BA Joint Hons History & Spanish

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: VR14
  • Second-year entry: may be available to suitably-qualified students

  • Flexible degree structure: focus your studies in areas that interest you

  • Applicant visit day: March each year

Study with us

Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.

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Why this course?

Studying history – the story of humanity through the ages – develops your knowledge of the past and gives you a better understanding of the present.

Throughout your studies, you'll receive excellent training in areas such as problem-solving, communication, research methods and interpretation.

Our classes cover some of the most important and interesting historical periods at home and abroad, including Scotland’s ‘Highland Problem’ in the 16th century, Slavery in World History and Cold War Europe, 1945-1991.

With more than 500 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Speaking Spanish will help you conduct business more confidently in countries that are becoming increasingly important in world markets. 

Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and/or studying in another country.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

History

Year 1

You’ll look at the origins and shaping of our modern world by introducing themes including industrialisation, empire, political reform, war and social change.

Year 2

You’ll choose from a range of national history classes, most of which cover a period of a century or more.

Year 3

If you intend to study at Honours level you must take the class in Historiography and Research Methods. You also choose further classes from a list that includes: Theory & Practice of Oral History, Slavery in World History and Scotland & the Americas in the 17th century and many more.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write an Honours dissertation on a topic of your choice and choose from a range of classes. Student numbers for optional classes may be limited in Years 3 and 4.

Dissertation

All single Honours History students and many joint Honours students complete a 10,000-word dissertation, in which they demonstrate their research skills on a topic of their own choosing. The dissertation draws on scholarly literature and as much primary source material (documents, for example) as students can acquire. Honours students often say that this is the most satisfying part of their History degree.

Facilities

Our location in the Lord Hope building provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces.

The Andersonian Library, directly opposite in the Curran Building, has around a million print volumes as well as access to one million electronic books and over 105,000 e-journals. The library covers all subjects taught at Strathclyde and offers over 550 networked computers with access to the internet, email, a wide range of software and databases and extensive Wi-Fi zones for laptops/tablets.

Spanish

In every year, teaching focuses heavily on language work, but you'll also discover the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.

Year 1

Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher Spanish or equivalent qualification in their chosen language and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary Spanish language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.

Year 2 & 3

You'll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. In the cultural class each year, you'll learn more about the history, politics, literature, and cinema of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.

Year abroad

Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining experience on a work placement or studying at a foreign institution. 

This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language, but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.

Year 4

In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. You'll also have the chance to write a dissertation in Spanish. If however, you choose to write your dissertation for your other Honours subjects, you'll take two of our cultural classes. These classes reflect the research expertise of our staff and include Latin America through Indigenous Eyes, Visual Culture in Spain, and Key Theories and Debates of Translation Studies (Spanish).

Major projects

At Honours level, you'll work on a specific project for your dissertation. You'll be supervised by a member of our teaching staff.

Student competitions

The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year.

Single & joint Honours information

English, English and Creative Writing, History, Politics and International Relations and Psychology may be studied to Single or Joint Honours level.

Education, French, Spanish, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes. Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Tourism can also be studied alongside a Humanities and Social Sciences subject.

The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you'll be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.

Learning & teaching

History

As a history student, you'll be expected to attend lectures and seminars and take part in group projects. Bibliographic search sessions in the University Library will also be provided. We encourage close, critical reading of texts and the evaluation of historical controversies to help self-directed learning and improve your analytical skills.

Spanish

We focus on the four important language skills:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories – and outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed Spanish television.

In later years you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.

Assessment

History

You'll be assessed using methods including group work, projects, presentations, dissertations, document analysis, essays and exams.

Spanish

Our assessment methods include:

  • written exams, including translations
  • writing for a specific purpose
  • essays

Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course. Students write a dissertation in their final year.

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Course content

History

History 1A

This class focuses on the history of the British Isles from 1700 to 1914. It was a period of phenomenal change in terms of who ruled the country, the main economic activities, emerging cultural expression and attitudes and the growth of British power overseas on an unprecedented scale.

In the class we'll use the British Isles as a historical 'laboratory' to discuss key themes that have shaped the modern world.

