University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Spanish and Latin American Studies

About the major

Spanish, the third most spoken language internationally, engages you with the world. Our Department’s units of study grow from ongoing research and teaching expertise and intellectual engagement with both Spain and Latin America. Our major 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 focusing on specific case studies.

Our exchange program enhances this by offering unique in-country exposure to the diversity and complexity of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Our program reflects the depth and breadth of our expertise on different locations across the Spanish-speaking world in a wide range of areas including film and literary studies, social and indigenous movements, gender and sexuality, translation, comparative cultural studies, and migration.

With units that innovatively integrate language, history and culture within a strong tradition of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, language in our department becomes not only a tool to communicate but also an opportunity to engage in a meaningful way with real world issues. You will benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles and the knowledge and experience of our tutors will assist you to gain skills that are valued in diplomacy, journalism, arts, education, business and the law, in other words, in all areas requiring cross-cultural competence.

The language units we offer are based on a recognition of the lived and social nature of language and its contexts. You will 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.

Requirements for completion

The Spanish and Latin American major and minor are available via the pathways indicated below.

Students will follow the appropriate pathway specified in the unit of study tables, based on their individual language level*. Students completing any of the pathways below will be awarded a major or minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

* Appropriate language units are determined either by language level and grade therein achieved in Higher School Certificate (as listed in the pathways linked above) or International Baccalaureate, and/or by one-on-one interviews prior to commencement. If you are unsure of your language level or which pathway is appropriate for you, please contact the Department for advice.

Please note: A ‘gap’ year after Year 12 does not normally affect placement.

Learning outcomes

No. Learning outcome
1 Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively in Spanish to Common European Framework of Reference level B2.
2 Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the cultures and societies of the Spanish speaking world.
3 Critically analyse different perspectives on Spanish speaking societies and cultures, and formulate arguments and hypotheses to offer alternative perspectives.
4 Demonstrate the skills to access and evaluate primary and secondary sources to conduct research on cultures and societies of the Spanish speaking world.
5 Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and openly in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary settings to achieve high quality results.
6 Apply language skills, sociocultural knowledge and critical thinking skills gained from the study of the Spanish speaking world to offer solutions to problems encountered in new contexts.
7 Apply appropriate professional and ethical standards to academic research and inquiry in Spanish and Latin American Studies.
Advanced Coursework

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies in SLC prepares students to actively engage in the complex and culturally diverse contemporary world. Students will utilise linguistic and methodological skills developed in their previous studies to develop their knowledge of institutions, practices and ideas that permeate different cultures in the local and global context. They will be offered opportunities to participate in projects on translation, acculturation and self-reflexivity and to examine textual and social real-world problems related to topics which include translation, migration studies, cultural diversity and social integration.

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the Spanish and Latin American Studies advanced coursework units of study page.


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.

Honours admission requirements

Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Spanish and Latin American Studies with an average of 70% or above.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Spanish and Latin American Studies honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

More information and current contact details for academic coordinators can be found at: