BA Portuguese and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Portuguese and Japanese joint honours degree will give you near-native fluency in speaking and understanding Japanese 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 helps 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 Japan and Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe and Latin America, 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 Japanese 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.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between Years 1 and 2, particularly for beginners).

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least the hiragana script prior to Week 1 of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from language tutors.

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.

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.

Japanese

  • Language course units include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.
  • The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.

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
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 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 of your credits from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

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, including Brazilian literature and modern Portuguese cinema.

Japanese

  • Language course units include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.
  • Students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of course units in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for residence abroad.

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
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51051 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51062 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 7 JAPA51071 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 8 JAPA51082 20 Mandatory
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 4 SPLA52040 20 Mandatory
Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics JAPA20122 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animation and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
History of Religion in Japan JAPA20211 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.  Our partner Universities are:

Chuo University, Dokkyo University, Fukuoka Women's University, Hiroshima University, Hitotsubashi University, Hokkaido University, Kanagawa University, Kansai Gaidai University, Keio University, Kobe University, Kyoto University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Meiji University, Meiji Gakuin University, Nanzan University, Ochanomizu University, Oita University, Osaka University, Rikkyo University, Ritsumeikan University, Saitama University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Waseda University, Yamagata University

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.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting the Portuguese you were exposed to in Year 3.
  • You take options that include the study of the Amazon (travel writing, literature, film, current affairs) and Portuguese cinema.

Japanese

  • Students will select from various Japanese units in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.
  • 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 Japanese 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
Japanese Language 7 JAPA51071 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 9 JAPA51090 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
Core Themes in Animation and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Advanced Readings in Japanese JAPA32000 20 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 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

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