Spanish and Latin American Studies
The Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies is part of the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).
About the major
Spanish, the third most spoken language internationally, engages you with the world. A major in the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies will equip you with a deep and applied knowledge of the Spanish language, its social and academic contexts and uses, as well as the tools to examine and understand past and contemporary forms of politics, society and culture in the Spanish-speaking world. Our exchange program enhances this by offering in-country exposure to the same. Language learning in our department becomes a means not merely to communicate but to engage with real-world issues. Our graduates will have gained skills that are valued in diplomacy, journalism, arts, education, business and the law, in other words, in all areas requiring cultural exchange.
The language units we offer are based on a recognition of the lived and social nature of language. You participate in Spanish via group work, role plays, creative project-based work, online quizzes, discussion, as well as skills tests, exams and essay writing. The units you choose for your major involve both language and culture subjects, wherein you explore modern and contemporary culture (film, media, music, for example), literature and society, state and social change.
Pathways through the major
A major in Spanish and Latin American Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 24 credit points from language units of study and at least 6 credit points at 3000 level.
The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Spanish and Latin American Studies. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You can find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.
The language units have a very clear progression, each level building upon the previous one, based on the Common European Framework of Reference. These levels are given in brackets.
|Spanish language units of study|
|SPAN1621 Level 1 Spanish (A1)||SPAN1622 Level 2 Spanish (A1+)|
|SPAN2611 Spanish Level 3 (A2)||SPAN2612 Spanish Level 4 (A2+)|
|SPAN2613 Spanish Level 5 (B1)||SPAN2614 Spanish Level 6 (B2)|
|SPAN3611 Spanish Level 7 (C1)||SPAN3612 Spanish Level 8 (C1+/C2)|
There are different pathways through a major in Spanish and Latin American Studies depending on your language level. Junior units of study (1000 level) do not count towards the major and are completed by students starting as a beginner in Spanish. They are taken in first year and must be completed before enrolling into senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level).
The department encourages students to spend a period of exchange at an overseas university. The University of Sydney has partnerships with universities in Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. Please note all courses must be preapproved before going on exchange.
|S2||SPAN2612 and Senior SPAN culture units (2000 or 3000 level)|
|S2||SPAN2614 and Senior SPAN culture unit (3000 level)|
|Student with 65% or better in HSC Beginners Spanish (or equivalent)|
|S2||SPAN2614 and Senior SPAN culture unit (2000 or 3000 level)|
|S2||SPAN3612 and Senior SPAN culture unit (2000 or 3000 level)|
|Student with 70% or better in HSC Continuers Spanish (or equivalent)|
|Third Year||S1||Senior SPAN culture unit (2000/3000 level)|
|S2||Senior SPAN culture unit (2000/3000 level)|
There are several possible ways of constructing a pathway for the culture units that contribute to your major depending on what interests you most. Whatever combination you choose, you complete the units in the expected sequence (eg SPAN2621 and SPAN3671 or SPAN2641 and SPAN3621 in a second and third year sequence).
|Literature, text and film||Culture and society||Spain focus||Latin America focus||Elective units|
|Senior-intermediate (2000 level) units give a broad basis, helping you decide what to choose at 3000 level||SPAN2621 or SPAN2641||SPAN2622 or SPAN2631 or SPAN2615||SPAN2621 or SPAN2631||SPAN2622 or SPAN2631 or SPAN2641 or SPAN2615||HSTY2651 or LNGS2617|
|Senior-advanced (3000 level) units provide more specific focus for the final year of your major||SPAN3621 or SPAN3622 or SPAN3671||SPAN3623 or SPAN3624||SPAN3624 or SPAN3671||SPAN3623||Any SPAN 3000 level culture unit|
Progressions from Year 2 to Year 3 culture units: a selection
|Second year unit of study||Third year progression unit|
|SPAN2621-Spanish Film and Literature, this unit introduces student to the basics of approaching film and literature from Spain, providing a range of examples to explore and analyse.||SPAN3671-The Stories of Spain: Texts and Contexts, this unit builds upon the basic approaches to Spanish film and literature covered in SPAN2621 and looks more specifically at key works and specific contexts, advancing a more sophisticated set of approaches and concepts.|
|SPAN2641-Filmmaking in the Latin American Context, this unit introduces students to the basics of film production in Latin America, some key issues and forms of analysis.||SPAN3621-Latin American Film and Literature, this unit builds upon the basic approaches to film analysis covered in SPAN241 but hones more particularly on narrative theory as it pertains to film and literature, and how form relates to representation in Latin American texts.|
|SPAN2622-Popular Culture in Latin America, this unit introduces students to the basics of approaching popular culture in Latin America by engaging students with a wide range of accessible examples to use as cases to focus upon and extrapolate conceptual tools around culture, identity and nation.||SPAN3625 - New Latin American Geopolitics of Power, this unit presupposes that, beyond a mere focus on economics, important global political shifts towards and in Latin America are in evidence. Who and which powers are driving this change? What do these tendencies mean regionally and globally?|
|SPAN2631-Cultural and Social Change in Spain, this unit introduces students to a broad panorama of society in late Franco Spain and after, exposing students to examples that encourage their critical engagement with issues of state, civil society, the redefinition of nation in times of political change and globalisation.||SPAN3624-Spain: A Nation of Nations?, this unit builds upon the basic approaches to the study of society and nation by broaching more deeply the theoretical horizons of modern and contemporary nationalism in the historical development of local and regional cultural identities in Spain.|
Admission to honours requires completion of 48 senior credit points of Spanish and Latin American Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. Honours consists of taught seminar courses on topics in Spanish and Latin American culture and society, advanced language support, and a thesis on a topic of your choice in consultation with the department.
A comprehensive overview of the Spanish and Latin American Studies program is available on the website: sydney.edu.au/arts/spanish_latin_american
There is a Spanish and Latin American Studies noticeboard on Level 7 of the Brennan MacCallum Building A18.
Chair of the Department
Dr Fernanda Peñaloza
Phone +61 2 9351 6893
For further information on a particular unit of study please contact the named unit coordinator listed with the relevant unit of study description in this handbook.
For general information about language study please contact the School of Languages and Cultures, phone +61 2 9351 2869 or email