History and Spanish & Latin American Studies, MA

History and Spanish & Latin American Studies, MA


History and Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen bring together two top-rated programmes, adding to your in-depth study of a modern global language and culture with a fascinating and broad study of European and world history through the ages. The language, international outlook and transferable skills you will gain will open up a wide spectrum of careers including international opportunities.

Study Information

At a Glance

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

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.

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.

You will also study historical, anthropological, literary and cultural texts, films and visual culture.

You will be enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia and enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures collected by distinguished alumni over the centuries.

Your language ability combined with your transferable skills including research, critical analysis, communication, human society and culture will open opportunities in many fields including international business and other organisations, politics, education, journalism, NGOs and the heritage sectors.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

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’.

Making History (HI1027)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians.

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)

Select 30 credit points from Level 1 History or History of Art courses, plus 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.

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).

Latin America: A Cultural History (SP1536)

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.

Encountering the Other in Iberia and the Americas (SP1038)

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.

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Second half session to be spent in Spain or Latin America

Optional Courses


  • Spanish Language 4 (SP2026)
  • Latin America: Texts and Contexts (SP2036)

Select 30 credit points from available Level 2 History courses.

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.

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.

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.

Thinking History (HI356J)

30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

Optional Courses

Select 45 credits of Level 3 Spanish and Latin American Studies courses.

Plus, select 30 credit points from level 3 courses in History or ONE of the following approved courses:

Christianity in Scotland: History & Theology of the Church in Scotland (DR302F)

30 Credit Points

What was the situation of the Church in medieval Scotland? What changes did the Reformation of 1560 bring? Who were the main players in the Scottish Reformation and beyond? Who were the covenanters and which policies and theologies did they represent? What changes did the 19th and 20th centuries have in store for the Kirk? This course introduces students to the landmarks of Scottish Church history with reference to relevant primary sources. Assessment is based on two essays.

History of Medicine (ME33HM)

30 Credit Points

The course will involve each student working individually on a historical project of his or her own choice, under the supervision of the course co-ordinator.

Students will be required to produce a research proposal and progress reports, to prepare an essay and make a presentation of their findings to the class. The aim of the option is to give students the opportunity to research and present, individually, in spoken and written forms, a history of medicine topic of their own choice, using both primary and secondary sources.

Painting in Tudor and Early Stuart England (HA3082)

30 Credit Points

This module develops students' knowledge and understanding of early modern European painting, providing a chronological overview of elite portraiture and diplomatic commissions in England between 1530 and 1650. Artists studied in their English contexts include Hans Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck. Furthermore, this module asks important questions about the persuasive and diplomatic possibilities of the visual arts, the relationship between painter and patron, and the impact and legacy of foreign artists on British painting and visual culture through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and beyond.

Climates of Classicism: Scottish Travellers in Greece, 1770 - 1880 (AH3507)

30 Credit Points

Throughout the 19th century, countless artists travelled to Greece in search for the splendours of antiquity. Many were disappointed by the rugged and mountainous country -

but for many Scottish travellers Greece proved surprisingly similar to their homeland. We will focus on these Scottish artists and antiquaries travelling to Greece, and their experiences.

The course is based on the study of material in Aberdeen collections, serving also as hands-on training in work with primary sources.

Scottish Revivals (DR355D)

30 Credit Points

This course will examine the manifestations of religious revivals in Scotland from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries within their economic, political, religious and social historical contexts. Firstly, it will explore the various traditions of revival that have emerged during the course of the previous 300 years. Secondly, it will review the historiography of revival studies and will consider the theories that surround religious movements. Thirdly, it will consider the timing and manner of these demonstrations of religious enthusiasm. Fourthly, it will analyse the people who were affected by revivals. Fifthly, it will investigate the effects of religious movements within the lives of the communities where they have been experienced. Finally, the course will appraise the significance of revival within the wider tradition of the Christian church in Scotland in modern times.

The Heroic Age in Gaelic Sagas (GH3527)

30 Credit Points

Are heroes always a good thing? Medieval Gaelic legendary narrative offers no simple answers. Its rich and hugely entertaining body of heroic sagas dramatizes the feuds, loves and fatal flaws of great men and women of medieval Ireland and Scotland, to reflect on urgent questions about royal and aristocratic conduct. Storylines studied will include cattle-raids, fights with saints, beheading competitions, family breakdowns, love-triangles, and people uprooting trees for no apparent reason.

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

Choose ONE dissertation course option:

  • Dissertation in Spanish (SP4039) AND History in Practice (HI4518)
  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)

Select ONE History special subject from the options below plus, 30 credit points of level 4 Spanish courses.

  • Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008)
  • Special Subject: Peacemaking and Bloodfeud (HI401A)
  • Special Subject: American Social Movements in the 1960s (HI4027)
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.

History in Practice (HI4518)

30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516)

30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout.

Special Sub: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003)

30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France.

Special Sub.: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009)

30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy.

Special Sub.: Britain and Revolutionary Russia 1917 - 1924 (HI4012)

30 Credit Points

This course explores British relations with Russia during the early years of the Soviet regime. It highlights a series of key developments in the relationship, especially major changes in British government policy that charted a course from military intervention to diplomatic recognition. Most of the seminars trace an aspect of the relationship within a fairly short time-frame, but some seminars investigate a particular issue through the whole period 1917–24. Several sessions will be used specifically for analysing gobbets. Knowledge of the Russian language is not required.

Special Subject: History of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict (HI4025)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the origins of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its developments from multiple angles in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamic that constitutes ‘the conflict’. The course will investigate the causes of the Palestinian refugee crisis and of the Arab-Israeli wars. It will introduce students to the Arab-Israeli peace process and familiarise students with the polarised historiography surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Special Subject: Atlantic Encounters: Western Africa and Portugal (HI405W)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the relations between Portugal and Western Africa in the early modern period. It focuses on the period from 1415 to 1670 in which Portugal became the first European maritime power to establish contacts with societies in West and West Central Africa. Key themes include maritime navigation, Afro-European trade, and cultural contact. Particular focus will be placed on African responses and indigenous perspectives on European cultural contact.

Special Subject: the Black Radical Tradition (HI406C)

30 Credit Points

'The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.’ So declared African American intellectual WEB Du Bois at the dawn of that era.

In the period since this prophetic claim was made – and indeed in our own time – Black-led movements have challenged multiple structures of domination (racism, colonialism, patriarchy, capitalism) in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. This module focuses on the history of these transformative movements through an exploration of political thought in the Black Radical Tradition.

Concentrating on the US and the Anglophone world, but encompassing contributions from the Francophone Caribbean and Lusophone Africa, the module will encourage students to critically engage with the global history of Black thought and protest.

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 History and Spanish & Latin American Studies?

Why History

  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

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.

Entry Requirements


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

General Entry Requirements

2022 Entry


4H at ABBB from S4 and S5. Those seeking to qualify over S5 and S6 will be expected to exceed this minimum.

An HNC and HND qualification (such as Early Education and Childcare) will be accepted as one subject alongside 3 other subjects at Higher level (or equivalent). The Higher grades required are C or above. The required English and Maths grades must also be achieved.

English and Mathematics as below.


A Levels: BBB

English and Mathematics as below.


H2, H3, H3, H3, H3 including English, and 2 at Ordinary Level, including Maths which must be at Grade 3 or above.

English and Mathematics Entry Requirements

All students are required to fulfil the English and Mathematics entry requirements for entry to our MA Primary Education degree, in addition to those mentioned above. These can be accessed here.

2023 Entry


4H at ABBB from S4 and S5. Those seeking to qualify over S5 and S6 will be expected to exceed this minimum.

Qualifications such as Early Education and Childcare will be accepted as one subject alongside 3 additional subjects at Higher Level or equivalent. We require a minimum of 4 separate SCQF Level 6 subjects. So an HNC or an HND in any subject counts as one. Three more SCQF Level 6 subjects are required.  This must include Higher English at Grade B (or an equivalent as detailed below), plus two further separate subjects at SCQF Level 6. If these are Highers, grade C or above is required. Where a FA is presented, this will count as an SCQF Level 6 subject at grade B. In addition, a Maths qualification, as detailed below, must be achieved.

English and Mathematics as below.


A Levels: BBB

English and Mathematics as below.


H2, H3, H3, H3, H3 including English, and 2 at Ordinary Level, including Maths which must be at Grade 3 or above.

English and Mathematics Entry Requirements

All students are required to fulfil the English and Mathematics entry requirements for entry to our MA Primary Education degree, in addition to those mentioned above. These can be accessed here.

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 £19,800
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 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 InfoHub 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. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

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