BA Italian and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Italian and Portuguese joint honours course will see you delve into the language and culture of Italy and Portuguese-speaking countries.

You will develop your language skills in Italian and both European and Brazilian Portuguese while exploring the history, politics, literature and visual culture of the relevant regions through a range of course units. Linguistic pathways are available for those interested in the history of a particular language and its dialects.

Language courses are taught by native speakers and you will have a further opportunity to converse with Italian and Portuguese speakers during your year abroad , which will be split between Italian and Portuguese-speaking countries via a university exchange, work placement or teaching as an English language assistant.

Employers actively recruit our graduates for their excellent language and communications skills and in-depth intercultural understanding - each crucial in a range of sectors, from international business to relief work and development.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can  study and/or work  for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences, including the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Language learning

In Year 1, language instruction is divided between 'ab initio' and post-A-level groups (with the majority of students being beginners).

'Ab initio' students have five contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Post-A-level students have 3 hours consolidating and building competency on specific language points. In Years 2 and 4, the language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

Your first year will introduce you to a range of disciplines and your time will be split equally across your subjects, with 60 credits being studied in each language.

Italian

  • Italian language instruction is divided between 'ab initio' and post-A-level groups (with the majority of students being beginners). 'Ab initio' students have five contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills. Post-A-level students have 3 hours consolidating and building competency on specific language points.
  • The Italian culture units offer a range of courses from the filmic and literary to the historic and linguistic, all of which reflect academic staff research interests. Year 1 is specifically designed to begin furnishing candidates with the tools to enable them to read cultural products with confidence, be they texts, pictures, buildings or linguistic constructions.

Portuguese

  • Students take a compulsory Portuguese language component - either for beginners, or for those with an A-level (or equivalent).
  • Students also explore the Portuguese-speaking cultures and colonial history of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and Goa.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 20 Mandatory
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 1 ITAL51011 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 2 ITAL51022 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 3 ITAL51030 20 Mandatory
Introduction to the Cultures of the Lusophone World SPLA10130 20 Mandatory
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 1 SPLA52010 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 2 SPLA52020 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

Italian

  • In Years 2 and 4, optional course units are available that include the study of the literary production of Dante, Boccaccio and women writers; the study of contemporary history with modules on Italian Fascism, the Economic Boom (1960s), and the Years of Lead (1970s), partly studied through film.
  • Most culture units involve two contact hours per week that serve as points of departure and reference for subsequent self-study. The units are largely assessed by coursework.
  • The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Portuguese

  • You follow a compulsory Portuguese language course unit, building on your skills in the written and spoken language.
  • You take optional units in the cultures and literatures of Portugal and Brazil and/or a free choice option in another subject.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Language 4 ITAL51040 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 5 ITAL51050 20 Mandatory
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 4 SPLA52040 20 Mandatory
The Italian Economic Boom: Places and Spaces ITAL20452 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
Gendering the Canon: Women, Authorship and Voice in the Italian Trecento ITAL20611 20 Optional
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

You return to Manchester to complete your studies.

You may choose to divide your studies equally between both languages, or study up to two-thirds of your credits from either language.

Italian

  • You further your knowledge of Italy's society and culture with units delivered in the target language and focusing (for instance) on visual and literary expression in post-war Neo-Realism.
  • You can undertake a research-orientated dissertation in Italian (often using the primary sources held in the Rylands Library, which has outstanding Italian holdings) and participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach work.
  • The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting the Portuguese you were exposed to in Year 3.
  • You can take optional units on the Amazon (travel writing, literature, film, current affairs) and Portuguese cinema and/or a free choice option in another subject.
  • You can choose to research and write a 12,000-word dissertation with one-to-one supervision from an academic member of staff. (You may not do a dissertation in both Italian AND Portuguese).

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Language 6 ITAL51060 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in Italian Studies ITAL30000 40 Optional
Italian Visual and Literary Cultures from Surrealism to Neo-Realism ITAL30341 20 Optional
Beyond the Text: The Book and its Body ITAL30432 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30641 20 Optional
Reading the Rain Forest: Visions of the Amazon SPLA30802 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Residence Abroad Support We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance finance assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have the achieved the highest marks, whilst being from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  Again, you will be automatically assessed for this, after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow the University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).

Facilities

There are outstanding resources for students, including world-leading library collections on Lusophone Africa and high-quality Italian holdings at John Rylands Library, as well as access to hundreds of films and texts on Portugal and Brazil.

The   University Language Centre   is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk