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Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies (MA, MRes)

Course Description

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.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be taken as a first step to doctoral research, to enhance your career prospects or simply for interest.
Our School of Arts is one of the best centres of Iberian and Latin American studies in the country.
Our work is distinguished by its innovative character, its engagement with other disciplines and its challenge to received ideas.
The department hosts the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), offering a unique environment in which to undertake collaborative, cross-disciplinary and comparative research on visual subjects in the Hispanic and Lusophone world, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The School has achieved notable success in obtaining external funding for research. In addition we have an excellent team of research students (just over 20 at present), several of whom attend MA modules out of interest, ensuring a high level of intellectual discussion and allowing you to benefit from being part of a lively postgraduate community. You are in turn welcome to attend Research Seminars and the Postgraduate Conference, as well as all talks and conferences organised by the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS). As about a third of our students come from Spain, Portugal or Latin America, you also have easy access to native speakers of Spanish and Portuguese, socially as well as academically.
Postgraduate research seminars are held throughout the year, offering a stimulating forum for discussion among our research students, MA/MRes students, staff and invited speakers.
We offer a lively student experience, as well as student support and facilities.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies (MA, MRes) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

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

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). Two 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.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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