BA Russian and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Russian and Portuguese joint honours course will give you near-native fluency in speaking and understanding Russian and Portuguese, as well as an excellent understanding of the culture, history, politics and literature of the countries where these two languages are spoken.

This will help 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 across the globe, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

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 and the Russian 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.

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

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

Russian

  • During the first year of study, you develop crucial Russian language skills through dedicated grammar classes, language laboratory work, oral practice with a native-speaker lector and a programme of independent learning. Separate language pathways are offered for beginners, post A-level students, and native speakers of Russian.
  • You also take a compulsory course unit that is the first in our unique two-part series of core course units, which provide a thorough grounding in concepts and debates crucial to an understanding of Russian society and culture. Topics and themes introduced in these core course units are explored in depth in our optional units in subsequent years. As a result, these core units also help you to make informed choices for the remainder of your studies based on your own particular interests.

Portuguese

  • Students take a compulsory Portuguese language component - either for beginners, or for those with an A-level (or equivalent).
  • You will 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
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 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 divide your studies equally between both languages, or study up to two-thirds of your credits from either language.

Russian

  • During the second year, you continue with your intensive study of Russian language.
  • You also choose from optional course units in a range of areas (such as Russian culture and thought, literature, translation studies, Central European and Balkan history and culture, and Polish language).
  • In addition, you begin to prepare for the compulsory year abroad, through meetings and consultations with our Residence Abroad Tutor and with final-year students who have recently returned from the year abroad.

Portuguese

  • You follow a compulsory Portuguese language course unit, building on your skills in the written and spoken language.
  • You choose from units covering the cultures and literatures of Portugal and Brazil, including Brazilian literature and modern Portuguese cinema.

Course content for year 3

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

Course content for year 4

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

Russian

  • The compulsory element of your studies consists of an advanced Russian language course unit, which focuses on oral proficiency, translation from and into Russian, and composition in Russian.
  • Optional course units in subjects including Business Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, Russian popular culture, Russian and Soviet politics and history and memory in post-socialist Eastern Europe round out your studies.
  • You may also choose to complete a dissertation, which is supervised by an appropriate member of staff within Russian and East European Studies. In researching and writing your dissertation, you explore in depth a subject of particular interest to you. The topic of your dissertation may be related to one of the final-year optional course units, but this is not obligatory.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting the Portuguese you were exposed to in year 3.
  • You choose from units that include 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 Russian AND Portuguese).

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 excellent resources for students, including world-leading collections on Lusophone Africa within the library, and 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