Spanish MA

Golden Age Iberia in Glasgow HISP4079

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

Short Description

'Golden Age Iberia in Glasgow' explores the unprecedented flowering of artistic and cultural production in Spain and Portugal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with particular attention to Glasgow's unique resources in this field. Delivered in collaboration with curators and researchers in the area, the course includes "walking seminars" around Pollok House and classes delivered within Special Collections at Glasgow University Library, a combined in situ approach which will facilitate students exploration of the relationship between word and image in Golden Age Iberia.


2 hours weekly in Semester 1 only

Excluded Courses





20% Paired presentations of 10 minutes duration for which a team mark is awarded

30% Assignment: A written response to a text or painting (approx 1,500 words)

50% Exam in examining period at the end of Semester 1

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which 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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ examine the rich flowering of literature and art in the Iberian Peninsula during the Golden Age against the backdrop of developments in European culture and history generally, and in relation to particular circumstances in Spain and Portugal during the Dual Monarchy period in (1580/1640).


■ interrogate the close relationship between text and image in this period, through the study of specific, representative examples of visual arts and text (prose, drama or poetry, Portuguese or Spanish, available in the original language and in translation).


■ enhance the learning experience of Honours students of the college of Arts across the disciplines of Hispanic Studies (Spanish and Portuguese) and History of Art, by embedding the world-renowned Stirling Maxwell collections of Spanish Golden Age art (at Pollok House) and Golden Age literature (at GUL) within their learning experience.


■ promote students' acquisition of generic skills of visual and textual analysis as a means to support progression to study of Art history or Hispanic Studies at Senior Honours level and beyond.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Analyse a representative selection of the major art works of the Iberian Golden Age, and summarise their significance in the broader historical, literary and cultural context in which they were produced.


■ Appropriately use the necessary critical apparatus to make a discriminating response to a range of texts and images from Early Modern Iberia, and an appreciation of the interdependency of text and image during this historical moment.


■ Apply and evaluate appropriate critical approaches to the material under analysis independently, and present the results orally and / or in writing.


■ Argue at length and in detail about a major aspect of this cultural epoch, supporting the argument with evidence from primary sources and with opinions from secondary literature.


■ Identify artists/artworks, recognising styles and contrasting key elements of a crucial period of cultural history.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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