skip to content

MPhil in Latin American Studies

Centre of Latin American Studies

CLAS seminar

MPhil Course Structure and Assessment

"My supervisors were outstanding. They challenged my ideas and my arguments, helping me develop my academic work to new levels of insightfulness and maturity." Erika, MPhil student

Teaching for the MPhil course includes lectures, seminars and individual supervision, provided by academic staff based in the Centre of Latin American Studies, and in various faculties and colleges across the University.

Over the 9-month course you will take the Core Course and two taught modules of your choice. Assessment takes the form of three researched essays of 5,000 words each and a 15,000-word thesis. The structure of the course and the different forms of assessment used will enable you to acquire a broad, multidisciplinary overview of Latin American Studies, together with a deeper knowledge of two subject areas, and to specialize in one of these for the purposes of the thesis.

In exceptional cases, candidates may be examined for the MPhil on the basis of a thesis of 30,000 words only. Please contact the MPhil Director before the start of the course (ideally at the point of application) if you are interested in pursuing this option.

Term One (‘Michaelmas’, October - December)

Students take a Core Course (eight seminars held once per week during term) and select two Optional Modules. Each module is taught by means of a weekly seminar for five weeks in the first term (weeks 2-6) and continuing for five weeks in the second term (weeks 1-5). You will be set background reading for each seminar and are expected to participate fully in discussion. In some seminars you may also be asked to prepare a short presentation on the topic. Work is assessed in the form of a 5,000-word researched essay, to be submitted one week after the end of the teaching term. The essay should be related in some way to topics covered in seminars for the Core Course and/or the optional modules. Students choose their own title, subject to the approval of a supervisor and the Course Director.

Term Two (‘Lent’, January - March) 

Teaching continues as above for both optional modules, and for four weeks students follow an extension to the Core Course entitled 'Research in Practice', which is designed to expose them to cutting-edge work in a variety of fields and to take part in cross-discipline dialogue. Students submit two further 5,000-word essays related to topics covered in the Core Course and/or the optional modules. 

Term Three (‘Easter’, April - June)

Students prepare a thesis of no more than 15,000 words on a topic of their choice, to be handed in by the deadline shown on the course calendar, which will be around the middle of June.