Sugar Loaf

MA in Latin American Studies


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Flexibility is what sets our MAs apart.

You will specialise in aspects of Latin American culture and society and use your skills and knowledge from Hispanic Studies or a related discipline to focus on this rich and vibrant area of the world.

The MA in Latin American Studies is 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. It is a structured but exceptionally flexible programme of study and research designed for graduates who want to develop a specialised interest in aspects of Latin American culture and institutions.

I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed and thrived in my research. I felt challenged, encouraged and supported at all times, and very much felt like part of an active department, even as a student. It was a very easy decision to come back here to do my PhD, I never seriously considered anywhere else knowing the department I would be attached to. I also found Sheffield had everything I wanted in a city, lots of things going on and easy to escape to the countryside. “
Pete Watson, Doctoral Candidate in Latin American Studies

Course Structure

The MA programmes in 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 15-credit 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. You should consult the departmental webpage 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.

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 a book review, all designed to test subject knowledge.

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.

The modules offered on the MA explore a range of Spanish-American literary texts, the popular cultures of the continent, and historical, social and political aspects of Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Mexico and Peru. (The Department of Politics may, by arrangement, provide modules on other countries and joint supervision of dissertations.


MA programmes in 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.


An MA in Latin American Studies is a gateway to an international career.  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, Student Recruitment and Marketing Manager: