Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Hispanic Studies and History - BA (Hons)

UCAS code RV41

2019

Hispanic Studies and History enables you to learn about the culture and the language of the Spanish-speaking world while undertaking a detailed study of the past. 

2019

Overview

Outside Spain, Spanish is the official language of all countries in South and Central America except Brazil, and is widely spoken in many parts of North America. The programme gives you the opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of Spain and Spanish America.

Your year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country allows you to immerse yourself in Hispanic culture while improving your Spanish. We also offer advanced language modules focusing on translation and interpreting – valuable skills when looking for employment. 

Our facilities include multimedia laboratories, which offer a variety of interactive language learning programmes and dictionaries, and access to a wide range of audio, video and computer-assisted language learning facilities.

The School of History is one of the leading History departments in the country, recognised for its research excellence, flexible programmes and quality teaching. You are taught by passionate academics, active researchers and recognised experts. You can tailor your modules to your own interests, and use your expanding knowledge of Hispanic culture and language to focus on European history or that of colonialism.

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.

History at Kent scored 92 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019 and was ranked 20th in The Times Good University Guide 2019.

Teaching Excellence Framework

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 ‘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 has two aims:

1) to contribute towards equipping the students with the necessary practical and intellectual skills for them to think and write as historians at an undergraduate level;

2) to encourage them to think reflectively and critically about the nature of the historical discipline, its epistemological claims, and why we, as historians, do what we do in the way we do it. This will be achieved through four blocks of seminars and lectures.

These will cover:

• The practice of history, introducing history at university level at both a practical and conceptual level.

• Historical methodology. This will cover the development of university history in the nineteenth century and how this differed from the study and writing of history that had gone before. It will also consider the impact of the Social Sciences on the historical profession during the twentieth century.

• The varieties of history. This will examine some of the major themes and approaches, such as Marxism or nationalism, in modern historical scholarship.

• Beyond history. The final block will consider the ‘linguistic turn’ and new ways of studying and writing history in the twenty-first century.

A fifth component, concentrated in the first three or four weeks of the module, will provide training in core, practical skills (library and bibliographic skills, IT skills and the use of MyFolio and PDP).

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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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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 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 course will provide a survey of the major events, themes and historiographical debates in modern British history from the early twentieth century to the 1990s. It will examine the roles of total war, imperialism and decolonisation, social welfare legislation, the advent of mass culture in shaping the nation. Subjects to be covered will include: crisis and reform in Edwardian Britain; politics and society in the Great War; stagnation and recovery in the interwar years; appeasement; the People’s War, 1939-45; the welfare state; decolonisation; the affluent society and the politics of consensus; the end of consensus 1970-79; nationalism and devolution; Thatcher and the rolling back of the state; New Labour.

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This module will provide a survey of the major events, themes and historiographical debates in early modern history from the Renaissance to religious wars of the early seventeenth century. This period in European history witnessed the cultural and social upheaval of the Reformation, the advent of print and the intellectual changes associated with Humanism, the formation of recognisably 'modern' nation states, and the beginnings of Europe’s troubled engagement with the wider world. . As with the complementary module on later European history (c.1600-1750) the lectures and seminars will be arranged around six key areas: 1) religion 2) intellectual and scholarly life 3) economy 4) society 5) politics and war and 6) culture. These themes will be approached through the examination of national histories, specific events, and historiographical controversies.

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This module will provide a survey of the major events, themes and historiographical debates in early modern history from the religious wars of the first half of the seventeenth century to the dawn of modernity in the second half of the eighteenth century. This period in European history witnessed the development of a system of nation states in Europe, the rise of Absolutism, the development of new European powers in Eastern and Central Europe, an expansion of European influence in the Americas and Asia (leading to a greater commercialisation of European society), as well as the fundamental shifts in European intellectual culture associated with the Scientific Revolution, overseas expansion and the Enlightenment. As with the complementary module on earlier European history (c.1450-1600) the lectures and seminars will be arranged around six key areas: 1) religion 2) intellectual and scholarly life 3) economy 4) society 5) politics and war and 6) culture. These themes will be approached through the examination of national histories, specific events, and historiographical controversies.

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Science has arguably been the greatest force for cultural change in the last 500 years. Scientists have changed the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves. They have moved the earth from the centre of the universe, and have taught us that we are nothing more than jumped-up apes. This module visits some of the most important events and developments since the so-called 'scientific revolution' (c. 1700) and questions some myths about how science works.

Note that absolutely no technical knowledge of science is required for this module. This module is all about people, places and culture, not an examination of particular scientific theories.

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This course explores the history of empires on a global scale. It challenges students to grasp the history of empires by examining their structures, instruments and consequences. The course will cover the history of empire from the sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century. Themes will include the expansion of European empires (Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, Dutch and Belgian) in the Americas, Asia, the global rivalry for empires among European nations in the eighteenth century, the commercial expansion of the East India Companies in the Indian Ocean,, the expansion British colonies in India, slavery and the Abolition movement and the Revolt of 1857. It will provide students with a critical historical knowledge of imperialism and globalisation.

Although this module is independent of and distinct from the other module on the history of global empires, (1850-1960) which will run in the Spring term, for the deep interconnectedness of this history, which this module/s highlights, students will be encouraged to take both.

Topics will cover:

1. The Iberian Empires in the Atlantic, c. 1500–1700

2. Vasco Da Gama and the Portuguese Empire in the Indian Ocean

3. The expansion of European colonies in the Americas

4. Competition for the World: European Rivalries for World Domination, 1600–1700

5. Trade and Dominion: the East India Companies and the Making of Asian Empires (1700-1850)

6. Global empires in the 18th century

7. Imperial Crisis? 1760 – 1830

8. Imperialism and the Global Economy: Free trade, Industrialization and the Balance of Payment (will also cover: Informal Empires in Latin America)

9. Africa and the Global Economy in the 19th century

10. Empire and Rebellion: the Revolt of 1857

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This course explores the history of empires on a global scale. It challenges students to grasp the history of empires by examining their structures, instruments and consequences. The course will cover the expansion of European empires from the end of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, in the age of decolonization. Topics include the conquest of Africa in the age of the so-called ‘New Imperialism’, the French and British Civilizing missions in Africa and Asia, the emergence of modern ideas of race, immigration, freedom struggles in Asia and Africa, and postcolonial cultural and political developments across the world. It will provide students with a critical historical knowledge of imperialism and globalisation and enable them to form a deep understanding of the postcolonial world.

Although this module is distinct from the other module on the history of global empires, (1600-1850) which will run in the Autumn term, for the deep interconnectedness of this history, which this module/s highlights, students will be encouraged to take both.

Topics will cover:

1. The Victorian Empire: Law, Education and Modernity

2. Empire on the Move: Missionaries, Indentured labour and Convicts

3. The 'Scramble for Africa'

4. The Nature of the British African Empire: from the ‘civilising mission’ to Indirect Rule)

5. French, Belgian and Portuguese Colonialisms

6. Empire and Race: Ideas of Difference and Degeneration

7. Freedom from Empire: Nationalist and anti-imperialist movements in South Asia, North Africa

8. WWII and the 'Second Colonial Occupation'

9. Decolonization in Africa

10. Neo-imperial Adventures? The USSR and China in Africa

11. The Legacy of Empire: the Commonwealth, Immigration and Multiculturalism

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Subjects to be covered will include: The Crimean War; The Franco-Prussian War and German unification; the origins of the First World War; the Treaty of Versailles; the League of Nations; the origins of the Second World War; the Cold War in Europe; the origins of the European Union; from détente in Europe to the fall of Communism.

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This module explores the emergence of contemporary forms of sport through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The shifting forms and functions of sport will be studied and these will be related to changes to broader social and cultural transformations in British society. The tension that existed for much of this period between the amateur and the professional will be investigated as will the growing commercialisation of the sports industry. Students will learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. To this end, the focus will fall not only on what are perceived to be the national winter and summer games of football and cricket but also on a range of other sports, such as rugby, netball, boxing, tennis, rowing and athletics.

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Charles the Great (Charlemagne), king of the Franks (768–814), has been called 'the father of Europe', while Alfred the Great, king of Wessex (871–99), has been viewed as a key figure in the emergence of a united England. But what made Charles and Alfred ‘great’? This module examines and compares the achievements of these two rulers in order to cast light on broader political, cultural and social developments in the Frankish empire and Anglo-Saxon England. Both Charlemagne and Alfred oversaw sweeping programmes of reform which attempted to bring order to all spheres of life. These drives for order produced an outpouring of writing, offering the historian unparalleled views of early medieval government and intellectual culture. However, some have suggested that the towering reputations of Charlemagne and Alfred owe more to their employment of intellectuals and propagandists to portray their militaristic regimes as pious, civilised and ordered. Indeed, the fame of both kings today rests to a large degree on the survival of two remarkable royal biographies: Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne and Asser’s Life of Alfred. Using these two texts as baselines, we shall examine the rich sources of the period – narrative, documentary, literary, artistic, archaeological – in order to test the biographers’ claims. How did Charlemagne and Alfred rule? In what ways were the challenges they faced similar and different? Why did they promote education and literacy? Did their reforms actually change anything on the ground? Can we ever know anything about the ‘real’ Charlemagne or Alfred? By considering such questions, students will gain firm understandings of the evidence for and debates over royal government and political order in ninth-century Europe.

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This module considers the relationship between the English crown and aristocracy from the mid-fifteenth- to the mid-seventeenth centuries. During this turbulent period, England experienced considerable unrest as a result of the often vexed nature of monarcho-aristocratic relations – the Wars of the Roses, the mid-Tudor rebellions and civil war in the 1640s being the most obvious instances of tension and conflict – but there were also decades of relative calm and stability.

The module will, therefore, consider not only the clashes between 'over mighty subjects' and 'under mighty kings', but will also explore art, culture, architecture and religion, as symbols of both royal and noble power, authority and influence.

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This module is especially concerned with the end of Empire in Africa. After exploring the origins and nature of European empires in Africa, the course examines the impact of World War II on the British Empire and the end of British imperial influence in Kenya and Egypt. The course compares the British approach to decolonisation with those of the French, Belgians and Portuguese, raising the cases of French Algeria, the Belgian Congo, and Portuguese Angola and Mozambique. American attitudes to empire are also considered. Finally, the module covers the history of Italian and Soviet involvement in the Horn of Africa.

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The module introduces students to a broad range of material and themes relevant to the history of medicine, highlighting changes and continuities in medical practice and theory as well as in medical institutions and professional conduct. The section on ancient medicine addresses the role of Greek writers such as Hippocrates. The section on medieval medicine focuses on major epidemics, the origins of medical institutions, and the role of medical care and cure in the context of social and demographic changes. In particular, this section addresses the role of the Black Death and subsequent plagues, as well as the history of hospitals. The section on early modern and modern medicine explores the development of psychiatry and the asylum system in the 18th century, the rise of public health and the welfare state, and the role of social Darwinism and eugenics in the 19th and early 20th centuries. For the late 19th and 20th centuries, the course will look at the role of gender and sexuality, medicine and modern warfare, health and disability, and modern medicine and medical ethics.

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The module will focus primarily on the period from the 18th century onwards but will begin with an outline treatment of the British colonies in North America from initial European settlement. Interactions between Native American, African, African-American and European populations will be emphasised in the colonial period. Thereafter the module is pursued via the first anti-colonial revolution in modern history and the creation of a new nation and concludes with the reconstitution of the nation after a bloody civil war and on the eve of large-scale industrialisation.

Themes include the causes and consequences of the Revolution, the new political system, the development of mass democracy, economic development and territorial expansion into the West, reform movements, sectional conflict between North and South, slavery, the Civil War and the re-establishment of a national order during Reconstruction.

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The module will introduce the students to the history of the U.S during its dramatic rise to industrial and international power. Beginning with the transformation of the U.S into an urban industrial civilisation at the end of the 19th Century, it ends with a review of the American position at the beginning of the 21st century.

