BA Italian Studies

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Italian Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code ITAL20600
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Running parallel with the Level 2 options in Italian, and building on the techniques of textual analysis  that were introduced at Level 1, this is a hands-on course which will enable students to improve their reading abilities in Italian, whilst deepening their appreciation and understanding of literary texts and of social issues in the Italian-speaking world.  Through a combination of small-group discussions, group tutorials and private study, students will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake close readings of texts (chosen from a prescribed list) and to write analyses of them that situate them in their social-political context. The discussions will focus on a range of tutor-led and student-led activities designed to develop an understanding of literature in Italian and also methods of analysing and discussing that literature.  



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 Co-Requisite Compulsory
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 Co-Requisite Compulsory

Available on which programme(s)? 

Core course unit for Level 2 for post-A level Italian Single Honours students, or students on certain programme combinations.¿ 


  • To develop critical thinking, conceptual reasoning and analytical skills 

  • To develop the ability to read and analyse literary texts 

  • To develop the ability to place literary texts in social and political context 

  • To develop a better understanding of the historical and social realities of the Italian-speaking world 

  • To develop a better understanding of literary texts in Italian 

Knowledge and understanding

Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will be able to: 


  • demonstrate an improved ability to read in Italian 

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Italian literary texts  

  • write commentaries and essays in English discussing and analysing Italian literary texts  

  • place literary texts in their historical context within the Italian-speaking world  

  • make use of relevant methodology 

  • engage critically with secondary literature  


Intellectual skills

Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will: 

  • Display cultural analytical skills (literary analysis, social and political analysis) 

  • Be able to value knowledge for its own sake, and to appreciate literary creativity within the Italian-speaking world 



Practical skills

Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will demonstrate: 

  • A significantly improved ability to read Italian 

  • A significantly improved vocabulary and syntax in Italian 

  • An ability to manage time, and work to deadlines; 

  • An improved ability to work with information and communication technology (ICT) 


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will have learned to: 


  • undertake independent learning and reflect upon their achievements; 

  • participate constructively in group discussions; 

  • think critically and present arguments logically 


Employability skills

Students will develop their communicative skills by writing and debating ideas in a clear, concise and coherent manner. They will also cultivate their ability to analyse, evaluate and critique a wide range of material. They will improve their knowledge of the Italian language and be able to demonstrate a broad understanding of Italian culture and history.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 


Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Commentary plan 


500 words 




1750 words 


Essay plan 


500 words 


Analytical essay about a novel or film 


 2750 words



Resit Assessment

Assessment task  


Essay on novel 

3000 words 

Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

  • Comments made during class discussion regarding the relevance and coherence of student participation in classes.


  • Individual written comments on student participation at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2 


  • Individual written comments on the assessed commentary by the beginning of semester two and on the assessed essay by the end of the examination period at the end of semester two.¿ Global feedback is delivered orally in class (for the commentary) and posted on Blackboard. 

Summative and formative 

  • Individual written feedback on the commentary and essay plans


  • Written feedback on the essay 


Recommended reading

Set Texts¿: 


Semester 1: A selection of short stories, poems and plays will be made available on Blackboard 


Semester 2: A list of selected novels and novellas with short summaries will be made available on Blackboard. All texts suggested are available in the University of Manchester library and in affordable pocket editions.  


Suggested further readings 

  • Ciccarelli, Andrea, and Peter Bondanella, The Cambridge companion to the Italian novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 

  • Chambers, Ellie, and Andrew Northledge, The Arts Good Study Guide (Milton Keynes: Oxford University Press, 1997) 

  • Cuddon, J. A., The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (any edition) 

  • Eagleton, Terry, How To Read Literature (New Heaven, London: Yale University Press, 2013) 

  • McKee, Alan, Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide (London: SAGE, 2003) 

  • Reardon, Denis, Doing Your Undergraduate Project (London: SAGE, 2004) 


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 5
Supervised time in studio/wksp 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 191

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mara Josi Unit coordinator

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