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Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies Research MPhil/PhD

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Overview

Spanish was first taught at King’s in 1831, and the teaching of Portuguese in British universities was pioneered by King’s in the 1860s. Since the establishment of the Cervantes Chair in 1916 and the Camoens Chair in 1919, King's has become a world-leading centre for Spanish and Portuguese studies and the creation of the new Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies continues this tradition of innovation and research strength. The Department offers a wide range of opportunities for specialist and cross-disciplinary supervision, from the medieval period to the present day, in literature, history, cultural studies, film, drama and music. Our commitment to all areas of Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Latin America and Lusophone Africa, combined with the wide-ranging teaching and research interests of the staff, means that we are able to offer an unrivalled variety of supervision topics for postgraduate study.

  • REF rankings 2014:  The Modern Languages departments are ranked 9th in the REF's power rankings which take into account the quantity and quality of research activity and performed well in terms of impact with 100% of their research rated as having an outstanding (4*) or considerable reach and significance

  • Current number of academic staff: 19

  • Current number of research students: 31

  • Recent publications: Lima Barreto: Sátiras e outras subversões; The Basque City: The Political Economy of Nation Building; Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap; Brokers of Change: Atlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa; Locating the Middle Ages: The Places and Spaces of Medieval Culture; García Lorca: The Poetics of Self-Consciousness; Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives;  Ceremonia comentada: Textos sobre arte, estética y cultura [by Jorge Eduardo Eielson].

  • Current research projects: “Language Acts and Worldmaking”; “Precolonial West Africa's relations with world history through the lens of exchanges of money and power”, "Out of the Wings: Spanish and Spanish American Theatres in Translation", “Domesticity in surrealism”, “Reception of the English Gothic novel in Spain”, “‘Reindigenisation’ in the post-colonial Andes”, “Resisting World Literature”, “Afro-Brazilian identity and the aesthetics of music-making”.

  • Partner organisations: Instituto Camões Centre for Studies in Portuguese Language & Culture, King’s Brazil Institute, University of Oxford, Queen's University Belfast, Instituto Camões, Federal University of Minas Gerais, University of São Paulo.

Key information

Duration MPhil: two years full-time, three years part-time. PhD: three-four years full-time, four-six years part-time. September to September, January to January or April to April.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Locations

 

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Course detail

Description

Spanish was first taught at King’s in 1831, only two years after the College’s foundation, and the teaching of Portuguese in British universities was pioneered by King’s in the 1860s. Since the establishment of the Cervantes Chair in 1916 and the Camoens Chair in 1919, the College has become a world-leading centre for Spanish and Portuguese studies and the creation of the new Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies continues this tradition of innovation and research strength. The Department offers a wide range of opportunities for specialist and cross-disciplinary supervision, from the medieval period to the present day, in literature, history, cultural studies, film, drama and music. Our commitment to all areas of Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Latin America and Lusophone Africa, combined with the wide-ranging teaching and research interests of the staff, means that we are able to offer an unrivalled variety of supervision topics for postgraduate study.

You can discover more about the research interests of particular members of staff in the Department on their staff profiles. Dissemination of our research takes a number of forms, which include: enhancing publishing and programming of the arts, shaping critical practice in musical, visual and literary culture, and influencing public policy.

Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies has recently attracted major grants both from the Arts & Humanities Research Council and from UK-based charitable foundations like the Leverhulme for collaborative projects and research positions. In 2016 a team of academics led by Professor Catherine Boyle was awarded almost £3 million under the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) for the Language Acts and Worldmaking project, to lead research that will seek to inform the future of the study and teaching of Modern Languages. You can find out more about the projects taking place in the Department on the Research Portal. Current projects include:

“‘Reindigenisation’ in the post-colonial Andes”, “The history of currency in pre-colonial Atlantic Africa”, “The reception in late medieval and early modern Spain of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus”, “Culture of the Spanish transition to democracy”, “Brazilian song in translation”.

Course study environment

Research students are assigned to supervisory teams comprising three members of the Department's academic staff and led by the principal supervisor; as well as providing close guidance to the student, this team manages the student's induction, including identifying training needs, and reports regularly to the Department's Postgraduate and Research Committee (PARC).

Students are expected to attend and contribute to the Department's research seminar programme. This seminar series provides an intimate but academically rigorous forum in which students can discuss theories, keep abreast of developments in their field of research and network with other students and academics. We also have strong academic links to the Institute of Latin American Studies as well as other institutes with regional specialisms. All of these institutes offer training and research opportunities, including seminars and lectures, in which our students participate strongly.

MPhil: This is a supervised research programme, involving the presentation of a thesis, followed by an oral examination. The minimum period of registration is two years, and the thesis shall be either a record of original work or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge. The maximum length is 75,000 words, inclusive of footnotes and appendices, but exclusive of bibliography.

