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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPPO3071 Contemporary Spain: Politics, Culture and Society After Franco

20 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Angel Smith

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

SPPO2010 or SPPO2011 or equivalent level of Spanish


SPPO3010Practical Language Skills in Spanish 3

This module is mutually exclusive with

SPPO3050Things Can Only Get Better: The Role of the Arts and Cultura

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module takes a holistic view of social, political and cultural change in Spain from the end of the Franco dictatorship through to the years of socialist rule under José Luis Zapatero. The thirty five years thus studied enable students to develop a detailed and situated knowledge of the institutions, cultural practices, political debates and transformations of contemporary Spain set against an informed historical background elaborated upon by four tutors in SPLAS.


This module aims to complement existing student knowledge on recent Spanish history and to develop it by referring to a particular period of time: the Transition from dictatorship to democracy and the transformations that Spain experienced over the years from the end of Francoism up to the period governed by the Socialist Party.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
- understand the transformations of contemporary Spain
- develop historical sensitiveness regarding the memory of violent conflict and the legacy of authoritarianism
- have an in-depth knowledge of a range of cultural, political and social issues affecting contemporary Spain
- be aware of how history continues to affect contemporary realities in Spain
- have understood the role of the economy in social and political change
- be able to interrogate the relationship between institutions, identities and social movements in respect of social change

Skills outcomes
Students will acquire the ability to sustain detailed and competent debates across a range of subject areas relevant to the module and to put into practice this knowledge in written form as part of the module assessment.


After an introductory session, the module tackles a variety of topics related to Spanish politics, society and culture. The legacies of the long dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco will be addressed in separate sessions on the Spanish Transition to Democracy and the Historical Memory of the Civil War and Franco's regime. The accession to the European Economic Communities in 1986 as well as the Spanish economy since the 1970s will also be studied. The module also tackles issues like gender politics, the well-known La Movida movement and the recent developments in Spanish society such as the 15-M and the Indignados movement

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The hours to be devoted to private study cover the extensive bibliographical searches and library readings that students will need to undertake in order to satisfy the demands of this module. These will be primarily of three types: general and consolidatory reading activities; specific readings for the successful development of the seminar presentations; in-depth readings for the completion of the assessed essays or Final Year Project.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by on-going seminar interventions throughout the module and by more informal discussions in module tutors' office hours, where appropriate. Progress will also be assessed and monitored by two essays or one Final Year Project. In the case of the former, adequate guidance and feedback will be provided before and after each essay; in the case of the latter, extensive guidance will be available from the Module Co-ordinator or appropriate tutor.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2 x 3,000 word essays (worth 50% each)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/07/2021


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