Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap 30 Location Durham


  • Spanish Language 2A (SPAN2011) OR Spanish Language 2B (SPAN2111), OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages & Cultures, Liberal Arts, Combined Honours and Joint Honours: Spanish Language 4 (SPAN3011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop understanding of contemporary Spanish culture and skills of critical analysis and research.


  • Seleceted Spanish literature and theatre from the 1960s to the early 21st century studied in relation to elements of critical theory and social, political and economic change.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Advanced understanding of key developments in contemporary Spanish culture.
  • Knowledge of selected literary and dramatic texts and their historical, social and cultural contexts.
  • Understanding of relevant theoretical concepts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the course students should be able to write clear, coherent critical essays that show an in-depth understanding of both the set texts and the contexts within which they have been discussed, as well as an ability to find, evaluate and make effective use of appropriate resources.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to use ICT effectively both as a means of communication and as a learning tool.
  • Advanced skills in critical analysis, research and academic writing.
  • Development of general written communication skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is taught in terms 1 and 2 on a ‘long-thin' basis.
  • Weekly lectures deliver key information about the module and the topics, while firtnightly seminars in smaller groups allow for individual presentations and active discussions.
  • Two modes of summative assessment provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and research skills in different ways:
  • (i) A 1500-word analysis of critical approaches to one of the core texts studied in the first term (testing critical evaluation of secondary sources, understanding of theoretical contexts, concise expression).
  • (ii) A 3000-word essay comparing two of the core texts (testing understanding of primary texts and their contexts, use of secondary sources and theoretical frameworks, more extended argumentation).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 1 per fortnight 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay 1 Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Analysis of critical approaches 1,500 words 100% No
Component: Summative Essay 2 Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay on two core texts 3,500 words 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Seminar presentations.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University