PhD :This is a prolonged research programme, lasting a minimum of three years full time, culminating in the presentation of a thesis, followed by an oral examination. The thesis must form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality, shown either by the discovery of new facts or by the exercise of independent critical power. It must be suitable for publication, either as submitted or in an abridged or modified form. The maximum length is 100,000 words, inclusive of footnotes and appendices, but exclusive of bibliography. Theses are normally required to be submitted in English. Students whose subject involves an element of study of a modern foreign language may exceptionally apply, with the support of the supervisor, to submit their thesis in a language other than English. All such applications must be made at the point of registration, supported by a detailed scholarly justification, and not for reasons of linguistic competence. They will be considered by the Research Degrees Examination Board, and if authorized, an abstract in English of up to 5,000 words must be submitted at the same time as the thesisStudents whose subject involves an element of study of a modern foreign language may exceptionally apply, with the support of the supervisor, to submit their thesis in a language other than English. All such applications must be made at the point of registration, supported by a detailed scholarly justification, and not for reasons of linguistic competence. They will be considered by the Research Degrees Examination Board, and if authorized, an abstract in English of up to 5,000 words must be submitted at the same time as the thesis. Candidates will normally register in the first instance for the MPhil degree. They may transfer to the PhD programme after no less than one year (with retrospective registration) with the consent of their supervisor and after assessment of progress.

Postgraduate training

In addition to the training offered by the Faculty and Centre for Doctoral Studies, students are encouraged to make full use of the provision available to them within the University of London. Through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, students at King’s have access to innovative training portfolios (including public engagement and cultural entrepreneurship programmes. The Modern Languages Research Institute runs Saturday day schools in research skills and methods for MA students and MPhil, PhD students studying in language departments in the University of London. The Institute of Latin American Studies organises a graduate research training programme in the first two terms of the academic year, open to all students researching on Latin America in the colleges of the University of London and in other universities. The programme includes an introduction to library resources and use and is particularly concerned with methodology and issues related to fieldwork.

Head of group/division

Professor David Treece

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1649
fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Contact email

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/Admissions-contact-form.aspx

Course website

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/splas

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

SPLAS Research Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements   Master's degree in a relevant subject. In exceptional circumstances, very strong applicants with a Bachelors degree with 1st class or 2:1 honours may be considered without a Master's degree.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

1) Choose a topic: begin with an idea of the area you wish to do research in.

2) Define your proposal. In addition to the information required by the Faculty’s online Admissions application, candidates are required to submit a research proposal. This should include the following:

a) the central research question(s) you intend to address;

b) a critical assessment of the relevant published scholarship on the research topic and its related field, indicating how you expect your own project to expand, complement or challenge that existing body of scholarship by the discovery of new materials and data or new analytical insights;

c) The material scope of the project, i.e. the materials and resources that will be your object of study;

d) Methodological tools and approaches to be employed (including any training you may require; you should already have the language proficiency appropriate to your research programme);

e) A proposed plan and schedule of work, to show that your project can be completed within three years (four years including writing up) if you are a full-time student, or seven years (eight including writing up) if you are a part-time student. These are now the maximum allowed registration times for MPhil/PhD students.

3) Find a supervisor: Search for academics working in the field you wish to study. There need not be an exact correlation between your proposal and their research interests, after all it should be a 'unique' project, but they should be equipped to advise you on secondary reading and where to find sources if relevant.

Contact your supervisor: It is best to contact your proposed supervisor before you apply. You can then discuss your proposal with them, ensuring that they are happy with the topic. They will also at this time be able to give you advice on your Research Proposal - particularly important if you are hoping to apply for funding.

4) Apply: Once you have been in touch with the supervisor and they have, provisionally agreed to your proposal, apply to the college for a place.

Candidates seriously being considered for entry onto the MPhil/PhD programme are normally invited for interview by two or members of the Department’s academic staff, normally including the prospective supervisor and the Research Admissions Tutor.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

SPLAS research checklist
Personal statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. The personal statement should include an account of your academic career to date, your reasons for wishing to pursue a graduate research programme and the particular project as proposed. 
Research Proposal Yes The proposal should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Writing Sample Optional If you have any relevant recent examples of substantial research-based writing, eg from a Master's degree, then these can be attached to your application.
Other Optional

You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

 

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. We will open applications for an intake in 2020 after the final deadline passes in 2019.

  • January 2019 entry – 26th October 2018 for International students and 3rd December 2018 for Home/EU students
  • April 2019 entry – 15th February 2019 for International and Home/EU students
  • October 2019 entry – 26th July 2019 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students
  • January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students
  • April 2020 entry – 14th February 2020 for International and Home/EU students

Please note that funding applications deadlines may be earlier.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £5,000 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,500 per year

International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees:  £18,740 pear year               

Part time tuition fees: £9,370 per year

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees:  £19,850 per year

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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