BA French and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

French

  • Over 70% of our staff are native speakers, teaching you in French in 'language' classes as well as most 'culture' classes.
  • You will experience between 3 and 6 hours of French grammar and conversation every week (at post A-Level or beginners' level), in order to reach near-native precision and fluency. This will run in parallel with optional course units on French and Francophone history, politics, literature, popular culture and/or linguistics, from the Early Modern period to the present.
  • You will benefit from our long-established partnership with the Alliance Française de Manchester with cultural events throughout the year, such as film screenings, talks, plays, concerts, exhibitions and intensive language classes.
  • You will also benefit from our collaboration with the Institut de Touraine in the Loire Valley, which hosts Easter and Summer French language classes that are appropriate for anyone from beginners to finalists.
  • Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and three colleagues have won University Teaching Excellence Awards. Portuguese You will study both European and Brazilian

Portuguese.

  • You will also explore a range of options in areas such as contemporary culture, colonialism, literature and cinema from Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique and Angola.
  • You will be taught by language tutors who are native speakers of Portuguese with specific training and, as a result both your written and your oral work will be enhanced by constant exposure to accurate, idiomatic, and documented language.
  • Cultural content courses are led by academic staff with broad expertise and who publish widely in their field
  • You will benefit from outstanding resources, including world-leading collections on Lusophone Africa within the library, and access to hundreds of films and texts on Portugal and Brazil.
  • You will also benefit from us working closely with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Aims

  • Provides you with a comprehensive grounding in the language, literature, culture, history and linguistics of the French and Portuguese-speaking worlds. 
  • Equip you with the skills in both languages to live and work effectively in French- and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Special features

Collaborations and partnerships  

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:  

  • Portuguese Consulate General in Mancheseter – the official representation of Portugal in Manchester organises a number of cultural activities every year;
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film;
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture. 

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. 

Societies   

Join the Francophone Society and benefit from French classes, discussion groups, cheese and wine nights, film screenings, themed socials, and a yearly trip to Paris.  

You can also join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Student Society and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and activities.  

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

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.

French

  • Language and grammar study is tailored to your existing level of French (beginner or post-A-level) and enables progress in all areas of linguistic reception and production (listening, reading, writing, speaking). A growing emphasis on group work and independent language learning provides transferable skills.
  • Course units are broad-based at this level and cover 350 years of key French events, people, ideas and cultural production.

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
French Cultural Studies FREN10070 20 Mandatory
Identity in Modern France FREN10150 20 Mandatory
French Language 1 FREN51011 20 Mandatory
French Language 2 FREN51022 20 Mandatory
French Language 3 FREN51030 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.

French

  • You build on the grounding already established. This year's core language course unit develops that of the previous year and prepares you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad, including dedicated sessions on writing CVs and cover letters for job applications in French.
  • Optional course units broadly fall under four categories: literature, history and politics, popular culture, and linguistics and translation. Topics covered include race and colonisation, cinema, literary representations of the 'tragic', and sociolinguistics. All include a research component that encourages you to develop your skills of analysis and information-gathering, working independently or in a group.

Portuguese

  • You follow a compulsory Portuguese language course unit, 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.

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
French Language 5 FREN51050 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 20 Mandatory
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

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

Course content for year 4

French

  • In your final year, language study is centred on sophisticated essay writing, translation and oral debate.
  • Also available in this year are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff (such as exoticism and travel writing, popular music, cinema and animal studies).
  • As part of your final-year work, you can write a dissertation on a theme of your choice related to one of your course units, which students find an especially rewarding experience.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting the Portuguese you were exposed to in Year 3.
  • You take options on the Amazon (travel writing, literature, film, current affairs) and Portuguese cinema and/or a free choice option in another subject.
  • Or you can choose to research and write a 12,000-word dissertation with one-to-one supervision from an academic member of staff.

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
French Language 6 FREN51060 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30241 20 Optional
Dissertation in French Studies FREN30000 40 Optional
Art, Culture and Activism in France in the Age of Social Media FREN30732 20 Optional
History and Memory in Francophone Cinema FREN30831 20 Optional
Exoticism & Orientalism in C19th France: French Romantics and Local Colour FREN30872 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 11 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 more than 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 at facilities

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