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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.

The department is almost the only one in the country to cover literature from Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal, the media of literature, film and the visual arts, and a broad chronological spectrum of texts from the sixteenth century to the present. 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 (Part IA/A) and by students with either an A-level in the language or A’ Level-equivalent knowledge of it (Part IA/B). In Part IA/A of the course there are, in addition to compulsory language papers and an oral examination, a literature/film/visual arts paper exploring the three cultural perspectives of Portugal, Brazil, and Portuguese-speaking Africa. In Part IA/B, IB and Part II your options include compulsory papers in Portuguese language, on Portuguese, Brazilian, and African literature and film, history, and thought over some six centuries, and the history of the Portuguese language.

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

A very popular paper, PG3: Introduction to the Language, Literatures and Cultures of the Portuguese-speaking World. [Previously called Introduction to the Language and Literature of Portugal, Brazil and Portuguese-speaking Africa is also available in either the second or final year to any student in the Faculty of MMLL or in certain other faculties, who do not otherwise do Portuguese.

Research interests in this section of the Department include Portuguese and Brazilian literature from the nineteenth-century to the present, 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.