Hispanic Studies PhD

Modern Languages and Cultures continues to extend research activity over a broad range of areas in Iberian and Latin American Studies. The School is now at the forefront of high profile research in literary, historical, linguistic and cultural studies. Our research emphasizes our understanding of ‘Hispanic studies’ in the broadest sense, as relating to the multiple geographical and linguistic contexts that make up the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds.

Why study with us?

  • 7th

    most widely spoken language in the world is Portuguese.

  • 72%

    of our publications were rated 4* and 3* ('world leading' and 'internationally excellent') REF (2014).

  • 19/62

    in the Guardian League Table for Modern Languages and Linguistics for 2018.


We are one of the longest established and most broadly-based centres for the study of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American Studies in the UK. We are one of the few centres to have staff whose expertise covers Basque, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese and Spanish (both Castilian and Latin American Spanish), emphasising the global dimensions of language-based research. Our interests provide a rich interdisciplinary environment for research and learning.

Research activity in Hispanic Studies covers a broad range of areas in Iberian and Latin American Studies. Our research is at the forefront of developments in literary, historical, linguistic and cultural studies, and we are the home to major journals, including the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, the Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies and Modern Languages Open. Our research emphasizes our understanding of ‘Hispanic studies’ in the broadest sense, as relating to the multiple geographical and linguistic contexts that make up the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds.

We also work closely with local and regional cultural organizations such as FACT, the National Museums Liverpool, the Tate Gallery and the Bluecoat and have been supported by public institutions such as, the Instituto Cervantes and the Instituto Camões leading to public events on Latin American digital art, Brazilian popular culture, and Spanish and Latin American film and literature.

Prospective postgraduate students can apply for AHRC funding and the Section hosts the Language-Based Area Studies Pathway of the ESRC’s North West Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership for social science research in Latin American Studies.

Our research interests

Staff offer specialist supervision on any approved aspect of the languages, literatures, cultures or civilisations of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and Lusophone Africa. Our research is characterised by interdisciplinary breadth as well as geographical scope. We are particularly interested to hear from potential doctoral students working in the areas of gender, race, media histories, digital culture, migration, film studies, history, and literature, although other research areas are also welcomed. The topic and nature of the research are decided by students in consultation with staff.

Research themes

Our research themes are:

• Spanish Linguistics, with a particular focus on Sociolinguistics
• Medieval Spanish Literature and Culture
• Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture
• Development and new forms of Poetry in Spain
• Spanish and Latin American Cinemas
• Modern Catalan Literature and Culture
• Modern Basque Literature and Culture
• Brazilian Popular Culture and Performance
• Latin American Literature and Culture
• Latin American popular Music and memory
• Digital Cultures in Latin America and Spain
• Political history; social movements and identity; memory and human rights
• Violence and its Traumatic Aftermaths in Literature, Film, and Digital Cultures



Research groups

  • Conflict, Memory and Heritage
  • Image, Sound, Performance
  • Place, Space and Belonging
  • Media Histories

Study options and fees

PhD Duration UK students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,500* (2021) £24,250* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,450* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)
Part time 4-6 years £2,250* (2021) £12,125* (lab based programmes)
£9,225* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)

* This excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^ Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

If an EU student starts their studies in 2020-21, before 1 August 2021, they will have a fee classification of EU and pay UK fee rates for the duration of this registration. The exception being ROI students, who will continue to be charged fees at the UK fee rate, post 1 August 2021.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

Applications are welcomed from both full-time and part-time students. For research degrees, we would normally expect applicants to have a BA or BSc degree of 2:1 standard (and also an MA) in a subject relevant to the proposed field of research.

We welcome applications from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

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