The programme at Kent gives you the opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of Spain and Spanish America while developing your language skills. You can study Hispanic Studies at Kent whether you have an A level or GCSE in Spanish, or whether you are a beginner or have some experience of the language. You also explore the history, literature and film of Spain, Cuba and countries in Latin America, giving you a fascinating insight into the Spanish-speaking world.
You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.
Many Hispanic Studies teaching staff are native speakers, and campus facilities include multimedia laboratories, which offer a variety of interactive language learning programmes and dictionaries, and access to audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.
You also have the opportunity to take part in a mentoring scheme for secondary school pupils. By helping them to increase their ability to speak, read and write fluently in a foreign language, you will gain valuable work experience for future careers in education or leadership roles in any field.
Hispanic Studies student Sara explains what it's like to study at Kent.
All Spanish language modules involve three hours teaching each week, with the exception of the beginners’ language modules at Stages 1 and 2 which involve four hours. They include small group seminars, conversation classes run by a native speaker, short lectures in Spanish, work in a language laboratory and work on computer-assisted language learning materials. The culture and literature modules normally involve a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week.
Stage 1 is assessed by 100% coursework (essays, class participation) in some modules, and a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination in others. Stage 2/3: depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays), to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 60:40 or 80:20.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- Spanish and Catalan Language
- Iberian Literature and cultures from the 17th to the 21st centuries
- Iberian and Latin-American History
- Iberian and Latin-American Critical Theory
- Iberian and Latin-American Cultural Theory
- Hispanic civilisation and contemporary society, through first-hand experience
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
- Evaluate information critically
- Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
- Utilise communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
- Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
- Study and reach conclusions independently
- Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument
- Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a Spanish-speaking country
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- Communicate effectively in Spanish and Catalan for a range of purposes and audiences
- Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting)
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of Spanish and Catalan
- Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
- Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary
- Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity
- Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
- Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with Spanish-speaking communities
You gain transferable skills in:
- Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- Evaluate one’s own academic performance
- Problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- Accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
- Library and bibliographical research skills
- Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
- Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure
- Capacity for teamwork
- Leadership abilities
- Work creatively and flexibly
- Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
- Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a Spanish-speaking country
The programme aims to:
- Provide a sound grounding in the Spanish language in all its aspects, through extensive reading in Spanish and through the use of Spanish as a spoken and written medium.
- Develop a critical awareness of the broad canon of Hispanic cultures and societies from the 15th century to the 21st century.
- Develop specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the broad canon of Hispanic Studies.
- Train students in the field of translation from and into Spanish.
- Provide a gateway to related thematic studies comprising various bodies of knowledge and methodological approaches.
- Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage withpaspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
- Provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding.
- Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
- Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
- Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.
- Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations.
- Facilitate students’ ability to cope independently in Spanish.
- Build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere (notably in Spanish-speaking countries and regions), reflecting Kent’s position as the UK’s European University.
- Aims in relation to the learning and teaching strategy:
- For students studying BA (Hons) Hispanic Studies, the programme additionally aims to:
- Produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
- Prepare students for employment or further study.
- Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- Provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
- Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in a Spanish-speaking country. They may attend one of the partner universities in Spain or Latin America, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
- Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts.
- Enable students to acquire or increase first-hand knowledge of the culture(s) of their target language.