The programme has the following objectives:
1. to broaden and deepen the students’ knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the area of contemporary history, cultural and social analysis of Latin America;
2. to enable students to develop the following academic and professional skills: − the ability to solve academic problems independently, critically and creatively;
− the ability to analyse complex problems;
− the ability to clearly report academic results, both in writing and orally;
3. to prepare students for an academic career at a university for postgraduate programmes;
4. to prepare students for a non-academic career in the public or private sector for which advanced research skills and practical research experience are a prerequisite.
Theoretical Core Courses – 20 EC
In the first year of the programme you will take two core courses: ‘Modernities in Latin America and the Caribbean’ and ‘Resistance, Revival and Change: Mechanisms and Expressions’. These courses mark the start of the programme and allows you to acquire knowledge on theoretical debates centered around the concept of modernity.
Thematic Electives – 20 EC
Throughout the programme you get three opportunities to select electives in your chosen theme of specialization. The themes are ‘State-society relations’, ‘Literature, arts and media’, and ‘Culture and identity’.
The thematic electives combined with the core courses will help you to define your own research interest within the profile and expertise of the programme.
Research Seminar (Methodology 1) – 10 EC
In this Research Master the acquisition of research methodologies is of central importance. In the second semester of your first year, you start preparing for your research in the second year. The course will teach you the basics of writing a research proposal.
Graduate School – 10 EC
Research Schools courses offer training in both methodology and area specific knowledge. Research MA students choose courses at the Research Schools that relates most with their possible area of research.
Research in Latin America (Methodology 2) – 20 EC
Based on the prepared proposal from your first year, you will start your second year by carrying out the research project in Latin America or the Caribbean under local supervision and with guidance from your supervisor in Leiden.
Thematic Elective – 10 EC
In your second year you will also choose one thematic elective again. See description above.
Writing workshop (Methodology 3) – 5 EC
The writing workshop will provide support in how to present your findings in different academic writing formats (for example: PhD research project; article publication; funding proposal).
Thesis – 25 EC
Write your thesis based on the material you collected in Latin America or the Carribean.
Master thesis and requirements for graduation
The Research MA Latin American Studies is concluded by a 25 EC Research Master thesis.
The thesis is based on original research in primary sources and will be ca. 30.000 words in size (excluding footnotes, literature or appendices). The thesis has to meet a high scholarly standard; it should be possible to rework the results of the thesis in to an article for an academic journal. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors.
Requirements for graduation are:
Successful completion of all courses (75 EC)
Successful completion of a research project (20 EC)
Successful completion of MA Thesis (25 EC)
Please note that you are also asked to fulfill certain administrative procedures, as can be found on the website of Latin American Studies.