The MSc Latin American Studies offers you the opportunity to study the politics, international relations, culture, development and society of the region.

This programme is studied on campus.

There are 19 Spanish/Portugese speaking nations in America with Hispanic populations growing in North America and contributing increasingly to a growing global economy. Understanding various cultural, societal and political dimensions of Latin America and its populations is a rising requirement.

The MSc in Latin American Studies at the University of Aberdeen offers you a truly interdisciplinary postgraduate degree, as you study Latin American culture, development and the politics and international relations of the region. You will benefit from staff expertise from both Hispanic Studies in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture and the Departments of Anthropology and Politics and International Relations. The MSc Latin American Studies is unique to a Scottish University and one of the few in the UK to have a wide interdisciplinary nature.

You will study core courses and a variety of electives. Ideally, you will come from a mix of diverse multidisciplinary undergraduate degrees to equip you to study further in Humanities, Visual Studies, Social Sciences, Anthropology and Politics and International Relations. You can take this programme as a Masters degree either full time or part time, or towards a PhD at Aberdeen.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

The are some of the optional courses, although they may vary from year to year. The courses will be those on offer in the various MSc/MLitt programmes in the Schools of Language and Literature, and Social Science.

Compulsory Courses

Themes in Latin America (PI5014) - 30 Credit Points

This course provides an advanced introduction to Latin American Studies. It presents a variety of disciplinary approaches, including those of anthropology, history, literary and cultural studies, and politics and international relations. Through these, it illuminates a wide range of social, political, and cultural issues in the region. The course is divided into two parts: a) an overview of politics and international relations in Latin America, and b) an overview of cultural and social issues in Latin America. This is a core course of the MSc Latin American Studies. It is also available to students of other MSc and MRes programmes.

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Optional Courses

The Politics of Human Rights (LS5068) - 30 Credit Points

The course addresses the political processes by which human rights law is created and sustained (e.g. by exploring the main drivers of the change in human rights norms – like global civil society activism). Classroom discussions look into the ways in which international human rights law shapes controversial issues of international politics (like the problems of international development or humanitarian intervention). Two seminars are dedicated to ‘case studies’ on human rights politics: (1) the practice of human rights activism, and (2) the relevance of human rights for dealing with the social and political tensions generated by the oil industry in Nigeria.

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Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR5001) - 30 Credit Points

This course lays the foundations for, explores, and critically analyses the main theoretical paradigms and debates in International Relations, and engages with the complexity of debates on concepts in IR. The theoretical topics to be covered include debates on the international system, cooperation, world order, conflict, development, representation and identity. Students will also be introduced to some of the main debates in epistemology and methodology that apply to the discipline.

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Materials, Technology and Power in the Andean Region (Extended) (AT5038)
Diaspora and Migration in Contemporary Visual Culture (EL5099)
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Culture and Society in Latin America (Extended) (AT5534) - 30 Credit Points

This course provides a more in-depth coverage of issues of culture and society in Latin America than the MSc core course Themes in Latin American Studies, although the course will also be available for students of other MSc and MRes programmes, pending approval of the course coordinator. The course will cover a range of topics from the anthropology of indigenous and non-indigenous societies to colonial and modern history and contemporary literature and film. This will also introduce students to a wide range of approaches to Latin American Studies, especially those of anthropology, of history, and of literary and cultural studies.

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Latin America: Security Conditions and Challenges (IR5508) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the current security conditions and challenges which face contemporary Latin America. This includes narco-terrorism, debt, populism and neopopulism amongst other things. The region’s different sub regions will all be examined with the international, domestic, cultural and ideological factors for the current security conditions being considered.

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Optional Courses

Terrorism and Counter Terrorism (PI5520) - 30 Credit Points

Salient, specific facets of historical and contemporary national, international and transnational terrorism and the problems and challenges these different kinds of terrorism pose for national and international counter-terrorism strategies will be scrutinised. The debates on the different causes for terrorism (for instance religion, ethnicity, and ideology) and the different theoretical approaches to explain and understand the roots of terrorism will be examined. Specific facets of terrorism like (female) suicide bombers, ‘lone wolfs’ and ‘home-grown terrorists’, as well as the national and international strategies to counter terrorism, will be critically reviewed.

