Fact file - 2014 entry
Qualification:BA Jt Hons
Type and duration:4 year UG (year 3 out)
Qualification name:English and Portuguese (Beginners)
A level offer: ABB
Required subjects: A in English and in another language at A level
IB score: 32 (6 in English, and a relevant modern foreign language at Higher Level)
Available part time: yes
Course places: 94 for all joint honours courses in the Department
Campus: University Park Campus
On this course you will study Portuguese language and aspects of the histories, cultures, cinemas and literatures of the Portuguese-speaking world, including Portugal, Brazil and Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) Africa. You will also have the opportunity to study English language, literature and drama from old English to the present day.
In English, you will have a choice of three core modules from the areas of English language, modern English literature, medieval studies and drama. In Portuguese, you will begin the study of Portuguese and are introduced to aspects of modern Portuguese and Brazilian culture and history.
In English, you will choose from a wide range of options to develop deeper understanding of the issues and critical approaches across at least two areas of the discipline, depending on what areas of literature, language and drama most interest you.
In Portuguese, you will develop knowledge of the language to prepare for the year abroad and deepen and widen your knowledge of more specialist aspects of modern Portuguese and Brazilian literature, culture and history.
Usually spent in Portugal or Brazil or divided between the two, studying in a higher education institution, working as an English language assistant, or on a work placement.
You will choose from a wide range of modules enabling you to specialise in key areas of English. Joint honours students enjoy the same wide range of final year options in English as single honours. In Portuguese, you will build on your language acquisition in year three to develop your language skills to degree level and select specialist options from a range of research-based topics in the literature, culture and history of Portugal and Brazil.
See also the School of English.
A levels: ABB, including A in English and another language at A level.
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (minimum 19 with 20 in Speaking)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 (minimum score 67)
For details see alternative qualifications page.
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
Língua Portuguesa 1
This module aims to introduce you to the basic structures of Portuguese, to enable you by the end of the course to be able to comprehend a variety of texts on everyday life and current affairs in written Portuguese, to be able to conduct an elementary conversation on everyday matters, to be able to produce basic written texts in Portuguese covering everyday issues and to be able to comprehend basic spoken Portuguese in certain situations appropriate for learners at this stage. You will have three hours per week of classes in this module.
Introduction to Lusophone Societies and Cultures
The Portuguese speaking-world is made up of people on four different continents: Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and there are eight countries in which Portuguese remains the official language. The spread of the language is a representation of the reach of the Portuguese Empire at its height as well as a reflection of the legacy of Lusophone cultures. This module provides you with the opportunity to learn about the diversity of cultural practices and social relations in the different parts of the world where Portuguese is spoken.
The module covers the major social and cultural practices from modern Lusophone societies, including aspects of popular culture such as football and soap operas, but also cultural and artistic currents in literature and film. Questions of social relations and identity are also examined through a consideration of religious practice and religious expression, as well as themes of conflict, crisis and revolution through formations of political identity and political mobilisation. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture each week.
Spain and Portugal in the Twentieth Century
In this module you’ll study the evolution of Spanish and Portuguese history, politics and culture from 1898 to the present day. You’ll be encouraged to draw links between the Portuguese and Spanish experiences, and place both countries’ experience of the 20th century within the broader context of European and wider global history in this period. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the development of both countries from a (perceived) position of ‘difference’ and ‘backwardness’ to relatively prosperous, economically developed and culturally diverse members of the European Union. You’ll spend two hours in classes each week.
Introduction to the History of Modern Latin America
In this module you will be introduced to the main patterns of Latin American political, economic and social history between the late colonial period and the mid-to-late 20th Century which will give you a thorough grounding of the major issues, themes and forces that have shaped the societies in the region. In one part of the module you will study the history of the Spanish-speaking America and in the other half consider the history of Brazil and aspects such as the various patterns of change and development of the region and political radicalism. For this module you will have a one 1-hour lecture and a one 1-hour seminar each week.
Typical Year Two Modules
Língua Portuguesa 2
In this module you will develop linguistic skills acquired from the beginners’ portuguese module taken in year one (Língua Portuguesa 1). The module aims to provide you with a more rigorous understanding of grammar and enable you to express yourself in Portuguese. Your Oral and Aural skills will be encouraged through spoken and written comprehension exercises and a more extensive use of vocabulary. You will have three hours per week of classes in this module.
Discoveries, Empire and Colonies in the Lusophone World.