We'll look at:

  • the formation of the British state
  • the ideas that were shaped by the Enlightenment, in which Scottish writers played an important part
  • why Britain industrialised and Ireland did not
  • the often dire social consequences of industrialisation
  • how and why Britain created the Empire
  • the growth of British overseas trade will be looked at
  • the impact of Britain on Asian, African and American societies
  • the ideological effects of the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the 1798 rebellion in Ireland
  • the meaning of Victorian values in Scotland and the development of modern political parties and the growth of democracy
  • the roles of gender and class in shaping modern British and Irish society
This class will enable students to understand the origins of both modern British society and the beginnings of an increasingly integrated global community. In the tutorials, each meeting will involve the examination of a key document or two, as well as a discussion of that week's topic.

History 1B

This class follows on from History 1A and takes the story up to the end of the 20th century. We'll look at:

  • the effects of World War I on Scottish society and why Ireland broke away from the United Kingdom
  • the growth of the Labour Party and the rise of socialism will be traced
  • the effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s on British society
  • the reasons why the British government formulated a policy of appeasement, to show how foreign policy and domestic policy were inextricably linked
  • the impact of World War II on British society
  • the demands that led to the creation of the Welfare State will be explored
  • the new international realities facing Britain in 1945
  • the beginnings of the Cold War, to show how effectively Britain adapted to the loss of Great Power status
  • post-war society and the cultural revolution of the "Swinging Sixties". We'll ask whether a generation gap emerged
  • the long slow march of women's rights
  • the impact of immigration, to show the ways in which British society was changing fundamentally
  • the collapse of the traditional industrial economy in the 1980s and changes in Scottish family life, to show how social norms were being overturned
  • the advent and effects of devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Just as in the first semester History class, we will use carefully selected documents in tutorials to help us analyse each topic.

Spanish

Spanish 1A

This course will further your knowledge of the Spanish language and develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language through intensive practical and communicative language work. This course aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You'll extend your knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and focus on the development of contemporary Latin America and on how issues relating to it are reflected in its cultural production (for example, films, journalism, songs).

Spanish 1B

Following on from Spanish 1A, this course will broaden your knowledge of the Spanish language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Spain through the materials used. Practical language activities, such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to Spanish through audio, video and written texts, will enable you to progress from the levels achieved in Spanish 1A. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish 2A in semester 1 of second year.

or

Introduction to Spanish 1A

This course aims to give an introduction to the Spanish language, assuming limited or no previous knowledge of Spanish. It introduces everyday Spanish language, as well as certain aspects of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The class is intended to help students to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish.

Introduction to Spanish 1B

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Introduction to Spanish 1A. The class will broaden your knowledge of Spanish language and enhance skills already acquired of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish. This class also introduces students to new aspects of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.

History

Choose three from this list

Scotland: Renaissance and Reformation

This course will focus on the period from the final establishment of the territorial boundaries of the Scottish kingdom in James III’s reign through to the Union of Crowns in 1603. In covering the era of the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland, as well as the regnal union of 1603, it will focus on the reigns of successive Stewart monarchs and their subsequent accession to the English and Irish thrones, thereby creating a British imperial monarchy.

Scotland’s contact with Europe and its strained relations with England form core themes but political history will be studied in the light of the social, religious, economic and cultural developments that lend early-modern Scotland its distinct identity, thereby examining issues such as trade and economic development, the impact of the Renaissance in Scotland, literacy and the spread of reforming ideas, the arts, education and issues of identity.

Disease & Society

This class provides a broad introduction to the historical relationship between diseases and human societies in the early modern and modern periods.

It examines the core thesis that diseases and other health conditions have had dramatic impacts on history, shaping economic relations, political and social structures and cultural and religious beliefs.  However, it also explores the reverse of this, the thesis that human activities, ideas and behaviours have radically altered the diseases and conditions that afflict our societies over the last five hundred years.

The course is grouped around three themes:

  • infectious disease
  • chronic disease
  • society's responses to disease

Lectures in the first two sections focus on exploring the origins of key diseases/debilities, the ways in which social structures/behaviours have caused or abetted these conditions, and their impacts on society, economics, politics and culture.

In the final section, lectures focus more on the ways in which societies have sought to conceptualise, control and cure diseases. The key questions that students should be able to answer by the end is how have diseases and debilities shaped human societies, and how have human societies shaped diseases and debilities?

History of Scotland 1700-1832

This course will explore Scotland’s political, economic, religious, intellectual and social development in the aftermath of the Union of 1707 through to 1832.  The benefits, disadvantages and tensions that arose from the process of becoming part of the British state will be explored through such issues as:

  • causes and impact of union
  • the significance of Jacobitism
  • the nature and consequence of agricultural and industrial change
  • Empire
  • the role of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Modern Europe

This class examines some of the principal developments in international history of twentieth century Europe. It pays particular attention to:

  • the causes of the First World War
  • the impact of the war upon the international system
  • the rise of new powers within the international community after 1919
  • the causes of the Second World War
  • the Cold War and the forces driving European integration since 1945
  • the role of the USA and USSR in recent European history
In terms of geographical coverage the class will seek to balance consideration of Europe-wide developments with finer-focus treatment of French, Italian and German history. The class will introduce students to some of the main debates in the academic literature and encourage them to look at a range of relevant primary sources.

Spanish

Spanish 2A

This course will introduce you to more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the different cultures of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+/B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish 2B

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2A and will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, improving and developing further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish at third-year level. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish and Latin American Studies II

This course will explore the interlinked themes of independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America. The class is intended to give students a broad overview of Spanish and Latin American social, political and cultural history through the examination of specific texts and films, as well as to develop their critical and research skills.

History

Oral History: Theory and Practice

Please note that this is compulsory for students who wish to use oral history in their dissertation.

Oral history is a way of engaging with the past via the experiences and memories of those who were there. ‘Oral history’ is a multifaceted term that refers to the sources (interviews), the methodology (interviewing), theory (analysis), and products (of which there are many).

This new class aims to alert students to the possibilities of using oral history as a way of understanding the past. It will examine key concepts and methodologies in oral history and explore how oral history has helped to shape historical understanding.

This class also has an important practice-based focus – students taking the class will gain an opportunity to develop practical skills in oral history interviewing and analysis as well as to reflect critically on theory in relation to practice. They will also get an opportunity to explore the application and use of history in the public arena through engaging with work on oral history and public history.

Because of the practical nature of this class and the limited supply of equipment, numbers are capped at 25.

Cold War Europe

Disability in Modern Britain

The aim of this class is to gain an understanding of the key role that disability plays in the study of the historical past.

The class will explore the ways in which disability has been defined, treated and experienced. It will place developments in disability policy within wider social, cultural and political contexts. Students will engage with, and think critically about, primary sources ranging from official papers, newspaper articles, and oral testimonies, in addition to relevant secondary source material.

The use of oral testimonies in particular will help you to consider the lived experiences of disabled people and the ways in which society sought to define and treat disability. 

Medicine & Warfare

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

France at War

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents. 

Propaganda & War in the Twentieth Century

This class examines means by which states conduct informal activities to promote their domestic and foreign objectives during wartime. In particular, it analyses the role of propaganda throughout the twentieth century, focusing on the use of modern mass communication and technology by states involved in conflicts.

The class is structured around a number of historical themes, which help shed light on the emergence of propaganda as an important means of modern warfare. Key themes analysed throughout the course include:

  • the First World War as the first ‘total war’
  • the growth of international radio broadcasting
  • the creation of centralised propaganda machines in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union
  • home-front propaganda during the Second World War
  • propaganda, disinformation and the Cold War
  • the United States and the experience of Vietnam
  • information, media coverage and the Gulf War
  • 9/11 and the war on terrorism
During seminars, students will be exposed to relevant primary source material. Particular attention will be given to understanding the theory and practice of propaganda and analysing how technological developments have contributed to shaping modern information and mass persuasion.

Historiography

This class is compulsory for students who want to study history at Honours level.

This class will introduce students to the methods used by historians to reconstruct the past, exploring and analysing the techniques used by historians in doing primary research. The class is designed to demonstrate how students can use these techniques in their own work, particularly their 4th year/Honours dissertation.

Among the topics that will be covered are:

  • constructing bibliographies
  • using evidence
  • using academic conventions
  • constructing research plans
  • writing historical prose
The class will also introduce students to the subject of historiography – the history of history – and the ways in which our understanding and construction of history has evolved. The class is designed to promote independent learning and encourage students to reflect more deeply on the subject matter.

Madness and Society

Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.

Society and Politics in Colonial India: 1880s-1947

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Scottish Society since 1914

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914. The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society in the twentieth century by assessing the impact of industrialisation and the problems associated with de-industrialisation, as well as the development of an urban society.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, techniques and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland. Among the themes to be covered are:

  • the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable culture and identity
  • the myths and realities of 'Red Clydeside'
  • the notion that Scotland was a more intensely patriarchal society than the rest of Britain
  • the idea that Scotland was an anti-immigrant, racist and religiously intolerant society

Spanish

Spanish 3A

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2B and will consolidate the students’ knowledge and use of the Spanish language within an appropriate cultural context in order to enable the student to live, study and work in a Spanish-speaking country. This course aims to bring you up to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Spanish 3B

This course aims to build on and develop the knowledge acquired in Spanish 3A and will focus on two relevant topics which includes the preparation for the year abroad. This course aims to bring you up to level B2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition to the final exam, a comprehensive project will comprise the other 50% of your final mark for this course. This project will enable you to put into practice and further develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge you have developed since you started studying Spanish at Strathclyde.

Spanish and Latin American Studies III

This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America - Hispanic Studies 2 (R4200), and adds a dimension of critical and theoretical awareness, as well as developing critical skills through a study of individual texts and films from Spain and different countries of Latin America, to build an understanding of the history and cultures in which they were produced.

Year abroad

Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining work experience in a professional environment or studying at a foreign institution. Students studying two languages may opt to spend third year in one country and a further year in the country of their other language, before returning to Strathclyde for Honours year.

History

Compulsory classes

Special subject classes (taught over both Semesters 1 & 2)

The Scramble for the Middle East: Arab Nationalism, Zionism and European Colonial Powers, 1914-1939

The interwar years are central to any analysis of the decline of European colonial rule in the Middle East and the formation of nation states. It was in the 1920s and 1930s that British and French mandatory authorities faced the emergence of nationalist movements throughout the Arab world as well as the increasing competition and penetration of hostile forces.

Students will examine historical themes and events that are significant to the development of political and cultural identities in the Middle East. Through the analysis of primary sources, students will focus on:

  • the debate surrounding British and French colonial practices
  • the emergence of the Zionist movement and the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine
  • the radicalisation of Arab nationalism and its impact upon the relations between local political elites and European colonial powers
  • the increasing tension between Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine
  • the creation of the mandates in Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon and the process that led to the independence of Egypt and Iraq
  • the challenge brought by German and Italian subversive activities to British and French strategic interests in the region

Twentieth-Century Czechoslovakia

The class will explore major themes in twentieth-century European history:

  • the post-World War I settlement
  • the rise of fascism
  • the origins and course of the Second World War, Soviet expansion, the Cold War, the social and political revolutions of the 1960s and the waning of the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s -- from the perspective of a central European country which was created in 1918, dissolved in 1993, and whose opinions were seldom taken into account by the Great Powers.

Students will obtain a solid grounding in the history of Czechoslovakia from its creation to its dissolution. The class should also offer a useful introduction to themes in twentieth-century European history more generally.

Independent reading will concentrate heavily on source material, enabling students to taste the excitement as well as the frustrations of historical research. By being encouraged to view European affairs from a Czech perspective while at the same time having special responsibility for one other European country, students will be led to consider the problems of historical bias and subjectivity, and should develop historical empathy as well as considerable sensitivity to the complexity of international affairs.

Rwanda: Peace, Conflict & the Politics

The purpose of this special subject is to introduce students to the study of peace and conflict, broadly defined, and to encourage them to write and think about these subjects in a critical and engaged manner informed first and foremost by history-based discourse, but also borrowing from political science, anthropology, and related disciplines.

The module will focus on the case study of Rwanda, with individual classes proceeding chronologically.

The first semester will cover the pre-colonial period to the start of the second Hutu Republic in 1973, while the second semester will cover 1973 to present.

Throughout, students will analyse relevant primary and secondary sources to explore the benefits of applying a historical lens to understanding a nation whose recent history includes both periods of peace and political stability, and several manifestations of state-sanctioned violence, including colonialism, small-scale ethnic, regional, and political conflicts, civil war, genocide, and authoritarianism.

Students seeking careers in human rights advocacy, international law, diplomacy, and journalism will also find this course particularly relevant.

Plantation in Ulster

This class will explore the plantations that took place in Ulster during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Students will examine the emergence of the idea for plantation in Ireland, why Ulster was regarded as suitable for plantation, and the various endeavours by English and Scots to settle in the north of Ireland, whether by private enterprise or by the state. This will culminate in the official Plantation of Ulster, a 'British' project initiated by James VI and I in the early years of his reign as king of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Students will also look at a couple of cases studies of individuals who were involved in plantation, enabling a detailed study of the political, social, economic and confessional reasons why they chose to migrate to and settle in Ireland at this time.

Elective classes

France at War, 1870-1962

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents.

Medicine & Warfare in the Twentieth Century

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

Cold War Europe

Scottish Society

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914.

The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society (and place it in a wider context) and to examine dominant narratives of Scotland and Scots in the twentieth century.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, methodologies and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland.  Among the themes to be covered are:

  • gender relations (for example, analysis of the Scottish ‘hard man’ narrative)
  • religion (including sectarianism and secularisation)
  • health and deprivation
  • the arts and culture (including festivals, theatre, cinema and television)
  • industry (and de-industrialisation and its impacts)
Overall, this class will explore the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable national culture and identity and assess and deconstruct narratives of Scottish society since 1914.

Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Madness and Society

Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.

Society & Politics in Colonial India

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Spanish

Compulsory classes

Spanish Honours Written Language

This is an advanced language class specifically designed to develop advanced writing skills, allowing them to produce the written language at a near-native level of accuracy and fluency expected at Honours level. The class will help to develop your comprehension of authentic written Spanish texts, and your ability to evaluate and respond critically to those texts through the production of real-world written activities, such as summary writing and opinion pieces.

Spanish Honours Spoken Language

This class fits into the distinctive nature of the Strathclyde languages degree, whereby emphasis is given to the acquisition and deployment of practical language skills. This is an advanced language class specifically designed to bring students' presentation skills in Spanish to a professional level and to introduce them to the demanding task of liaison interpreting in a variety of contexts.

Elective classes

Latin America Through Indigenous Eyes

This class aims to provide an alternative vision of Latin America from Indigenous perspectives, through the medium of film and stories. Students will first be introduced to the broad cultural and linguistic diversity of Latin America, before focusing on the Inca, Maya and Aztec cultural spheres.

The class will discuss both historical and contemporary material, identifying changes and continuities between the ancient civilizations and their contemporary descendants.

Students will learn about Indigenous worldviews, conceptions of nature and the wider cosmos, and how Indigenous societies have adapted to profound social and political changes since the Conquest.

What are you looking!?: Visual Culture in Spain

This one-semester class aims to provide a nuanced, diverse, representative and updated perspective on a range of the core issues that are vital for an understanding of Spain and its recent past in order to unlock a window into its present.

The class offers a unique combination of media and genres across a heterogeneous set of perspectives often excluded from the more Eurocentric/hegemonic and heteronormative portrayals of Spain that are standard in UK programmes.

All material is available in Spanish (with much also in English); nevertheless, students will also enjoy exposure to several other languages and identities present in Spain, which will broaden their awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity and the complexities involved in intercultural communication.

Key Theories and Debates of Translation Studies (Spanish)

This one-semester class is designed to further develop students’ linguistic skills and cultural awareness in the context of translation, introducing students to the key debates in the study of translation.

