Italian BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: R300
  • Year of entry: 2019
  • 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

141 Year One undergraduates in 2017

UK league tables

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

Department resources

The Department has recently moved to a fully-refurbished Grade I listed building in the beautiful Georgian Abercromby Square. We have our own Language Lounge which is stocked with language-learning resources and provides a beautiful and contemplative environment for group work or private study. It has five PCs specialising in language learning programmes. We have our own Modern Language film collection which is available to students for loan.

Research performance

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 72% of our staff publications as world-leading or internationally excellent with the remaining 28% considered to be of recognised international quality. This ranks us above Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Exeter.

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At Liverpool, you can choose which level to learn at with confidence, knowing we are specialists in teaching languages to all levels, from beginners to advanced.

Access new facilities

Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of 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".

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the University. As part of your modules, you may visit an exhibition, deliver a language taster in a school, do an internship in one of our partner organisations, or interview a film maker. Our department routinely organises visits by award-winning writers, directors and translators who will share valuable insights into their work and we recently received a University Learning and Teaching award for enriching the experience of studentsin and beyond the classroom.

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.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

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.