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The Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) welcomes applications from suitably-qualified candidates for its Master’s by Research in Latin American Studies. Join us and become part of an internationally-recognised centre of excellence, with a close-knit team of expert Latin Americanists who will welcome you into the Institute’s research community and help you make the most of your student experience. All our graduates are awarded a University of London degree.


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If you have specific questions about the MA or MRes degree, please contact or the admissions office.

Degree Overview

Our Master’s by Research in Latin American Studies is a specialised degree that provides a unique opportunity for students interested in Latin America to undertake an extensive piece of independent research whilst broadening and deepening their knowledge of the region. It is ideally suited to students who wish to develop and demonstrate their research skills, perhaps with the aim of preparing for further study or pursuing a research-based career. 

The course can be taken full time over one year or part time over two years by special arrangement. Please note that due to the structure of the course, we can only offer October entry. You will receive two hours of teaching each week during term-time, which takes place in small, intensive seminars led by leading scholars in the field. In the summer term, you will complete a 30,000-word research-based dissertation, which is central to the course. It is not necessary to identify a dissertation topic at the application stage as this will be developed during the autumn term through discussion with your supervisor. However, if you would like to discuss a future research proposal with one of our academics, please contact in the first instance.

Modules and structure

The course can be taken full time over one year or part time over two years by special arrangement. 

All modules are core and compulsory:

Autumn term

Research Themes and Debates in Latin America (30 credits)

Assessment: a portfolio of reports totalling 5,000 words

This module provides a historical introduction to key research problems and debates in the field of Latin American Studies, which will enable students to identify promising approaches and research projects in the field. This module will enable students to recognise, problematise, and analyse themes and tropes within Latin American Studies and identify where gaps exist or where new approaches could enrich the field. It will enable students to develop into independent scholars.

Spring term

Research Methods in Latin American Studies (30 credits)

Assessment: a literature review of 2,000 words and a dissertation proposal of 3,000 words

This module introduces students to the range of methods that can be applied in humanities and social science research in Latin American Studies. In addition to providing students with theoretical underpinnings, students will be introduced to the practical issues that may be encountered in the field while conducting research in Latin America.

Summer term 

Independent research-based dissertation (120 credits)

Assessment: Dissertation of 30,000 words (including footnotes)

Although this is primarily an independent piece of research, you will receive extensive research training and your supervisor will be on hand to support and encourage you. It is not necessary to identify a dissertation topic prior to entry; this can be developed during the autumn term through discussions with your supervisor.

About the institute

Recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for research facilitation, the Institute of Latin American Studies occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK. Study with us and you’ll be joining a long-established, welcoming community of dedicated Latin Americanist scholars. Our students are encouraged to engage with academic staff and involve themselves in the Institute’s wider activities, which include an extensive programme of Latin-American and Caribbean focussed events.   

The Institute offers students an unparalleled range of resources in Latin American Studies. The Latin American and Caribbean Studies collections, based at Senate House Library, combine the holdings and strengths of ILAS and SHL to provide more than 90,000 volumes of research-level material. ILAS also hosts the Centre for Integrated Caribbean Research (CICR), an initiative focussed on promoting interdisciplinary and comparative work on the Caribbean Region. We encourage dissertation projects in this area.

As part of the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, ILAS students benefit from a collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment, as well as a range of funding opportunities. SAS is the UK’s national research hub and ILAS enjoys close links with its other members, including the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Institute of Modern Languages Research, the Institute of Historical Research and the Warburg Institute. Cross-institute collaboration is actively encouraged making us an ideal location for interdisciplinary research. 

ILAS is located in iconic Senate House, in the heart of Bloomsbury. Its central London location ensures students are able to enjoy the wider benefits of the city, with both the British Museum and British Library within walking distance. As part of the University of London, ILAS students join a community of over 170,000 students. They are encouraged to participate in the wider activities of the university and are able to use the libraries of other colleges. All ILAS graduates receive a University of London degree.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement is a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a university in the UK or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.  We will consider applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and / or relevant experience.  English is the language of instruction for all programmes off ered at the School and applicants will therefore be required to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency. More information about entry requirements.

It is not necessary to identify a dissertation topic at the application stage - this can be developed during the Autumn term through discussion with supervisors. 

Please note that the Institute requires a minimum number of students to run this Master's programme and reserves the right to withdraw it in the unlikely event that it does not achieve the necessary number of registrations.

How to apply

You can apply online via our online applications system.


For more information on how to apply, click here.

Fees, funding and scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees here.

The School of Advanced Study has a range of funding opportunities for home, EU and international applicants. Find out more about funding opportunities here. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

The Institute of Latin American Studies has a Master's studentship, designed to support students wishing to pursue the MRes in Latin American Studies at ILAS for entry in 2018/2019 on either a full- or part-time basis. Successful applicants will receive a fixed amount of £5,000 for full time study or £2,500 for part time study which will be discounted from their tuition fees. Awards are made at the discretion of the Selection Panel and there is no minimum number of awards made in any year. The award is also conditional on the course registering a minimum number of students and may be withdrawn in the unlikely event that the course does not proceed.

Awards are open to Home, EU and Overseas students and the primary selection criterion is academic merit as evidenced by previous academic achievement.

More information on the ILAS Studentship


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