Course Overview

The Structured PhD in Latin American Studies at the University of Galway offers students a unique opportunity to study within a Latin American focused academic environment, with expertise in Southern Cone, Central American and Mexican literatures and cultures. There are currently five academic members of staff actively researching in the area of Latin American Studies within the discipline of Spanish.

This PhD is highly interdisciplinary in nature and is a very attractive option for students interested in continuing in academia, as well as those who intend in diversifying and working in Development or NGOs throughout the Americas. Current PhD students are working in the areas of literary studies, gender studies, cinema, detective fiction and cultural studies in Mexican, Chilean, Argentine and Cuban contexts. As part of this programme students usually have the opportunity to engage in research in different Latin American countries. One of the most exciting elements of the Structured PhD is the range of cross-disciplinary modules offered to the student, which serve to consolidate the student’s learning and guide them towards very interesting and innovative interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to their research topic.

Admission to a Structured PhD is at the discretion of the potential supervisor and the Head of discipline; it is based on a proposal from the applicant, following discussion with the staff member whose academic area of interest is most appropriate. Candidates should possess an honours degree in Spanish (Second Class, Grade 1 minimum) and should normally hold an MA in a relevant area.

As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules.  The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are discipline-specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area, e.g., Latin American Literature I and II
  • are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project e.g. additional language skills
  • acknowledge a student’s professional development, e.g., presentation of a paper at an international conference
  • enhance a student’s employability through generic training, e.g., careers workshops, computer literacy.

Each student is assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (Latin American Studies)—full-time 
Structured PhD (Latin American Studies)—part-time
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Candidates should possess an honours degree in Spanish (Second Class, Grade 1 minimum [or equivalent international qualification]) and, in the case of the PhD, should normally hold an MA in a relevant area.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Dr Mel Boland
Linguistics; Latin American literature; translation studies.

Dr Lorraine Kelly
Modern Latin American Literature; Mexican women writers; Contemporary Latin American Studies.

Dr Kate Quinn
Southern Cone literature and politics; history and theory of the detective genre in Spain and Latin America; historical narrative.

Professor Bill Richardson
Spanish language and linguistics; Spanish-English translation; Spanish Second Language Acquisition; deictic reference in Spanish and English; the works of Jorge Luis Borges; the links between language, culture and cognition.

Dr Lorna Shaughnessy
Modern Spanish poetry; Modern Latin American poetry; political writing from Central America; cultural theory and post-colonial literatures; women’s movements and popular culture in Central America.

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€14,500 p.a. (€14,640 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

Prof Bill Richardson
T  353 91 492 136

What Our Students Say


Jennie Galvin |   Women and the Culture of the Narcocorrido

The Structured PhD in Latin American Studies is valuable for its versatility, allowing access to courses in a variety of disciplines. There is a great sense of camaraderie between the PhD candidates within other departments.