The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers undergraduate and graduate teaching in Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan. It is unique in its commitment to exploring the trans-historical and cross-cultural interrelations between all these language areas and their corresponding cultural formations. The research interests of its academic staff thus span a wide range of areas including Medieval and Golden Age Spanish cultures and their consolidation in dialogue with the diverse cultures and faith systems of Africa and the ‘New World’; the literature, art and cinema of Portugal, Brazil and Lusophone Africa; the literature of modern Spain and its relationship with the Enlightenment, colonialism, and modernity; the cinema of the Ibero-American world from early silent film through to its avant-garde, indigenous, popular and transnational dimensions today; and the culture of Catalonia from its re-birth in the Renaixença, through its resistance to Franquismo in literature and film, to its vibrant contemporary artistic, architectural and cinematographic expressions.
The Department also has one of the largest contingents of Latin American specialists in the United Kingdom, whose interests span the poetry and chronicles of the colonial period; the formation of national cultures in post-Independence Spanish America and Brazil; the experimental literatures of the Spanish American ‘Boom’; and the literature, cinema, and visual art produced in the interlocking contexts of post-dictatorship, mass urbanization, narcotráfico and neo-liberal globalization. The intellectual vitality of the Department is further evidenced by a dynamic research culture of public lectures, departmental seminars, graduate workshops and conferences, all of which add to a close-knit system of graduate supervision and mentoring that encourages both individual and collective endeavour within the department.
In British universities the PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy) is traditionally awarded solely on the basis of a dissertation, a substantial piece of writing which reports original research into a closely defined area of enquiry. The completion of the PhD dissertation is generally expected to take three years, and most funding is based on this assumption. It's also possible to take a part-time route through research degrees, and the expected timeframe would be five years. During your research, you will have the opportunity to work closely with a Supervisor who is a specialist in your research area. You might reasonably expect to see your Supervisor fortnightly or at least three times per term. In addition to your Supervisor, you will normally also be able to draw on the help and support of other members of the Department with expertise in your field of study.
In addition to the specialist supervising provided by the Department, the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages runs a programme of professional training for the benefit of all research students. The programme includes seminars and workshops on library resources, giving conference papers, publishing, applications and interviews, and teaching skills. The School of Arts and Humanities runs a central programme covering a range of skills relevant to doctoral students. Doctoral students may also be offered opportunities to do small group teaching for the undergraduate colleges and, in some cases, language teaching for the Faculty.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Centre of Latin American Studies are pleased to announce a new Consortium in Latin American Cultural Studies for PhD students. This new flexible arrangement will foster a greater exchange of ideas between students and scholars in the Department and the Centre and provide more opportunities for them to access relevant training, funding and other resources.
|One to one supervision||
Students might reasonably expect to see their supervisor fortnightly or at least three times a term. Supervisors normally take care to provide written comments on written work, and to give constructive criticism; but students should not expect actual marks. There is no need for written work to be provided for every meeting: general discussion and planning is vital, too. The length of a supervision can vary, depending on the stage a student is at and on the nature of the written work, if any, to be discussed. As a rule, however, such meetings generally last between 30 and 60 minutes.
Generally, a student could expect no more than 11 hours of supervisions over the course of each academic year.
|Seminars & classes||
Students are expected to attend the Cambridge Hispanic and Lusophone Research Seminars (CHLRS). Approx. 7 seminars per year.
Attending lectures is optional but students are encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered across the university which are relevant to their research.
Feedback on progress is provided through regular meetings with the Supervisor. Termly supervision reports are written and are made available to the student online.
There is a normal word limit for the thesis of 80,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography). The thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning through the discovery of new knowledge or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the devlopment of new theory, revision of older views or some combination of these. In writing the thesis you are expected to take account of previously published work on the subject and the thesis should be clearly and accurately written, paying due attention to English style and grammar. Candidates for the PhD in Cambridge are guided by a supervisor, though they will normally also discuss their work with a number of other experts in their field. Following submission of the thesis, an oral (viva) examination is held.
Annual progress interviews for all PhD students should normally take place between the start of the Easter term and the end of the academic year. The annual interviews constitute a system for the formal monitoring by the Degree Committee of the progress of all students working towards a PhD.
Graduate students are admitted in the first instance for a probationary period during which they are not registered as a candidate for the PhD degree. The first-year interview is the context in which registration as a candidate for the PhD is formally considered. Satisfactory progress is a condition for being registered as a doctoral student and for remaining on the register.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.