BA Politics and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

The BA Politics and Portuguese course will enable you to explore world politics and gain an intercultural perspective that is at a premium in today's context of globalised studies and career paths.

Delivered jointly by the School of Social Sciences and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, this course offers flexibility through a combination of core and optional politics course units and units in your chosen language and culture.

Language study offers more than just language fluency. You'll explore the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Portuguese is spoken, helping you 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 the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

Studying abroad at partner universities and in professional environments in Portuguese-speaking countries gives you an unforgettable and invaluable experience.


  • Develop strong analytical skills and understanding of key areas of global politics, including European/international politics, international relations, global security and international development.
  • Develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to access and engage fully with political, historical and cultural issues in your chosen language.
  • Offer an intercultural perspective on your studies and future career, facilitated by the possibility of studying a second language - either as a beginner or at a more advanced level.

Special features

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

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 language skills in a native-speaker environment. 

Palaver Festival  

Palaver Festival  is a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre. 

You can explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre and dance. 

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. 


There are over 30 international and language-related student societies  offering cultural activities and experiences.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour of university study, you will need to complete a further 2 to 3 hours of independent study.

This 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 through:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (including web-based and library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection);

a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Course content for year 1

In Year 1 you will choose two from the following three courses as your core Politics units (40 credits):  

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics;
  • Introduction to International Politics;
  • Introduction to Political Theory. 

Sample optional units include (20 credits): 

  • Introduction to Political Theory;
  • Politics of the Global Economy;
  • Power and the State;
  • Making Sense of Politics. 

You will also study an additional 60 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language subject.

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (60 credits), including: 

  • Questions about International Politics;
  • The Politics of Globalisation;
  • The Politics of Development;
  • Ideals of Social Justice;
  • The Politics of (In)Security;
  • Challenges for Democratic Politics;
  • What is Europe?;
  • Environment Politics;
  • Chinese Politics Today;
  • The Politics of Policy Making. 

You will also study an additional 60 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language 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
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Mandatory
Politics by Numbers POLI20311 20 Optional
The Politics of (in)Security POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
How to Conduct Politics Research POLI20902 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is spent abroad under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

In Year 4 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (60 credits) including: 

  • Politics of the European Union;
  • Africa and Global Politics;
  • Terrorism and Political Violence;
  • Comparative Protest Politics;
  • War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia;
  • Borders, Identities and Citizenship;
  • News Media and International Crisis;
  • Peace Building;
  • Gender, Sex and Politics;
  • Children, Family and Social Justice. 

You will also study an additional 60 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language subject

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 4 SPLA52040 20 Mandatory
The Politics of the European Union POLI30032 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30191 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30242 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30271 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30281 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30291 20 Optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30321 20 Optional
Political Ideologies in Modern Britain POLI30362 20 Optional
Dissertation B POLI30380 20 Optional
The Politics of Hate POLI30452 20 Optional
Power, Space & Popular Culture: Thinking Critically About Geopolitics POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31031 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31041 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32041 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32062 20 Optional
The International Political Economy of Trade POLI32082 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Gendering International Political Economy POLI32092 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 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
Portuguese Language Project SPLA52060 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 30 course units for year 4


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

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: