Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Portuguese and Scottish Literature

UCAS code: RQ59

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Portuguese and Scottish Literature

For centuries, both Scottish and Lusophone cultures have had a significant international influence on literature relative to the size of Scotland and Portugal. This programme aims to develop your critical, analytic, linguistic and creative skills by engaging with a broad range of texts in both English, Scots, and Portuguese, and a variety of approaches to reading.

Through intense language training and a year in a Portuguese-speaking country, you have the opportunity to learn to read, write and speak Portuguese to a high standard while gaining the broad cultural education prized by graduate employers.

You will study in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, a fantastic literary city which many greats of Scottish literature have called home.

Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, and - from Brazil to Mozambique - the many countries in which it's used have fascinatingly rich and varied cultures.

On this joint programme, you’ll learn the Portuguese language in the context of an extraordinary range of literature, film and theatre from Europe, Latin America and Lusophone Africa, past and present. Likewise, our Scottish Literature curriculum explores the cultural contexts of all major periods of Scottish literature from the late middle-ages to the present.

By enhancing your unique literary and critical faculties, the programme prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important.

Year 1

You will study Portuguese 1, which caters for both beginners and more advanced students. As well as language learning, this course will introduce you to Portuguese-speaking literature through a selection of short stories from Mozambique, Angola, Brazil and Portugal.

You will take two ‘Literary Studies’ courses which will introduce you to the essential skills needed for the critical close reading of the core literary genres of poetry, drama and prose.

You will read works of literature written in English from around the world, and encounter a range of ideas about the nature and purpose of literary study.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Year 2

You will continue to develop your spoken and written language with Portuguese Language 2.

You will also study the cultures and the societies of the Portuguese-speaking world through literature, film and the arts.

You will be introduced to the study of Scottish literature in its cultural and historical contexts, focusing on a selection of major periods. These courses will explore the relationship between literary texts and the construction of national, international and imperial cultures.

You can opt to study Basque or Catalan and, as in Year 1, you will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University. These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Year 3

You will spend your third year abroad, in Portugal, Brazil or Lusophone Africa, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Lusophone culture and either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

During your year abroad, we will aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

You will complete prescribed work in both Scottish Literature and Portuguese, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your final year language courses.

Year 4

You will study advanced language courses and choose from a range of specialist courses in both Portuguese and Scottish Literature.

You will also complete your dissertation or long essay.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's central area in a world-leading festival city, the first UNESCO World City of Literature and home of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The city's outstanding libraries, collections and literary venues include the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Poetry Library, Writers’ Museum and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Portugal has an honorary consulate here, and there's a large community of Portuguese speakers.

Edinburgh's world cinema scene is particularly strong, with Portuguese-language films regularly included in festivals such as the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (which was started by our staff) and Africa in Motion.

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. We are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK, one of the longest established in the world. The Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies brings together staff and students from a number of different subject areas. Our Portuguese Language Centre is supported by Instituto Camões.

We are home to multiple student societies for literature, language and drama enthusiasts, as well as a thriving Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (LitPALS) and a fantastic Writer-in-Residence. Our online magazine, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Portuguese.

Study abroad

You'll spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) in a Portuguese-speaking country. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Lusophone culture, and to develop your broader life experience and skills towards life after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted learning. You will be required to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for classes in Scottish Literature.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework - including close reading exercises, assignments, presentations, podcasts and posters - as well as exams, including oral exams.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2020/21)

The sixth most widely spoken language in the world, Portuguese is estimated to have around 220 million native speakers (260 million total speakers). It is an official language in ten countries, including Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Together with English and Scots, it is your gateway to a great many countries, literatures and cultures.

Some of our graduates choose career paths in translation, interpreting, teaching or business, both at home and abroad. Others go on to work within the public or third sector, including for international charities or institutions of the European Union (Portuguese is an official working language of the EU), or move into the creative industries, tourism and travel.

Employers increasingly value the excellent communication skills that come with language learning, the intercultural and critical awareness provided by international experiences, and the critical, analytical and imaginative thinking associated with the humanities. Careers where these skills are particularly useful include marketing, publishing and creative writing, law, and politics and policy work.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, both in the UK and internationally.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA-AAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 43 points with 776 at HL - 39 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: English and a language other than English at B.
  • A Levels: a language other than English at B, and either English Literature or combined English at B.
  • IB: HL: English at 5 and a language other than English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Portuguese and Scottish Literature

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Individual study placements may charge you a fee for courses but we will reimburse you for this provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about any cost implications as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding