PhD in Latin American and Caribbean Studies: On Campus & Distance-Learning
Recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for research facilitation, SAS occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK. Study at CLACS and you’ll be joining a long-established, welcoming community of dedicated Latin Americanist and Caribbeanist scholars. Our students are encouraged to engage with academic staff and involve themselves in the Centre’s wider activities, which include an extensive programme of Latin American and Caribbean focused events.
About your Degree
Research degrees can be undertaken on a full time (over three years or a maximum of four) or part-time (over five years or a maximum of six) basis, with entry in October or January. We also now offer a distance-learning option. You’ll initially be registered for our MPhil and will then, providing your progress has been satisfactory, be upgraded to our PhD programme. This involves the production of a thesis of up to 100,000 words. Although this is primarily an independent piece of work, you will receive research training, and our supervisors will be on hand to support and encourage you. All our graduates are awarded a University of London degree. Our research students take advantage of a varied and challenging research training programme, with general research skills training and research methodologies courses provided through the School of Advanced Study and subject-specific training through the Centre. Our supervisors will be on hand to guide you through your training options and provide tailored support.
Study with Us
When the time came to choose where I wanted to do my PhD course, I decided on CLACS because it is one of the main centres for promotion and research in humanities in the UK. The intense dynamic of the School and Senate House has enriched my research and professional career.
(Current PhD student, CLACS)
The Centre offers students an unparalleled range of resources in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Collection, based at Senate House Library, combines the holdings and strengths of the CLACS and SHL collections to provide more than 90,000 volumes of research-level material. CLACS also hosts initiatives focussed on promoting interdisciplinary and comparative work on the Caribbean Region. We encourage PhD applications in this area.
As part of the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, CLACS students benefit from a collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment, as well as a wide range of funding opportunities, including AHRC-sponsored London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) studentships.
SAS is the UK’s national research hub and the Centre is part of the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (ILCS), one of eight SAS member Institutes. CLACS also enjoys close links with staff at other School Institutes, including the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the Institute of Historical Research, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and the Warburg Institute. Cross-institute supervision and collaboration is actively encouraged making us an ideal location for interdisciplinary research.
CLACS 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, CLACS 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 CLACS graduates receive a University of London degree.
CLACS now offers students with an appropriate topic and level of local resource support, the opportunity to undertake their research degree by distance learning. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our campus-based PhD programmes (three years full time, up to six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes.
These students will study at their own location and may be able to undertake formal examination remotely, such as upgrade and the viva oral examination. Students will maintain regular contact with supervisors via video conferencing. They will need to demonstrate that they have the appropriate local resources, IT equipment and infrastructure before they can commence study.
Students will benefit from the School’s extensive research training portfolio, online e-resources, podcasts, video recordings, transcriptions and live streaming of research seminars on a wide range of topics to help them complete their research degree. Please consult the SAS site for further information.
Subject Areas and Supervisors
CLACS undertakes multi-disciplinary, specialist research on Latin America and the Caribbean. Our expert scholars offer doctoral research supervision on an extensive range of subjects within the humanities and social sciences, with special emphasis on the region's historical, cultural, and political dimensions. We also work closely with other institutes within the School of Advanced Study (SAS) with whom it is possible to have co-supervision.
Dr Ainhoa Montoya
Director of the Centre for Latin American & Caribbean Studies / Senior Lecturer
Dr Montoya’s research focuses on post-conflict violence and conflicts over natural resources. She is the author of The Violence of Democracy: Political Life in Post-War El Salvador (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Her research has been funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, The British Academy and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. She is currently working on a British Academy-funded project which explores the political-legal strategies of environmental and human rights defenders who oppose mineral extraction in Central America and Mexico, focusing specifically on the moralities, ontologies and forms of knowledge that they bring to these strategies. Dr Montoya is co-editor of the Bulletin of Latin American Research (BLAR), the journal of the Society for Latin American Studies.
She accepts PhD students with an interest in bringing an anthropological perspective to the study of violence and conflict, democracy and state transformation, the law, the environment, social movements, or human rights.
- The anthropology of violence and conflict
- The anthropology of democracy and state transformation
- The ethnography of the law
- The anthropology of the environment
- Social movements and citizenship practices
- Transitional justice, human rights and memory work
Dr Jamille Pinheiro Dias
Lecturer in Environmental Humanities and Modern Languages
Jamille Pinheiro Dias works on cultural, artistic and literary traditions, indigenous knowledges, translation studies and the intersection between environmental and aesthetic activism in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil. She is interested in working with PhD students who wish to pursue research on socially and environmentally engaged literature, film and aesthetics, pan-Amazonian cultural production, indigenous poetics and aesthetics, and translation in the region.
- Languages and the Environment
- Socially and Environmentally Engaged Literature, Film and Aesthetics in Latin America
- Indigenous Poetics and Aesthetics in Latin America, particularly in Brazil
- Translation Studies
- Cultural Production in the Pan-Amazonian Region
- Brazilian Literature, Film and Culture
- Art and Activism in Latin America
Dr Naomi Wells
Lecturer in Modern Languages (Italian and Spanish) with Digital Humanities
Dr Wells specialises in the area of multilingualism and migration in Spanish- and Italian-speaking contexts, with her current research focusing on digital spaces of communication and representation. She has conducted fieldwork in Spain, Italy, Chile, and the UK, and her research incorporates transdisciplinary methods and approaches drawn primarily from applied and sociolinguistics, translation and cultural studies, migration studies, and digital humanities and digital culture studies. She is joint Section Editor of the Digital Modern Languages Section on Modern Languages Open, and provides postgraduate research training in qualitative and online research methods.
- Cultures of migration and mobility to and from Latin America
- Sociolinguistics and multilingualism in Spanish-speaking contexts
- Digital culture in Spanish-speaking contexts
- Social media and internet research
- (Digital) discourse analysis and (digital) ethnography
Professor Linda Newson OBE, FBA
Professor Linda Newson has conducted extensive archival research in Latin America and is the author of seven monographs and two edited books. Her first five monographs examined the demographic and cultural impact of Spanish colonial rule in Trinidad, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Philippines. More recently, she examined the African slave trade in Peru in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. She is currently researching the history of medicine in Peru in the early colonial period. She has received awards for distinguished scholarship from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (USA) and the Royal Geographic Society. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and chairs its Latin American and Caribbean Panel. In 2015, Professor Newson received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Latin American Studies.
- Colonial Latin American history
- Colonial Latin American geography
- The economic and social history of Latin America up to 1800
- The demographic history of Latin America to 1800
- The African slave trade to Latin America
- The history of science and medicine in Latin America
- The missionary orders in colonial Latin America
- The colonial Spanish Philippines
Professor Catherine Davies
Professor Davies's research interests include 19th- and 20th-century Spanish and Spanish American history, culture and literature, the Wars of Independence in Spanish America, history and literature, Cuban history and literature, abolitionism in Cuba and Puerto Rico (late Spanish Empire), literature and culture in Argentina.
- Latin American Literature and Culture from 1800
- Literature and Culture in Argentina 19th and 20th C
- Literature and Culture in Cuba 19th C
- Women’s Writing
- British travellers to Latin America
- Translation Studies
- Spain and Spanish America 19th and 20th C
Entry Requirements and Application Process
Applications for January and October 2023 are now open. We recommend you contact a prospective supervisor in the first instance in order to initiate an informal discussion of your research proposal. Alternatively, please email email@example.com.
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 offered at the School of Advanced Study. It is mandatory that all theses, examination papers and coursework are written in English, except where School regulations permit otherwise. Please consult the SAS site for English language requirements.
Detailed information on entry requirements and applications can be found on the SAS site.
Fees and Funding
The degree can be taken full time over three years (or a maximum of four) or part time over five years (or a maximum of six), with entry in either October or January. Suitably-qualified applicants can undertake their research degree by distance-learning.
For further information about fees, see Tuition Fees (2022-2023).
The School is a member of the AHRC-funded consortium London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). Studentships are available annually for UK and EU postgraduate research students wishing to pursue doctoral study in the arts and humanities within the partnership. Subject to availability, these awards will cover:
Tuition fees for full-time and part-time students, at the Home rate. International students may apply, but only the Home fees rate will be awarded
Annual maintenance grant or allowance/stipend (£19,668 for 2022-2023)
Applications for 2023-24 entry will open on 28 November 2022. Up to 90 cross-institutional studentships will be available per year for postgraduate research students studying arts and humanities disciplines. Candidates must also apply for a place to study at CLACS, SAS before submitting their LAHP application. Candidates’ nominated primary supervisors will be required to submit a statement of support. A full timetable and further details about the studentship competition are available at: https://www.lahp.ac.uk/
For further information on this and other funding opportunities, please consult the SAS site.