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The Americas MPhil/PhD

The UCL Institute of the Americas (UCL-IA) is a leading multi-disciplinary specialist institution for the study of Latin America, the United States, the Caribbean and Canada. It acts as a focal point in the UK for students and researchers seeking to develop in-depth regional and continental knowledge of the Americas.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit 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.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

Entry Requirements

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

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


The research carried out at the UCL Institute of the Americas is principally in nineteenth and twentieth century history and in the social sciences, notably in the fields of politics, human rights, globalisation, development policy, and environmental sociology as well as through interdisciplinary perspectives on gender, 'race' and ethnicity.

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, including 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.


Funding opportunities at the Institute of the Americas can be found here.

UCL Institute of the Americas attracts students funded by Mexican, Chilean, Ecuadorian and other national funding agencies.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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


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, and 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 help to coordinate networking opportunities within and beyond academia.

Why study this degree at UCL?

At the UCL Institute of the Americas research students thrive in an environment that offers in-depth and world-leading expertise, world-class libraries and excellent study facilities in central London. Moreover, our unrivalled events programme hosts many of the leadings scholars working on the Americas today and our Fellowship programmes allow scholars from across the region to participate in, and enhance, the scholarly life of our community. In this world-class environment, our research students have an unmatched opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and networks to succeed in any number of fields, including academia, the third sector, and government.

Student / staff ratios › 12 staff including 2 postdocs › 75 taught students › 19 research students

Department: Institute of the Americas

Degree reviews

Student review

"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

Institute of the Americas PhD

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit 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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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