Spanish and Latin American Studies

With official status in 20 countries, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world with approximately 400 million native speakers. It is the major language in Latin America, alongside Portuguese, and is also an increasingly important language in the USA.

Buildings in Barcelona

Welcome to new students in Spanish and Latin American Studies!

For students who will be joining us in September, please see our dedicated Freshers' page:Freshers' 2020/21


At Sheffield we don't just think about modern languages as a way of speaking and writing. To us, they're a way of broadening our understanding of the world. If you study Spanish you'll be engaging with a global community of around 400 million, the majority located in Latin America. Our degrees involve not only the study of Spanish language but they also offer you a deep insight into the cultures of Spain and the cultures of the various countries of Latin America. Study with us and become a citizen of the world.

Dr Paul O'Neill discusses 'The Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America', one of the modules you can study in your first year:

More about Spanish at Sheffield

Undergraduate degree combinations

BA Modern Languages & Cultures

On the BA Modern Languages & Cultures you can study:

  • Spain & Latin America: language & culture 
  • Spain & Latin America: language & culture with one other language & culture
  • Spain & Latin America: language & culture with two other languages & cultures

Choose from:

  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Catalan
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • Italian
  • Luxembourgish* (from second year only)
  • Portuguese

BA Modern Languages and cultures - 2020 entry

Dual Honours (with a non-language subject)

As a Dual Honours degree

  • Spain & Latin America: language & culture with a non-language subject
  • Spain and Latin America: language & culture, a second language & culture, and a non-language subject

Combine your study of Spanish language & culture with one of the following:

  • Archaeology
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

Dual honours degrees

Guided Module Choice

If you have some experience of modern language learning, you may be able to take Spanish and Latin American Studies modules either as part of your degree (guided modules) or alongside your degree (not-for-credit modules).

Fast facts

Award: Bachelor of Arts

Duration: 4 years

Entry: ABB at A Level. We also accept a wide range of other qualifications. See individual degree programmes for more detailed information.

Course structure

Post A-level

You can take Spanish in a variety of subject combinations and you can choose from a wide range of optional modules.

At the centre of all programmes are your language modules. These form the bedrock of your education in Spanish.

Post A-level students normally take three hours of language teaching per week. In addition, students will study a core module which combines the study of the culture and literature of Spain and Latin America, and can choose to take an optional module that looks at the social and political history of Iberia and Latin America. We also offer digital learning opportunities and the Hispanic Society hosts a lively social and extra-curricular programme with other students and Spanish speakers.

After the first year, alongside your compulsory language programme you choose from a wide range of culture, history, linguistics, politics or literature courses. There is also the opportunity to pick up a new language, be it Catalan of Portuguese, within the Iberian world, or beyond. Our staff have expertise in many areas which is reflected in our teaching.

Beginners' Spanish

If you are new to Spanish, you will follow an intense programme of language teaching. This will rapidly and intensively develop your Spanish. In addition, you will study a core module which combines the study of the culture and literature of Spain and Latin America, and can choose to take an optional module that looks at the social and political history of Iberia and Latin America.

In your second year, you will have three hours a week of language teaching and can choose from a wide range of culture, history, linguistics, politics or literature courses. Our staff have expertise in many areas which is reflected in our teaching.

After the Year Abroad, you are able to integrate fully with your fellow students on the post-A level strand.

Module information

You will study 40 credits in language and culture at either beginner or post A level.

Beginner's Spanish

Title Credits Core/Optional
Spanish Language Beginners 20 Core

Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture

This course examines the literature and film of modern Spain and modern Spanish-speaking Latin America. In each semester, three cultural products from one of these two areas are studied: poetry, film and narrative fiction. We will build up a picture of the cultural history of Spain and Latin America, as well as looking at key themes to emerge from their literary and filmic outputs. By focusing on three different genres in each semester, you will be able to explore different types of cultural product and to build up analytical skills gradually by moving from shorter or visual pieces to a larger body of writing. The knowledge and skills acquired here will underpin the optional modules at level 2 and beyond.

More about this course

* If you are studying one or two languages students must choose at least this module or the module entitled Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America. Note that if you have extra credits both modules can be studied.
If you are studying three languages this module is optional.

20 Core/Optional 

Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America

This module examines the historical trajectory of Spain and Portugal, their emergence as states in the Iberian Peninsula, their imperial expansion overseas into Africa, Latin America and beyond, the eventual independence of the colonies and their development and consolidation into the various modern-day states we know today. The module will explore the social, political, linguistic and cultural characteristics of these states and its peoples and highlight the importance of understanding their complex history in the formation of their identities, their languages and their cultural and political values.

More about this course

*If you are studying one or two languages students must choose at least this module or the module entitled Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture as their core Spanish module. Note that if you have extra credits both modules can be studied.
If you are studying three languages and cultures this module is optional.

20

Core/Optional

Activism and Social Change

This modules examines how people, individually and collectively, attempt to enact social and political change in society through a number of case studies which will focus on the countries which historically belonged to the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The module will introduce students to theories of social movements and social change and will critically assess the different strategies which people adopted at different historical moments and in different geographical locations and the success and failure of their activism. Case studies may differ each year but topics may include the following: activism and social change movements in Brazil, climate activism, women’s rights and indigenous people's movements in Latin America, the role of literature/film/music in social activism movements and/or the use of symbols, slogans, the media and new technologies/the internet in order to inspire followers and maintain activist momentum;  the concept of ‘fake news’, the growing belief that the general public no longer give credit to facts or expert opinions and the role of academic research in social change.

20 Optional

Post A-Level Spanish

Title Credits Core/Optional
Spanish Language Post A-Level 20 Core

Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture

This course examines the literature and film of modern Spain and modern Spanish-speaking Latin America. In each semester, three cultural products from one of these two areas are studied: poetry, film and narrative fiction. We will build up a picture of the cultural history of Spain and Latin America, as well as looking at key themes to emerge from their literary and filmic outputs. By focussing on three different genres in each semester, you will be able to explore different types of cultural product and to build up analytical skills gradually by moving from shorter or visual pieces to a larger body of writing. The knowledge and skills acquired here will underpin the optional modules at level 2 and beyond.

More about this course

* If you are studying one or two languages students must choose at least this module or the module entitled Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America. Note that if you have extra credits both modules can be studied.
If you are studying three languages this module is optional.

20 Core/Optional 

Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America

This module examines the historical trajectory of Spain and Portugal, their emergence as states in the Iberian Peninsula, their imperial expansion overseas into Africa, Latin America and beyond, the eventual independence of the colonies and their development and consolidation into the various modern-day states we know today. The module will explore the social, political, linguistic and cultural characteristics of these states and its peoples and highlight the importance of understanding their complex history in the formation of their identities, their languages and their cultural and political values.

More about this course

* If you are studying one or two languages students must choose at least this module or the module entitled Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture as their core Spanish module. Note that if you have extra credits both modules can be studied.
If you are studying three languages and cultures this module is optional

20

Core/Optional

Activism and Social Change

This modules examines how people, individually and collectively, attempt to enact social and political change in society through a number of case studies which will focus on the countries which historically belonged to the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The module will introduce students to theories of social movements and social change and will critically assess the different strategies which people adopted at different historical moments and in different geographical locations and the success and failure of their activism. Case studies may differ each year but topics may include the following: activism and social change movements in Brazil, climate activism, women’s rights and indigenous people's movements in Latin America, the role of literature/film/music in social activism movements and/or the use of symbols, slogans, the media and new technologies/the internet in order to inspire followers and maintain activist momentum;  the concept of ‘fake news’, the growing belief that the general public no longer give credit to facts or expert opinions and the role of academic research in social change.

20 Optional

There is also the opportunity to pick up a new language, Catalan or Portuguese, within the Iberian world. You can even choose to start Catalan or Portuguese from scratch in the Second year, as one of your optional modules.

You may also choose from a range of modules from across the School of Languages and Cultures.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 29 January 2021


Course search

Find the right course for you.