Portuguese

Portuguese is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world and an official language in nine countries across four continents. Study it as a beginner in combination with one or two other languages or with another subject.

Year abroad

Enrich your experience by studying or working abroad in Portugal, or travel to Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil or Mozambique.

First-class facilities

Benefit from a state-of-the-art multimedia centre with access to over 2,000 films, a mini-cinema, a magazine library and a recording studio.

Vibrant city

Bristol has a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres, and a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

If you would like to study Portuguese in combination with other languages, see Modern Languages.

Portuguese at Bristol

Portuguese at Bristol is part of a well-integrated Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (HiPLA). The department takes a very broad approach to the Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan-speaking worlds, enabling you to enrich your understanding of the cultural links between countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

You will encounter a rich variety of topics in the fields of history, literary and visual cultures, ideas of nation and memory, colonialism and post-colonialism, linguistics and translation.

At Bristol you can either study Portuguese as a joint honours degree with another subject, or choose the Modern Languages course to study Portuguese in combination with other languages.

My ability to communicate in the target languages has improved more than I could have ever imagined and that’s all thanks to the teaching I have received. I had never studied Portuguese before but now, after two years, I feel like I can have a normal conversation with native Portuguese speakers.

Emmie, BA Hispanic Studies

Career prospects

A high proportion of language graduates find careers where their language skills are advantageous.

Our graduates have gone on to find employment in areas such as the civil service and Foreign Office, the media, teaching, banking, marketing, accountancy and tourism, and many of them work in Portugal or Brazil.

With further study you may progress to a career in translating, interpreting or higher education.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

You can study Portuguese from beginner’s level alongside another language or another subject, or in three-language combinations. Beginners follow an intensive language course.

In year one, introductory units on literature, culture and history help you to improve language skills using modern texts and films, while giving you a taste of the cultural diversity of Portuguese-speaking countries.

Teaching focuses on interaction and active learning through group work and structured discussions supported by online resources.

For your third year abroad, you can immerse yourself in the culture of Portuguese-speaking countries by working or studying abroad. Our department has exchange links with universities across Portugal and Brazil, and we can also arrange study and work programmes in Mozambique for your placement year. Visit Global Opportunities to find out about our university exchange partners.

Sample units may include:

  • Images of Power in Lusophone Culture
  • Hispanic Sociolinguistics
  • Introduction to Latin American Cinema
  • Culture and Politics in Luso-Africa and Brazil in the 18th-19th Centuries.

Pursue your passions

There is a great deal of flexibility in how you study Portuguese, which is included as a part of many different courses.

You can study Portuguese alongside other disciplines such as history, politics, or philosophy, by applying for one of our joint honours degrees.

If you want to study Portuguese alongside up to 2 other modern languages, you can apply to the BA Modern Languages course. If you study Spanish and Portuguese, you have the option of adding Catalan in the second year for a degree called BA Hispanic Studies.

Portuguese

If you are interested in studying Portuguese in combination with one or two other modern languages, please see the BA Modern Languages course entry. 

Portuguese is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world and an official language in nine countries across four continents.

Our department enjoys a strong reputation for teaching and research and our exchange links with universities in Portugal and Brazil contribute to the department's cosmopolitan atmosphere. Study and work programmes in Mozambique can also be arranged for your year abroad.

Why study Portuguese at Bristol?

Portuguese at Bristol is part of a well-integrated Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (HiPLA). The department takes a very broad approach to the Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan-speaking worlds, enabling you to enrich your understanding of the cultural links between countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. You will encounter a rich variety of topics in the fields of history, literary and visual cultures, ideas of nation and memory, colonialism and post-colonialism, linguistics and translation.

School of Modern Languages students benefit from a state-of-the-art multimedia centre and a full range of online resources.

Bristol is a very exciting place to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several arts cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a vibrant, international atmosphere.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Modern languages courses at Bristol will suit you if you have an enquiring mind, a love of language and a passion for exploring the cultures of other countries.

As well as mastering the language, you will develop your research and analytical skills, which will be useful in a range of graduate employment opportunities.

The year abroad is a particularly exciting opportunity if you would relish the challenge of living and working or studying in a different language and culture.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Portuguese may be studied alongside another language or another subject, or in three-language combinations. Beginners follow an intensive language course, while there is separate provision if you already have A-level experience or equivalent.

In year one, introductory units on literature, culture and history enable you to improve language skills using modern texts and films, while giving you a taste of the cultural diversity of Portuguese-speaking countries.

Units are taught via discussion groups, seminars and lectures, with language classes tailored to individual needs. Teaching focuses on interaction and active learning through group work and structured discussions supported by online resources.

Assessment methods include written assignments, presentations, multimedia tests and examinations, translations, essays and guided-writing tasks.

What are my career prospects?

A high proportion of language graduates find careers where their language skills are advantageous.

Our graduates have gone on to find employment in areas such as the civil service and Foreign Office, the media, teaching, banking, marketing, accountancy and tourism, and many of them work in Portugal or Brazil.

With further study you may progress to careers in translating, interpreting or in higher education.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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