Department of Hispanic Studies. See the world. Differently.

MA Hispanic Studies


Extend your knowledge of Hispanic language and culture with this structured but flexible course.

Sheffield is a recognised centre of excellence for Hispanic studies. Our courses are supported by world-leading teaching and research.

Hispanic studies at Sheffield is not just about learning a language. It's about immersing yourself in another culture, understanding the way Hispanic peoples think and feel. This level of insight can open the door to a truly international career.

for the web"The flexibility of the MA in Hispanic Studies by Research allowed me to broaden my knowledge of numerous authors of Hispanic and Lusophone literatures, and relied on my self-motivation, efficiency and initiative. Improving my content knowledge and research skills were excellent preparation for doctoral research. One component of the research track course is an extended dissertation. I used my study as a means of conducting preliminary research for my doctoral thesis, and the work has recently been approved for publication. The Research Seminars held by the department of Hispanic Studies, open to all staff and students, were also an excellent taster for work in academia and developed my awareness of current research in Hispanic, Catalan, Lusophone and Latin American studies

Debbie Madden, Doctoral Candidate


Course Structure

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 Hispanic 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.


MA programmes in the department of Hispanic Studies aim:
• to foster the development of the intellectual qualities, autonomy, linguistic and other skills and competences that will enable students to benefit fully from these opportunities;
• 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 BA-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 Hispanic Studies to graduates with a background in Hispanic Studies or who wish to work across the boundaries of Spain;
• to provide a stimulating and effective environment for the study of Spanish and Portuguese languages;
• to provide high quality teaching that reflects the range and vitality of Hispanic Studies;
• drawing on the research expertise and scholarship of staff, to expose students to new thinking and approaches in Hispanic 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 Hispanic 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;

Entry requirements

We usually ask for a Bachelor degree result of a British 2:1 degree, or the international equivalent, in any branch of Hispanic Studies. We also consider applications from graduates in other disciplines who have relevant language skills. International students will be required to demonstrate a good level of spoken and written English. The minimum required is Academic IELTS with a score of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) or Pearson PTE with a score of 67, language test. Please note the changes to UK government policy on Secure English Language Tests

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 Hispanic Studies is a gateway to an international career. Our graduates go on to a variety of careers such as:
• Language teaching and education.
• Translation and interpreting
• Journalism

Many also go on to PhD study. Details of research currently being undertaken by our postgraduates can be found here.

For further information, please contact Caroline Wordley, Recruitment and Marketing Manager: