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Course content

The Latin American Politics MSc provides students with an opportunity to develop their general and specialist knowledge of major issues in the politics of Latin America. The programme's graduates have established careers in research, journalism, teaching, and policy formulation and implementation in both government agencies and NGOs.

About this degree

Students will develop a detailed understanding of the political histories of major Latin American countries, key public policy issues, the challenges of democratisation and democratic consolidation, and the domestic and international influences on political developments in the region. They will gain the key research and analysis skills necessary for professional development in the field of Latin American politics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (15 credits each), four optional modules (60 credits in total), and the research dissertation (90 credits).

Please note: All optional modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Researching the Americas: Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Democratization in Latin America

Optional modules

Students choose four optional modules from a selection that includes the following:

  • Histories of Exclusion: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
  • The International Politics of Latin America
  • Latin American Economics
  • Politics, Society and Development in the Modern Caribbean
  • State and Society in Latin America: Ethnographic Perspectives
  • Money and Politics in Latin America
  • The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: Transitional Justice
  • The Caribbean from the Haitian Revolution to the Cuban Revolution
  • The Latin American City: Social Problems and Social Change in Urban Space
  • Globalisation and Latin American Development
  • Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: Challenges to Democratization

Students may choose a maximum of 30 credits from other departments or from other University of London colleges, subject to the Programme Director's approval.

Dissertation/report

All students write a dissertation of 15,000 words on a research topic of their choice (linked to the subject area of one of their taught modules), provided that it contains a substantial politics focus.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, presentations, research skills training, and independent reading and research. There is a range of assessments including essays and a short oral presentation, and the dissertation.

Fieldwork

Many of our Master’s students undertake fieldwork in order to carry out research for their dissertation projects.

There may be travel costs associated with fieldwork. The institute has limited funds available to students to help towards the costs of fieldwork. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis on the criteria of academic performance to date, the quality of the research proposal and the importance of fieldwork for completing the research.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Latin American Politics MSc

Careers

Graduates of this programme will be well placed to use their skills and knowledge to find employment in government, business, journalism, finance, international NGOs, teaching, or for further research in this field.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Research Fellow, Institute for Statecraft
  • Researcher and Consultant, Verisk Maplecroft
  • Television News Producer, Channel 4
  • Risk Consultancy Intern, Control Risks
  • Project Manager, World Energy Council (WEC)

Employability

Students on this degree will have excellent opportunities to expand their professional networks and establish personal contacts that enhance their future employability. Through institute staff members' extensive professional and personal contacts in the region, and through participating in the institute's extremely active events programme, students will meet potential colleagues in government and the foreign service, development agencies and the international NGO community, business and finance, and print and electronic media. On the basis of such contacts, recent programme graduates have found employment in government (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), NGOs (Amnesty International, Caritas) and political risk-analysis firms, while others have undertaken PhD research.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

In the UK the Institute of the Americas occupies a unique position in the academic study of the region in promoting, co-ordinating and providing a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas, including Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

The institute actively maintains and builds ties with cultural, diplomatic and business organisations with interests in the Americas, and it provides resources to the wider academic community, serving and strengthening national networks of North Americanist, Latin Americanist and Caribbeanist scholars.

Students benefit from tuition by world-leading scholars in an academic environment at the cutting-edge of research in the social sciences and the humanities.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Latin American Politics (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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