Tourism and Culture in Spain from the 1950s to the Present Day HISP4129

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores representations of tourism in contemporary Spanish culture as a way to better understand social and political change in Spain from the 1950s up to the present day. It combines a national and transnational perspective which highlights the contradictory and fluid nature of the notion of 'Spanish difference' in relation to the rest of Europe. Through a focus on diverse theoretical perspectives including politics and economy, tourism studies, gender studies, migrations, nationalisms and urban studies, students will explore the sociocultural and political continuities and discontinuities in the different periods in Spain's recent history, namely late Francoism, the early democratic period, the 1990s economic boom after Spain's admission into the European Union in 1986 and the post-2008 recession.


20 x 1 hour sessions over both semesters.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for honours entry into Honours Spanish and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Single Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Short piece of writing (750 words) suitable for a particular audience - 20%

Oral Presentation suitable for a general audience (5 minute podcast) - 10%

Essay (3000 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ introduce students to the key role played by tourism-led dynamics in the social, economic, political and cultural transformations experienced in Spain since the 1950s.


■ enable students to analyse the interactions between tourism and the fluid notion of 'Spanish difference' in twentieth and twenty-first century Spain.


■ explore tourism as a relevant social and cultural issue in Spain and in the global context, thus positioning Spain within a broader context of European and global socio-cultural change.


■ enable students to develop critical skills to analyse different types of texts and media, including film and documentary, literature and comic art.


■ develop students' skills in practical areas that might be directly applicable to a career in journalism and similar types of writing/communications jobs.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ clearly communicate sophisticated ideas on cultural representations of tourism, thus being able to discuss a wide range of interpretations about the impact of tourism in Spain.


■ critically analyse the interactions between tourism and the main periods of contemporary Spanish history, including early Francoism, late Francoism, the democratic period and the post-2008-crisis period.


■ synthesise theoretical arguments from the fields of Tourism Studies, Gender Studies, Urban Studies and studies of Nationalism.


■ express complex ideas about tourism in written and oral form in a way that makes them accessible to a wider public audience.


■ develop a series of transferable skills such as critical analysis of cultural products, critical understanding of the diverse nature of cultural media (i.e. film, literature and comic art), communicating arguments in written form, oral presentation skills.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.