Themes include early 20th century reform, the rise to world power by 1918, prosperity and the Depression, the New Deal, war and Cold War, race relations, Vietnam, supposed decline and resurgence from Nixon to Reagan, the end of the Cold War, and the Clinton Administration.

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What happened when the Roman Empire collapsed? When did countries like England, France and Germany come into being? How violent were the Vikings? What actually happened at the Norman Conquest?

This module is designed to provide an introduction to early medieval European history. We will focus on the main political events and most significant changes that took place during this period. We will also look at aspects of society and culture. The aims are that students should have a clear understanding of the outlines of European history in this period, a sense of what life was like in particular communities, and of the types of evidence that survive for historians to use. The weekly lectures will help guide students through the module, and in the regular seminars there will be opportunities to explore key debates and sources in more detail.

There will be an optional fieldtrip to St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's, Canterbury.

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This module is a survey of medieval Europe from c.1000 to c.1450. It includes elements of political, institutional, religious, social and cultural history.

The module is intended to provide students with a foundation that will allow them to make the most of other courses in European history, particularly those focusing on the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, by equipping them with a grounding in geography and chronology, as well as in a variety of approaches to the study of history.

Lectures will provide an overview of some of the period's defining features including the feudal system; kingship; the crusades, warfare and chivalry; popes (and anti-popes); monasticism and the coming of the friars; heresy; visual culture; women and the family; and towns and trade.

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This module examines the principal themes of the political, social and cultural history of Britain during the Victorian era (c. 1830 –1900). This period saw the building of one of the world’s greatest empires, the transformation of Britain from a rural society into the world’s first and leading industrial nation, and the development of a modern state and new forms of democratic participation.

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The first section of the module will focus on the impact of the Enlightenment, and revolutionary approaches to social change, in France and Russia. In the final seminars, the wider impact of revolutionary ideas, including the concept of nationalism, will be explored in a wider European context.

Topics covered will include: the Enlightenment; Russia under Peter the Great and Catherine the Great; Frederick the Great; Joseph II and the Habsburg Monarchy; the French revolution; the Napoleonic Empire; Spain: Reform, Reaction and Revolution; the Congress of Vienna; nationalism in Europe; the revolutions of 1848.

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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. 

You take your year abroad between Stages 2 and 3 in a Spanish-speaking country. 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 does 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.

Teaching and assessment

Hispanic Studies

The teaching of all Spanish language modules combines 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 combination of lectures and seminars 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.

History

Teaching is by a combination of lectures, providing a broad overview, and seminars, which focus on discussing particular issues and are led by student presentations. Lectures and seminars use a variety of materials, including original documents, films and documentaries, illuminated manuscripts, slide and PowerPoint demonstrations.

The School of History uses a mixture of assessment patterns. The standard formats are 100% coursework or 60% examination and 40% coursework.

The School also has excellent student support arrangements. Alongside our Student Support Officer, each student is assigned an academic tutor. All module convenors keep regular office hours, and the School has a policy of returning at least one essay on each module in a one-to-one personal meeting allowing for additional verbal feedback and discussion.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:

Careers

Graduate destinations

Graduates find themselves prepared for a variety of career options in a range of areas. These include:

  • research careers within government and NGOs
  • roles in museums, galleries and libraries
  • records management
  • journalism
  • teaching
  • translating and interpreting
  • marketing.

Help finding a job

Both the School of European Culture and Languages and the School of History provide support as you start to think about future careers.

The School of European Culture and Languages' Employability programme, includes work-related modules and work placements. Both of these are a key part of the ‘Languages in the Classroom’ module, designed for budding language teachers, which combines traditional learning methods with practical teaching experience.

The School of History runs employability sessions to help you hone your job-hunting skills, and these include input from highly successful alumni.

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

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. As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject areas, you also learn the key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • manage your time effectively 
  • work independently.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as developing your enterprise skills or volunteering.

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

BBB including grade B in History, Classics-Ancient History or Classics - Classical Civilisation

GCSE

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 points at HL, including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language, and 5 at SL or 6 at HL in History

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students programmes. 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.

Fees

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

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700

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.

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 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.