skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Latin American Studies is no longer accepting new applications.

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. This is achieved through the three main elements of the course:

  • A core course, highlighting key critical issues in Latin American Studies and providing a forum for interdisciplinary debate;
  • Modules in a range of different fields, of which each student selects four, providing some sense of contrasting disciplinary methods;
  • A dissertation of approximately 15,000 words, providing an opportunity to study a topic in depth.

The dissertation is a very substantial element of the MPhil. course, and the examination process and criteria for the assessment of the dissertation are accordingly rather more stringent than on Master’s programmes at most other Universities, where (in the UK) the dissertation 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 dissertation, which is to develop advanced skills in 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;
  • presented their own ideas in a public forum;
  • 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.


Candidates who achieve an average of 73 (High Pass) on the MPhil course, with a 75 (Distinction) either in the dissertation or across the three essays (averaged), may apply to continue to the PhD.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. 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.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

9 months full-time

21 months part-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Centre of Latin American Studies

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Feb. 29, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses