance a political cause. Drawing on films from the major Western European nations (e.g. France, German, Italy and Spain) and from a variety of historical periods from the 1930s to the present, it will examine and contrast the ideological functions of cinema in a range of different geopolitical contexts. The films studied will encompass a range of forms such as explicit propaganda films of the totalitarian regimes, left-wing counter-cultural filmmaking of the sixties, and popular genres such as the 'political thriller'.

Find out more about SCL504

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • International full-time £16800

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

All Spanish language modules involve three hours teaching each week, with the exception of the beginners’ language modules at Stages 1 and 2 which involve four hours. They include small group seminars, conversation classes run by a native speaker, short lectures in Spanish, work in a language laboratory and work on computer-assisted language learning materials. The culture and literature modules normally involve a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week.

Stage 1 is assessed by 100% coursework (essays, class participation) in some modules, and a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination in others. Stage 2/3: depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays), to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 60:40 or 80:20.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a sound grounding in the Spanish language in all its aspects, through extensive reading in Spanish and through the use of Spanish as a spoken and written medium.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the broad canon of Hispanic cultures and societies from the 15th century to the 21st century.
  • Develop specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the broad canon of Hispanic Studies.
  • Train students in the field of translation from and into Spanish.
  • Provide a gateway to related thematic studies comprising various bodies of knowledge and methodological approaches.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage withpaspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
  • Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.
  • Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations.
  • Facilitate students’ ability to cope independently in Spanish.
  • Build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere (notably in Spanish-speaking countries and regions), reflecting Kent’s position as the UK’s European University.
  • Aims in relation to the learning and teaching strategy:
  • For students studying BA (Hons) Hispanic Studies, the programme additionally aims to:
  • Produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
  • Prepare students for employment or further study.
  • Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in a Spanish-speaking country. They may attend one of the partner universities in Spain or Latin America, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
  • Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts.
  • Enable students to acquire or increase first-hand knowledge of the culture(s) of their target language.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Spanish and Catalan Language
  • Iberian Literature and cultures from the 17th to the 21st centuries
  • Iberian and Latin-American History
  • Iberian and Latin-American Critical Theory 
  • Iberian and Latin-American Cultural Theory 
  • Hispanic civilisation and contemporary society, through first-hand experience 

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • Evaluate information critically
  • Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
  • Utilise communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
  • Study and reach conclusions independently
  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument 
  • Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a Spanish-speaking country

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

  • Communicate effectively in Spanish and Catalan for a range of purposes and audiences 
  • Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting)
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of Spanish and Catalan
  • Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language 
  • Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary
  • Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity 
  • Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
  • Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with Spanish-speaking communities

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means 
  • Evaluate one’s own academic performance 
  • Problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations 
  • Accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills 
  • Library and bibliographical research skills
  • Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
  • Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure 
  • Capacity for teamwork 
  • Leadership abilities 
  • Work creatively and flexibly
  • Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
  • Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a Spanish-speaking country

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

Independent rankings

Iberian Languages at Kent scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Careers

Recent graduates have gone into teaching, translating and interpreting, marketing, journalism, publishing, and other areas. Many language graduates begin their career abroad.

The ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as more employable.

Apply for Hispanic Studies - BA (Hons)

Full-time applicants

Full-time applicants (including international applicants) should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system. If you need help or advice on your application, you should speak with your careers adviser or contact UCAS Customer Contact Centre. 

The institution code number for the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

Application deadlines

See the UCAS website for an outline of the UCAS process and application deadlines. 

If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

Apply through UCAS

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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