The Master of Research in Latin American Studies is a specialised degree that provides a unique opportunity for students interested in Latin America to undertake an extensive piece of independent research whilst broadening and deepening their knowledge of the region.  The course lasts one year full time (or two years if studied part-time) and is ideally suited to students who wish to develop and demonstrate their research skills, perhaps with the aim of preparing for further study or pursuing a research-based career.  Students are taught by leading scholars in the field and upon successful completion of the programme will receive a University of London Master by Research degree. 


About your Degree

Our Master of Research can be taken full time over one year or part time over two years, with entry in September only for full-time study and in September or January for part-time study. You will receive two hours of teaching each week during term-time which takes place in small, intensive seminars led by Institute lecturers. These are designed to facilitate discussion and enable students to deepen their knowledge and develop their ideas.  The 30,000 word research-based dissertation undertaken in the Summer term is central to the course. 


All modules are core and compulsory.

Autumn term
Research Themes and Debates in Latin America - 30 credits

This module provides a historical introduction to key research problems and debates in the field of Latin American Studies which will enable students to identify promising approaches and research projects in the field. This module will enable students to recognise, problematise, and analyse themes and tropes within Latin American Studies and identify where lacuna exist or where new approaches could enrich the field. It will enable students to develop into independent scholars.

Spring term
Research Methods in Latin American Studies - 30 credits

This module introduces students to the range of methods that can be applied in humanities and social science research in Latin American Studies. In addition to providing students with theoretical underpinnings, students will be introduced to the practical issues which may be encountered in the field while conducting research in Latin America.


Summer term 
Independent research-based dissertation of 30,000 words (including footnotes) - 120 credits

Although this is primarily an independent piece of research, you will receive extensive research training and your supervisor will be on hand to support and encourage you. It is not necessary to identify a dissertation topic prior to entry; this can be developed during the Autumn term through discussions with your supervisor


Students are assessed through written assignments and a research-based dissertation of 30,000 words. For the module Research Themes and Debates in Latin America, students will produce a portfolio of reports on topics within the module (5,000 words total).

For the module Research Methods in Latin American Studies, students will produce a literature review of 2,000 words and a dissertation proposal of 3,000 words. 



Study with Us

The Institute offers students an unparalleled range of resources in Latin American Studies.  The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Collection, based at Senate House Library, combines the holdings and strengths of the ILAS and SHL collections to provide more than 90,000 volumes of research-level material.  ILAS also hosts the Centre for Integrated Caribbean Research (CICR), an initiative focussed on promoting interdisciplinary and comparative work on the Caribbean Region.  

ILAS is located in iconic Senate House, in the heart of Bloomsbury.  Its central London location ensures students are able to enjoy the wider benefits of the city, with both the British Museum and British Library within walking distance.  As part of the University of London, ILAS students join a wider community of over 170,000 students. They are encouraged to participate in the wider activities of the university and are able to use the libraries of other colleges. All ILAS graduates receive a University of London degree.



Entry requirements and Application Process

The normal minimum entrance requirement is a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a university in the UK or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.  We will consider applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and / or relevant experience.  English is the language of instruction for all programmes off ered at the School and applicants will therefore be required to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency.  For full details of entry requirements, please consult the SAS site.

Applications for September 2019 are now open and full details available are available on the SAS site.  It is not necessary to identify a dissertation topic at the application stage - this can be developed during the Autumn term through discussion with supervisors.  Please note that the Institute requires a minimum number of students to run this Masters and reserves the right to withdraw it in the unlikely event that it does not achieve the necessary number of registrations.

Senate House, University of London
Senate House - University of London


Fees and Funding


The degree can be taken full time over 1 year or part time over 2 years, with entry in September only for full-time study and September or January for part-time study.

Fees 2018-19:
UK/EU: £7,880 (Full time), £4,490 (Part time)
Overseas: £13,960 (Full time)

(Fee for 2019-20 are to be confirmed)

Continuing students should be aware that fees for their subsequent years' study may increase, and that in accepting the offer of a place, they must take this into account.  Please see the School of Advanced Study's Tuition Fee Policy for further details.


Funding Opportunities for 2019/2020

ILAS Studentships 2019/2020

These Master’s studentships are designed to support students wishing to pursue the Master of Research in Latin American Studies for entry in 2019/2020 on either a full- or part-time basis. Successful applicants will receive a fixed amount of £5,000 for full time study or £2,500 for part time study which will be discounted from their tuition fees.  Awards are open to Home, EU and Overseas students, and the primary selection criterion is academic merit as evidenced by previous academic achievement.  Awards are made at the discretion of the Selection Panel and there is no minimum number of awards made in any year. The award is also conditional on the course registering a minimum number of students and may be withdrawn in the unlikely event that the course does not proceed.

Please note that the deadline for applications for 2019/2020 awards is Monday 01 July 2019.  Applicants need to be in receipt of an MRes offer (via a separate application process) by this date for their studentship application to be considered.

ILAS Studentships 2019/2020 - applicant guidance

ILAS Studentships 2019/2020 - application form


SAS Masters Studentships (2019/2020)

The School of Advanced Study (SAS) Master's Studentship aims to support students from under-represented groups among the School’s taught masters population, who wish to undertake a postgraduate taught programme.  There are a limited number of awards to a value of £18,000 to cover fees plus maintenance, judged on academic merit.

Full details on these awards, including application process, are available on the SAS website.


SAS Coffin Studentships (Coffin Fund for Promising Students)

The School is able to provide two SAS Studentships via the Coffin Fund for Promising Students in 2019/2020.

Full details on these awards, including application process, are available on the SAS website.


SAS Cassal Bursary (French and Francophone Studies)

This bursary, made available by the Cassal Endowment Fund, is available to Master's students intending to write their dissertation on a topic related to French or Francophone studies, including relevant areas of the Caribbean. 

Full details on these awards, including application process, are available on the SAS website.


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