UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Portuguese

About This Course

Fact File

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.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on 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.

Mature entry applicants

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

Refer to CK101CK108 and CK110.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101CK108 and CK110. Portuguese is offered as an area of study in first year of several degree programmes. Students choose Arts subjects when registering for first year. 

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET/FETAC Applicants: See our QQI FET/FETAC Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact