Introduction

Anthropology and Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen is a great study combination, adding to a thorough grounding in what it means to ‘be human’, with an in-depth study of a major modern European language and culture. You will have the flexibility of a five or four-year degree and the language, perspective and skills you will develop will open up a wide range of career options including with an international flavour.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
LR46
Degree marketing image

Anthropology – for which we boast 100% student satisfaction – will give you a thorough grounding in humanity, the differences in human cultures and communities and how they have developed. You will gain a unique insight into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world, and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

Combining this study with a language spoken by 350 million native Spanish speakers in 19 Latin American states, the Spanish Peninsula, and increasingly in the US, is highly appealing to employers operating in increasingly global markets.

Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation, with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment. You will be equipped to communicate in a global language and widen your studies with Spanish-language literature, films and visual culture.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in a Spanish-speaking country.

The combination of skills you will graduate with will have special appeal to employers in European and international business – including the energy sector which is of growing importance to Latin American economies – and in many other fields where people, cultures, and international outlook feature strongly, including NGOs and international development.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003)

15 Credit Points

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502)

15 Credit Points

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Intermediate

  • Spanish Language 2 (SP1028)
  • Spanish Language 3 (SP2525)

Advanced

  • Spanish Language 3 (SP2525)

All options will also select:

  • Encountering the Other in Iberia and the Americas (SP1538) AND/OR Latin America: A Cultural History (SP1032)

Plus select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points.

Spanish Language 2 (SP1028)

15 Credit Points

This is a fast-paced language course for students with some previous knowledge of Spanish who have been allocated onto this course by our diagnostic test. It is aimed at students intending to pursue an honours (single or joint) degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies but is also suitable for students on other degree programmes.

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Spanish Language 3 (SP2525)

15 Credit Points

This course follows Spanish Language 2 or can be taken by students who have the required level of Spanish as determined by the diagnostic test (see below).

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Encountering the Other in Iberia and the Americas (SP1538)

15 Credit Points

The course introduces students to colonial encounters ranging from Muslim Iberia to the pre-conquest Americas and continuing into the period of the Spanish Empire. From the nineteenth century, conquest and colonial encounters continued as newly-independent Spanish American states seized indigenous territories, while colonial mentalities re-surfaced in contexts as diverse as the Spanish Civil War and Southern Cone dirty wars. These examples show how colonial encounters helped shape contemporary Spain and Spanish America.

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Latin America: A Cultural History (SP1032)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to Latin American history, culture and society from the pre-Hispanic period to the present through a selection of archaeology, historical and contemporary writings, visual culture and music. All texts studied will be available in English translation.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Second half-session to be spent in Spain or Latin America

Key Debates in Anthropology (AT2010)

30 Credit Points

This course explores some of the key questions that anthropologists have debated: what it is to be human, the nature of human interaction with other humans, with non-humans, and with the environment, and the different ways that people perceive the world and act within it. Themes that will be discussed in this course include the category of the person, morality and ethics, art and aesthetics, what is power, how to engage with Otherness, and how anthropologists engage actively, outside academia, in development, health, or business.

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Spanish Language 4 (SP2026)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to prepare intending Honours students of Spanish and Latin American Studies for their compulsory period abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.

The course will develop further Spanish language skills, both receptive and productive. Classes on grammatical and linguistic analysis will contribute to the development of both sets of skills. In addition students will complete a structured self learning programme of audio-visual study and grammatical reinforcement study.

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Latin America: Texts and Contexts (SP2036)

15 Credit Points

This course uses texts, which can include plays, films, novels, music, letters and an etiquette guide, to understand issues, concerns and themes in Latin American history. The course is organised chronologically and each week classes focus on texts from a particular country as a means to discuss bigger questions, such as how to make a new nation after three hundred years of colonial rule and a decade of warfare, how to demonstrate your honourability in an anonymous city and what cultural models are the best source of inspiration. The course also focuses on 'context' shared throughout Latin America.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses
Anthropological Theory (AT3027)

30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

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Spanish Language 6 (SP30A3)

15 Credit Points

This is a core prescribed course open only to Junior Honours Spanish and Latin American Studies students and a selected range of other programmes at the appropriate level. This course aims to enable you to identify and use, accurately, fluently, and with an appropriate level of sophistication, a range of vocabulary and linguistic registers at advanced level.

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Optional Courses

Select TWO courses in level 3 Anthropology (listed below) plus, 45 credits from level 3 Spanish and Latin American Studies courses.

Society and Nature (AT3522)

15 Credit Points

Through a series of lectures and a mix of tutor and student led tutorials, this course will interrogate the division between society and nature. We will examine where the division came from, how it informs many understandings of humans and the environment, and whether we would be better off disposing of it altogether. Examples of the impact of this construction will be provided but students will be encouraged and expected to seek out their own and to do their own research which will then be brought back to the course through lively tutorial discussions resulting in peer and tutor feedback.

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Emotion, Self and Society (AT3526)

15 Credit Points

This course addresses the anthropological study of emotion and self. It covers the different theoretical approaches to emotion, self and subjectivity. The broad questions addressed revolve around the cultural construction of emotion and self, and the entanglement of psychodynamic processes and power in the formation of the subject. The topics covered include anger and fear, grief and compassion, personhood, technologies of self and subjectification, identification and melancholia.

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Religion, Power and Belief (AT3534)

15 Credit Points

What is religion? What does ritual do? Does ritual have effects, in the persons performing them, in society, or the world? How might ritual be a means or medium for political action? This course is an ethnographically grounded discussion of how anthropologists have addressed the concept of religion, the interface of religion and power, and is a critical interrogation the concept of belief.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
Spanish Language 7 (SP40A5)

30 Credit Points

This is the final Spanish language course within the degree that will provide students with advanced comprehension and writing skills in general and specialised registers.

