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Spanish and Latin American Studies (Graduate Diploma)

Course Description

This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Spain and Latin America, while also improving your Spanish and your research and study skills.

The course has been designed for those who want to refresh their knowledge of Spanish in preparation for a Master's degree, particularly if you've taken a break from studying and need to refamiliarise yourself, or if you have a degree in a different but relevant subject area. The course will also suit international students who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American language and culture while experiencing life and study in the UK, as well as teachers who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge, but who do not necessarily want to undertake a full MA quite yet.

This programme will develop your Spanish language skills, enabling you to communicate fluently and accurately with native speakers in both informal and professional contexts. It will also develop your ability to critically analyse Spanish and Latin American language, linguistics and culture, including art, film, history, literature and urban studies. You will learn the latest theoretical approaches to cultural critique and explore a wide range of cultural forms within their social and historical contexts.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Provides a 1-year qualification in Spanish language and the cultural histories of Spain and Latin America.

Enables you to improve your Spanish language skills and increase your knowledge of Spanish and Latin American culture, while also developing the study and research skills you need for Master's-level study.

Ideal for international students who wish to study in the UK for a year and also for teachers who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American language and culture.
Designed for students who require further training to progress to an MA programme, such as Birkbeck's MA/MRes Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cultural Studies.
You will be studying with a wide variety of students from all over the world and taught by world-class researchers.

Birkbeck is at the heart of a global capital city that is full of opportunities for those wishing to hear and speak Spanish.

Our flexible evening study allows you to achieve your educational goals alongside your professional and personal ones.

Our School of Arts is in the top 5 in the country. Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, making it an outstanding interdisciplinary department.
Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research. Our affiliated research centres, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Vicual Studies (CILAVS) and the Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), provide important platforms for this exchange.

Visit the Spanish and Latin American Studies (Graduate Diploma) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Alejandra Lopez Vazquez

4052.jpg ‘I started to look at Master’s in my area of interest,’ the 52-year-old said.

‘Birkbeck was accessible fees-wise, and in terms of the teachers I found our interests were a close fit. I then finally decided to do it because I could fit my work around it.’

She felt well supported during her studies at Birkbeck, both from the academic staff, as well as her fellow students.

‘The classes were quite small so we had the chance to ask lots of questions and to talk freely,’ she said.

‘I find it quite difficult to talk in public, but in smaller groups it’s easier, so I felt comfortable to talk in class. It gave me confidence. The tutors are very good in that way. They have a beautiful balance between not being patronising, but at the same time pushing you and compelling you to achieve your best.’

Working full-time as a lecturer by day, you would think Alejandra would be sick and tired of the classroom, but on the contrary she loved being a student. Not only did it help her delve into a topic of particular interest to her – Latin American cinema – but helped her refine her life skills in general, from problem-solving to attention-focusing.

But to get the full benefit of the Master’s experience, she noted, it takes commitment.

‘Motivation is important. Having a postgraduate helps you find jobs, so it’s important in that sense, but in my case it was more of a personal interest that I was pursuing. But the course has helped me in many senses, beyond academics and my job; it enriches your life. It makes you think in different ways. You feel inspired and motivated to do other things.’

When it comes to finding that motivation, Alejandra said that it helps when the “tutors and classes are good”.

‘It’s important because, when you come here at 6pm, when you have started your day at 7am and you’ve been working all day, you don’t really want to go to class at all.

‘But then you get to your class with your cup of coffee and the lecture is interesting, and you wake up to something that you know is going to be really good for you. So if you ever think about skipping, the thought disappears quickly because you think, “no, I want to hear what the lecturer has to say”.’


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first degree in an appropriate subject and will be expected to have language skills in Spanish equivalent to A-level + 1 year, or C1 (CEFR), also equivalent to a pass in Spanish 4. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Full-time home/EU students: £ 5300 pa Full-time overseas students: £ 9650 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London

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