Italian

Italy embraces both tradition and innovation. Studying at Bristol lets you engage with the complexity of this country and its history, by exploring Italian language and society from the Middle Ages to the present.

Year abroad

Gain international experience with a year studying at one of our partner universities or working in Italy.

Research-led teaching

Current staff specialisms include: Dante and medieval poetry; Boccaccio and the history of the book; critical theory; Italian film; modern Italian history and more.

Vibrant community

Enjoy a variety of cultural opportunities, such as an Italian film season, the student-led magazine La Civetta, and a range of social activities run by student society, Club Italia.

Virtual open week 2021

Join our virtual open week - 13 to 17 September.

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If you would like to study Italian on its own or in combination with other languages, see Modern Languages.

Italian at Bristol

Italy's language and culture have had a lasting impact on Europe. Today its innovative contributions to design, technology and fashion make it a global commercial force.

Our degree offers the chance to learn the Italian language and gain an understanding of the complexity of Italy as a nation through the study of Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present day.

You can study Italian at Bristol whether you have an advanced knowledge of Italian already or are a beginner. The structure of the first year depends on your existing knowledge of the language but in later years your choice of units will not be affected by your level of entry. Whatever combination of subjects you study, you will be working alongside top-quality students in the School of Modern Languages from a range of different disciplines.

At Bristol you can either study Italian as a joint honours degree with another subject, or choose the BA Modern Languages course to study Italian on its own, or in combination with other languages.

From Renaissance texts to art, neoliberal cinema and political history, there really is scope to explore every niche interest you may have. The Italian department has such a community feel, and really makes you feel grounded in such a busy, diverse and vibrant city.

ELERI, BA ITALIAN

Career prospects

Many Italian graduates use their language skills after graduation, with a high proportion finding employment in jobs where their languages are advantageous.

Recent graduates have found employment in publishing, journalism, media, art galleries and museums, art dealing, law, commerce and education.

Others who are aiming for a career in higher education or who wish to become professional linguists (such as translators or interpreters) have gone on to postgraduate study.

We have employer connections with several organisations, currently including a leading Milanese law firm, an international film festival in Trieste and an English-language magazine in Florence.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Italian can be studied on its own or alongside one or more other languages or subjects. All Italian courses last four years and include a work or study placement in Italy during your third year. See Global Opportunities for more information on year abroad destinations.

For beginners, the first-year curriculum will develop your grammar, reading, writing, translation and oral/aural comprehension while post A-level students will continue their language development and engage with texts, current affairs, media and film. Students will also be introduced to the politics, culture and society of Italy.

Second- and fourth-year tuition develops fluency to a very high standard and offers the chance to explore a wide variety of cultural units in Italian literature, film, history and politics.

Sample units may include:

  • Dante’s Inferno
  • The Invention of the Renaissance Woman
  • Screening the Past: Representing History in Contemporary Italian Cinema
  • Naples: Culture, Identity and Nation
  • The Culture of Fascism.

Pursue your passions

There is a great deal of flexibility in how you study Italian, which is included as a part of many different courses.

You can study Italian alongside other disciplines such as history, politics, or philosophy by applying for one of our joint honours degrees.

If you want to specialise solely in Italian, or to study it alongside up to 2 other modern languages, you can apply to the BA Modern Languages course.

Italian

If you are interested in studying Italian as a single honours degree, or in combination with one or two other modern languages, please see the BA Modern Languages course entry. 

Italy's language and culture have had a lasting impact on Europe. Today its innovative contributions to design, technology and fashion make it a global commercial force. At Bristol you will gain an excellent knowledge of spoken and written Italian, along with an in-depth understanding of Italy and its cultural history.

Why study Italian at Bristol?

Our degree offers the chance to learn the Italian language and gain an understanding of the complexity of Italy as a nation through the study of Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present day.

You can study Italian at Bristol whether you have an advanced knowledge of Italian already or are a beginner. The structure of the first year depends on your existing knowledge of the language but in later years your choice of units will not be affected by your level of entry. Whatever combination of subjects you study, you will be working alongside top-quality students in the School of Modern Languages from a range of different disciplines.

Bristol is an exciting place to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.

What kind of student would this course suit?

If you have an aptitude for language, take an interest in other cultures, and enjoy studying literary texts and films in relation to their historical and social contexts, you will be very well suited to these courses.

The year abroad is a particularly valuable opportunity for you if you would relish the challenge and enjoy the satisfaction of working or studying in a different language and culture.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Italian can be studied on its own or alongside one or more other languages or subjects. All Italian courses last four years and include a work or study placement in Italy during your third year.

Our units are taught via discussion groups, seminars and lectures. Italian language is taught in small groups tailored to individual needs, using a range of language learning technologies, and is supported by online resources.

Language is assessed by regular exercises, translations, essays and guided writing tasks, as well as by written and oral exams. Other units require essays, projects, exams, individual or group presentations or a combination of these.

What are my career prospects?

Many Italian graduates use their language skills after graduation, with a high proportion finding employment in jobs where their languages are advantageous.

Recent graduates have found employment in publishing, journalism, media, art galleries and museums, art dealing, law, commerce and education.

Others who are aiming for a career in higher education or who wish to become professional linguists (eg translators or interpreters) have gone on to postgraduate study.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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