Research in the department ranges widely across the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, from the early-modern period to the present, and geographically across the Americas, Africa and Europe.

A great deal of our research centres on the nature of connections:

  • connections between places;
  • connections between times;
  • connections between disciplines.

Global culture and history are fundamental to our work. We research how Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries shaped the world, across Europe, America, Africa and Asia. We ask how they fit into the wider globe and we explore new ways to express those relationships, including through digital humanities, sport studies, translation, environmental humanities and indigenous histories.

We welcome applications from students wishing to pursue tailor-made research to master's (MPhil) or doctoral (PhD) level. All postgraduates participate in a vigorous programme of research events and make key contributions to the research activities of the department, the School of Modern Languages and the faculty.

Programme structure

MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's courses if they are relevant to their research.

PhD: a research project undertaken across three to four years (full-time), culminating in an 80,000-word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.

The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£4,758 per year
UK: part-time
£2,379 per year
Overseas: full-time
£20,700 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2024. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

The majority of graduates from this programme have developed careers as academics in higher education, while maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American studies.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.


Research groups

Bristol is one of the great Atlantic ports, linked historically to the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds. We work on the nature of connections in large national, international and regional collaborations, such as the 19th-century International Hispanists Network, LUDENS (sport and football), the New Woman project, and the UK Latin American Historians Network.

We have ongoing research collaborations with universities across Europe and Latin America, such as the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, the Universidad Pontificia Catolica in Chile and the University of Las Palmas. The Ramon Llull Institute supports our work in Catalan Studies.

We welcome applicants with cross-disciplinary projects. A high number of our postgraduates are supervised across multiple disciplines (for example, anthropology, education, history, history of art, music, and translation studies).

From memory to sport, visual arts to history, and linguistics to literature, our work matters to multiple academic fields. Collectively, we value and explore the composite nature of our subject. Our students collaborate with their postgraduate colleagues across multiple disciplines, for example in the graduate-led Literary and Visual Cultures group, and through Migration Mobilities Bristol. Among our current cross-disciplinary projects are:

  • Atlantic Studies;
  • Digital Cultures;
  • Environmental Humanities;
  • Landscapes and Soundscapes;
  • Sport;
  • Transnationalism;
  • Linguistics.

Our wide-ranging work reaches beyond academia. We encourage students to have a wider impact beyond their written research. Each year we hold a Cultural Week (Semana Cultural): in 2023 this revolved around the MEMPAZ project with 20 participants visiting us from Colombia. Our researchers have worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Committee on Guinea-Bissau, rural communities in Peru and the Prince's Teaching Institute.

Contact us