Sociology and Spanish & Latin American Studies, MA

Sociology and Spanish & Latin American Studies, MA


Sociology and Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen is a great combination, adding to your highly-developed language and cultural skills with a fascinating awakening of your ‘sociological imagination’. You will explore how the societies we live in shape us as individuals in all sorts of ways, and benefit from top-rated teaching and a culture of dynamic research to gain the skills to be a sought-after graduate by employers in many sectors and with strong international possibilities.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation, with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

Aberdeen is one of the most dynamic places to study the Spanish language and the cultural frameworks in countries where it is spoken. We will equip you with the skills to communicate in a global language, spoken by 350 million native Spanish speakers in 19 Latin American states, the Spanish Peninsula and increasingly in the US.

You will also study historical, anthropological, literary and cultural texts, films and visual culture of Spain and Latin American countries.

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.

Sociology at Aberdeen will complement and add depth to your studies of Spanish life and culture. You will explore how society shapes us as individuals in all sorts of ways, and study the sociology of the family, work-life balance, religion and society.

You will be taught by experts in social movements, conflict and peace, religion and secularisation and global political sociology and become skilled in the social research methods used to gather the evidence to better understand aspects of society – such as observation, interviews, large-scale surveys or analysing the content of documents and videos.

In addition to your technical and language ability, you will develop great skills in thinking critically and posing probing questions – which have tremendous value to employers, for example in journalism, marketing and advertising, social and market research, teaching, health and social services, charities and human resources.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

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.

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’.

Introduction to Sociology I: Self, Identity & Society (SO1007)

15 Credit Points

Sociology is the study of human social groups. It particularly focuses on modern societies, analysing how they work and how the major social institutions in them (such as religion, the media, government and the economy) operate. The course provides students with a general introduction to the unique manner in which sociologists seek to understand contemporary societies. Students are presented with current and classical approaches to understanding the social processes that underlie self-construction, group formation and social interaction, within urbanizing and globalizing social contexts.

Introduction to Sociology II: Systems of Power (SO1509)

15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to macro-sociology, which analyses the ways that people’s lives are shaped by large-scale forces, structures, and institutions. Students are introduced to the particular ways in which classical and contemporary sociologists understand social forces in the modern domestic and global environment and learn to think critically about those social forces that impact their everyday lives using the sociological imagination. Substantive topics likely to be covered in this course include the media, politics, religion, surveillance, education, class stratification, international inequalities, and the relationship between humans and other animals.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following options:


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


  • Spanish Language 3 (SP2525)

Plus select:

  • Encountering the Other in Iberia and the Americas (SP1038) AND/OR Latin America: A Cultural History (SP1536)

Intermediate students select 30 to 45 credit points from courses of choice. Advanced students select 45 to 60 credit points from courses of choice.

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.

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).

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Second half session to be spent in Spain or Latin America

Sociology of Everyday Life i: the Embodied Self (SO2006)

30 Credit Points

This follows on from level-one sociology. It is designed to highlight the ways that sociological theory informs the research endeavour, not only the questions sociologists raise, but also the particular modes through which we go about investigating them. The module examines these points in relation to a range of micro-level topics – the body, food and feeding, health and illness, the emotions, group behaviour, sex and gender, the life course and death and dying – all of which emphasise the nature of human interaction and sociological efforts to understand it.

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.

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.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

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.

Optional Courses

Select ONE from EACH of the following options

  • (SO3066) Thinking Sociologically OR (S03070) Sociology of Religion AND
  • (SO3524) Ten Sociological Studies OR (SO3568) Social Research Methods

Plus, select 45 credit points from level 3 Spanish and Latin American Studies courses.

NOTE: If you intend to enroll on the Sociology research project at level 4, you must pass SO3524 Social Research Methods at level 3.

Thinking Sociologically (SO3066)

30 Credit Points

Thinking Sociologically is the department's core sociological theory module. The course offers our students an introduction to a range of key sociological thinkers and bodies of thought, both classical and contemporary, that inform sociological analysis of social life and social institutions. As such, this course is intended to provide our honours students with a conceptual 'toolkit', that can be applied to facilitate understanding, insight and informed critique with respect to a broad range of historical and contemporary social, political and economic phenomena.

Sociology of Religion (SO3070)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with an introduction to the sociological imagination as applied to the topic of religion. While the focus is on religion, it uses religion as means of thinking about core sociological concepts and key social processes, as well as the challenges to studying the world sociologically. We will discuss the key dimensions of religious belief, practice and institutions, and what we can learn from these that can be adapted and applied to other kinds of beliefs, practices and institutions.

Social Research Methods (SO3524)

30 Credit Points

Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.

Ten Sociological Studies (SO3568)

30 Credit Points

This course bridges the theoretical emphasis of SO3066 and the methodological elements of SO3524. It presents sociology as a social science by having students examine and discuss in detail ten reports of sociological research. The goal of the course is to highlight the different ways sociological research combines theory and methods to examine and explain specific phenomena, events, or experiences of the world. Each of the ten studies will be chosen by one of the Sociology staff and present theoretical and methodological ideas and approaches that staff members use in their own work or believe to be pivotal to sociological research. Students will be required to read all ten of the chosen publications in preparation for the course each week.

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.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following dissertation options:

  • Dissertation in Hispanic Studies (SP4039)
  • Research Project Part 1 (SO4068) AND Research Project Part 2 (SO4568)

Plus select further credit points from level 4 course(s) in Spanish & Latin American Studies and Sociology to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

SO4571 Contemporary Perspectives on Race
and Ethnicity

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.

Research Project Part 1 (SO4068)

30 Credit Points

This course is the first of two courses that comprise the Dissertation in Sociology. This first course affords students an opportunity to apply their sociological knowledge and research skills to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and ethically approved by their Supervisor. Over the course of SO4068, with guidance from a member of staff, the project student will formulate an appropriate research question(s), conduct a critical literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods and prepare appropriate data collection tool(s) in order to commence their (online) research by the end of this course. Students will also get the opportunity to reflect on their presentation skills and prepare a 5-minute Panopto video on their project design for peer review. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop time management skills, a key transferable skill.

Research Project Part 2 (SO4568)

30 Credit Points

In this course, project students, guided by regular staff supervision, build on the foundations developed in SO4068 to conduct their original research and deliver their conclusions in two formats. All students will present their developing work to peers in a multi-day student conference early in the semester and submit a final report of their work (i.e. project dissertation) at the end of the course.

European Societies (SO4051)

30 Credit Points

The course aims to give an overview of European issues and current debates. It provides a deeper insight into how European issues affect our lives and why this matters. It addresses current issues of concern such as Brexit, migration, Coronavirus, family and work in comparative perspective. In doing so it blends together sociological and social policy approaches.

Gendered Approaches to Conflict and Society (SO4074)

30 Credit Points

This course will introduce you to the gendered dimensions of conflict and post-conflict societies. This will include the semantic and symbolic roles of gender during wars and occupations, how gender shapes experiences and narratives of conflict, and the discourse around gendered approaches to peacebuilding and humanitarian aid. Upon completing the course, you will have developed an inclusive sociological understanding of how conflict unfolds and the challenges that shape post-conflict recovery.

Sexualities and Gender Diversity (SO4072)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with theoretical and empirical understanding of sexualities and gender diversity in contemporary societies, paying particular attention to the historical conditions that have shaped how we conceptualise and experience sexualities and genders today. By mapping interconnections between wider power relations, and individual identities and bodies, it examines the intersectional ways in which sexualities and gender diversity are expressed, represented, and regulated.

Politics and Religion (SO4557)

30 Credit Points

Religion inspires political action, pervades national identities, and shapes political regimes. Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Nigeria, Mali, Syria; the conflicts in these countries all involve religious differences. Religion may be in decline in the West but even in Europe there are arguments about the proper place of religion and about religious exemptions from general laws. In the USA religious conservatives use the courts, state legislatures and Congress to fight against abortion and gay rights. Taking a very broad view of politics, this course examines the links between religion and politics.

Social Inequality (SO4569)

30 Credit Points

Inequality permeates all aspects of social life and structure. This course focuses on the major sociological approaches to the study of social inequality. Emphasising historical, social, and political processes, it utilises social science data and theory to explore key patterns and consequences of inequality in Scotland and beyond. In addition to examining distribution of income, it also focuses on occupational and class hierarchies, power conflicts, racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, poverty, social mobility, and inequality of educational opportunities.

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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 Sociology and Spanish & Latin American Studies?

Why Spanish & Latin American Studies

  • A subject scoring the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last Scottish national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • The opportunity to study visual culture, literature, history, politics and anthropology in relation to Spain and/or Latin America.
  • Special areas of research expertise include 20th century Spain, contemporary and historical Mexico, visual culture, gender studies, history of science in Latin America, and studies of citizenship and society.
  • Multicultural north-east Scotland, with many Spanish speakers working or studying in this region due to its role as a world centre for oil and gas.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with top-class study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and extensive Spanish and Latin American works to inspire your studies.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, film showings, and the annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, writers and scientists to campus every spring, including authors writing in Spanish.

Why Sociology

  • An international reputation for our sociology research, and recognised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a centre for research training and supervision for postgraduate students.
  • Teaching with a top rating of ‘Excellent’ in the most recent Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • Consistently rated very highly, including by students in the National Student Survey (NSS) from whom we get great feedback.
  • Sociology at Aberdeen is ranked 3rd in Scotland in the Complete University Guide 2024.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with its top-class study environment, state-of-the-art technology, and extensive collection of sociology publications and resources for your study.
  • A packed programme of student and public events, lectures, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, plus the annual May Festival, British Science Week and Being Human Festival regularly featuring Aberdeen research in social sciences.
  • Participation in the European Social Survey, one of the largest and most reliable sources of data about Europeans’ attitudes, behaviours and experiences, with data from more than 350,000 individuals across 36 countries since 2002.

Entry Requirements


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

General Entry Requirements

2024 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 achieve BB over S4 and S5 and who meet one of the widening access criteria are guaranteed a conditional offer. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

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


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 for more details.

2025 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: BBBB

Applicants who have achieved BBBB (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 achieve BB over S4 and S5 and who meet one of the widening access criteria are guaranteed a conditional offer. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

Foundation Apprenticeship: One FA is equivalent to a Higher at A. It cannot replace any required subjects.

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


Standard: BBC

Minimum: BCC

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 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


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 £20,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

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 Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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Contact Details

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

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