BA Politics and Italian / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

The BA Politics and Italian course will enable you to explore world politics and gain an intercultural perspective that is at a premium in today's context of globalised studies and career paths.

Delivered jointly by the School of Social Sciences and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, this course offers flexibility through a combination of core and optional politics course units and units in your chosen language and culture.

Language study offers more than just language fluency. You'll explore the culture, society, history, politics and literature of Italy, helping you develop intercultural awareness and communication skills, both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

Studying abroad at partner universities and in professional environments in Italy gives you an unforgettable and invaluable experience.


  • Develop strong analytical skills and understanding of key areas of global politics, including European/international politics, international relations, global security and international development.
  • Develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to access and engage fully with political, historical and cultural issues in your chosen language.
  • Offer an intercultural perspective on your studies and future career, facilitated by the possibility of studying a second language - either as a beginner or at a more advanced level.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can study and/or work for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your language skills in a native-speaker environment.

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.


There are over 30 international and language-related student societies offering cultural activities and experiences.

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. 

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 .

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

In Year 1 you will choose two from the following three courses as your core Politics units (40 credits):
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics;
  • Introduction to International Politics;
  • Introduction to Political Theory.
  • Sample optional units include (20 credits):
  • Introduction to Political Theory;
  • Politics of the Global Economy;
  • Power and the State;
  • Making Sense of Politics.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language subject.

From the beginning, students have four contact hours per week with their nominated Italian 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. All first year students also have an additional linguistics hour, introducing them to the history and structures of the Italian language.

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

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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 Optional
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 20 Optional
Italian Language 1 ITAL51011 20 Optional
Italian Language 2 ITAL51022 20 Optional
Italian Language 3 ITAL51030 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10201 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Optional
Making Sense of Politics POLI10302 20 Optional
British Politics: Power and the State POLI10401 20 Optional
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Optional
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (40-60 credits), including:
  • Questions about International Politics;
  • The Politics of Globalisation;
  • The Politics of Development;
  • Ideals of Social Justice;
  • The Politics of (In)Security;
  • Challenges for Democratic Politics;
  • What is Europe?;
  • Environment Politics;
  • Chinese Politics Today;
  • The Politics of Policy Making.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language subject.

In Year 2, the core language component builds on the grammar topics covered in Year 1, in order to prepare you for the year abroad. Both the post-beginners and post-A-level language modules have three contact hours per week, in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Your course units in second year are more specialized than in first year, allowing you to explore a diverse range of subjects and approaches. Current options include the Italian Renaissance and Italian Fascism.

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

Italian modules are assessed by a variety of different coursework assessment types, including essays and commentaries, book reviews, reports, presentations, and innovative digital projects such as group curated exhibitions.

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
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
The Italian Renaissance ITAL21012 20 Optional
Italian Language 4 ITAL51040 20 Optional
Italian Language 5 ITAL51050 20 Optional
Politics by Numbers POLI20311 20 Optional
Security Studies POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
Injustice and Resistance POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is spent abroad under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

In Year 4 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (40-60 credits) including:
  • Politics of the European Union;
  • Africa and Global Politics;
  • Terrorism and Political Violence;
  • Comparative Protest Politics;
  • War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia;
  • Borders, Identities and Citizenship;
  • News Media and International Crisis;
  • Peace Building;
  • Gender, Sex and Politics;
  • Children, Family and Social Justice.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of language and culture course units in your modern language subject.

In Year 4, you build on the linguistic authenticity acquired abroad in the core language unit, and can choose from a range of specialized content course units. The final year language course develops your core skills to an advanced level, including translation into English, writing different kinds of target-language texts, and oral work including discussion of texts, debates, and presentations. The language component of the course comprises three contact hours per week, in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Course units available in final year are closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff, in areas such as romance linguistics, Renaissance Florence, Italy and the Grand Tour, book history, and the political and cultural history of Italy.

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 can participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach programmes.

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
Political and Cultural History of Italy ITAL30342 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 20 Optional
Italian Language 6 ITAL51060 20 Optional
Dissertation in Modern Languages and Cultures LALC30000 40 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30191 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Politics POLI30231 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30242 20 Optional
Liberalism and Empire POLI30252 20 Optional
Dimensions of Peace and Conflict: Disciplinary and Regional Approaches POLI30262 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30271 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30282 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30292 20 Optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Optional
Using Nudge to Change Lives POLI30331 20 Optional
Dissertation B POLI30380 20 Optional
Power, Space & Popular Culture: Thinking Critically About Geopolitics POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Intimate Geopolitics of Global China POLI31021 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31032 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31041 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32041 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32062 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Feminist, Queer and Intersectional Political Economy POLI32091 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
United Nations Security Council in Practice POLI32151 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 31 course units for year 4


The University Language Centre is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms, and resources for more than 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 at facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: