Department of Hispanic Studies. See the world. Differently.Postgraduate courses: MA in Catalan Studies

The MA in Catalan Studies is a structured but highly flexible programme of study and research designed for graduates in Hispanic Studies (or other graduates with relevant language qualifications and strong Hispanic interests) who want to obtain a specialist qualification in the area.

We're a member of the Russell Group of leading UK research universities. Our outstanding performance for excellent teaching and research, as part of a genuinely global community, is consistently confirmed by independent assessment internationally.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework confirmed our place as a world-leading university. The results demonstrated our research excellence across a range of disciplines, putting us in the top 10 per cent of all UK universities.

"I loved the flexibility of my MA as it allowed me to focus on things that interested me most. The course was a great opportunity to delve more deeply into the culture, history and language of some of the most fascinating parts of the world."


The MA programmes in the Department of Hispanic Studies are designed to be flexible. Students complete a total of 180 credits, over 12 months (full-time study) or 24 months (part-time study), made up from a combination of a dissertation (60 or 90 credits) and 30-credit modules on “Approaches to Catalan Studies". These are composed of directed reading, research methods, or specialised language modules. Directed reading modules are tailored to individual students or small groups of students and the content is agreed on by the tutor and student(s) at the start of the semester. Students can also elect to join final-year optional modules which are “boosted” with more specialised content – in accordance with research interests – and studied in one-to-one or small group sessions with other postgraduates. Please consult the academic staff profiles on the Hispanic Studies webpages here to find out about research specialisms within the Department when thinking about the areas and subjects you would like to study as part of your MA, and when writing your personal statement to apply for the programme

All MA students are assessed in Research Methods:

The core Research Methods module is assessed by the drafting, revision, and copy editing for publication of two book reviews, all designed to build up knowledge in a discrete subject area and to develop a critical perspective on the existing literature.

All MA students complete a dissertation:

Students taking the Research Track form of the MA write a dissertation worth 90 of a total of 180 credits. Students taking the Programme Track form of the MA write a dissertation worth 60 of a total of 180 credits. Students who take the Research Track form of the MA generally intend to continue on to MPhil/PhD study, while the Programme Track form is designed to offer a broad and flexible range of options to enable students to develop specific areas of interest to a higher level and in greater depth than is possible in BA-level study.


  • to foster the development of the intellectual qualities, autonomy, linguistic and other skills and competences;
  • to encourage and prepare students to put their knowledge, understanding and skills to good use on leaving university;
  • to offer students a programme that is qualitatively different from Bachelor-level study by maximizing opportunities for independent enquiry, reflective practice, and work on more challenging material;
  • to sustain a research culture that is stimulating, productive and open, and that promotes the acquisition of intercultural awareness and informed, tolerant and professional attitudes to the languages and cultures studied;
  • to provide opportunities for high-level work in Catalan Studies to graduates with a background in Catalan or Hispanic Studies or a cognate area;
  • to provide a stimulating and effective environment for the study of Catalan;
  • to provide high quality teaching that reflects the range and vitality of Catalan Studies;
  • drawing on the research expertise and scholarship of staff, to expose students to new thinking and approaches in Catalan Studies, and in associated comparative fields;
  • to do so in an environment that is intellectually challenging but supportive and flexible.

Learning outcomes

Students achieving either form of the MA will have developed:

  • an understanding of research methods and techniques and their effective application within and (where relevant) outside of Catalan Studies;
  • an appropriately critical understanding of relevant primary and secondary sources, advances in the field of study, and the contexts in which study and research take place;
  • enhanced intercultural awareness and knowledge of the target language(s) sufficient for their productive and receptive use in the field of study;
  • the ability to think more independently and critically; a more creative, discerning, open-minded, and self-disciplined approach to study and research; effective oral and written communication skills;
  • key transferable lifelong-learning skills such as setting goals, time management, working collaboratively, negotiation and presentational skills, reflective practice, and IT skills, all of which will be of value in a range of profession;
  • through the completion of a dissertation, deeper knowledge and understanding of the specialist subject area, and of relevant research methodologies and their application.

Students achieving the award of Research Track MA will have:

  • reached an understanding of whether or not they possess the potential and desire to pursue a research degree;
  • produced a substantial piece of research that can serve as preparation or orientation for a PhD thesis and, where appropriate, will have received guidance in producing a cogent and focused application for further funding;
  • developed higher-level skills in the acquisition, use, and critical evaluation of subject related information and methodologies; acquired further transferable research and learning skills applicable within and beyond Catalan Studies, including: information gathering and management, identifying and solving problems, the capacity and confidence to evaluate source material, to construct and sustain logical argument on the basis of this material and present it in a suitable oral and written form.

Research Culture in the Department

Hispanic Studies runs its own Research Seminar Series, which is open to all staff and students, and interested visitors. It enables researchers based in Sheffield and from other institutions across the UK and internationally who are at different stages of their career, to present their recent research and exchange ideas in a stimulating and supportive environment. Postgraduates in particular are expected to participate by attending regularly and, if conducting doctoral study, will normally be encouraged to deliver a research paper once they reach a reasonably advanced stage. Details of the current research seminar series can be found here.


An MA in Catalan Studies or in Hispanic Studies with a significant Catalan component is a gateway to an international career. Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers such as:

  • account manager in London-based advertising agency
  • university lecturer (UK and Catalonia)
  • university language teacher (Catalonia)
  • translator/editor (Catalonia)
  • secondary teaching (UK)
  • publishing (UK)

Many also go on to PhD study. Recent examples of completed theses include:

Seriously Funny: Towards an Interpretative Framework for an Analysis of Catalan Satirical Cartoons in the Twentieth Century’, and

Style as a Translatable Dimension of Language: the Applicability of the Translation of Style in Animated Films

Visit us

If you’re considering doing a postgraduate programme with us, you are welcome to visit. You can talk with the programme leaders about the course and see the department.

You can attend a university open day or a visit afternoon, for example, to...

Find out about funding opportunities and how to apply;
Visit the school and see our facilities;
Chat to staff and current students;
Meet potential research degree supervisors;
Explore the viability of your PhD research proposal;
Tour our campus;
Find out about our accommodation, students’ union and libraries.
You can also meet us at a postgraduate fair or speak to our current postgraduates online at one of our monthly webchats. To find out when the next postgraduate open day, fair and/or webchat is scheduled, please visit:

Postgraduate Open Days and more