Honours in Spanish and Latin American Studies

‘Honours’ is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. The Honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth by undertaking research of their own, under the supervision of an expert in the their field. For some students, Honours is the culmination of their formal education while for other students, Honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics. Many staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences find Honours teaching the most rewarding part of their job.

Entry Requirements and Program Structure

Admission to honours requires completion of 48 senior credit points of Spanish and Latin American Studies with a Credit average or above. Honours consists of taught seminar courses on topics in Spanish and Latin American culture and society, advanced language support, and a thesis on a topic of your choice in consultation with the department.

Students whose bachelor's degree was undertaken at another university, or students who completed their bachelor's degrees at the University of Sydney more than two years ago should contact the Honours Coordinator to discuss whether the classes they have taken are equivalent to these prerequisites.

Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.


The Honours program in Spanish and Latin American Studies consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. two seminars that meet weekly for two hours, one in each semester.

The thesis should be of 18000-20000 words in length. Each seminar requires 6000-8000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 60% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%. While you will receive marks for all pieces of assessment, your academic transcripts will record only your final, overall Honours mark.


Students should consult with the Honours Coordinator regarding seminar offerings in the current year.


The honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in a field that is supervised by a member of staff. It amounts to 18000-20000 words of writing, and must demonstrate both a command of a wide range of secondary source material in Spanish, as well as a command of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of the research.

Thesis Supervision

In the first instance, students should contact the Honours Coordinator to discuss their preferred field of Honours study. The Chair of the Department will then be able to suggest the most appropriate member of staff within the department to supervise the Thesis. The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives an idea of the areas of interest of staff from the Department.

  • Dr Luis Fernando Angosto Ferrández: areas of supervision include Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America (social movements, statecraft) * Ethnicity and Race (notions, constructions and uses of ethnic and racial identities) * Multiculturalism and Plurinationality (politics of recognition, politics of redistribution and citizenship) * Political Agency (individual and collective stratagems, elections, social change) * Ethnographic and Participatory Research Methods
  • Dr Vek Lewis: areas of supervision include Latin American literature and film * Queer, gender and trans studies * Post-revolutionary, modern and contemporary Mexico and Cuba * Debates in Latin American cultural studies * Revolution and resistance movements in Latin America * Visual and musical cultures.
  • Dr Fernanda Peñaloza:areas of supervision include Migration and Latin American identities * 19th to 20th Century Latin American processes of cultural production, circulation and consumption * Narrative constructions of models of modernity and identity * Interrelations between fiction, colonial discourse, travel writing, aesthetics and anthropology.
  • Dr Anne Walsh: areas of supervision include Spanish films and fiction - Translation and adaptation.


In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Honours Coordinator. Students will enrol in SPAN4011, 4012, 4013 and 4014. These, however, are merely generic or ‘shell’ units for your coursework component.

Enrolments are completed online. Go to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage for further information on Honours and on the online enrolment application procedure.


The Honours Coordinator can answer any queries relating to the Honours program.