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Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

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Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD, MPhil
Programme length MPhil: one year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2020
January 2021

This research degree is also available via distance learning.

Programme overview

Research in the department ranges widely across the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, from the early-modern period to the present, and geographically across the Americas, Africa and Europe.

A great deal of our research centres on the nature of connections:

  • connections between places
  • connections between times
  • connections between disciplines.

Global culture and history are fundamental to our work. We research how Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries shaped the world, across Europe, America, Africa and Asia. We ask how they fit into the wider globe. We explore new ways to express those relationships, including through digital humanities.

We welcome applications from students wishing to pursue tailor-made research to master's (MPhil) or doctoral (PhD) level. All postgraduates participate in a vigorous programme of research events and make key contributions to the research activities of the department, the School of Modern Languages and the faculty.

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2020. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Bristol is one of the great Atlantic ports, linked historically to the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds. We work on the nature of connections in large international and regional collaborations, such as the 19th-century International Hispanists Network; LUDENS (sport and football); Long-18th-century Studies; and the New Woman project. We have ongoing research collaborations with the Universidad Pontificia in Chile and the University of Las Palmas. The Ramon Llull Institute supports our work in Catalan Studies.

We welcome applicants with cross-disciplinary projects. A high number of our postgraduates are supervised across multiple disciplines (eg education, earth sciences, history of art, translation studies, history).

From earth science to sport, visual arts to history, linguistics to literature, our work matters to multiple academic fields. Collectively, we value and explore the composite nature of our subject. Our students collaborate with their postgraduate colleagues across multiple disciplines, for example in the graduate-led Literary and Visual Cultures grouping. Among our current cross-disciplinary projects are:

  • volcanoes and disasters (School of Earth Sciences)
  • Atlantic studies (School of Arts, School of Humanities)
  • sport (Department of Italian, School of History of Art)
  • landscapes
  • internationalism (School of History of Art)
  • linguistics (Department of German)

Our wide-ranging work matters beyond academia. We encourage graduate students to have a wider impact beyond their written research. Each year we hold a Cultural Week (Semana Cultural) involving organisations such as Choque Cultural in Brazil. Our chair of Latin American studies was named an Officer of the Order of Isabel la Católica for his services to Spanish culture. Our researchers have worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Committee on Guinea-Bissau, rural communities in Peru and the Prince’s Teaching Institute.


The majority of graduates from this programme develop careers as academics in higher education, while maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American studies.

Staff profiles

Dr Matthew Brown, (Professor), Digital humanities; historical links between Britain and Latin America; historical studies of Latin America, 18th to 20th centuries; sport history; sterilization and rural communities (Peru).

Dr Joanna Crow, (Senior Lecturer), Chile-Peru connections; digital humanities; indigenous cultures, agency, and networks in Chile; Latin American studies; modern Latin American literature.

Dr James Hawkey, (Lecturer), Hispanic sociolinguistics; language policy and language contact; multilingual speech communities.

Dr Francisco J. (Paco) Romero Salvado, (Reader), modern Spanish history; praetorian politics; revolution; social conflict; Spain as a laboratory of European conflict; the Spanish Civil War.

Dr Edward King, (Lecturer), Brazilian literary and visual culture (including the graphic novel); interconnections between culture and technology; power dynamics connected to technological change; science fiction.

Dr Sally-Ann Kitts, (Senior Lecturer), 18th-century Spanish studies; digital humanities; Spanish theatre from the Golden Age to the Second Republic; the idea of the modern self: British-Spanish connections in the Enlightenment.

Dr Jose Lingna Nafafe, (Lecturer), 17th and 18th century Portuguese and Brazilian history; Lusophone Atlantic African diaspora; migrant culture and integration; race, religion and ethnicity postcolonial theory and the Lusophone Atlantic; slavery and wage-labour.

Dr Caragh Wells, (Senior Lecturer), contemporary Spanish literature; feminism and gender studies; literary theory; the concept of oneness; women writers and urban fiction.

Dr Caroline Williams, (Senior Lecturer), Atlantic studies; colonial Spanish American history; frontier and border studies; volcano studies and earth science.

How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2020 start: 2 August 2020
January 2021 start: 2 December 2020

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • Modern Languages and Linguistics:
  • 29% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 38% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 26% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 7% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Open days and visits

Find out more about opportunities to visit Bristol.

Register to attend our postgraduate open day, 20 November 2019.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email: artf-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sml/ http://www.bristol.ac.uk/hispanic/


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