Italian BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: R300
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered
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Italian Studies at Liverpool is a rapidly growing subject and is now available as a Single Honours, Major, Joint or Minor subject. As Major, Joint or Minor subject, Italian can be studied in combination with both language and non-language subjects to offer you the benefits and enhanced employability that language skills and intercultural awareness provide. The Italian language carries an unparalleled cultural capital. The Italian Renaissance laid the foundations for much of western values and culture of the last five centuries. Italy has produced remarkable figures such as Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo, Fellini and Eco, to name but a few. According to UNESCO, over 60% of the world’s art treasures are found in Italy. A founding member of the European Community, today’s Italy is one of the world’s top exporters and is ranked amongst the world’s largest economies; the UK is the country’s third trading partner in the EU. Studying Italian allows you to explore the country’s past and present from a privileged perspective.

Study as part of joint-honours at 100:0 Choosing this subject as a Single Honours

The results for UK universities ranked by student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016 show that Italian at Liverpool has scored 100%, 10% above the national average for this subject. This impressive result reflects the time Italian staff spent supporting students outside of class as well as the excellent quality of teaching. Italian Studies provides an excellent opportunity to explore Italian culture in its many facets. Research is interdisciplinary and with an emphasis on the contemporary.

Modules include Italian language, linguistics, cultural history, cinema, contemporary fiction and popular culture. Extracurricular activities include an Italian Cinema Club and an Italian Society, and an annual Italian-themed lecture, the Lucrezia Zaina Bequest Lecture, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, and with more than 400 tickets reserved for the event every year. In Liverpool, cultural and institutional support is provided by the first Dante Alighieri Society to be founded in the UK and by a Consulate which fosters and enhances the local Italian heritage.

We have offered our students the possibility of winning Italian government-sponsored scholarships for summer schools in Italy and continue to work on the expansion of both academic and business links with Italy to assist during the Year Abroad. The Italian subject group at Liverpool consists predominantly of native speakers of Italian. We research and teach Italian film studies, contemporary literature, linguistics, cultural history, translation and interpreting.

Programme in detail

In Year One you will study advanced or beginners’ language modules as appropriate, as well as foundational modules which serve as a broad introduction to the literary, cultural, film, linguistic and historical modules offered in the subsequent years of the degree. You will also take a ‘language awareness’ module in the first year which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics, and a ‘texts and context’ module which develops your research skills through a portfolio of tasks structured around reading a key literary text. During your second and final year you will take language modules plus cultural options which have a strong emphasis on both modern and contemporary Italy, and on the place of Italy in Europe and the world.

For students taking Italian at 100% you will follow a research pathway in your second and final year which culminates in a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

At the University of Liverpool, Italian may be taken from A level or as a beginners’ language where no previous qualifications in the language are necessary. In the first year, our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of Italian. If you are a beginner, our fast-moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of the first year.

You will spend one year in Italy as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Italian or follow courses at your host university. If you combine Major Italian with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in Italy.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

In Year One you will study advanced or beginners’ language modules as appropriate, as well as foundational modules which serve as a broad introduction to the literary, cultural, film, linguistic and historical modules offered in the subsequent years of the degree. You will also take a ‘language awareness’ module in the first year which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics, and a ‘texts and context’ module which develops your research skills through a portfolio of tasks structured around reading a key literary text. During your second and final year you will take language modules plus cultural options which have a strong emphasis on both modern and contemporary Italy, and on the place of Italy in Europe and the world.

For students taking Italian at 100% you will follow a research pathway in your second and final year which culminates in a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

At the University of Liverpool, Italian may be taken from A level or as a beginners’ language where no previous qualifications in the language are necessary. In the first year, our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of Italian. If you are a beginner, our fast-moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of the first year.

You will spend one year in Italy as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Italian or follow courses at your host university. If you combine Major Italian with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in Italy.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a Joint

Studying Italian at 50% will help you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language. It will also help you to understand the society, history, politics, linguistics, culture, literature and cinema of Italy. At the University of Liverpool, Italian may be taken from A level or as a beginners’ language where no previous qualifications in the language are necessary. In the beginners’ pathway, Italian can be taken all the way to degree level in the final year.

Year Three of the degree is a compulsory Year Abroad. You may spend a year in Italy as an assistant in a school, as a student at university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Italian or follow courses at your host university. If you combine Italian with another language, you can spend half the Year Abroad in Italy. For entry to Italian with another language you will need an A level in at least one of the languages studied.

Study as part of joint-honours at 25:75Choosing this subject as a Minor

Studying Italian as a Minor at 25% of your degree will help you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language.

It will also help you to understand aspects of the society and culture of Italy. At the University of Liverpool, Italian may be taken from A level or as a beginners’ language. A Year Abroad is highly recommended, but not compulsory for Italian as a Minor subject. You may spend a year in Italy as an assistant in a school, as a student at university or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in Italian or follow courses at your host university. If you combine Minor Italian with another language, you may choose to spend half the Year Abroad in Italy.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

102 Year One undergraduates in 2016

UK league tables

Ranked 19th for Modern Languages in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Graduate prospects

87.6% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014/15)

National Student Survey

91% of students are happy with the teaching on their programme (National Student Survey 2016)

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At the University of Liverpool, language is at the heart of our teaching and staff from across the Department take part in its delivery. Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of our departmental life. It is a lively place where you can work on your language skills with the aid of online resources, watch foreign-language films, meet someone for a chat in your chosen language or simply settle down with ‘un espresso’, a foreign-language newspaper and take in the beautiful views of our fabulous Georgian Abercromby Square.

Many of our students will start a language from beginner’s level. Indeed, in languages such as Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque most of our students will start that language from scratch. At Liverpool, you can choose with confidence, knowing that we are specialists in teaching languages to beginners and you will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language. As a beginner, you will take our fast-track modules to achieve between GCSE and A level standard within a year. From Year Two, you will be integrated with post-A-level students studying your language.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

Whether you study languages as a Single Honours degree or as a Minor, you have the opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of your programme. You’ll spend your third year teaching English, attending university, completing a work placement or working for a non-government organisation (NGO) in one or more countries relevant to the language or languages you are studying. This opportunity offers you a unique first-hand experience to step out of the classroom and immerse yourself in the country’s culture and develop your language skills further.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our degrees help you make connections within and across language areas. If you study a language as a Single Honours degree, you can take a different language from scratch or from A level standard which you can continue into final year.

We also offer modules that enable you to compare the culture or linguistics of one or more language areas. These include modules on German and Italian film, as well as linguistic topics such as the linguistic landscape.

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the University. For example, some French modules include sessions in Special Collections and Archives in the University’s Sydney Jones Library, whilst others run seminars in conjunction with National Museums Liverpool. In Hispanic Studies, the Etxepare Basque Institute fund a lecturer, internships and visiting speakers. The Spanish Embassy, the Institut Ramon Llull (the Catalan language and cultural institute), the Instituto Camões (the Portuguese language and cultural institute) and the Instituto Cervantes (the Spanish language and cultural institute) all support our annual Iberian and Latin American Week, a week of cultural and language activities related to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. These take place on campus and at a variety of venues throughout the city.

We will help you make the connection between university study and your future career, either through offering work experience opportunities as part of your degree or through transferable or specialist skills gained during your studies. Our work placement modules in Year Two allow you to use your language skills on a work placement in the Merseyside area. Our Year Abroad scheme offers you the opportunity to undertake a year- long teaching placement or an ‘International Year in Industry’ in a business or other organisation.

From the end of Year Two of your studies, you can gain qualified teacher status in a scheme supported by the Department of Education. Once you register on this programme, you will be eligible for the Teacher Training Bursary, a tax-free sum of up to £9,000. If you are interested in a career in translation and interpreting, you can gain these skills in our language modules from Year Two. In the Final Year, you can choose to take a specialist translation studies module or prepare a translation of your chosen text to submit as a dissertation.

You will also gain insights into the creative and practical aspects of the translation process at our annual translation workshop, led by a visiting professional translator or network with potential employers at our annual ‘Careers in Translation and Interpreting’ event.

Pursue your own adventure

Many of our modules allow you to focus on topics that particularly interest you. For example our language modules often let you choose and research a subject that interests you as part of your assessment, whether a book report or oral presentation. In cultural modules, you can choose or even devise your own essay question.