Global Opportunities

SPA1019 : Introduction to History, Culture and Society of the Iberian Peninsula

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the School of Modern Languages, this
module aims to introduce students to the systematic study of the Iberian Peninsula in comparative terms through a historical focus and to a selected range of cultural topics in Portugal and Spain.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture materials and synchronous teaching activities (both present-in-person and online) will introduce students to the knowledge and skills required for the comparative analysis and study of the Iberian Peninsula. This module has two parts. First part introduces students to the history, culture and society of Spain and Portugal from the late Middle Ages to the Twenty-first century. Both countries can be studied comparatively because they passed through similar periods of transformation: state formation and consolidation, expansion, absolutist rule, Enlightenment, the age of liberal revolutions and colonial crisis, authoritarianism and democratisation. The module aims to teach students about issues of cultural identities in contemporary Spain and to allow students to analyse these issues in different texts and contexts in the second part of the module.

Both parts and topics can be altered and given in a different order in the event of research leave.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials161:0016:00Asynchronous Includes pre- and post- lecture reading.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00Present-in Person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Present-in-Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Present-in-Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1137:00137:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, in the form of non-synchronous online teaching, will adopt flexible, blended learning methods and strategies to introduce students to the comparative study of the Iberian Peninsula. They will also allow for the introduction of specific topics, such as memory, museums, colonialism and theories of nationalism. Small group teaching, noted above as synchronous present-in-person and online synchronous teaching, will allow students to examine texts in more detail, allowing for detailed discussion and analysis as well as revisiting and reinforcing knowledge from the lecture materials and online guided activities. Seminars will provide the students with the opportunity to lead discussion on a topic through interactive activities that develop their independent thinking and critical analysis. Both types of learning activities will include advice on how to prepare for assessment. Surgery hours allow students to consult the module leader with any particular difficulties in understanding concepts, tasks, etc. Independent learning includes preparation for small group work, further reading and assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50Scheduled exam at university campus. In English.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M501750 word essay in English.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MPractice essay: 1,500-word comparative essay in English. Students required to answer 1 essay question from a selection provided.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

We are reverting to the existing assessment rationale pre pandemic. The module is divided into two complementary but autonomous units: one on cultural representations in S1 and one on history in S2. Hence, we have divided assessment into two distinct ways to test essay writing and close text analysis in the final essay 50%, and critical analysis and history knowledge with the 50% exam.

Reading Lists