Spanish MA

Cultural and Social Change in Contemporary Spain HISP4104

  • 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

Spanish society has changed dramatically over the last decades: still shaped by the transition from Franco's dictatorship to a constitutional monarchy, it does not only grapple with the ghosts of its past but also with the effects of globalisations. This course explores contemporary Spanish society and culture through the lens of 21st-century narratives from and about Spain, including widely watched television series and bestsellers as well as fiction that is more appreciated in specific niche markets. Students will explore how narratives paint specific images of Spain drawing on current political and social issues that may typically include the economic situation, the national past, the situation of the LGBT community, race and migration.


20 x 1-hour sessions over both semesters as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Report (1,000 words) - 20%

Essay (2,000 words) - 50%

Group presentation, within which each student in the group will talk for c5 minutes (15% group mark and 15% individual mark) - 30%

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:

■ explore social and political issues that are addressed in recent narratives;

■ analyse the ways in which Spanish society is represented in recent narratives;

■ position Spain within the broader context of European and global socio-cultural change, exploring the relationship between social change and culture at a general level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ use a wide range of sources of information critically and selectively, appreciating the difference between factual information and cultural products that are open to a wide range of interpretations;

■ analyse and contextualise a range of recent narrative fiction;

■ present orally and in writing arguments related to the topics studied, drawing on critical reading sources;

■ prepare essays using appropriate research 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.