The Americas MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

The Institute of the Americas occupies a unique position at the core of academic study of the region in the UK, promoting, coordinating and providing a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas – Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

Particular fields of research expertise at the institute include:
  • Climate change and sustainable development
  • History of the Americas
  • Human rights, justice and democratisation
  • Labour history, politics and policy
  • Race, ethnicity and gender in the Americas
  • Social policy in Latin America
  • State, market and the economy
  • The Caribbean: History, Politics, Society
  • The US Presidency
  • US foreign policy
Research undertaken by members of staff, associates, visiting fellows, and research students spans the whole of the American continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

It also covers the study of relations between regions in the Americas and of relations between the Americas and the rest of the world. The research community is focused on producing ground-breaking research at the forefront of several academic disciplines while contributing to the development of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Americas.

It is also actively engaged in research at the interface of academia and policy, engaging a broad range of stakeholders, including government, NGOs, communications media, and civil society, in the UK, the Americas, and beyond.

IRIS logo

Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Institute of the Americas

Entry requirements

Normally a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English level expected: Good


Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,200
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,250


Three Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities will be available for PhD students starting in 2014 in the areas of literature, language and history.

UCL-IA attracts students funded by Mexican, Chilean, Ecuadorian and other national funding agencies.

Scholarships available for this department

Wolfson Scholarships

The intention is that Wolfson Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential to make an impact on their chosen field. Wolfson Scholarships will be awarded solely on academic merit. Ideally the successful students would aspire to an academic career.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


Graduates are employed in universities, thinktanks, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, international bodies, and other institutions around the world.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Academia
  • NGOs, think tank, consultancies
  • Government
  • Communications media
  • International organisations


Research students at the institute acquire expert knowledge of the Americas in a number of fields, including history, politics and human rights, economics, environmental sociology, and development. Although primarily trained for academic work, research students at the institute acquire extensive transferable skills, including the ability to analyse and process vast amounts of data, to teach both introductory and advanced courses in their field of expertise, to present research to small and large audiences, to network with diverse groups. This ample and highly adaptable skill base gives research students at the institute an unparalleled edge in a number of employment opportunities.


Students at the Institute of the Americas benefit from numerous networking opportunities. The Institute hosts both formal and informal networks of scholars based in the UK, Europe and the Americas, and has very strong links to a number of institutions such as embassies and high commissions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the British Library and the British Museum, and NGOs and think tanks. It also benefits from close relations with business communities in the UK and the Americas. An attractive network of UCL-wide Americas-focused research students helps to coordinate networking opportunities within and beyond academia.

Next steps


Postgraduate Officer

T: +44 (0)20 7679 9748


Institute of the Americas

Register your interest

Keep up to date with graduate news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts. Register your interest

Make an application



View videos about UCL and its global impact on our YouTube channels: Study UCL and UCLTV.

Student View

"After finishing my PhD, I would love to work for a security agency in the public sector, such as Europol, or federal crime agencies or ministries in Brazil, Germany or the UK. I have undergone a lot of careers training while at UCL (Leadership in Action, Women in Management, Career Days)."

Verena Brahler

Degree: PhD

Student View

"I was attracted to UCL by its unrivalled reputation as a world-leading academic institution. I was also particularly keen on becoming familiar with a very rigorous, technically demanding approach to the discipline and was sure UCL was the right place to find this."

Matteo Scattola

Degree: Economic Policy MSc

Subject: Economics, Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences