Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24 - 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Area Studies


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Student 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.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


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

Staff photo
Dr Francisco Carballo

Lecturer in the Politics and Culture of Latin America

Goldsmiths, University of London

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 21 October 2024 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 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  CS111-4-AU-CO  Interdisciplinary Research and Problem-Solving: An Introduction  Compulsory  15  15 
02  CS112-4-SP-CO  Ways of Knowing  Compulsory  15  15 
03  SC164-4-SP-CO  Introduction to United States Sociology  Compulsory  15  15 
04    Option(s) from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
05    LA333-4-AU and LA334-4-SP or outside option(s) - (see additional notes on choices)   Compulsory with Options  30  30 
06    Recommend HR106-4-SP or outside option  Optional  15  15 
07  CS107-4-SP-CO  Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    (LA440-5-AU and LA442-5-SP) or LA450-5-FY or (LA340-5-AU and LA342-5-SP) or LA350-5-FY  Core with Options  30  30 
02    CS200-5-AU or (CS207-5-AU and Latin American option from list)  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
03  CS261-5-AU-CO  America and the World  Compulsory  15  15 
04    CS241 or Latin American option(s) from list  Optional  15  15 
05    2nd year Latin American option or outside option (or Language option) from list  Optional  30  30 
06    AR327-5-AU or SC233-5-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    CS831-6-FY or CS301-6-FY or (CS315-6-SP and option from list) - CAPSTONE  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02  HR374-6-AU-CO  Slavery and Plantation Societies in Latin America  Compulsory  15  15 
03    LA460-6-FY or LA360-6-FY or LA450-6-FY or LA350-6-FY or Latin American option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    Latin American Studies option(s) or outside option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05    CS307-6-AU and/or Latin American option from list  Optional  15  15 

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

  • To provide students with an interdisciplinary programme of study of Latin American history, culture, society and politics.
  • To develop students' analytical, problem-solving and transferable skills.
  • 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.
  • To enable students to achieve Proficiency level or Mastery level Spanish or Portuguese.
  • To provide opportunities for students to acquire research and critical skills.
  • 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 4, and through the Year Abroad.
    Students are expected to undertake independent research through directed reading to consolidate and develop what they have learned in class.
    Is acquired through specialist language teaching in Years 1,2, 3 (Year Abroad) as well as in Year 4 (for Mastery level).

    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

    C1: Students will be able to identify, select and synthesise information from paper and electronic sources.

    C2: Students will be able to communicate with high level proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese in a wide range of contexts.

    C3: Students will be able to present written materials using appropriate language and referencing

    C4: Students will be able to work independently, write and think under pressure, meet deadlines, manage their own time and workload and demonstrate initiative.

    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.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing