Spanish MA

Don Quixote against Reality HISP4127

  • 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 studies key aspects of Spanish culture in the Renaissance and Baroque periods through the analysis of Cervantes' Don Quixote. Students will be introduced to a key literary text that is part of the Western Canon and has shaped European Culture, gaining an understanding of the context within which Don Quixote was written. Students will have acquired the ability to critically examine and better contextualize various key aspects of Spanish literary history and culture at the end of this course.   


20 x 1hr sessions across 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





Presentation (10 minutes) - 30%

Essay (3000 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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:

■ analyse the literary strategies employed in Don Quixote;

■ explain the intellectual, cultural and historical context of Cervantes, and its importance to the present;

■ analyse the ways in which the early modern period has shaped the global reach of Spanish culture; 

■ further develop advanced writing and oral presentation skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ analyse and critique Cervantes´ Quixote, critically discussing the social, political, historical and cultural contexts in which the novel was written;

■ present ideas clearly and analytically both orally and in writing with appropriate citation of sources, uses of evidence and attribution of contribution about Cervantes and Spanish Early Modernity; 

■ reflect a clear understanding of strategies and theories in the analysis of Cervantes and Spanish Early Modernity by researching key literary and historical text.

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.