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Cinema in the Spanish-speaking world

Discover the immense diversity of the cinematic landscape with this 25-hour online short course. You’ll explore how cinema has influenced the cultural imagination of Spain, Argentina, and Chile and learn how cultural events have impacted their films. Don’t worry if you’re new to cinema or the Spanish language – no previous knowledge is required. Throughout the course, you’ll find quizzes in each unit to test your understanding and progress. After completion, you’ll receive a digital badge that can be shared on social media, added to email signatures, or used as a certificate.

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code



This is a non-credit bearing course.

Study method

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

This course is divided into 5 units which explore the cinematic landscapes of the Hispanic world, focusing on Spain, Argentina, and Chile.

Unit 1: Silent cinema and Luis Buñuel

In Unit 1, you will be introduced to early cinema, starting with the first films produced by the Lumière brothers in France. You will then progress to study several shorts from the Spanish genius of early cinema, Segundo de Chomón, which collectively take everyday circumstances and transform them into exceptional events through various film techniques. You will also delve into Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929), a masterpiece of Surrealist cinema that still hasn't lost the power to surprise the audience. This film disrupts all sorts of assumptions about the so-called 'grammar' of film language and storytelling.

Unit 2: Introduction to Argentinian cinema

You will be introduced to Argentinean cinema, beginning with the early pioneers before moving on to the new wave of Argentinean cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. You will consider the concept of 'Third World Cinema' and explore La hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces), the seminal 1968 film manifesto by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino. You will reflect on the importance of the Solanas and Getino manifesto for the contemporary cinematic landscape and the history of Latin American cinema.

Unit 3: Pedro Almodóvar and La Movida

In your third unit, you will discover an extraordinary period in the history of Spanish cinema where we witnessed a transition from the type of films endorsed by the Francoist regime to the open expression of creativity after the death of Franco. Additionally, you will explore La Movida madrileña, the countercultural movement that originated in the early 1980s in the capital of Spain. This movement disrupted the Francoist legacy and influenced all art forms, including cinema. One of the most iconic figures of this period is the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. You’ll delve into his way of working and explore one of his most famous films: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1988).

Unit 4: Woman filmmakers – the new Spanish cinema

In unit 4, you will learn about the role that film festivals play in discovering and promoting new talent and how film festivals, along with national-level mentoring programs, have launched the careers of many contemporary Spanish female filmmakers. You will probe deeper into the work of Jaione Camborda by watching Arima (2019). The film explores female identity in the face of a disruptive encounter with patriarchy, presenting an oneiric 'thriller' that delves into the mystery of the female gaze.

Unit 5:  Chilean cinema

The history of Chilean cinema has been tumultuous and shaped by political upheavals. However, it is currently undergoing a resurgence. In your final unit, you will gain a brief overview of the history of Chilean cinema while learning about the lasting cinematic impacts of a crucial period in Chilean history: the military coup of 1973. Finally, you will be introduced to a contemporary film by Gustavo Guzmán, Nostalgia for the Light (2010), that explores the enduring trauma of Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.

You will learn

By the end of this course, you will:

  • understand the main themes in Hispanic cinema and the extent to which these relate to topics in contemporary Hispanic society and culture
  • be familiar with key films and film-makers in Hispanic cinema
  • develop the ability to relate knowledge and understanding to perform basic film reviews
  • be able to display skills for the gathering, evaluation and interpretation of information about films and film-makers
  • be able to show that you can work independently towards your aims and objectives
  • show proficient use of information and communication tools, such as online forums.

Learner support

The course is taught entirely online, with the aid of a learning adviser to offer support where needed. You will have access to online forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in, as they are an excellent source of support and information. These forums combine peer support with input from the specialist learning adviser(s). Other support is available via the StudentHome website and computing helpdesk.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying LG006 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Course length

The course is made up of 5 units, with each unit expected to take about 5 hours to study. In total, you’ll need around 25 hours to complete the course.

You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace. The course will be open to you for a time period of between 6 and 18 months depending on your course registration date and you will be advised of the specific time limitations upon enrolment.


Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jun 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £99.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials are delivered entirely online and there is no formal tuition for this course.

Your study is self-directed and you’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

  • a unit-by-unit study planner
  • course-specific materials and activities
  • audio and video content
  • discussion forums and a course forum
  • support from specialist learning advisers.

Computing requirements

You'll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS Ventura or higher.

Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, may not work on iOS/Apple devices.

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.