Structured PhD (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) (Latin American Studies)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies,
School of Languages, Literature and Culture

Course overview

The Structured PhD in Latin American Studies at NUI 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: GYG22
Structured PhD (Latin American Studies)—part-time: GYG54

Areas of interest

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.

Contact Us

Prof Bill Richardson
T  353 91 492 136

PAC code

GYG22 full-time
GYG54 part-time
Important: apply by mid-July for September entry

Current project

Fees for this course

EU: €5,250 p.a. 2018/19

Non-EU: €14,250 p.a. 2018/19

EU Part time:  Year 1 [2018/19] €3,575. p.a.

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.