Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Studies - BA (Hons)

UCAS code R400

2017

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

Overview

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.

The programme offers some unique features. You have the opportunity to spend a year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country and we offer advanced language modules focusing on translation and interpreting – valuable skills when looking for employment. 

As from the 2017/18 academic year, Hispanic Studies will also include the Catalan language as a compulsory part of the programme, so you will begin to learn the Catalan from your second year.

Our 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 facilities.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, 88% of our Hispanic Studies students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course. Iberian Languages at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2017.

Modern Languages and Linguistics was ranked 3rd in the UK in the REF2014, with 85% of its published research graded 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Course structure

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 ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

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.

Read more
30

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.

Read more
30

The module is a core course which 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 which underpins all other modules in the BA programmes. The key periods covered are:

• 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)

• Modern Spanish America (1975-2000)

Read more
15

The module is a core course which 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 which underpins all other modules in the BA programmes. The key periods covered are:

• 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)

• Modern Spanish America (1975-2000)

Read more
15

This module provides an introduction to 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 decolonization 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.

Read more
15

This module will introduce students to a wide range of films produced in different European and Latin American countries between the late 1980s and the present day. The module will focus on prevailing trends and dominant themes in contemporary European and Hispanic cinemas. The aim is to make students aware of the place which cinema has played and continues to play in the cultural life of Europe and Latin America, its importance in establishing national and supra-national identity, and the ways in which international relations are expressed through film production. The module will begin with an overview of European and Latin American cinema, and then will be divided into geographically determined sections (United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Cuba) before being brought together again in the final conclusive lecture. The course is also designed to provide students with basic film terminology, as well as with basic tools for cultural analysis.

Read more
15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module is intended for students who have attained the equivalent of an 'A' Level pass in Spanish or who have taken LS302 Intensive Learning Spanish 1 (Beginners). The main aims of the module are to consolidate and expand knowledge of the grammar and structure of the language, and to promote a high level of skill in speaking, listening, reading and writing. A secondary aim is to increase awareness of the history and culture of Spain and Spanish America, through the study of appropriate texts. Regular written work will be required throughout the year.

Read more
30

This module is intended for students who have attained a level of proficiency in Spanish equivalent to at least that of first year undergraduates. The main aim is to develop communicative skills with much of the emphasis being placed on speaking and listening but also involving a fair amount of writing. It will focus on the ability to operate in a variety of registers and respond adequately to different styles of discourse. There are four one-hour contact hours each week: two language seminars, one language lab class and one conversation class.

Read more
30

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

This module aims to explore the theme of identity in Spain with regard to the personal development of the individual, the assumed social roles of men and women, their sense of relevance within the world which they inhabit, and their reflection and expression through literature. This will be achieved through the study of the cultural evolution of individual and collective identity in Spanish society and of its particular manifestations in the Spanish literary context. A selection of texts both by men and by women from all genres will be studied and as will relevant literary criticism. The module will be structured around two main purposes: To provide a general introduction to the concept of identity and its specific manifestations. To analyse a range of literary works which will act as a test bed for the application of this background knowledge to specific reactions of the men and women of Spain.

Read more
15

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.

Read more
15

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 analyze how their work represents major currents of development in Spanish cinema, both in relation to form and content.

Read more
15

Stage 2 students write an Extended Essay of 4,000-5,000 words on a topic of their own choice. The topic must be on a Hispanic (Peninsular or Latin American) literary, linguistic or cultural subject; it is expected that the topic will be related to other Hispanic Studies modules taken by the student. Throughout the terms students are given guidance by a chosen supervisor. The supervisor and the student will establish a calendar of meetings / supervisions in Week 1 (at least 5 one-hour meetings) in which aims and objectives, critical approach, bibliography and drafts of the Extended Essay will be discussed.

Read more
15

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.

Read more
15

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.

Read more
15
You have the opportunity to select wild 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.

Modules may include Credits

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

Read more
120

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

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.

Students engage in the following activities throughout the year:

• translation (language mediation) from Spanish into English, using a range of registers and topics.

• translation (language mediation) from English into Spanish, using journalistic and literary texts amongst others.

• study of the grammatical and lexical subtleties of the Spanish language.

• group discussion on specific topics.

• preparation for oral exam in small groups .

Read more
30

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Read more
15

The module aims to develop students' language skills in Portuguese (listening, speaking, reading and writing) to an advanced level of ability and help them gain further insight into aspects of the culture and society of the Portuguese-speaking countries. They will consolidate their knowledge of tenses in the indicative and the subjunctive and learn to use more complex sentences and structures as well as idioms and expressions. They will be working with longer texts from a range of media, including lectures, TV news and current affair programmes and films, and short literary texts.

Read more
15

The module aims to develop students' language skills in Portuguese (listening, speaking, reading and writing) to a higher advanced level of ability and help them gain further insight into aspects of the culture and society of the Portuguese-speaking countries. They will learn to use more complex sentences and structures such as the passive voice and compound sentences and will further expand their vocabulary. By the end of this module they will be expected to understand in more detail a variety of texts from a range of genres, from the media, including TV programmes and films, and short literature texts.

Read more
15

This course will examine the use of carnivalesque elements such as distortion, self-effacement, transgression, destruction of hierarchies, religion and superstition in the presentation and criticism of 20th Century Spanish social, political and cultural contexts. A brief summary of the use of Carnival elements in Spanish Golden Age and Romantic plays will act as background and set the framework for the study of their use in modern theatre.

Read more
15

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.

Read more
15

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.

Read more
15

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 reports produced by the different commissions that sought truth and redress from the 1980s to the present will be the main texts to accompany the course.

Read more
15

Final year students write a dissertation of 9,000-10,000 words on a topic of their own choice. The topic must be on a Hispanic (Peninsular or Latin American) literary, linguistic or cultural subject; it is expected that the topic will be related to other Hispanic Studies modules taken by the student. Throughout the two terms students are given guidance by a chosen supervisor. The supervisor and the student will establish a calendar of meetings / supervisions in Week 1 (at least 8 one-hour meetings) in which aims and objectives, critical approach, bibliography and drafts of the dissertation will be discussed.

Read more
30

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.

Read more
15

The student will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school. Students will work in a school, with a nominated teacher, for ten half days during the Spring Term and will have the opportunity to promote their subject in a variety of ways. The Course Convenor will place students in appropriate schools, either primary or secondary. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. They will act to some extent in the role of a teaching assistant, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a language topic or talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school. The university sessions and weekly school work will complement each other. Therefore, attendance to university sessions is crucial as it will also give the students the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance.

Some travel may be required by students taking this module. In this instance, it should be noted that the University is unable to cover the cost of any such journey.

Read more
30

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.

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
  • provide a good working knowledge of another Hispanic language (ie Catalan)
  • provide you with the opportunity to spend half or a full academic year in Spain in most cases as an exchange student at a Spanish university, or as a language assistant in a Spanish school
  • develop a critical awareness of the broad canon of Hispanic cultures and societies from the 16th century to the 21st century
  • develop a specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the broad canon of Hispanic studies
  • train you 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
  • provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding
  • 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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the Spanish language
  • a second Hispanic language
  • Iberian literature and cultures from the 16th to the 21st centuries
  • Latin-American literature and cultures from the 16th to the 21st centuries
  • Iberian and Latin-American history
  • critical and cultural theory.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • academic study and enquiry
  • the ability to evaluate information critically
  • the ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
  • the ability to use problem-solving and communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
  • analysis, evaluation and interpretation of a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
  • the ability to study and reach conclusions independently
  • organisation and presentation of ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

  • communicate effectively in Spanish and another Iberian language for a range of purposes and audiences
  • develop language skills in these three related areas: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 Peninsular and American Spanish and another Iberian language
  • translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
  • analyse critically a variety of texts (for example, journalistic, historical or literary)
  • appreciate cultural diversity
  • mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • communicating effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
  • evaluating your own academic performance
  • using problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
  • accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
  • library and bibliographical research
  • using techniques for using language source materials in two Hispanic languages
  • taking responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
  • time management and prioritising workloads, thinking and performing under pressure
  • teamworking
  • leadership
  • creative and flexible working
  • information technology.

Careers

Hispanic Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most
successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities
(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education).

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.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

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

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.

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 advise 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. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

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.* 

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 Abroad/Industry

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

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.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.