The Italian Department at the University of St Andrews is the largest in Scotland and one of the main centres for the study of Italian in the UK. The Department offers specialist expertise and experience teaching Italian to complete beginners, and many of the Department's students enter at this level. Language teaching at all levels takes place in relatively small groups, and the structure of the programmes ensures that students receive a solid grounding in both the language and the culture of Italy.

Members of the Department have high international research profiles, and modules at Honours level reflect their diverse areas of expertise. Undergraduates have a wide range of culture modules to choose from, ranging from early literature to contemporary film. Studying Italian at St Andrews offers students a varied and challenging experience as well as a thorough introduction to one of Europe’s most vibrant cultures.


Undergraduate - 2019 entry

Italian MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take Italian MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree or a Modern Language degree.

Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Italian MA (Hons)
Gateway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take Italian MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree or a Modern Language degree.



Italian Studies MLitt
Crossways in Cultural Narratives Erasmus Mundus MLitt
Cultural Identity Studies MLitt

Research degree

The School of Modern Languages offers a Master of Studies by Research (MSt (Res)). Find out more about the MSt (Res)


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to enquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 25 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Wednesday 30 October 2019

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

Sign up

Italian research areas

Research in the Department of Italian ranges across linguistics, film, cultural studies and literature, in periods ranging from the Middles Ages to the present.

Research staff:

  • Dr Emma Bond: modern and contemporary Italian and comparative literature, psychoanalytic literary theory, the link between identity and space, body studies, contemporary transnational, migration and border literatures.
  • Professor Derek Duncan: modern Italian literature and film with a particular emphasis on issues of sexuality, gender, and colonial and postcolonial Italy.
  • Dr Rossella Riccobono: 20th-century Italian poetry and Modernism, Italian cinema, gender studies including literary transvestism. Also the dialogue between sciences and humanities in the shaping of the welfare state, and medical humanities. 
  • Dr Claudia Rossignoli: Renaissance literary criticism, in particular the influence of Aristotle, translation, and the codification of linguistic and literary models in this period.
  • Dr Robert Wilson: mediaeval Italian literature, especially Dante; 20th-century and contemporary Italian detective fiction.

Careers for graduates in Italian

Graduates in Italian successfully compete for specialist linguist posts as well as those in other disciplines where high-level language skills can confer a significant advantage.

Italian graduates enter careers such as:

  • translation
  • television subtitling
  • Italian or TEFL teaching
  • European business and administration
  • banking and finance
  • export marketing
  • Civil Service
  • academic research and teaching.

Recent graduates in Italian have found placements at:

  • Ernst and Young
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Aerosystems International
  • Lifeline Language Services
  • the Fiscal Office
  • GCHQ
  • CBI
  • NHS.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills. 

Employable skills

Programmes in Italian at St Andrews promote independent thinking, analytical and critical skills, and intellectual development, whilst also maintaining a close focus on linguistic and academic achievement.

By studying a degree in Italian, you will gain the following skills:

  • read, write, listen to and speak in the Italian language
  • effectively use reference materials
  • develop analytical, critical and specialist skills that can be used in other contexts
  • appreciation and openness towards other cultures
  • deploy skills in ICT, note taking and summarising, library research, mediation, analysis and problem solving.

Funding opportunities

The University of St Andrews offers funding opportunities at every level of study.


There are many potential scholarships and support schemes available to undergraduates.

Undergraduate scholarships


The School of Modern Languages is currently offering the following scholarships for applicants to MLitt language programmes:

  • two Santander scholarships worth £5,000 each, available to those resident in a country within the Santander universities network
  • four Forum for Modern Language Studies scholarships worth £8,500
  • one award of £8,000 plus fees for one year for a student on the Erasmus Mundus Masters Crossways in Cultural Narratives programme.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

Funding opportunities are available for PhD students studying at St Andrews.

Funding for PhD students


University league tables

The School of Modern Languages as a whole was ranked top in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

REF 2014

In the 2014 REF, the School of Modern Languages was ranked first in Scotland on the quality of publications, with over 70% of research work rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.


Department of Italian
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3662

Italian website Italian research portal