Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD , MPhil
Programme length MPhil: one year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date January 2016 (2015/16 fees apply)
September 2016
January 2017

Programme overview

The Department of Italian has a strong commitment to excellence in both teaching and research. We promote a vigorous research culture in a co-operative and positive atmosphere in which postgraduate research projects and the research of staff can thrive.

The department pursues the study of Italian culture in an interdisciplinary context that challenges traditional parameters of the discipline to advance knowledge in our areas of expertise. We currently have particular strengths in the literature, visual culture and cultural history of modern and contemporary Italy, and in the literary and cultural history of the medieval period.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP). The partnership is a collaboration of eight leading research universities and partners from the creative economy, working together to develop the arts and humanities researchers for the future. The SWW DTP will be offering studentships for September 2016. For further information on funding opportunities available at the University of Bristol, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend upon evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
MPhil/PhD: A pass at Masters level (or international equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Selection process Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2016 start: 1 August 2016
January 2017 start: 1 December 2016

Research groups

The department has two broad areas of research expertise:

  • Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature and Cultural History including: Italian colonial/postcolonial cultures; representations of terrorism; sports history and culture; cultural memory; the history of psychiatry; the history and culture of 1968; visual culture and film; gender and sexuality; travel writing; autobiography; literary culture; representations of the South of Italy.


  • Medieval and Early Modern Italian Literature and Cultural History including: Dante; Boccaccio; medieval theory of language; early Italian poetry; reception studies; the history of the book.


Every member of the department participates in the research clusters of the Faculty of Arts and the School of Modern Languages. Staff in the department play an active role in the Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies; Identity Formation in Political, Historical and Linguistic Contexts; Medieval Cultures; and Screen Research@Bristol.

Members of staff are currently involved in projects such as that funded by an AHRC large grant, 'Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures' on Italian cinema audiences and stars in the 1940s and 1950s (AHRC) as well as a Wellcome Trust project on radical psychiatry in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. Colleagues are also deeply involved in the promotion of scholarship in Italian Studies, institutionally, nationally and internationally.

Postgraduate students are fully integrated into the research culture of the Department and participate in our programme of colloquia, workshops and lectures. You may also benefit from the department's strong research links with universities in Italy, especially Cagliari and Naples.


The majority of graduates from the programme develop careers as academics in higher education while maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of Italian at the same time.

Staff profiles

Professor Charles Burdett, (Professor), Italian culture under Fascism; the representation of colonialism; the representation of the Islamic world in contemporary Italian society and culture ; travel writing and theories of intercultural contact.

Dr Rhiannon Daniels, (Lecturer), Histories of reading; manuscript and early print culture ; Medieval and Renaissance Italian culture; the reception of Boccaccio.

Dr Ruth Glynn, (Reader), Late 20th-century Italian culture; philosophy of history; postmodernism and the Italian novel; representations of Italy' s experience of political violence and terrorism in the anni di piombo; women and violence.

Dr Tristan Kay, (Lecturer), Dante and early lyric poetry ; medieval Italian culture; modern literary appropriations of Dante.

Dr Catherine O'Rawe, (Senior Lecturer), Aesthetic exchange between Hollywood and Europe ; Italian popular cinema; Sicilian literature and culture; the reception of Italian film in post-war culture.

Professor John Foot, (Professor), Contemporary Italian history and culture ; memory studies; sports history and culture; the history of psychiatry.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 29% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 38% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 26% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 7% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8443 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
7 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

Edit this page