BA Latin and Italian / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our BA Latin and Italian will enable you to develop your linguistic skills while learning about the literature and culture of both societies.

You can learn Latin either as a beginner or from A-level standard. Once you've reached the appropriate level, your learning will allow you to study literary and historical texts in their original language.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which your chosen languages are - or were - spoken, helping you to 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 from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself - Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in Italy, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience. Where possible, this includes enrolment on classical courses at an Italian university.

The course unit details listed below are those you may choose to study as part of this programme and are referred to as optional units. These are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme. Although language units may show here as optional, they are a mandatory part of your modern languages degree and you will take the units relevant to your level of language in each year of study. It is compulsory to study language at all levels of your modern languages degree. 

Special features

Residence abroad

Your  year abroad gives you the chance to experience life in an Italian-speaking country, further developing your language skills.

Learn from language experts

Modern language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of the language, giving you a richer learning experience.

Access outstanding resources

Explore the exclusive resources of Manchester Museum and the Special Collections of The John Rylands Library - home to papyri, medieval manuscripts and early printed books, including very early copies of the Homeric poems.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a variety of methods. Lectures will help broaden your understanding of subjects, while small group tutorials and seminars will help you to deep-dive into these topics.

Language classes are taught intensively, with group size capped to encourage participation.

You are encouraged to involve yourself, under guidance, in independent study and original research.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment practices vary between course units, but our aim overall is to achieve a good balance between formal examinations, continuous assessment and project work. 

Written examinations are held at the end of most course units. The third-year dissertation contributes 25% of the total marks for your degree.

Course content for year 1


Core units will give you a grounding in the historical and cultural contexts of life in first century Rome via ancient poetry and the study of Latin language. Optional units allow you start exploring key themes and making links between your fields of study.


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

'Ab initio' students have 4 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 three 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. 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.

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
Virgil's Aeneid CAHE10422 20 Mandatory
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 20 Mandatory
Constructing Archaic Greek History CAHE10011 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
The Odyssey CAHE10101 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt CAHE10651 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 1 CAHE20151 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 1 CAHE20171 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 1 CAHE30111 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 1 CAHE30121 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 2 CAHE30162 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 2 CAHE30182 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
Climate change and societal response: Lessons from the past SALC11011 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

With just one compulsory course unit in Latin language, you'll have the flexibility to focus your studies on key areas of interest across both subject areas, selecting from a breadth of historical, literary, cultural and societal themes.


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

Our 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
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD313 Rome's Golden Age CAHE20051 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20062 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 1 CAHE20151 20 Optional
The Emergence of Civilisation: Palaces, Peak Sanctuaries, and Politics in Minoan Crete CAHE20221 20 Optional
Greco-Roman Society and Technology  CAHE20261 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20532 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 1 CAHE30111 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 1 CAHE30121 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 2 CAHE30162 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 2 CAHE30211 20 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
Data Literacy in a Digital World SALC20081 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You'll study and/or work for up to a year in Italy, before returning to complete your studies in your fourth year.

Course content for year 4


Continue to shape your understanding according to specific interests, with interdisciplinary and advanced course unit options, in addition to your Advanced Latin language unit. 


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 (often using the primary sources held in the Rylands Library, which has outstanding Italian holdings) and participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach work.

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
Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology Dissertation CAHE30000 40 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 2 CAHE30211 20 Optional
Greco-Roman Society and Technology  CAHE30261 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 3 CAHE30311 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30882 20 Optional
Political and Cultural History of Italy ITAL30342 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 20 Optional
Dissertation in Modern Languages and Cultures LALC30000 40 Optional


The John Rylands Library

At The John Rylands Library , you'll have exclusive access to our internationally significant collections, including papyri, medieval manuscripts and early printed books such as very early copies of the Homeric poems.

Manchester Museum

The UK's leading university museum has more than four million objects spanning millennia, including one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Go behind-the-scenes to handle, analyse and interpret rare artefacts, including exclusive material specific to ancient history.

The University Language Centre

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 support and advice.


The University is home to over 30 international and language related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences. Learn more about colloquialisms in language through native speakers and take part in discussion groups and socials. Some of our societies also coordinate trips abroad to language-specific destinations.

Find out more on the Facilities pages for Classics and Ancient History and Modern Languages and Cultures .

Disability support

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