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PL10956: Spain from 1898 to the present

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 10%, ES 45%, EX 45%
Assessment Detail:
  • Presentation (CW 10%)
  • Essay (ES 45%)
  • Exam (EX 45%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: To introduce students to the study of Spanish history, politics, society and culture from the loss of Spain's last major colonies in 1898 to the present. Socio-cultural developments will be analysed through study of literary texts and films.
To allow students to achieve a sound understanding of the nature of Spanish society and politics following the death of Franco, and to develop students' ability to analyse Spanish cultural production (especially literature and film) in this socio-historic context.

Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this unit student will be able to:
* evaluate the main historical developments in Spain from 1898-1975
* judge the central causes of the Spanish Civil War
* assess critically the reasons for Franco's victory in the Civil War
* analyse the main reasons for the longevity of the Franco regime
* analyse gender perspectives and changing roles between 1898-1975
* have a solid knowledge of key developments from the death of Franco in 1975 until the present and be in a position to analyse key aspects of Spanish politics, society and culture
* possess essential analytical and writing skills in Spanish.
* debate the key cultural trends in this period
* evaluate a number of literary and cinematic texts in their historical context.
* be able to mobilize knowledge gained from lectures and readings.
* have acquired essential reading, listening, and note-taking skills in Spanish;
* seek and make positive use of feedback.

Skills: Skills in critical and textual analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, effective communication in the target language, cultural awareness, transferable skills and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are developed and assessed in this unit. Language and team working skills are developed in this unit.

Content: The Unit is taught in Spanish. Contents include:
The political system and its challenges 1898-1923; the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera 1923-1930; reform and reaction the Second Republic 1931-1939; domestic and international explanations for the victory of Franco in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939; the survival of the Franco regime in the face of international isolation 1939-1953; economic and political changes under Franco 1953-1975; the transition to democracy 1975-82; Spain's 'modernization' under the Socialist Government between 1982 and 1996; the impact of the long period of economic growth on Spain under Popular Party and Socialist governments between 1996 and 2008; phenomena such as political corruption and immigration over recent decades; and the impact on Spanish society of the international economic crisis since 2008. Students will discuss films and literary texts which facilitate greater understanding of these issues.

Programme availability:

PL10956 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB45 : BA(Hons) International Politics and Modern Languages (Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB32 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (French and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB36 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (German and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB32 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (Spanish and ab initio French) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB41 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (Spanish and ab initio Italian) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB42 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (Spanish and ab initio Mandarin) with Year Abroad (Year 1)
  • UHPL-AYB40 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages (Spanish and ab initio Russian) with Year Abroad (Year 1)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.