It will also equip students to critically engage with a variety of texts in order to address questions such as:

  • what constitutes a 'good' translation?
  • what is the role of the translator?
  • what is the interrelationship between source-text, target-text, author and readership? And how does the interrelationship between these elements affect translation decisions?
  • how do you account for cultural differences? And gender?
  • what is an annotated translation?

Class content will cover the translation of texts from advertising, business, and corporate texts, machine translation, to feminism, audio-visual translation, and political texts.

Student Placement

This 20-credit module offers Honours students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 42 hours and up to 77 hours on a placement of their choice where their knowledge of Spanish language and Latin American cultures as well as their set of skills can be applied; placements can range from teaching, translating, interpreting to tour guiding, doing research, etc. in situ or remotely.
 
This module aims to apply your language skills to real-life experiences and allows you to become more acquainted with industry-level expectations.
 
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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA 
  • 2nd sitting: AAAAB 

(including English plus at least one other social science subject from those listed under preferred subjects below; plus National 5 Maths or Application of Maths at B to C.)

Minimum entry requirements**:

  • 1st sitting: AABB 
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB 

(including English at B plus at least one other social science subject from those listed under preferred subjects below; plus National 5 Maths or Application of Maths at C.)

Preferred subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Studies
  • Modern Language (German/French/Spanish/Italian)
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
A Levels

ABB-BBB

International Baccalaureate

32-30

Irish Leaving Certificate

Two H2 passes and three H3 passes including English

HNC

Year 1 entry: Social Sciences A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Not normally accepted

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Contextual Admissions for Widening Access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background.

Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential, and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Placements

Every one of our flexible BA options gives students the chance to gain valuable industry experience as part of a credit-bearing work placement class in their third or fourth year.
 
Learn about placements

The Flexible BA

With our BA (Honours) degree, you can choose from subjects in Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, with two of your three subject choices taught by the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

The BA degree is a four-year course allowing you try new subjects, develop your own ideas, build a broad range of knowledge and enhance your employability.

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Subject combinations

Use our subject picker tool to see the combinations available to you in Year 1 of the BA Humanities & Social Sciences degree. Please note that in Year 2 you'll continue with two of these subjects.

Explore the structure of the BA Humanities & Social Sciences degree for detailed information on Single and Joint Honours options.

 

 

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland

£1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes). MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

International

£19,600

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional costs

Course materials & costs

The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students can print course materials at their own expense.

The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Study abroad 

Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4. Students who choose to study in Spain are eligible for an Erasmus grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad. This, however, is not a full maintenance grant.

Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs. These costs will vary dependent on the country of study. An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.

A range of scholarships are available for students of Spanish and awarded on a competitive basis.

Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend.  In the case of Spain, this amounts approximately to €964.88 per month gross (€800 net after social security deductions).

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Dean's International Excellence Award

This scholarship is for new international students who will begin a full-time undergraduate course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in September 2024. The award is a £5,000 scholarship per year for the duration of their degree (total of £20,000 for a four year course). All offer-holders are eligible for this scholarship.

Dean's International Excellence Award

Two students in library.

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Careers

Many History graduates progress to careers in education, social welfare, the Civil Service and the Scottish Government or in areas such as finance. Some graduates work in teaching, museums or heritage, while others find satisfying careers in library and information science, arts management and administration or journalism.

Many students expand their knowledge of history by taking further postgraduate study.

Modern language graduates are in high-demand across a range of areas. Some language graduates become teachers or translators, while others work in multilingual or international environments. Many of our students now work in journalism and broadcasting.

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador
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Apply

Please note that you only need to apply once for our BA degree programme.

For instance, if you have applied for BA Honours English and are considering your options for a Joint Honours degree, e.g. a BA Joint Honours in English and French you only need to apply for one or the other on UCAS.

If accepted on to the BA programme, you can study one of the many available subject combinations.

Start date:

History & Spanish (1 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

History & Spanish (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to the University of Strathclyde at this time.

Apply now
Callum Anderson BA History and Spanish student
My year abroad was definitely one of the highlights of my time here. Strathclyde gave me the opportunity and confidence to go to Spain and supported me throughout the year.
Callum Anderson

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Contact us

Prospective student enquiries

Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8600

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