A PhD in Hispanic Studies enables you to undertake a substantial piece of supervised research in the subject that makes an original contribution to knowledge and is worthy of publication.
A PhD, also known as a doctorate, is a requirement for a career as an academic or researcher. In addition, it has become a qualification valued by many employers who recognise the skills and commitment a PhD requires. Employers also recognise that a PhD indicates excellent research capabilities, discipline and communication skills.
Over the duration of the PhD, you produce an original piece of research of up to 100,000 words, in English, Spanish or Catalan. Current research students are working on topics such as Spanish film legislation, contemporary Spanish film cultures, and the voluntary sterilisation campaigns under Alberto Fujimori’s government in Peru. Previous research theses have included work on avant-garde theatre group Els Joglars, novelists Esther Tusquets and Ferran Torrent, or the translation of culture-bound elements found in Catalan films.
The Department of Modern Languages offers supervision from world-class academics with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, who are able to support and guide you through your research. Your progress is carefully monitored to ensure that you are on track to produce a thesis valued by the academic community. Throughout your programme, you are able to attend and contribute to research seminars, workshops, and research and transferable skills training courses.
You may be eligible for a fully-funded PhD scholarship to support your studies with us. The PhD in Hispanic Studies at Kent can be funded through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) scheme, or through the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) collaborative doctoral partnerships. Please indicate in your application if you want to be considered for any of these programmes, and explain your eligibility for the chosen scheme. For the full list of scholarships available within the School, please see our postgraduate scholarship page.
For the full list of ongoing and completed projects in the department, see our postgraduate research page.
Think Kent video series
In this talk Dr William Rowlandson from the University of Kent introduces his research into Cuban history, leading to his particular focus on the early revolutionary period. He evaluates a number of non-Cuban authors and their relationship with the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, modern languages and linguistics was ranked 3rd for research quality, 3rd for research output and in the top 20 for research intensity, research impact and research power in the UK.
Our submission was the highest ranked nationally to include modern languages – a testament to our position as the UK’s European university. An impressive 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
The Department of Modern Languages is committed to developing your employability through a wide range of School events. Our graduates develop skills highly prized by employers in industry and the public sector, including oral and written communication, intellectual skills, and intercultural awareness and understanding.
Recent Hispanic Studies graduates have gone on to work in areas such as media, publishing, public administration, charities and voluntary work, education and teaching in the UK and around the world.
The Templeman Library has excellent holdings in all our areas of research interest, with particular strengths in modern European (including Spanish) and Latin American literature, as well as Spanish film and cultural studies. The School provides high-quality facilities in IT, with state-of-the-art language laboratories, dedicated technical staff and designated areas for postgraduate study. Language-learning and translation facilities include eight all-purpose teaching rooms and two networked multimedia laboratories. The University of Kent’s location is the best in Britain for students who need to visit not only the British Library (London) but also the major libraries and research centres on the European mainland.
Every year, a considerable number of native speakers of foreign languages follow our courses and several European exchange students stay on to do graduate work. There are also foreign-language lectors either combining teaching with a Kent higher degree or completing a dissertation for their home universities. We can assist with the language-training needs of overseas postgraduates, particularly where English is concerned, and are also involved in Erasmus and Tempus networks.
All postgraduate students in SECL have the opportunity to undertake a Researcher Development Programme provided by the Graduate School. The School provides training workshops for postgraduate students with teaching responsibilities, which bring together students from all its subject areas. Research students gain further academic experience by giving research talks in the Centre for Modern European Literature or the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image and attending national and international conferences.
We encourage all of our postgraduate students to get involved in conferences, whether by attending, contributing or organising. Postgraduate students in Hispanic Studies are actively involved in the conferences organised by the journal Skepsi (founded and run by SECL postgraduate students).
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: The Americas; Journal of Romance Studies; Hispanic Research Journal; Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies; and Screen.
Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
A first or upper-second class BA honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, a distinction or merit in an MA programme or equivalent in a relevant subject (eg Hispanic Studies)
Research students need to demonstrate competence in Spanish (and Catalan if relevant).
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Hispanic Studies can be broadly characterised as concerned with modern Hispanic studies, with three peninsular (Dr Montserrat Roser-i-Puig, Dr Antonio Lázaro-Reboll and Professor Núria Triana- Toribio) and two Latin American (Dr William Rowlandson and Dr Natalia Sobrevilla Perea) specialists. The Department’s range of interests covers contemporary Spanish drama, film and poetry; modern and avant-garde Spanish visual culture; Catalan studies; peninsular cultural studies; Latin American literature, including poetry, history, politics (in particular the Republican Andes) and culture; and Cuban literature, film and visual art.
Centre for American Studies
Provides supervision in many aspects of American Studies. Supervision is team-based and reflects the active research interests of the Centre, which broadly fit within the parameters of American literature, American history, American film and American politics.
Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image
The Centre draws together scholars from across the University who use film and the moving image as an integral part of their research. We are open to ideas that extend the reach of the Centre and seek to support projects that promote collaboration between individuals and other research centres. Our aim is to produce a more proactive engagement with other disciplines, to open new lines of communication and to produce innovative knowledge formations through the activity of pioneering research projects.
Centre for Modern European Literature
Many of the most significant European writers and literary movements of the modern period have traversed national, linguistic, and disciplinary borders. Co-directed by members of Comparative Literature, French, and German, the Centre for Modern European Literature aims to promote collaborative interdisciplinary research that can do justice to these kinds of border crossing. Ranging across English, French, German, Italian and Spanish literature, the Centre focuses in particular on the European avant-garde, European modernism and postmodernism, literary theory, the international reception of European writers, and the relations between modern European literature and the other arts, including painting, photography, film, music and architecture. The Centre’s activities include a lecture and seminar series and the regular organisation of conferences. It also works with the editors of the postgraduate journal Skepsi, and runs the MA in Modern European Literature.
European Theatre Research Network
At Kent, the UK’s European university, we have set up the European Theatre Research Network to facilitate and foster the exchange of theatre traditions, contemporary practices and academic discussion on the near European continent and also in the new European states. We invite postgraduate research students to contribute to and play a part in this expanding network. For further information, please see the European Theatre Research Network website.
Staff research interests
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Antonio Lazaro-Reboll: Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Spanish cultural studies and film studies, especially Spanish popular film; the development of film cultures in Spain (reception, consumption and fandom), and the cross-cultural dialogue between Spain and other world cinemas (international traditions of the horror genre, global psychotronic culture); comics studies.View Profile
Dr Montserrat Roser i Puig: Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Twentieth- and 21st-century Spanish (including Catalan) literature, especially poetry and theatre; the avant-garde; the Francoist period and the literature from the transition to democracy to the present day.View Profile
Dr William Rowlandson: Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Cuban art and culture, especially José Lezama Lima; Latin American poets; Borges.View Profile
Dr Natalia Sobrevilla Perea: Reader in Hispanic Studies
State formation and political culture in the Andes from the end of the colonial period throughout the 19th century, as well as issues of race, ethnicity and military culture in the 19th and 20th centuries in South America.View Profile
Professor Nuria Triana-Toribio: Professor of Hispanic Studies
Contemporary Hispanic film cultures; film legislation; film criticism; film festivals; new strategies of auteurism.View Profile
Dr Rebecca Ogden: Lecturer in Latin American Studies
Contemporary processes of staging and consuming culture and identity in and of Latin America; Cuba, Mexico, and visual and digital culture.View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for Home/EU PG Research programmes have not yet been set by the Research Councils UK. This is ordinarily announced in March.
General additional costs
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: