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

The rise of the Brazilian and Angolan economies and major sporting events in Brazil mean Portuguese speakers are increasingly in demand.

The Bristol department enjoys a strong reputation for its teaching and research, and its 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 Portuguese-speaking world, 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, ideas of nation and memory, colonialism and post-colonialism and gender studies.

Bristol’s School of Modern Languages include 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 art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan 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 culture of other countries.

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

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

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, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Portuguese may be studied alongside another language or another subject, or in some 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?

Many language graduates choose to use their language after graduation and a high proportion 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 or interpreting or in higher education.

Read more about what graduates from our department go on to do

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.


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