BA Italian Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Italian Studies course will enable you to develop detailed knowledge of both the language and culture of Italy, from the medieval period to the present day.

You will be able to combine the study of the history, politics, and literary, linguistic and visual culture of the peninsula through our wide range of culture units, which are taught by a range of specialists within these fields.

We also offer a linguistics pathway for those interested in the history of the Italian language and its dialects.

Language courses are taught by native speakers and involve comprehension, translation, grammar, and oral work.

You will spend your third year studying or working abroad in Italy. You can choose to complete work placements or teach English in schools as part of the British Council assistantship scheme. Alternatively, you can take advantage of our popular Erasmus exchanges, which include Bergamo, Bologna, Cagliari, Ferrara, Macerata, Naples, Palermo, Perugia and Siena.

In addition, Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can   study and/or work  for up to a year in Italy to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival  , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

Learn from award-winning staff

A colleague won a Teaching Excellence Award and another has secured national funding to develop the use of digital resources in teaching by bringing our libraries' Special Collections into the age of the app.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. We excel in using different forms of e-learning to enhance language acquisition, including podcasting.

The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Language learning

In Year 1, Italian language instruction is divided between 'ab initio' and post-A-level groups (with the majority of students being beginners).

'Ab initio' students have five contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Post-A-level students have 3 hours of consolidating and building competency on specific language points.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

Italian language instruction is divided between 'ab initio' and post-A-level groups (with the majority of students being beginners).

'Ab initio' students have five contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Post-A-level students have 3 hours consolidating and building competency on specific language points.

The Italian culture units cover topics ranging from the filmic and literary to the historic and linguistic, all of which reflect academic staff research interests.

Year 1 is specifically designed to begin furnishing candidates with the tools to enable them to read cultural products with confidence, be they texts, pictures, buildings or linguistic constructions.

Single honours students will have the opportunity to carry out an Italian project on a text chosen from a list of options. This course unit is based on a combination of small-group workshops, group tutorials and independent research.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 20 Mandatory
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 20 Mandatory
Italian Project ITAL10600 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 1 ITAL51011 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 2 ITAL51022 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 3 ITAL51030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Course unit options range from medieval and Renaissance culture and literature, including Dante, Boccaccio, and women writers, to Italian Fascism, the Economic Boom (1960s), and the Years of Lead (1970s) studied through film. We also offer units on sociolinguistics and Italian dialects.

Most culture units involve three contact hours per week and are augmented by materials and content placed in the units' Blackboard virtual learning environment.

The units are mostly assessed using a variety of forms from coursework to essays, commentaries and book reviews to class presentations and blog posts.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Language 4 ITAL51040 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 5 ITAL51050 20 Mandatory
The Italian Economic Boom: Places and Spaces ITAL20452 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
Gendering the Canon: Women, Authorship and Voice in the Italian Trecento ITAL20611 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

You will return to Manchester to complete your studies. There is the opportunity to attend classes on Italy's society and culture taught in the target language by native speaker tutors.

You will also be able to undertake a research-orientated dissertation in Italian (often using the primary sources held in the Rylands Library, which has outstanding Italian holdings), and have the opportunity to participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach work.

The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Italian Language 6 ITAL51060 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in Italian Studies ITAL30000 40 Optional
Italian Visual and Literary Cultures from Surrealism to Neo-Realism ITAL30341 20 Optional
Beyond the Text: The Book and its Body ITAL30432 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Residence Abroad Support We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance finance assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have the achieved the highest marks, whilst being from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  Again, you will be automatically assessed for this, after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow the University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).

Facilities

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk