Latin American Studies

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Latin American Studies
University of Essex
University of Essex
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Area Studies
BA T731

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB

IB: 30 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr James Scorer

Senior Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  CS141-4-SP  Introduction to Contemporary Latin America  Core  15 
02    LA340-4-FY or LA421-4-FY or LA440-4-FY or LA333-4-FY  Compulsory with Options  30 
03    LA422-4-FY, or LA333-4-FY or outside option(s) (see additional notes on choices)  Compulsory with Options  30 
04  CS101-4-FY  Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture  Compulsory  30 
05  CS143-4-AU  Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean: History, Politics, Culture  Core  15 
06  CS711-4-FY  Skills for University Studies  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    LA440-5-FY or LA450-5-FY or LA340-5-FY or LA350-5-FY  Compulsory with Options  30 
02    CS200-5-AU or CS712-5-FY and Latin American option from list  Compulsory with Options  15 
03  CS261-5-FY  Crisis of the American Idea  Compulsory  30 
04    CS241-5-SP or Latin American option(s) from list  Optional  15 
05    2nd year Latin American option or outside option (or Language option) from list  Optional  30 

Year 3 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    LA460-6-FY or LA360-6-FY or LA450-6-FY or LA350-6-FY or Latin American option(s) from list  Optional  30 
02    HR374-6-AU or Latin American option(s) from list  Optional  30 
03    Latin American Studies option(s) or outside option(s)  Optional  30 
04    CS831-6-FY or CS301-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

This course aims:

P1. To provide students with an interdisciplinary programme of study of Latin American history, culture, society and politics.

P2. To develop students' analytical, problem-solving and transferable skills.

P3. To develop the intercultural skills necessary for students to live and work confidently in different cultures through a programme of study undertaken in Latin America.

P4. To enable students to achieve Proficiency level or Mastery level Spanish or Portuguese.

P5. To provide opportunities for students to acquire research and critical skills.

P6. To provide students with a foundation for further study or work on and in Latin America.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the key historical , cultural and social processes of Latin America.

A2: Students will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese language at Proficiency or Mastery level in written and spoken registers relevant to both 'real life' situations and to the formal study of language.

A3: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the intellectual and cultural origins and development of contemporary society.

Learning methods

Is acquired through core course lectures and classes in Year 1, through Latin American option modules in Years 2 and 3

Assessment methods

Assessment is through examinations and continuous coursework.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Students will be able to identify accurately, and across a range of disciplines, issues related to Latin America of an intellectual and academic interest that require researching

B2: Students will be able to apply a wide range of relevant primary and secondary written, oral or visual sources, where appropriate in their original language.

B3: Students will be able to reason critically, identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate methodologies and theories.

B4: Students will be able to demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.

Learning methods

Skills B1. - B4.
Are obtained and developed through lectures, interactive classes and seminars in group discussion and through coursework.

All skills are developed by independent reading undertaken by students under the direction of lecturers and class teachers.

Intellectual and cognitive skills are further developed through written and oral feedback on coursework.

Students acquire and apply all these skills in researching and writing their capstone project.

Assessment methods

All skills are assessed through the capstone project and in continuous coursework.

B2. - B4.
Are also assessed by examinations.

C: Practical skills

Learning methods

C1-C4 are acquired through lectures and classes

Assessment methods

C1-C4 are assessed through examinations, coursework and assignments

D: Key skills

D1: Both orally and in writing students will be able to demonstrate Spanish or Portuguese language proficiency in relation to a range of academic and social contexts. They will be able to present knowledge or conduct an argument in a clear, coherent and relevant manner and work independently in a Latin American context

D2: Student will use relevant information technology to research and present written work.

D4: Students will be able to identify a research problem and apply relevant research and methodologies to resolve it.

D6: Students will be able to reflect on their own learning, to seek and make use of feedback, to recognise when further knowledge is required and to undertake the necessary research

Learning methods

D1 is acquired through language course material and the Year Abroad.

D1. D4. and D6. are learnt through participatory classwork in core modules.

D2, D4 and D6 are learnt through writing coursework essays and assignments and consequent feedback, both written and oral.

D4 and D6. are learnt in CS241 Doing Research for a BA Dissertation and through the dissertation.

Students are encouraged to use electronic resources and to participate in group work to the benefit of the group as a whole, to listen effectively and provide critical feedback in an appropriate manner.

Assessment methods

All skills except working independently in a Latin American culture are assessed either through coursework or the dissertation.

Working independently in a Latin American culture is assessed by the Year Abroad assessment as a whole.

D4 Is part of the assessment process in CS241 Doing Research for a BA Dissertation.

D1, D4 and D6 are also assessed through examinations.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: