Latin American Studies PhD

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. Research at Liverpool is characterised by wide-ranging interests in the national and global dimensions of Latin American Studies, with a particular emphasis on social science, historical and cultural studies research.

Why study with us?

  • 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.

  • 90%

    of environment was also rated 4* and 3* in the latest REF results (2014).


Our research students benefit from interdisciplinary and cross-institutional supervision tailored to their research interests. Latin American Studies at Liverpool is part of the Language-Based Area Studies pathway of the ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre, which also involves the University of Manchester and Lancaster University. This means that students can access the resources, facilities, modules and expertise of three top UK universities. ESRC funding is available for 1+3 (MA and PhD) and +3 (PhD) research for projects with a social science focus in Latin American Studies. Prospective applicants with a humanities focus can apply through the modern languages pathway of the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.

A regional research centre, North West Americas Studies Network (NWASN), fosters a robust research environment based on expertise in the Department. This Liverpool-based multidisciplinary network brings together experts in Latin American and North American studies to support research in the field, exchange ideas, and to provide opportunities for collaborations amongst the members. 

Liverpool hosted the annual conference of the Society for Latin American Studies in April 2016 and is home to both the 'Bulletin of Latin American Research' and the 'Bulletin of Hispanic Studies'.

Research themes

Our research themes are:

  • Youth mobilization and empowerment in El Salvador
  • Transitional justice in Guatemala
  • Citizenship in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas 
  • Natural resource extraction and rural resistance in Peru
  • Sexual politics and social movements in Brazil
  • Indigenous movements in Bolivia
  • Participatory democracy in Venezuela
  • Local content and online practices in a Brazilian favela
  • Gender, sport and development in Nicaragua.


The University of Liverpool has excellent research facilities within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. For postgraduate researchers, these include designated shared office space and access to a vast repository of sociolinguistic journals (including e-journal), through the Sydney Jones Library.

As a postgraduate researcher at the University of Liverpool, you will become part of the Liverpool Doctoral College. The LDC supports all postgraduate researchers across the University to thrive in their doctoral programme with our dedicated team of esteemed supervisors, professional services staff, and student peers, ensuring that our students succeed in their studies.

Study options and fees

PhD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees 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.

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.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal

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Doctoral Training Partnerships support future researchers with funding and a rewarding learning environment where you can collaborate with leading researchers.

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We offer a range of scholarships to help you meet the costs of studying a research degree.

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