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Postgraduate Admissions

Students come to the Centre of Latin American Studies from Britain, Latin America and across the world, attracted by the reputation of Cambridge as a world-class university, and by the rigour and breadth of the MPhil course.

The MPhil course by thesis only is generally taken by students who have already completed a Masters course elsewhere, students who have not yet attained a Masters degree but have clear reasons for taking the course by thesis only and a very well advanced thesis proposal, and mature students returning to study with relevant experience who wish to use the course as a first step towards writing a book. In most cases, students will also be encouraged to take one or more of the modules offered on the taught course to supplement their knowledge in relevant subjects. 

The assessment takes the form of a 30,000-word thesis. During the preparation of the thesis, you will work closely with a supervisor whose own research expertise lies within your chosen field of study. Strong evidence of interest in or commitment to Latin America is expected. The admission process will include a short interview.

This course is designed to meet the needs of two groups: those who have developed an interest in Latin America through study or work and wish to develop this for personal or professional reasons, and those who intend to proceed to a doctorate, and possibly an academic career in the field. 

The course seeks to provide participants with a critical understanding of Latin America in all its complexity, and of the means and methods that have been devised to study and understand it better.

The criteria for the assessment of the 30,000-word thesis is rather more stringent than on Master’s programmes at most other Universities, where (in the UK) the thesis typically represents only a quarter of the year’s work. In particular, there is a requirement for originality, which must be met either by research using primary sources (documents, interviews, official publications, or the like) or else by developing a distinctive approach to an existing debate or literature. This is consistent with the aim of the thesis, which is to develop advanced skills of research and expression.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will have:

  • developed a critical view of the contribution made by the academic study of Latin America and of some of its specific disciplines to the humanities and the social sciences;
  • developed an understanding of the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary approaches to research on Latin America;
  • become familiar with some of the main themes of contemporary debate;
  • developed intellectual and practical research skills, and;
  • tested their ability to produce a piece of advanced scholarship in conformity with the research techniques, standards of argument and accepted style of presentation of an academic discipline.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

The Centre of Latin American Studies usually runs an event specifically for potential MPhil applicants during that day.

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Key Information


9 months full-time

21 months part-time

Master of Philosophy

Centre of Latin American Studies

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2022
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Feb. 28, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.


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