Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American study guide 2023/24

Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American studies at Bristol

The Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies is an integral part of the School of Modern Languages in the Faculty of Arts. It is one of the largest department with over 800 students enrolled in units in three languages, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan. Spanish language is a very popular option both at degree level and as an optional unit.

The units offered at degree level fall into two categories: language classes and research-led cultural courses, the latter of which are taught in English but on Spanish-related topics by leading researchers in the area. Research in the Spanish-speaking world is quite wide, ranging from Latin American and Spanish history in the 20th century, to language varieties in the Spanish-speaking world and units on literary and film criticism: Latin American cinema and poetry, Spanish authors, and representations of culture, among others.

Students in HiPLA are quite active in the Spanish Society and contribute to editing the departmental student magazine 'Pensador'.

Unit structure

The department offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The department offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. The department does not offer postgraduate units (level M/7), however selected postgraduate units (level M/7) are available from elsewhere in the School of Modern Languages (please see the Cultural Studies guide). Level M/7 units are normally taken by students who have studied the subject for at least 3 years beforehand and are at an appropriate level of study to take postgraduate units.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies begin with 'HISP'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • HISP10000 = year 1 unit
  • HISP20000 = year 2 unit
  • HISP30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

Please note that, if you have been nominated on the Spanish or Portuguese Subject Pathways, you are required to take the majority of your credits from the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and/or these additional options:

Also, if you have the necessary language skills, you can choose from the range of additional units that each Department in the School of Modern Languages offers on cultural topics (literature, cinema, history, identity, etc.) that require knowledge of the relevant modern language. Students who are not on the Subject Pathway for that department, but are able to demonstrate the required language level (A2 for 10000-level units, B1 or B2 for 20000-level units and C1 for 30000-level units) may apply to be considered for registration on units from these study guides:

To check your level of language, please see here.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American studies are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

The units listed here explore Hispanic and Latin American art, culture, history, and literature. If you are interested in taking a Portuguese or Spanish language class, please see the Languages and Linguistics study guide. Please note that the majority of language units run in Teaching Block 4, which are only available to students studying with us for a full academic year.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • Key Moments in Lusophone History and Culture (TB1) - HISP10015
  • The Making of the Hispanic World, from 1492 to the present day (TB1) - HISP10014


  • Critical Concepts in the Study of the Hispanic World (TB2) - HISP10010

Year 2 (level I/5)


  • Latin America in the Twentieth Century: A People’s History (TB1) - HISP20119
  • Republic, War and Dictatorship in Spain, 1931- 1975 (TB1) - HISP20076
  • Women’s Writing and Filmmaking in Latin America (TB1) - HISP20108
  • Women’s Writing in Post War Spain (TB1) - HISP21309


  • Barcelona: Culture and Representations (TB2) - HISP20117
  • Colonial Worlds: Latin America and the Caribbean, 1400-1900 (TB2) - HISP20122
  • Contemporary Latin(x) American Poetry (TB2) - HISP20115
  • Introduction to Latin American Film (TB2) - HISP20114
  • Introduction to Spanish Peninsula Literature since 1850 (TB2) - HISP20121
  • Queer Writing and Film in The Hispanic World (TB2) - HISP20118
  • Race, Gender, and Intersectionality in Twenty-First Century France: Cultural Production, Politics, and Identity (TB2) - HISP20072
  • Structures and Varieties of Spanish (TB2) - HISP20123

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Hispanic Sociolinguistics (TB1) - HISP30056
  • Imagining Other Worlds (TB1) - HISP30102
  • Political Comedy, Social Tragedy: Protest and Conflict in Spain, 1875-1923 (TB1) - HISP30099
  • The Novels of Carmen Laforet (TB1) - HISP31026
  • The Theatre of Federico García Lorca (TB1) - HISP30029


  • Black and Indigenous Religions in the Early Modern Iberian World (TB2) - HISP30098
  • Brazilian Backlands, Universal Borders (TB2) - HISP30105
  • Contemporary Latin American History (TB2) - HISP30069
  • Intermedia Encounters in Poetry (TB2) - HISP30104
  • Latin American Digital and Visual Cultures: Identity and Resistance (TB2) - HISP30092
  • Nation and Empire in Writing and Visual Culture in Spain (1874-Present) (TB2) - HISP30100
  • Oceanic images in Modern Chilean Culture (TB2) - HISP30084
  • Sports and Societies in South America: 1860-1930 (TB2) - HISP30097
  • The Spanish Civil War (TB2) - HISP30076

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Selected English Literature units available to Spanish or Portuguese subject pathway students

There are 2 units available from the Department of English:

  • Approaches to Poetry (TB2) - ENGL10026
  • Critical Issues (TB1) - ENGL10017

(Please note that other English Literature units are not available on the Spanish or Portuguese subject pathway programme).

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207
Email: cfsa-inbound@bristol.ac.uk


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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