This module brings together the histories and cultures of key regions of the world in which Portugal establishes varying degrees of colonial rule between the 16th and 20th centuries. In this module you will examine the historical background to the age of Discoveries against which Portugal emerged as a leader in maritime exploration and European Imperialism. You will also examine the historical and political events of Portuguese colonialism and imperialism in Africa and Brazil, with an emphasis on understanding the political and social significance of cultural production in developing countries. In this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars totalling two hours per week.
Nation Building and National Identities in the Lusophone World
In this module you will be introduced to some of the major texts of the Portuguese-speaking world. You will examine the ways in which ideas of nationhood and national identity have been expressed and constructed through cultures of the Lusophone world. You will study the ways in which cultural production is embedded in the formation of nationhood and ideas about national identity and therefore culture are examined through its political and historical context. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture each week.
Typical Year Three Modules
In your third year of study you will spend the academic year abroad in Portugal and/or Brazil, you will be supported by our year abroad officer in preparation for this period in year two. You have the option to undertake study at a University, do a work placement or work as an English language Teaching Assistant.
For more information, please visit the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies webpage.
Typical Year Four Modules
Língua Portuguesa 3
In this module you’ll enhance and reinforce the language skills developed in your year abroad. A number of key areas will be targeted including essay writing and oral presentations. You’ll be expected to conduct a discussion in written and spoken Portuguese at a high level of sophistication in terms of sentence structure, vocabulary and intellectual debate. You’ll have two hours of seminars, an hour of lectures and an hour of language lab classes per week throughout the academic year.
Brazilian Slave Society
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the centrality of the history of slavery in the study of Brazilian society and of the significance of Brazilian Slavery in both the transatlantic slave systems and slave societies in the Americas. In the first semester the module introduces students to the different disciplinary and intellectual approaches to the study of slavery in Brazil. This will require students to draw on comparative contexts of slavery across the Americas both thematically and theoretically.
Topics covered in the first part of the module include the ideology of slavery, economics of slavery, systems of slave labour, slave culture and community, slave identity, and slave resistance. Within these topics we examine themes of agency, race, class, ethnicity and gender. The second semester focuses on presentation work in a seminar setting. Students will be required to produce individual in-class presentations based on a literature review of a topic or theme covered in the first semester.
Throughout the module close attention will be paid to the problems of sources and perspectives in the study of the history of slavery. The module encourages students to develop an awareness of how different historical sources are used and think critically about them. In this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars totalling two hours per week.
Lusophone Identities, Culture, and Modernity in Portugal and Africa
In this module you will focus on identities and identity formation, as represented or articulated in literary, cinematic and visual texts, as the basis of a chronological survey of the development of Lusophone societies and culture in the 20th century. You will focus on two particular areas: the political ramifications of contending conceptions of race, gender, and sexuality in the last century and the role of cultural indentity and ‘identity’ politics’ in nation-building and in the negotiation of, and recovery from, collective crises such as regime change and civil conflict. For this module you will have a one 2-hour seminar each week.
Comparative Modern Literature in the Romance Languages
In this module you will be introduced to the major currents in the 20th Century in the context of finisecular and early 20th century European and American literature and culture in order to situate the latter common preoccupations and formal experiments of writers of poetry and short fiction of various nationalities, languages and cultures. This module consists of two case studies split between the Autumn semester where you will focus on the comparative analysis of works by poets such as Rubén Darío and Mallarmé, Apollinaire and Alberti, and Fernando Pessoa among others. In the Spring semester you will you focus on the parallel developments in the evolution of the short story across a similar range of languages and cultures and include an analysis of short fictions from authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, João Guimarães Rosa, Carlos Fuentes among others. For this module you will have a one 2-hour seminar each week.
You will graduate with a broad knowledge of English literature, culture and linguistics, and of the literatures, cultures and histories of Spain and Spanish America. You will also have acquired international experience and developed your language skills to a high level of competence. Your transferable skills will include the ability to communicate effectively and to study and think independently.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 92.2% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,988 with the highest being £30,000.*
In 2012, 93.5% of first-degree graduates in the School of English who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £18,505 with the highest being £31,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
Scholarships and bursaries
The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.
There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.
To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.
* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.
The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.
This course contains a period of study abroad. The assessment consists of a grammar and translation exercise, completed in class during week one under exam conditions, and a written report on a topic related to the year abroad. This is submitted in week two.
The grammar and translation exercise tests knowledge on all grammatical structures studied in years one and two. The report should be 500 words, word processed and about a relevant cultural, social, political or religious aspect of the country where the year was spent. The average of both pieces gives 10% of the final mark for each final year language module.