Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Studies - BA (Hons)

UCAS code R400

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


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.



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.

Hispanic Studies student Sara explains what it's like to study at Kent.

Independent rankings

Iberian Languages at Kent scored 95 out of 100 and was ranked 8th in The Complete University Guide 2019.

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 91% of final-year Modern Languages and Linguistics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

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.

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

Stage 1

Optional 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.

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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.

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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).

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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 (Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico) 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.

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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.

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You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

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.

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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.

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Optional modules may include Credits

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Stage 2 students write an Extended Essay 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.

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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.

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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

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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 Credits

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

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Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently 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.

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Optional modules may include Credits

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

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
  • 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.


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. Typical requirements are listed below. 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.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level



Grade B or 6 in a second language

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.

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.

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. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700

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

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

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

General additional costs

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


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.


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.