Full time
(Study in London)
apply now (jan 2021) 

Part time
​(Study in London)
apply now (jan 2021)

Full time
​(Distance Learning)
apply now (jan 2021)

Part time
​(Distance Learning)
apply now (jan 2021)

Undertaking doctoral research allows you to develop in-depth knowledge, while making a meaningful contribution to your chosen field.

With guidance from our expert supervisors, you'll carry out extensive independent research culminating in a thesis of up to 100,000 words. The Institute’s expertise covers a range of topic areas in both Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

This degree presents the opportunity to gain expertise in your area of interest while also honing a range of transferable skills. On completing this course, you'll be well prepared for specialist career paths both within academia and beyond.

 

Subject Areas and Supervision

The Institute of Latin American Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:

  • Colonial Latin America
  • Latin American history and historiography
  • Andean History
  • Postcolonial Latin American history
  • Independence and revolution in Latin America
  • Anthropology

  • Ethnography
  • Social movements and citizenship practices
  • Transitional justice, human rights and memory work
  • Latin American literature and film
  • Caribbean Studies

Research degrees in the field of Latin American Studies are also available through Professor Catherine Davies, Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research and Dr David James Cantor, Director of the Refugee Law Initiative, part of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Before submitting an application you are advised to contact a member of the Warburg academic staff who has interests in your proposed field of study to discuss your proposal. A list of academic staff and their interests can be found here.

 

The Institute of Latin American Studies

ILAS occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of Latin America in the UK. Internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for research facilitation, it serves the wider community by organising academic events, providing online research resources, publishing scholarship, and hosting visiting fellows. It possesses a world-class library dedicated to the study of Latin America and is the administrative home of the highly respected Journal of Latin American Studies.

The School of Advanced Study

The School of Advanced Study at the University of London brings together nine internationally renowned research institutes to form the UK's national centre for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities.

Course Structure

Full-time study for the PhD degree entails three or a maximum of four years' independent research, culminating in the writing of a thesis of not more than 100,000 words. Part-time students complete the same programme in five, or a maximum of six years.

After submission of the thesis, you will attend an oral examination conducted by an internal examiner, from the University of London, and an external examiner, normally from another British university.

There is no formal coursework, but you will be expected to participate in a weekly seminar on Work in Progress and to present a paper every year from their second year onwards. In your first year you are required to attend a weekly class on Techniques of Scholarship. You are also encouraged to participate in the regular seminars held at the Institute during the academic year.

Distance Learning

ILAS now offers students 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 its London-based PhD programmes.  Distance-learning students are required to attend the London campus on three set occasions: at the start of their studies for an intensive induction programme, for an external review of their progress (the upgrade panel) and for the final oral exam (viva).  Students maintain regular contact with supervisors via video conferencing.  Fees are the same as for on-campus research programmes.

If you would like to be considered for our Research Degree programme via Distance Learning, please download and fill out the Research Degrees by Distance Learning form, to attach to your online application.

Opportunities and Facilities

The Institute of Latin American Studies occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK. Internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for research facilitation, it serves the wider community through organising academic events, providing online research resourcespublishing scholarly writings and hosting visiting fellows.

It possesses a world-class library dedicated to the study of Latin America and is the administrative home of the highly respected Journal of Latin American Studies.

More broadly, the School of Advanced Study itself offers excellent resources for inter-disciplinary research by bringing together nine internationally renowned research institutes that support the promotion of research in the humanities.

The School of Advanced Study is also home to Senate House Library, the central library for the University of London. The art deco building, which the School and Senate House Library are part of, is a literary landmark in the heart of Bloomsbury, located next to the British Museum. The Library occupies the fourth to the nineteenth floors of the building,  with a range of historic library reading rooms and collections. 

Much like the Institute itself, the School offers a broad range of events, seminars and conferences that we encourage our research students to engage with.

Our research students can also take advantage of a varied and challenging research training programme, with general research skills training and research methodologies courses provided through the School and subject-specific training provided within the institutes.

How to Apply

Before submitting an application you are advised to contact a member of the Warburg academic staff who has interests in your proposed field of study to discuss your proposal. A list of academic staff and their interests can be found here.

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Guidelines on drafting your research proposal.

Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor. It is important that you discuss your outline research proposal with them, and that you feel you can work together. Your supervisor will discuss any further development or re-focusing of your proposal before the formal application is taken to the relevant Research Degrees Committee for approval.

Please note that our applications for October 2021 will soon open, please register your interest in the meantime.

Location Mode Duration Apply
London Full Time 3 years Apply Now
London Part Time 6 years Apply Now
Distance Learning Full Time 3 years Apply Now
Distance Learning Part Time 6 years Apply Now

Candidates will normally receive an initial response to their application within 28 working days. Those who have been formally interviewed will normally be informed within one week as to whether they are to be offered a place.

Note: in accordance with regulations research students will be registered for the MPhil degree in the first instance. Upgrading to PhD will be considered in the second year for full-time students and in the third or fourth year for part-time students.

 

Fees and Funding

Fees

We offer online guidance and information regarding our tuition fees, payment and fee status.

Funding

Our students fund their studies in a variety of ways including scholarships, bursaries and fellowships, as well as government loans and postgraduate loans.

We offer a range of bursaries and studentships for applicants on our programmes, including Institute and course specific scholarships.

The School is part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines.

Supervisors

Professor Linda Newson

Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies

Linda Newson

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Summary of research interests and expertise:

Latin America and the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period; the impact of colonial rule on indigenous societies; the Portuguese slave trade to Spanish America; and the history of medicine in early colonial Spanish America.

Topics:  

  • 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

Dr Mark Thurner

Reader in Latin American Studies

Linda Newson

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Dr Mark Thurner is an internationally recognized senior scholar in the fields of Latin American History and Anthropology. Mark joined ILAS and SAS in 2014. His current research concerns the history and theory of historiography and museography in Latin America and Europe.

He is particularly keen to supervise promising postgraduates developing pioneering research programmes in intellectual and cultural history, the history of anthropology and of natural history, postcolonial studies, and museum studies.

Topics:  

  • History of Latin American historiography
  • History of Latin American anthropology
  • History of museums and collecting in Latin America and Iberia
  • Andean History
  • Postcolonial Latin American history
  • Independence and revolution in Latin America

Dr Ainhoa Montoya

Lecturer in Latin American Studies

Linda Newson

Email | Research Profile

Bio

My research focuses on post-conflict violence and conflicts over natural resources.

My forthcoming book The Violence of Democracy: Unraveling Political Life in Post-War El Salvador explores ethnographically how Salvadorans have made sense of a violent peace and the political life of their country in the context of a liberal market democracy. Based on research coinciding with the 2009 elections, the book demonstrates how various forms of violence have become entangled with democracy-related imaginaries and practices in post-war El Salvador.

My current research, funded by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship, examines the legal cultures at work in the realm of mineral governance in Central America. The goal of this research is to achieve an understanding of the relationship between the legal and the moral as it plays out in environmental politics. This project involves fieldwork with some of the actors in Central America, as well as Washington DC, Geneva and London, who are shaping these legal cultures.

I have also acted as an expert witness in asylum appeal cases in the UK involving Salvadorans.

Topics:  

  • The anthropology of violence and conflict
  • The anthropology of democracy and state transformation
  • The ethnography of the law
  • The anthropology of the environment and natural resources
  • Social movements and citizenship practices
  • Transitional justice, human rights and memory work