BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

On the Spanish side of the degree students will study compulsory language units (the number of credits will depend on whether students are ab-initio or post-A-Level) and the study of the culture and history of Spain and Latin America.

Teaching in Spanish in these latter areas is characterised particularly by the historically and politically contextualised study of culture and cultural practices, including in literature, visual culture and music, with thematic focus on such issues as the environment, popular culture, gender, immigration and transnationalisms, and race and ethnicity.

Crucial here is the understanding of language skills being informed by intercultural awareness and cultural knowledge being mediated by linguistic skills.

On the HCRI side of the degree students critically explore contemporary and historical issues within the broader fields of international disaster management; peace and conflict studies; and humanitarian response.

The thematic focus of the HCRI degree significantly overlaps with that of Spanish.

For instance, the investigation of environment, gender, migration, cultural norms and behaviours, power, politics, and popular culture.

As such, students will be able to apply their theoretical understanding of these broader ideas and contextualise them in different disciplinary and empirical areas.

Furthermore, teaching within HCRI is very much research led, and draws on contemporary and historical case sites from across the world.

Most of these cases are in countries where English is not the principal language.

For example, students will explore issues such as resilience, peacebuilding, relief aid, maternal mortality, and refugees in diverse contexts including Puerto Rico, China, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Iraq, Japan and Cameroon.

This will make the content particularly engaging and relevant for students of Languages.

In the first, second and final year students will follow core compulsory and optional introductory modules on both sides of the degree.

In their final year students will also have the option of taking a dissertation on either side of the degree alongside their core language units and other optional units.

Students will be allocated a dissertation supervisor according to existing procedures for the respective subject areas.

Students will also be able to take one free-choice unit at levels 2 and 3, though they will not be required to do so.

In the third year of the degree students will undertake a period of residence abroad according to the School's established residence abroad requirements and provision.

It is likely that many students on this degree combination will want to undertake work placements with relevant organisations where possible; but students will also be able to take up the offer of a study placement at one of the existing partner universities in the region of study.

The course unit details listed below are those you may choose to study as part of this programme and are referred to as optional units. These are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme. Although language units may show here as optional, they are a mandatory part of your modern languages degree and you will take the units relevant to your level of language in each year of study. It Is compulsory to study language at all levels of your modern languages degree.


  • Provide a critical insight into destabilising events and develop an understanding and appreciation of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of key issues which inform the debates on disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response.
  • Develop academic knowledge in risk and vulnerability analyses, disaster preparedness and response and the integration of development and humanitarian action.
  • Foster an informed attitude on ethical issues related to humanitarianism, including international actions taken by governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations in response to disasters of both natural and human origins.
  • Develop strategic research methodologies and techniques, including data gathering, collation, analysis and dissemination of results in disaster risk management and humanitarian action contexts.
  • Provide a comprehensive grounding in the Spanish language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in the language to live and work effectively in a Spanish-speaking environment. 
  • Give students the opportunity to learn Catalan.

Special features

Insight from the field

As an International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response student, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake field study – either here in the UK or overseas.

You’ll learn how your knowledge of disaster management and humanitarian response might be applied in the context of real-life hazards and vulnerabilities.

Residence abroad

You will  study and/or work  for up to a year in a Spanish-speaking country or countries to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Spanish-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.

Industry partnerships

Our pioneering partnerships with specific national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) shape the real-world focus of our teaching, as well as offering strong industry links to key career destinations for graduates.

Partners include Save the Children, International Alert, Medecins Sans Frontieres, The Overseas Development Institute, ALNAP, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

HCRI is also a World Health Organization collaboration centre.

You will also benefit from the Spanish Department's close relationship with Manchester's branch of the Instituto Cervantes, a centre for the promotion of Hispanic Cultures, which organises a range of activities throughout the year.

Coursework and assessment

The IDMHR part of the degree is 100% coursework based.

This involves a variety of assessment types including essays, policy briefs, blogs, book reviews and reflective writing.

On the Spanish side of the degree, you will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, you can do a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will split your study time equally between the two components of your degree. 

You will take compulsory core units in the modern spoken and written Spanish language (with separate strands for beginners and post-A level students). 

You will also be provided with an introduction to the cultural and historical development of the Hispanic world, and develop the skills required to be successful in your further study of Spain and Latin America. 

For the IDMHR component of your degree you will take compulsory modules introducing you to the key concepts and theories necessary to make sense of the humanitarian world. 

You will also take modules introducing you to international disaster management and humanitarianism.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Key Concepts in International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response HCRI11021 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Disaster Management HCRI11032 20 Mandatory
Key Skills in IDMHR HCRI11171 10 Mandatory
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Optional
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Optional
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Optional
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

You can study up to two-thirds of your credits on either side of your degree.

In your second year, you take a compulsory Spanish language course, and options (usually two) across cinema, history, politics and the literature of Spain and Latin America. 

In second year for IDMHR, you can choose between compulsory units which allow you to explore aspects of responding to crisis; the links between disaster and development; and peacebuilding. 

There is also an option to take a module centred on a professional experience project.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Conflict Analysis HCRI10002 20 Optional
Governing Aid HCRI11081 20 Optional
Everyday Peace Building and Security HCRI20002 20 Optional
Disasters and Development HCRI20011 20 Optional
Rethinking Crisis HCRI20022 20 Optional
Emergency Humanitarian Assistance HCRI20211 20 Optional
Professional Experience Project HCRI20220 20 Optional
Introduction to Global Health HCRI20321 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20062 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20161 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Culture and Cold War in Latin America SPLA20871 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20882 20 Optional
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Optional
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

You can study up to two-thirds of your credits on either side of your degree. 

Language study in the final year is centred on essay writing, translation and oral work involving discussion of texts, debates and presentations. 

You also choose from a wide range of specialised options building effectively on Year 2 study, including Latin American business and politics, Hispanic cinema and Modern Spanish Music. 

You can also choose to write a dissertation, explore Catalan language and culture, and choose from a range of options within IDMHR, which will allow you to specialise in a specific area of the degree such as humanitarianism or disaster management.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30241 20 Optional
Introduction to Global Health HCRI30021 20 Optional
War, Migration and Health HCRI30031 20 Optional
Illicit Economies, Conflict, and Development HCRI30081 20 Optional
Practical Approaches to Researching Disasters and Conflict HCRI30111 20 Optional
Disaster Mobilities of Climate Change HCRI30631 20 Optional
Conceptualising the Camp HCRI30651 20 Optional
Dissertation in Modern Languages and Cultures LALC30000 40 Optional
The Latin American Short Story SPLA30411 20 Optional
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History SPLA31081 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31092 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31141 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Culture and Empire in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA31162 20 Optional
Diaspora and Displacement in Iberian Film SPLA31172 20 Optional
Introduction to Professional Translation SPLA31182 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 4

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: