BA Portuguese Studies and Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year)

University of Essex
In Colchester

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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location Colchester
Duration 5 Years
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Colchester
  • Duration:
    5 Years

About the course
Our BA Portuguese Studies and Modern Languages (including foundation year) is open to Home, EU and international students

It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills

This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study

During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module

You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK

After successful completion of Year Zero in our International Academy, you progress to complete your course with the Department of Language and Linguistics

On our course you’ll become highly proficient in Portuguese and will be able to study a further two of the modern languages taught at Essex, including French, German, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese

These languages can be studied alongside a complementary range of cultural and professional skills modules from Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling, to Brazil in Focus: Business, Culture and Society

For most of our languages, we offer modules in all six different levels recognised by the Common European Framework

With two modules completed in Portuguese each year, you are expected to reach Mastery level in the language by the end of our course, and are also encouraged to gain confidence in one or two other languages of your choice


Where and when

Starts Location
On request
Wivenhoe Park, CO4 3SQ, Essex, England
See map
Starts On request
Wivenhoe Park, CO4 3SQ, Essex, England
See map

What you'll learn on the course

Business Culture

Course programme

Example structure
Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.
Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.
The language module that you will study will depend upon your level when you arrive in the department. The structure shown below is an example of the progression for a student who has an A Level or equivalent in Portuguese, but no prior knowledge of Italian or Spanish. Please refer to the progression pathway table to find out which modules are suitable for your linguistic profile.
In your first, second and fourth year you can choose optional modules from other subject areas if you wish.
Year 0
An Introduction to the History of the United Kingdom During the Twentieth Century
Major Writers in English Literature
Political and Social Theory From Plato to the Present Day
Western Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers
Academic Skills
Year 1
Advanced Portuguese
Brazil in Focus: Business, Culture and Society
Intensive Initial Spanish (Double Module) (optional)
Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
Year 2
Proficiency Level Portuguese
Modern Languages Project
Advanced Spanish (optional)
Spanish and Latin American Art, Film and Music (optional)
Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
Final year
Mastery Level Portuguese
Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling Skills
From the Caves to Modern Graffiti: A Visual History of the Spanish Language (optional)
Proficiency Level Spanish (optional)
Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
Year abroad
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
Teaching takes the form of lectures and seminar sessions or discussion classes
State-of-the-art technologies and materials create an ideal learning environment
Activities designed to develop your practical language skills, such as role-play and class presentations
Cultural and social themes are explored through film, music, the internet, theatre and literature
Language abilities are assessed through role-plays, translations, essay writing, creative writing, and quizzes
Written examinations are also taken for the majority of modules at the end of each academic year
Weighted 50% coursework and 50% exams

Additional information

As well as gaining fluency in Portuguese, you become proficient in a broad range of its practical use, from professional translation to creative writing We also offer a month-long summer course with fees paid for by us if you start a language from scratch via the intensive route If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex Study abroad Our course offers three possibilities for your year abroad The first allows you to study at one of the prestigious universities with which we have exchange links You continue to study modules relevant to your course, learning your chosen languages within a country that speaks them, and you pay no tuition fees for your time overseas The second option allows you to work as a language assistant, thereby acquiring valuable professional experience in an international context in addition to earning money Alternatively, you can study at a university abroad for one term in your third year, after which you work with an organisation in the same country This unique experience helps you stand out when applying for jobs Whichever option you choose, your year abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised Our expert staff We have some of the best teachers across the University in our International Academy, all of whom have strong subject backgrounds and are highly skilled in their areas At Essex, we maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and we integrate language learning with linguistics wherever there is synergy In addition to helping you acquire practical foreign language skills, our staff share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation, interpreting and subtitling, film and art, business, and...

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