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Latin American Studies

Study programme

The programme consists of two introductory courses, your research project, thematic courses and/or a tutorial. The student’s research project forms the core of the programme. You will design your own research or collaborate with a staff member in their research project.

Programme structure

The Master's programme in Latin American Studies comprises 60 ECTS:

  • Introductory courses – 12 ECTS
  • Thematic courses (restricted-choice elective and tutorial)– 12 ECTS
  • Research project: writing of the research proposal and methodology course – 6 ECTS
  • Research project: field research of 2,5 months in Latin America   - 6 ECTS
  • Research project: writing of the thesis – 24 ECTS
  • Introduction to Latin American Studies
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  • Latin American Studies: Deepening the Debates
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  • Interdisciplinary Methods
  • Research on Latin American Societies
  • Restricted-choice electives
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  • Free-choice electives
  • Master's Thesis
  • Tutoring and Study Guidance
UvA Course Catalogue: Latin American Studies
  • Introductory courses

    These courses introduce key subjects and approaches in contemporary Latin American Studies from different disciplines which provide knowledge and understanding of the diversity societal contexts in Latin America.

  • Research project: research proposal and methodology

    The research project is the core of the Master’s programme which represents over half of the programme’s credits. You will elaborate a research plan to investigate one specific topic, and will conduct field research in Latin America. You are encouraged to combine your own research interests and academic background with the research projects and expertise of one of the programme teachers.  The research project has three stages.

    During stage 1 you will elaborate your research project during the Interdisciplinary Methods course, in which methodological principles and tools from different disciplines are presented, discussed and applied to particular contexts. During this course, you will present your research proposal and will receive feedback from the programme teachers and your class mates.

    During stage 2 you will spend 2,5 months in Latin America to independently conduct field research. During this period, you will make contacts with people relevant to your research, conduct interviews, make structured observations, and collect secondary data.

    During stage 3 you will analyse the research data and write your thesis, as described above.

  • Thematic courses

    Restricted-choice electives provide more in-depth knowledge on particular theories and academic debates in Latin American studies from which students can elaborate their research question. Students choose one of the following two courses:

    • Socio-Environmental Changes in Latin America
      You will learn and reflect on current debates on the effects of economic activities, political decisions and social conditions of the environment in Latin America.
    • Approaches to Popular Culture in Latin America
      You will discuss different ways to study popular culture, such as in cultural history, cognitive cultural studies, cultural anthropology and cultural criminology.

    All students must follow a tutorial (see below), too. However, they may also take an elective course elsewhere instead.

  • Tutorial

    In your tutorial (Lectura Guiada), you will deepen your knowledge in your particular field of interest which usually ties in with your research project. Through individually selected literature on a theme or process in Latin America, you will deepen your academic expertise further with support from your supervisor or another Master’s programme teacher.   

  • Research project: writing your thesis

    You will write your Master’s thesis in the final stage of your research project. In addition to your individual meetings with your supervisor, you will follow the Thesis Seminar. This course is designed to support you during the analysis of your research data and the writing of your thesis.

Pre-PhD track

Students who have concluded the programme with good results and interested in developing their academic skills further are encouraged to join LASP. The LASP is the interuniversity Latin American Studies Programme and prepares students for a research career. The pre-PhD-track is not accredited.