UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Portuguese

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitlePortuguese
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8

Course Outline

Portuguese at UCC allows you to study the language and culture of Portugal and of the Portuguese-speaking world (Lusofonia) through literature, art, theatre, film, music, history and media.

Students are absolute beginners when they begin their studies and BA International Students will have the option to spend Year 3 at a university in Portugal (Coimbra).

Group sizes in the modules are small to facilitate interactive teaching/learning and student participation/involvement.

Year 1 modules:

All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

  • PU1101 Portuguese Beginners Language (10 credits)
  • PU1102 Introduction to Portuguese Studies

Year 2 modules

Portuguese Language; Portuguese Studies; Cultural Identity in the Lusophone (Portuguese Speaking) World.

Year 3*/4 modules

Advanced Portuguese Language; Contemporary Brazilian Culture; Portuguese Modernism and Fernando Pessoa.

*BA International students spend third year studying in an approved foreign university in a country of the student's major language or subject. They will return to complete their final year in UCC in year 4.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture/reading hours

In the language classes, contact hours will vary depending on proficiency levels. Beginners have more hours of tuition, up to four hours a week, but additional hours may be required for reading, laboratory work, etc. Cultural studies modules are one hour weekly, but students are expected to carry out independent work.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including written and oral examinations, in-class tests and journals for language modules. Essays, group projects and presentations are the predominant forms of assessment in cultural studies modules. 

Who teaches this course

Our teaching staff are internationally recognised experts in their field and language classes are imparted by a native speaker.

Why Choose This Course

Studying Portuguese at UCC was a great opportunity for me to add another language to my list, and broaden my academic horizons.

Niamh Leonard

Graduate, BA Language and Cultural Studies (2011)

View Student

As a result of its growing prominence as a world language, Portuguese is a highly marketable skill, especially in the areas of commerce, engineering, translation, tourism, health and sports.

Spoken by more than 200 million people across four continents, Portuguese is usually ranked as the sixth most spoken language in the world, and the most widely spoken in the southern hemisphere. Portuguese is, of course, spoken in Portugal, but it is also the official language of Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and São Tomé in Africa.

Portuguese is an official language of the European Union and MERCOSUR, the economic alliance between several South American countries, including Brazil. Rapidly becoming one of the world’s leading economies, Brazil is already a leader in the areas of medicine, technology and energy. It hosted the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad

Students of Portuguese have the option of spending Year 3 studying in Portugal, which will dramatically improve your linguistic competencies towards native level.

The Department is currently working on partnerships with Brazilian universities and businesses and will offer work placements in Brazil to students in the near future. 

Work placement

If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

Our degrees will equip you with a range of skills including:

  • language, intercultural, communication and technological
  • intensive language training
  • laboratory training
  • training in translation and writing for professional purposes.

UCC has recently refurbished its language training facilities to offer optimum conditions for student learning.

Students with languages and soft communication skills have more opportunities in international business, teaching, marketing, translating, public service, tourism, recruitment, journalism and media, both at home and abroad. 


Portuguese is offered as an area of study in the first year of several degree programmes. Refer to CK101, CK108 and CK110.

Students wishing to take Beginners' Portuguese must have obtained a minimum Grade H4 in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent in another modern continental language, or Irish, Latin or Greek.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101CK108 and CK110. Portuguese is offered as an area of study in first year of several degree programmes.

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact