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Unit information: The Spanish Civil War, 1936 - 1939 in 2020/21

Unit name The Spanish Civil War, 1936 - 1939
Unit code HISP30076
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Paco Romero Salvado
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit analyses Spain's brutal fratricidal conflict. Students will have access to a rich number of primary sources with which to explore key themes such as the comparative evolution of both warring camps including domestic repression, propaganda, mobilisation and centralisation as well as the crucial impact of the international response to the course and outcome of the war. This will include the way in which the Spanish conflict itself shaped the consciousness of European nationals and had an immense effect on the continental balance of power. The unit will conclude with a brief view of the war's legacy: the Spain that emerged in 1939 and the foundations of General Franco's new state.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the politics of this period in Spanish history;
  2. select, synthesise, and evaluate relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in the target language;
  3. develop responses to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at a high level of complexity;
  4. illustrate skills of textual and critical analysis.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Details

1 x 5000 word essay (summative, 100%), testing ILOs 1-4.

Reading and References

H. Graham, The Republic at War (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

E. Moradiellos, El Reñidero de Europa. Las Dimensiones Internacionales de la Guerra Civil Española (Península, 2001).

P. Preston, A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War (Routledge, 1996).

P. Preston & A. Mackenzie (eds), The Republic Besieged (Edinburgh University Press, 1996).

F.J. Romero Salvadó, The Spanish Civil War: Origins, Course and Outcomes (Palgrave, 2005).

H. Thomas, The Spanish Civil War (Pelican, 1977).