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St John's College (photo: Matt Bilton)

How to apply to the MPhil in Latin American Studies

All applications for the MPhil are made online through the University's Postgraduate Admissions Office (PAO), not directly to the Centre.

You can find details below of what the PAO requires from applicants for the MPhil in Latin American Studies. If you do choose to make an application, you should consult the more detailed information on the PAO's website.

  • a research/thesis proposal of approximately 500 words (guidelines on how to write an MPhil research proposal)
  • a sample of your written work (around 2000 words) from a previous academic course, on a subject that is as close as possible to the fields you will be working in for the MPhil
  • a transcript with the marks given for your undergraduate degree and the final result (if any)
  • two academic references (to be submitted by your referees no more than 2 weeks after the submission of your application form)
  • evidence of competence in English (if English is not your first language or you have not already taken a degree taught in English)
  • a personal reference (if you are an international student applying for an award from Gates Cambridge)

The deadline for the submission of applications is the end of June to start the course the following October (three months later). 

MPhil in Latin American Studies (Part-time)

The MPhil course may be taken on a part-time basis over two years. Students following the taught course take the Core Course and one optional module in the first year, and the second optional module in the second year, and prepare their dissertation over the full course. Please note that the part-time course is 21 months in length, and dissertations are therefore due for submission at the end of the Easter term in the second year (around the end of June). 

If you are considering applying for the MPhil course on a part-time basis, you are strongly advised to contact the MPhil Director well ahead of the application deadline to discuss your application.

MPhil in Latin American Studies (via Thesis only)

It is possible, although unusual, to take a thesis route through the MPhil. This means that you would not follow the taught course, but prepare a single 30,000-word thesis over the nine months, with the guidance of a supervisor. This route is generally taken only by students who already have a Masters degree, or who have pursued a career for a number of years before applying for the MPhil, and have a clear project in mind. If you are interested in taking the MPhil via this route, you should contact the MPhil Director before the start of the course, and ideally before application.

What happens once you have submitted your application?

When your application is complete and all documents have been uploaded onto the self-service system, it is passed to the Centre of Latin American Studies. We assess your application on the basis of your academic record, your references, and the research potential demonstrated by the sample of written work and your thesis proposal. We also check that suitable supervision is available. Ultimate responsibility for identifying a suitable thesis supervisor for each successful applicant lies with the Centre. However, you may, if you wish, identify on the application form a member of academic staff you would particularly like to work with. Those seeking funding from the AHRC or Gates may need to attend a short interview, either in person or over the phone/skype. This is also the case for mature applicants.

If you are accepted, you will receive a formal notification from Graduate Admissions. A more personal welcome letter will be sent out to you by the Centre over the summer months.

When will you hear the result of your application?

Most applications will be considered as part of a gathered field at four points during the academic year, as below:

Applications received by Decisions usually made by
the University’s deadline for applicants to be considered for US Gates funding (mid-October) December
the University’s deadline for applicants to be considered for all other funding (early January) late February
15 April mid-May
30 June (final deadline for course applications) mid-July

The majority of the places available on the course will be allocated to those who apply before the University’s deadline in early January (for those who wish to be considered for funding), with fewer places available for the later admissions rounds, so you are advised to submit your application as early in the admissions cycle as you can. 

If you have any admissions enquiries that cannot be answered by the information on these pages or the Postgraduate Admission Office's website (and/or their FAQ pages), please contact our Centre Administrator, who will be happy to answer your queries.