Portuguese Studies

Portuguese is the official language of nine countries across four continents and is spoken by over 200 million people. Portugal, Brazil and the rest of the Lusophone world are home to a an incredible range of art, culture and traditions.

Streets of Portugal

Knowledge of the Portuguese language assumes an increasing significance as the 21st century progresses. The richness of literature in Portuguese, as well as the political and cultural history of the entire Lusophone world, make Portuguese Studies an important field of academic study.

Portuguese Studies has been taught at Sheffield since the 1940s and has developed a strong record of teaching and research. Portuguese Studies is a popular choice at Sheffield, which is reflected in the lively, friendly atmosphere within the School. Students study the literature, history and culture not only of Portugal and Brazil, but also of Portuguese-speaking Africa and Portuguese-speaking Asia. Beyond the classroom, we usually hold an annual Portuguese dinner to which Portuguese speaking members of the local community are invited, and also an annual football match against Catalan Studies in which both staff and students participate.

You can study Portuguese language & culture at a beginner’s level from both the first and second year of your degree. If you already have some knowledge of Portuguese, we also welcome you onto our courses.

Find out more about Portuguese at Sheffield

Undergraduate degree combinations

BA Modern Languages & Cultures

On the BA Modern Languages & Cultures you can study:

  • Portuguese language & culture with one other language & culture
  • Portuguese language & culture with two other languages & cultures

Choose from these languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Catalan
  • Dutch
  • Luxembourgish* (from second year only)
  • Czech
  • Italian
Dual Honours (with a non-language subject)

As a Dual Honours degree

  • Portuguese language & culture with a non-language subject
  • Portuguese languages & culture, a second language & culture, and a non-language subject

Combine your study of Portuguese language & culture with one of the following:

  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

Dual honours degrees

Guided Module Choice

If you have some experience of modern language learning, you may be able to take Portuguese language & culture modules either as part of your degree (guided modules) or alongside your degree (not-for-credit modules).

Course structure

By the end of your first year, with four hours per week of classes, you’ll be able to discuss a variety of everyday topics with native speakers (Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR) A1 to A2).

After your second year, you’ll have the tools to thrive in a Portuguese-speaking country as a student, including talking about more complex, abstract topics and expressing your views and opinions (CEFR B1 to B2).

At the end of your final year, you’ll be able to tackle complex topics in speech and writing and will be familiar with social and political issues in the Portuguese-speaking world (CEFR C1).

You can also choose to write a Portuguese Studies dissertation in your final year.

Depending on your degree programme, you will be able to take optional modules each year that explore the literature, history and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world so as to reach a high level of understanding in these areas.

Module information

You will study 40 credits in language and culture at beginner's level.

Beginner's Portuguese

Title Credits Core/Optional
Portuguese Language Beginners 20 Core

Activism and Social Change

Has racism always existed or is it a modern phenomenon? Why have some movements against racial discrimination been more successful than others? How have women and minority groups fought for equal rights, from the suffrage campaigns of the twentieth century to the #NiUnaMenos movement of today? Why is Latin America marked by such stark inequalities in wealth and what are the best ways to combat this? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this module.

20 Core

Optional school-wide modules




Comparative Visual Cultures

This is a school-wide module taught by specialists from across the school who have research interests in visual culture. It introduces students to some of the main movements in European cinema and art, and includes a strong Russian and East European element. The module includes seminars and film viewings.

20 Optional

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 9 September 2022

Explore the University

Discover why Sheffield is the right choice for you at one of our open days or events.