This degree offers the possibility of following advanced study in the histories of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American cultures in the light of contemporary theoretical developments in the fields of literature, cultural studies, cultural geography, film and the history of art and media. You may specialise in either Spain and Portugal or Latin America, as well as in different historical periods and media, or combine interests.
Birkbeck is a world-renowned centre of Iberian and Latin American Studies. Our work is distinguished by its innovative character, its engagement with other disciplines and its challenge to received ideas. We are committed to a continual rethinking of the fields we research and the subjects we teach, creatively and critically.
We are also known for our unique student population, including a high number of Spanish and Latin American undergraduates and postgraduates. This brings a particular richness and variety of experience and knowledge to our courses and seminars.
Our international staff specialise in diverse aspects of cultural history and critique, with a strong emphasis not only on the literary and linguistic but also the audiovisual expression of Latin America and the Iberian peninsula past and present.
‘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)
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
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
First- or second-class BA honours degree with Spanish or Portuguese as a main component, though other applicants considered (degree-level Spanish or Portuguese is normally required). 2 letters of reference and a sample of written work in support of the application normally required. A qualifying essay in English, Spanish or Portuguese may be requested. 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.
Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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