Introduction

Art History and Spanish & Latin American Studies at Aberdeen brings together thorough grounding in a modern European language and culture with fascinating in-depth study of buildings, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, decorative and industrial arts from all periods, at Scotland’s top-rated university for the impact of its research in the history of art. You’ll gain great specialist and transferable skills to add to your language and open up a range of exciting career options.

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
RV34
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’ll 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’ll also study historical, anthropological, literary and cultural texts, films and visual culture of Spain and the Latin American countries.

You’ll complement this with extensive specialised knowledge of the history of painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts in Europe and North America from the Middle Ages to the present day.

You’ll study in buildings centuries old, yet with the most modern teaching and technology, inspired by teachers and researchers whose specialist areas range from Pictish art, medieval architecture, Italian Baroque painting, early modern prints, and Scottish and British painting from the 17th to 20th centuries.

Your specialist skills make you ideally placed to enter the art gallery and museum sectors, arts education, publishing and journalism, or fine art conservation. Your language skills will open international opportunities, and your transferable skills including teamwork, time management, and highly developed enquiry, analytical and presentational skills are really suited to a range of careers.

What You'll Study

Year 1

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.

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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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Introduction to Art History (HA1004)

15 Credit Points

This course investigates key episodes in the history of art in the western world from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Students will be introduced to the artistic production of distinct historical periods, with reference to their social, political, religious and cultural contexts.

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Modern Art (HA1508)

30 Credit Points

This course discusses key works and movements in the history of art from c. 1800 to today. It serves as an introduction to one of the most dynamic and multifaceted chapters in art history. Topics to be discussed may range from the Pre-Raphaelites and the rise of abstraction to contemporary performance art. The course will also consider the global intersections of Western art, aiming to de-centre our understanding of what counts as 'modern'

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • Spanish Language 1 (SP1027)
  • Spanish Language 2 (SP1528)

Intermediate

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

Advanced

  • Spanish Language 3 (SP2525)

Plus select:

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

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

Spanish Language 1 (SP1027)

15 Credit Points

This is a fast-paced and intensive language course for students with very little or no 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 2 (SP1528)

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.

View detailed information about this course
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 placement test (see below).

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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.

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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.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Object Lessons: Ten Works in Context (HA2012)

30 Credit Points

This course focuses on ten art objects, mapping the wealth and diversity of art historical research: from iconic 'masterpieces' to popular imagery, votive objects and craft. Works discussed may range from the Parthenon marbles and Velazquez' 'Las Meninas' to wax penises and pub signs.

Each case study introduces different questions and approaches for discussing art objects: a series of lessons in critical interpretation.

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Art Matters: Materials and Techniques (HA2511)

30 Credit Points

This course focuses on how artworks are made. Students will be introduced to a wide range of materials, techniques and processes over the centuries relating to paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, photography and more. Each method and material will be examined using case-study examples, with discussion opening out to issues of the agency of materials and media and their cultural logics. In doing so, students will learn how artistic intentions are shaped and determined by material qualities.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • Spanish Language 3 (SP2025)
  • Spanish Language 4 (SP2526)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Spanish Language 4 (SP2026)
  • Spanish Language 5 (SP2531)

Plus select:

  • Latin America: Texts and Contexts (SP2036) AND/OR Spain: Texts and Contexts (SP2538)

Plus further courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credit points.

Spanish Language 3 (SP2025)

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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Spanish Language 4 (SP2526)

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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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.

View detailed information about this course
Spanish Language 5 (SP2531)

15 Credit Points

This course follows Spanish Language 4 and aims to prepare non beginners 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, expanding on the vocabulary and introducing formal documents and letters. 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 vocabulary 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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Spain: Texts and Contexts (SP2538)

15 Credit Points

This course takes a broad look at different texts spanning from the late 15th century to the present day. We will study these texts in the original language but with the help of English translations, providing a smooth introduction into reading Spanish language literature. The first half of the course concentrates on the late medieval and early modern eras, through two highly entertaining texts: Celestina and Life Is Dream. The second half concentrates on the 20th century through a combination of poetry, short fiction and film.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

This degree is offered as a 5-year option with an integrated year abroad consisting of study or work abroad (Mode A), or a 4-year option, in which students spend their fourth semester on a university exchange abroad (Mode B).

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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Critical Perspectives in Art History (HA3079)

30 Credit Points

This course offers an introduction to some of the key methodologies, concepts and critical debates that inform art-historical interpretation. The course surveys a range of approaches and debates relevant to the state of the field, and provides an introduction to the methodological and thematic concerns of current art historical research.

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Optional Courses

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

Plus, select 30 credit points of level 3 Art History courses.

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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Fieldwork 2 (HA408A)

30 Credit Points

In Fieldwork 2, you will continue your study of works of art and architecture in situ and/or online. If feasible, you will endeavour to undertake some independent or small group visits although these will be subject to your location, and the extent of the easing of Coronavirus restrictions. You will complete your Flogs with reflections on any summer activities, real-world or virtual, and begin selecting material for your Fieldwork ePortfolio. Although the Flogs will be included, the rest of the ePortfolio will be written in an academic style and offer you the opportunity to reflect on how your thoughts and ideas as an art historian have developed throughout the course.

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Optional Courses

Choose one dissertation course option.


Also, select further courses of Level 4 Spanish and Latin American Studies and Level 4 Art History to gain 60 credits in each discipline.

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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History of Art Dissertation (HA4588)

30 Credit Points

Your dissertation is intended to give you the opportunity to carry out a piece of sustained research on a topic of your own choice and to demonstrate to the examiners your ability to present the results of such research in a proper, scholarly manner. Your research may be of various kinds. It may address works of art (or a single work of art) directly, through first-hand study in galleries, museums, or private collections, or it may be of a more literary kind, addressing critical or theoretical problems. Or it might involve both.

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 Art History and Spanish & Latin American Studies?

Why Art History

  • Ranked the leading university in Scotland for the impact of Art History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • Our magnificent art collection, including the generous gifts of alumni through the centuries, and modern artworks by leading Scottish artists making our spaces special, and adding thought-provoking inspiration to our campus.
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history, showcasing some of the finest work of medieval craftsmen in Europe.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with an excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel.
  • Home to the Buildings of Scotland Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the definitive inventory of Scottish Architecture for Aberdeenshire, Moray and Aberdeen.
  • Historic treasures including important medieval manuscripts and estate papers, and the unique George Washington Wilson archive with over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.
  • North-east Scotland’s distinguished architectural heritage from the Middle Ages onwards, the Aberdeen Art Gallery collections of French and British art, including one of the best collections of Victorian painting outside London.
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Hunterian Museum are within easy reach by train, bus or car.
  • Visits to major galleries and architecture in Edinburgh, London and Paris, as part of your programme, and a final year week-long visit to a city of artistic and cultural significance – most recently Paris.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, and the annual May Festival which includes tours and talks on our medieval architecture and art treasures.

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

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

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact study@abdn.ac.uk.

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.

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.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

Careers

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.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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