BA Linguistics and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Linguistics and Portuguese course will enable you to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon which impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.

You will study topics such as the ways in which children acquire their first language, differences between the speech of men and women, how the sound systems and grammars of different types of language are organised, what happens when speakers of different languages come into contact, and much else besides.

You can also achieve near-native proficiency in European and Brazilian Portuguese while studying the language within its cultural and historical context. You can start as an absolute beginner and go through to an advanced level over four years.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Portuguese is spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe and Latin America, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Our course will help you to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. Often dealing with granular and complex data, your combination of humanities and scientific understanding will allow you to make connections across multiple fields of employment.

Special features

University Language Centre
Take advantage of the library, language labs and multimedia facilities at the University Language Centre.

Study or work abroad

Your  year abroad  will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Portuguese-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.

Learn from language experts

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers, giving you a richer learning experience.

Access outstanding resources

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections.

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK.

Enjoy cultural activities

Join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and activities.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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.

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).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

Linguistics

  • In first year Linguistics you learn to look at language in a new way. You will study topics ranging from grammar to semantics, from phonetics to sociolinguistics. All students study obligatory units including phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics, semantics and (English) grammar, adding up to one half of the year's credits
  • For Joint Honours students, half your credits come from the other component of your programme

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 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
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Speech and Music Processing LELA10701 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Linguistics

  • In second year linguistics, the emphasis switches to linguistic theories. You will build on your new analytical skills by considering ideas about the nature of language and models of its structure. You will study units in Syntactic Theory, Phonology, and either Typology or Grammatical Semantics (altogether one quarter of the year's credits).
  • Joint Honours students choose further course units from the same wide range of Linguistics and English language options. At least one third of second-year credits must come from each of the two components of your programme.

Portuguese

  • You follow a compulsory Portuguese language course, building on your skills in the written and spoken language.
  • You take options in the cultures and literatures of Portugal and Brazil.

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
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 4 SPLA52040 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Speech and Music Processing LELA10701 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Theory of Grammar LELA20021 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Grammatical Semantics LELA20042 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20101 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20232 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20292 20 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA20311 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20341 20 Optional
The Changing Structure of English LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

  • Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions.  For more information on the period of residence abroad please consult the following: Residence Abroad

Course content for year 4

Linguistics

  • By the final year your study is tailored to your own interests by drawing on course units from a wide range of specialities. See example course units in the list below.

  • You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting whether you were exposed to Portuguese and/or Brazilian during your year abroad.
  • You take options on the study of the Amazon (travel writing, literature, film, current affairs) and Portuguese cinema.
  • Or 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 Linguistics 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
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Speech and Music Processing LELA10701 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Theory of Grammar LELA20021 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Grammatical Semantics LELA20042 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20101 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20232 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20292 20 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA20311 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20341 20 Optional
The Changing Structure of English LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 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
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 4

Facilities

Phonetics Lab
Undergraduate students can use the Phonetics Lab under supervision.

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

For your Linguistics studies, we have two laboratories where you'll have the chance to use ultrasound imaging, laryngography and eye tracking technology. You'll also be able to use quantitative methods in the study of large language corpora.

Learn more on the Facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

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