The Spanish Civil War: Sources (HIH3180)

StaffDr Timothy Rees - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at level 1 and/or level 2
Co-requisitesHIH3181 (Context)
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will investigate the sources available for the study of the Spanish Civil War and its background, focussing on the period 1931-39. It will look at a range of materials, including oral testimony, memoirs, diaries, newspaper reports, political manifestos and party documents, official records and diplomatic correspondence. Students will be asked to focus on the reliability and value to the historian of these different types of sources and to place them within the broader context in which they were produced.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Ability to evaluate the different and complex types of source available for the study of the Spanish Civil War, together with ability to analyse very closely those sources which the students focus upon in their seminar presentations and written work
  • 2. Ability to analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Ability to analyse closely complex original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence. Ability to focus on and comprehend complex texts.
  • 4. Ability to understand and deploy historical terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 5. Ability to follow the often complex reasoning of political discourse in the period.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Independent and autonomous study and group work, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 8. Ability to present complex arguments orally

Syllabus plan

The module will focus on primary sources related to the nature of Spanish society in the 1930s, the development of the democratic Republic 1931-36, the social and political polarisation that took place before 1936, and the developments of the war from the initial military uprising to the defeat of the Republic by General Franco's Nationalist forces in 1939.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities44seminars (22 x 2hr)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course1-6, 8Oral from tutor and fellow students

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio802 assignments totalling 4000 words1-7Verbal and written
Individual presentation2025 minutes1-8Verbal and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-7Referral/deferral period
PresentationWritten transcript of 20 minute presentation.1-8Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

The re-assessment consists of a 6,000 word portfolio of source work, as in the original assessment, but replaces the individual presentation with a written script that could be delivered in such a presentation and which is the equivalent of 20 minutes of speech.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Arturo Barea, The Forging of a Rebel: Part 3 The Clash (Walker and Co. 2001)
Ronald. Fraser, The Blood of Spain (Penguin, 1979)
Laurie Lee, A Moment of War (Penguin, 1993)
George. Orwell, Homage to Catalonia 1st Ed. (Secker & Warburg, 1937) 

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