We have studied the ultrafast spin dynamics in CdTe/Cd1-xMnxTe quantum well structures at room temperature using time-resolved magnetization modulation spectroscopy. Access to the different electron and hole spin dynamics is obtained by carefully measuring the spectroscopic changes of the magneto-optical response during the first hundreds of femtoseconds after excitation. Experimental results are discussed in the framework of a simple model for a two-dimensional band structure. The spectroscopy is shown to be intimately related to the spectral band width of the applied ultrashort laser pulses. The general potential of the method for fundamental studies on other materials and systems is addressed.