Portuguese is a true world language, spoken not just in Portugal, itself a uniquely distinctive tile in the Iberian mosaic, but also in Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, as well as in Angola, Mozambique, and several other African and Far Eastern countries.
As part of the Department of Modern Languages, we take pride in promoting the Portuguese Language and the Literatures and Cultures of those countries whose language is Portuguese, through Teaching and Research.
We have a lot of experience in teaching Portuguese in Birmingham, it’s been taught in this Department for more than six decades. Along with our highly qualified Language Instructor, two senior members of staff, and two Postgraduate Teaching Assistants contribute to our courses.
What are the benefits of studying Portuguese?
The Portuguese language and its related literatures and cultures offer a rich and rewarding experience to those students who opt for our courses. In addition, Portuguese Language, backed up by culture modules, has always offered added-value for our undergraduates, giving them a competitive edge in the world of work. Our focus on the diversity of the Lusophone world makes them especially employable. One of our undergraduates, Lucas Morgan, recently spent July 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil, working as an intern in the Casa Guilherme de Almeida, helping to put together a translation database.
Our graduates have gone on to pursue interesting, challenging careers in the Armed Forces, Metropolitan Police or HM Customs and Excise. One went to Angola to do important aid work, others have chosen exciting careers in international banking, the media and advertising. One of our former students is currently enjoying a career in the wine trade in Chile, using his Portuguese to do business with Brazil. Another, nominated Birmingham University’s Alumnus of the Year 2011, is a senior editor at The Financial Times.
Some graduates decide to put their language to professional use and take an MA in Translation and Interpreting. A number of students are keen to teach languages and go on to do a PGCE or a TEFL course which enables them to teach in the UK or abroad. Two recent graduates have taught English in Lisbon and Évora.
Others, especially those who have spent their Year Abroad in Latin America, decide to take an MA in Environment and Development, Globalization and Development, or Development Management, or similar courses. One recent graduate did an internship in Education for Sustainable Development in the Azores, and now works as a Graduate Planner for one of the companies involved in planning the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Others have acquired a taste for research and choose to pursue an academic career. One of our graduates has recently been awarded a Master’s degree for an outstanding dissertation on women in Portuguese literature.
We cannot claim that knowledge of Portuguese will always change your life, but linguistic competence combined with cultural knowledge does open the door to many career opportunities. More than anything, our graduates go out there and make a difference.
Portuguese Studies at the University of Birmingham is generously supported by the Instituto Camões in Portugal.