MPhil in Latin American Studies

MPhil Latin American Studies

This is a twenty-one-month programme which spans six academic terms, plus a field work project in Latin America (up to 3 months). 


This programme allows students to develop an individual research project informed by interdisciplinary teaching at the LAC and a period of fieldwork in Latin America. The programme is ideally suited to those students considering an academic or research-focused career, and is an excellent training for a doctoral degree. Find out more about our current MPhil students and their experiences here.

In their first year, students on this programme will join classes in the various disciplines taught at the LAC (including History, Politics, Sociology, International Relations and Economics), and will be asked to submit two portfolios of essays on subjects of their choice. The classes taught may emphasise the specific features of individual countries, but there is also broad comparative coverage of major trends such as authoritarianism and democracy, the economic cycle, the effect of international factors, the evolution of the Left and Right, revolutionary movements, and the effects of neo-liberal economic models. Students will also take a Research Methods course in their first year.

Students will receive a number of tutorials to review their academic progress and preparations for their fieldwork research. Students must pass three assessments in order to qualify for entry on to the second year of the programme, and you may view the range of courses available for 2021-22 here.

The five disciplinary papers are: 

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  • Latin America since Independence
  • Introduction to the Latin American Economies
  • Sociology of Latin America
  • The International Relations of Latin America
  • The Politics of Democracy in Latin America

The number of optional papers on offer vary from year to year. Those for 2021-22 are: 

  • Andean Politics
  • Cities and Citizenship in Latin America
  • Human Rights in Latin America
  • The Politics of Brazil
  • Revolution and Counterrevolution in Cold-War Latin America

In the second year, students complete a 30,000 word thesis. The thesis is an in-depth research project, and will train students to apply theory to empirical study of their selected topic. A list of past thesis titles is available here. From the 2018 intake, students will take two further courses in their second year, or by agreement with the relevant department, take a methodology or other papers from an appropriate MPhil in another discipline at Oxford University. 

A lively programme of LAC seminars and conferences with visiting speakers complements the MPhil programme, and students are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities to meet with and learn from fellow Latin Americanists.

For any queries regarding the application process please contact

Watch our 'Why Study Latin American Studies at Oxford?' video to get a flavour of LAC student life.