Faculty of Modern LanguagesPortuguese/Romance Studies

Romance studies considers Romance languages, literature and cultures. Degree programmes in Portuguese consider these in relation to Portuguese-speaking areas of Brazil.

Romance studies covers research and teaching across Romance languages, literature and cultures. The most important Romance languages, which all derive from Latin, include French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Occitan, Catalan, Gaelic, Sardinian and Rhaeto-Romanic. Variants of these Romance languages, literatures and cultures are also found outside Europe, in parts of Latin America, Canada, North and South Africa. 

Degree courses in Portuguese encompass areas of Portuguese language, literature and cultural studies. In addition to this content, students attend language sessions which are taught exclusively by native speakers.

Special Features and Characteristics

  • Heidelberg University has ERASMUS agreements with three universities in Portugal (Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto), a cooperation agreement with Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul – Porto Alegre, and has a research and teaching partnership with the UERJ-Universiade Estadul do Rio de Janeiro. 
  • interdisciplinary and international research networks via the Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies (HCIAS).


Research in Heidelberg is conducted in the fields of linguistics or literary studies. 


  • language history, language change and language contact in relation to Portuguese on the Iberian Peninsula and in Portuguese-speaking countries outside Europe, in particular Brazil. 
  • synchronised and diachronic analyses of syntax, semantics and morphology 
  • historical sociolinguistics and pragmatics, discourse linguistics 
  • language and communication at an older age 

Literary studies: 

  • Medieval and early modern historiography 
  • novela sentimental 
  • chivalric romance 
  • epic (early Modern, nineteenth century Portugal and Brazil) 
  • Renaissance and Barrock literature 
  • Fernando Pessoa 
  • Brazilian narrative (nineteenth and twentieth centuries)

Occupational Areas

Graduates of a degree programme in Portuguese may pursue a career in the following fields:  

  • training and consulting institutions 
  • universities and research institutes 
  • media 
  • communications and translation 
  • tourism

Degree variants

Bachelor 25%

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Studierende Portugiesisch Uni Heidelberg

I chose Portuguese because I am interested in the language and the culture. I was previously in Heidelberg as an au-pair and decided to come back because it is a very beautiful town.

Ilona Kylmälä, 21, Portuguese/Romance studies, 2nd semester Bachelor