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Optional Courses

You must choose one of the following dissertation courses:

  • Joint Honours Dissertation in Anthropology (AT4047)
  • Dissertation in Hispanic Studies (SP4039) (NOTE: This is a year-long course, with timetabled classes in the first half-session)

Select TWO courses in level 3 Anthropology (listed below) plus, further courses in Spanish and Latin American Studies to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline.

Joint Honours Dissertation in Anthropology (AT4047)

30 Credit Points

This course is open to joint honours students in anthropology. Having chosen a topic for their study, students will be allocated a supervisor and carry out readings, research and writing under the guidance of their supervisor. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on library research.

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Dissertation in Spanish (SP4039)

30 Credit Points

This year-long course unit combines dissertation research with research methods training. The dissertation is a piece of extended independent research (8,000-10,000 words long), structured as a critical evaluation, analysis or argument, about a topic germane to Spanish and Latin American Studies. The topic is chosen by the student, in conjunction with the dissertation coordinator and an individual Departmental supervisor, both of whom approve the topic. Students are encouraged to design their topic building on their previous studies, especially honours courses. The dissertation offers a chance for students to carry out in-depth independent study in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and to acquire and develop valuable research skills. The course begins, in the first half session, with workshops on diverse research methods and the creation of peer support groups. The second half session includes structured meetings with the dissertation supervisor and meetings with the peer support group, as well as independent research and writing.

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The Constitutional Imagination (AT4025)

30 Credit Points

This course will examine anthropological theories of the state, political organization and violence. Through an analysis of both modern and historical case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we will critically examine theories of state of modern and non-modern state formation and organisation, and the nexus of religion and colonial history. In the second half of the course, particular attention will we paid to the ethnography of violence as a mode of state and proto-state political action.

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Anthropological Approaches to the Past (AT4049)

30 Credit Points

This course draws on the University’s Museums and Special Collections to explore practical methods used in anthropological approaches to the past. Students will investigate the ethnographic potential of oral histories, museum objects, photographs, and archival documents. We will examine how these methods can be used to tell diverse stories about colonialism, collecting, and histories of science, and address contemporary concerns such as collaborative research and repatriation. Students will write a historical ethnography drawing on methods and materials of their choice.

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Anthropology and Art: on Place, Landscape and Materials (AT4548)

30 Credit Points

Anthropology and art have much to offer each other. Taking historical and contemporary perspectives, students in this course will debate the cultural significance of art and the nature of creativity. We will focus particularly on questions of place, landscape and materials through a combined art-anthropology approach. The course will use the University of Aberdeen’s own art and ethnographic collections, and we will also work with Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.

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Roads, Mobility, Movement, Migration (AT4526)

30 Credit Points

In this course students will be introduced to the topical themes in contemporary anthropology: roads, automobility, car cultures, migration, road narratives, and roads in film and literature. The course is based on the notions of movement and mobility and will incorporate the ethnographic material from the North, including Scotland and Siberia. During the course students will conduct their own research on the road of their choice. The course includes: a fieldwork element, screenings of documentary films about roads, and weekly student-led discussions.

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More Than Human (AT4538)

30 Credit Points

This course explores new directions in how we think about humans and other species.

Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in how the social sciences and humanities deal with animals, plants and other organisms and we scrutinise these cutting edge ideas in depth. A lot of emphasis is placed on trying to think through real life encounters and issues, from a walk in the park to new revelations about life from the bottom of the ocean. Although the focus is on anthropological work, the course should appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

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The Political Anthropology of Indigenous Rights (AT4547)

30 Credit Points

Indigeneity is one of the more controversial relations created by globalisation. Widely criticised for being ‘essentialist’ and ‘anti-liberal’, it is one of the more quickly growing identities recognized by the United Nations and defended in the constitutions of many nation-states. Using anthropological insight, this course survey the history of the term, study its expansion from the ‘salt-water colonies’ and ‘settler states’ to the heartland of Europe, and explore some of the challenges and advantages of the term. The seminar will explore how the term has come to be used in different post-colonial situations from the classic “heartlands” if indigeneity in North America, Latin America, and Northern Fennoscandia, to new contexts in China, India, Africa. The course will also explore how the politics of aboriginal rights has become closely linked to struggles for recognition, environmentalism, and collective struggles against neo-liberalism. The course is run in a seminar format with students encouraged to weigh and evaluate the results of their reading.

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Anthropology and Spanish & Latin American Studies?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen is a dynamic and successful department. Its national teaching rating is 'excellent'.
  • Courses give equal weight to the study of Spanish and Latin-American cultures.
  • The Department's programmes are multi-disciplinary; students have the opportunity to study visual culture, literature, history, politics and anthropology in relation to Spain and/or Latin America.
  • Spanish is the second most widely spoken language after English in the western hemisphere and is currently spoken by 350 million native Spanish speakers in nineteen Latin American states and a large part of the Iberian Peninsula. Not only is it the second language in many parts of the USA, but Spanish is also the fastest growing modern language in the UK.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2021 Entry
2022 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £18,000
Students Admitted in 2021/22
Home Students £1,820
Students Admitted in 2021/22
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Financial support for your study year abroad

We provide funding to students starting in 2021/22 on degrees with a compulsory period abroad at the same level as the Turing funding. This financial support can be used towards rent in your new city overseas, general living costs, or travelling to see more of your new home country. Students going abroad will continue to pay their normal rate of tuition fees with no increased charges or need to change tuition fee arrangements to the host university. For a full overview of how the tuition fees work, you can check this helpful funding table on our website.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

  • Anthropology in Hispanic speaking countries and organisations
  • Academic Researcher or Consultant
  • Social Researcher
  • Museum and Gallery Curator

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Discover Uni

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX