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Postgraduate Courses

Centre of Latin American Studies

Trinity College Great Court (photo: Matt Bilton)

PhD in Latin American Studies

There are usually around 12-15 PhD students based at the Centre of Latin American Studies at any one time, working across a wide range of disciplines. The Centre is able to provide desk space for most PhD students who wish to work here, and they form a lively academic and social community, playing a full part in the Centre's activities, meeting regularly to present their latest research to each other and organizing seminars and conferences with the Centre's support. CLAS is able to contribute to the costs of carrying out fieldwork in Latin America and you are also eligible to apply to other funds within your College and the University (see 'Funding for current students' for more detailed information on the potential sources available).

Most of our PhD students come here to work on their thesis with leading scholars in their fields, but we are also committed to helping you develop your future career. CLAS provides specialized in-house training on the following

  • research skills
  • teaching undergraduates
  • publishing in Latin American studies
  • improving your academic writing in Spanish (for conferences and journal publications)

CLAS's own training provision is complemented and augmented by that available to all students within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), of which CLAS is a part. HSS provides an array of training and development programmes, with a emphasis on transferable skills for those students who wish to consider careers beyond academia. Bursaries are available for those wishing to take language courses, and CLAS is currently able to offer specialist in-house training in Brazilian Portuguese. Whatever your future aspirations, you will be encouraged, if you wish, to take the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience during your time here, in the form of small group supervisions and/or lectures.

A number of our PhD students are successful in obtaining full funding with scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Gates Cambridge, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust and other funding bodies. CLAS is also a member of the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme and, as such, is able to consider applicants for AHRC funding.

The Centre of Latin American Studies currently accepts PhD students in all fields. Supervisors from other Faculties or Departments may be willing to take on PhD students who apply via CLAS; alternatively they may encourage them to apply via their home Department. Applicants are advised to check this with their prospective supervisor before submitting an application. 

PhD students who are admitted either to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese or to the Centre of Latin American Studies and who are working on a subject within Latin American literary, visual or cultural studies will automatically become members of the cross-departmental Consortium in Latin American Cultural Studies. Applicants are free to apply in the first instance to whichever department they wish. Once a suitable supervisor has been identified, applications will normally be transferred for processing by the department in which the supervisor is based. If students take up an offer of a place, they will formally be registered in their principal supervisor’s department but will in practice be members of both the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Centre of Latin American Studies under the special Consortium arrangement, with full access to the training, development and funding opportunities offered by both the Department and the Centre.