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Communication & Media Studies (7) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Politics & Government (30)

  Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies PhD

  Faculty of Arts & Humanities

 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Programme

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 our commitment to this field within the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at King’s continues this tradition of innovation and research strength. 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.

Latest REF rankings: Spanish, Portuguese & American Studies research impact rated 87.5%at ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) and 100% for ‘world leading’ (4*) research environment (REF 2021).

Current number of academic staff: 13 (all research active)

Current number of research students: 14

Recent publications 

  • Magazines and Modernity in Brazil: Transnational Networks and Cross-Cultural Exchanges Sátiras e outras subversões: textos inéditos
  • A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution
  • Brokers of Change: Atlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa
  • Artículos de costumbres
  • The Reinvention of Theatre in Sixteenth-century Europe: Traditions, Texts and Performance
  • De ultramodernidades y sus contemporáneos
  • The Basque City: The Political Economy of Nation Building
  • García Lorca: The Poetics of Self-Consciousness
  • Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives

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 World-making project, to lead research that will seek to inform the future of the study and teaching of Modern Languages.

Course study environment

As a postgraduate research student in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures you will join a vibrant research culture which features sustained reflection and dialogue on our subject areas. You will work closely with designated primary and secondary supervisors, and benefit from regular feedback from other staff members. You will see your primary supervisor regularly and are strongly encouraged to attend research seminars and research-related events in the department and beyond. There are multiple opportunities to gain experience in the presentation and dissemination of your research and to exchange ideas with fellow students and members of staff.

Due to its unique concentration of expertise across all periods of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies, including the study of literature, history, cultural studies, film, drama and music, the Department is able to offer unrivalled opportunities for PhD supervision. You can discover more about the research interests of particular members of staff and the topics they may supervise 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.

Postgraduate training

Training for postgraduate research students is offered at various levels throughout PhD registration, including, at King’s, the courses and sessions offered by the Department, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Centre for Doctoral Studies and the King’s Language Centre. Further afield training is offered by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership and the Institute of Modern Languages Research of the University of London. Research training will include a range of different kinds, including research ethics and integrity, bibliographic and referencing skills, the opportunity to learn or improve language skills, career support, job applications, networking, working with community partners, and much more. 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.

More information can be found here.

Funding Notes

Find out more information about fees on our course web page on the King’s website: View Website
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