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Spanish was first taught at King’s in 1831, and the teaching of Portuguese in British universities was pioneered by King’s in the 1860s. Since the establishment of the Cervantes Chair in 1916 and the Camoens Chair in 1919, King's has become a world-leading centre for Spanish and Portuguese studies and the creation of the new Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies continues this tradition of innovation and research strength. The Department offers a wide range of opportunities for specialist and cross-disciplinary supervision, from the medieval period to the present day, in literature, history, cultural studies, film, drama and music. Our commitment to all areas of Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Latin America and Lusophone Africa, combined with the wide-ranging teaching and research interests of the staff, means that we are able to offer an unrivalled variety of supervision topics for postgraduate study.

  • REF rankings 2014:  The Modern Languages departments are ranked 9th in the REF's power rankings which take into account the quantity and quality of research activity and performed well in terms of impact with 100% of their research rated as having an outstanding (4*) or considerable reach and significance
  • Current number of academic staff: 19
  • Current number of research students: 31
  • Recent publications: Lima Barreto: Sátiras e outras subversões; The Basque City: The Political Economy of Nation Building; Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap; Brokers of Change: Atlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa; Locating the Middle Ages: The Places and Spaces of Medieval Culture; García Lorca: The Poetics of Self-Consciousness; Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives; Ceremonia comentada: Textos sobre arte, estética y cultura [by Jorge Eduardo Eielson].
  • Current research projects: “Language Acts and Worldmaking”; “Precolonial West Africa's relations with world history through the lens of exchanges of money and power”, "Out of the Wings: Spanish and Spanish American Theatres in Translation", “Domesticity in surrealism”, “Reception of the English Gothic novel in Spain”, “‘Reindigenisation’ in the post-colonial Andes”, “Resisting World Literature”, “Afro-Brazilian identity and the aesthetics of music-making”.
  • Partner organisations: Instituto Camões Centre for Studies in Portuguese Language & Culture, King’s Brazil Institute, University of Oxford, Queen's University Belfast, Instituto Camões, Federal University of Minas Gerais, University of São Paulo.

Course study environment

Research students are assigned to supervisory teams comprising three members of the Department's academic staff and led by the principal supervisor; as well as providing close guidance to the student, this team manages the student's induction, including identifying training needs, and reports regularly to the Department's Postgraduate and Research Committee (PARC).

Students are expected to attend and contribute to the Department's research seminar programme. This seminar series provides an intimate but academically rigorous forum in which students can discuss theories, keep abreast of developments in their field of research and network with other students and academics. We also have strong academic links to the Institute of Latin American Studies as well as other institutes with regional specialisms. All of these institutes offer training and research opportunities, including seminars and lectures, in which our students participate strongly.

MPhil: This is a supervised research programme, involving the presentation of a thesis, followed by an oral examination. The minimum period of registration is two years, and the thesis shall be either a record of original work or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge. The maximum length is 75,000 words, inclusive of footnotes and appendices, but exclusive of bibliography.

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Visit the Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies MPhil page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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