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BA Spanish and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

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

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 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, 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. 

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.  

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.

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.

Spanish

  • You are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core course units. You will also be provided with an introduction to the cultural and historical development of the Hispanic world and develop the skills required to be successful in your further study of Spain and Latin America.

Portuguese

  • You will 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.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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 the Cultures of the Lusophone World SPLA10130 20 Mandatory
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 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

Follow compulsory Spanish and Portuguese language course units, refining your skills in written and spoken Spanish and building on your Portuguese writing and speaking skills.

You take options in the cultures and histories of the Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking worlds chosen from a list which includes options such as the study of Latin American History, writing women in the Spanish Golden Age, the Cold War in Latin America, visual cultures in Modern Spain, Brazilian literature, and the impact of empire and decolonisation in Portuguese and Luso-African cultures.

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
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Mandatory
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20061 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20162 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20361 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Optional
Culture and Cold War in Latin America SPLA20872 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Optional
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 2

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. 

You will continue your language studies of the Spanish and Portuguese you were exposed to in Years 1 and 2 and during your period abroad, perfecting your writing and oral skills.  

Choose from a wide range of units in film, literature, music, history and linguistics of the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking worlds (including the study of the Amazon through film and literature, and visual culture from the early modern Hispanic world).  

Opt to write a dissertation on an academic subject of your choosing, related to either the Spanish or the Portuguese side of your studies and supervised by a member of staff who is an expert in the field.

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
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30241 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
Reading the Rain Forest: Visions of the Amazon SPLA30801 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31091 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31142 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31152 20 Optional
Culture and Empire in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA31161 20 Optional
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Optional
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Optional
Portuguese Language Project SPLA52060 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units for year 4

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