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Dimensions of Globalization (SO5512) - 30 Credit Points

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analyzed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation‐state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

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Sex, Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches (SO5519) - 30 Credit Points

This course investigates the ways people think about, understand, and respond to violence. How do we know what counts as violence or a violence act? Why does legislation against violence often seem inadequate, perhaps especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence?

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Post - Conflict Justice and Peacebuilding (SO5525) - 30 Credit Points

This course is divided into three sections. The first half of the course introduces students to the central mechanisms and processes by which the international community attempts to provide justice and peace in post-conflict contexts, before presenting in a series of lectures the complications and current challenges to post-conflict and justice as both an academic field and an area of practice. The course is particularly designed to inspire students to consider the complicated nature of post-conflict issues through a number of different case studies and perspectives.

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Global Security Issues (PI5502) - 30 Credit Points

'Global Security Issues' is an elective, second semester module for the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation (MSc in Latin American Studies) (IR5902) - 60 Credit Points

The dissertation allows students to conduct a piece of original research on a topic of their own choice. This in-depth research can be on a topic within culture, society, politics or international relations of Latin America.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment will be by a combination of coursework, written and oral examinations, where appropriate for each course. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CGS grade of D3 or above in the dissertation (IR5902), irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Latin American Studies?

  • The MSc in Latin American Studies offer you cultural and political awareness and ability to work with diverse populations.
  • The programme is taught by published experts in their field who are able to provide you with in depth knowledge and understanding of the global issues surrounding Latin American Studies.
  • The University of Aberdeen provides a cosmopolitan city in which to study the MSc Latin American Studies with a global energy hub attracting people from all over the world.
  • The MSc Latin American Studies is taught by the Schools of Language and Literature and Social Sciences, part of the College of Arts and Social Sciences. The Schools provide an exciting and vibrant research lead learning environment of the highest quality.
  • You will learn about Language, Literature, Hispanic Studies, Politics, International Relations and Anthropology as part of this programme, giving you a wide range of highly desirable expertise to assist in your future career.

Entry Requirements


The MSc / PgDip Latin American Studies/Postgraduate Diploma is normally open to students with a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree classification or equivalent in International Relations, Politics, History, Human Geography, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Development Studies, Languages, Law or other cognate disciplines.

For candidates who do not meet these admission criteria, relevant professional experience (e.g. work for NGOs, the civil service, the military, the international media) and supportive references are taken into account. Prospective applicants who are unsure about their eligibility are encouraged to address an informal inquiry to the Programme Director.

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More


The MSc in Latin American Studies will appeal to you if you wish a career in branches of media, human welfare and human rights organisations, the public sector and policy relevant research, including diplomacy and defence and development. Additionally, graduates may deploy their study of Latin America to engage in public advocacy, research and project management for non governmental organisations (NGOs) and regional and global institutions, such as Amnesty International, the EU or the UN, as well as forgecareers in the armed forces, international risk management and international corporations involved in trade and finance. It will be equally appealing if you wish to create a solid PhD research proposal in any oneof the disciplines or an area that overlaps them.

Careers can include branches of media, human welfare organisations and development.

Career Opportunities

  • Diplomacy, Defence, Development
  • Embassy Official
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Government Official
  • Human Welfare and Human Rights Organisations
  • International Business and Organisations
  • International Risk Management
  • Journalist
  • Public Advocacy

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Mervyn Bain
Dr Margaret Bolton
Professor Patience Schell
Dr Andrea Oelsner

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Hispanics Culture is of Major World Importance

Hispanic populations are increasingly contributing significantly to a diverse cultural
world. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.


  • The School of Social Science and the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture.
  • The Centre for Celtic Studies, Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture, Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism.
  • The Centre for Global Security and Governance, New Europe Centre, the Institute for Conflict, Transition and Peace Research, and more (Social Sciences).
  • Centre for European Survey Research facilities

Centre for European Survey Research

The ECSR has Associate Survey Agencies in more than 100 countries worldwide and can offer basic and applied research in form of quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as other empirical research tools in the social and economic sciences.

New Europe Centre

The New Europe Centre represents a group of researchers at the University of Aberdeen with projects from a number of different funding sources. We are committed to doing quality research in order to better understand the world around us.

Centre for Global Security and Governance

The Centre for Global Security and Governance brings together academic experts, policy makers, and students to define, analyse, and propose remedies to the most pressing security and governance challenges the world faces in the 21st century.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

College of Arts and Social Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Powis Gate
College Bounds
AB24 3UG