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Portuguese in the Department

The First Mass in Brazil (detail, 1993) by Paula Rego

Cambridge was one of the first universities in this country to offer an Honours degree in Portuguese. Portuguese here may be combined with Spanish (or with any other language taught in the Faculty) in Part IA (first year) of the course, and Portuguese papers may be offered in combination with papers in any other language(s) in Part IB (second year) and Part II (final year). If you are considering taking up Portuguese here, or even changing to Portuguese from another language, see our prospectus, Studying Portuguese at Cambridge.

In addition to the usual provision for seminars, lectures, and supervisions, the Department benefits from the presence of a native speaker who is primarily responsible for language-teaching at all levels.

Portuguese may be studied at Part IA both by beginners and by students with either an A-level in the language or some knowledge of it. In Part IA of the course there are, in addition to language papers and an oral examination, a choice between a literature option exploring the three cultural perspectives of Portugal, Brazil, and Portuguese-speaking Africa, and a linguistics option in which the structure and varieties of the modern Portuguese language are studied. In Part IB and Part II your options include papers in Portuguese language, on Portuguese, Brazilian, and African literature, history, and thought over some six centuries, and the history of the Portuguese language (in optional combination with the history of Spanish and/or Catalan).

Year Abroad opportunities include Portugal, Brazil, and some African Lusophone countries.

Research interests in this section of the Department include nineteenth- and twentieth-century Portuguese and Brazilian literature, aspects of the visual arts in Portugal, and Portuguese and Brazilian film. The Portuguese Speakers’ Society and the Brazilian Society are very active and meet regularly throughout the year.