As an MA (Hons) student of Italian, you will develop language and communication skills to a high level of proficiency. You will also have the opportunity to engage with a number of specialist topics comprising Italian literature, culture, history, politics and film.
Italian is available to both beginners and non-beginners. Both cohorts are introduced to a wide spectrum of cultural and literary genres, from mediaeval texts and poetry to 20th-century Italian novels, films and more.
During your third year, you have the opportunity to study abroad in Italy at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partners. The MA in Italian is also available as a five-year course with an integrated year abroad. The integrated year abroad is an opportunity for students to spend a year working in Italy between second year and third year.
More information for 2020 entry will be available in September 2019. For information on the current year of entry for this course see the 2019 page.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
Standard entry grades: AAAB
Minimum entry grades: AABB
Gateway entry grades: BBBB
Standard entry grades: AAB
Minimum entry grades: ABB
Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
No prior knowledge of Italian is necessary. Modules are not designed for native speakers.
Faculty entry requirements
You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCSE (B or 5) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of Modern Languages has a long-standing reputation for innovative research in an exceptionally broad variety of interests including world literature, linguistics, cinema, history, gender and identity studies.
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.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Modern Languages graduates have an extremely good record of employment after graduating, not only in all sectors that require advanced language skills but also in professional environments that demand good communication and analytical skills.
Employers value Language graduates because they demonstrate excellent communication, interpersonal and intercultural skills.
Many graduates go on to:
specialise in translation and interpreting services, in language teaching or other sector-specific careers
join international institutions and enterprises, working in international development departments, human resources, administration, media and communication jobs
start a career in the banking and financial sector
join the civil service, particularly in positions within the Foreign Office
continue to study at postgraduate level.
Recent Italian graduates have gone to work for companies in the UK and Italy. Some are working as teachers of modern languages in the UK, or are teaching English abroad. Others have taken further training or conversion courses to prepare for careers in translating and interpreting.
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.
Students studying Italian may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Abroad site.
Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Modern Languages, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit. Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in Italy. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of Italian may be interested in joining the following student societies:
At Home and Abroad Society (AHAsoc) promotes study and work abroad programmes along with all forms of international cultural exchange.
Italian Society promotes and shares the languages, arts, literature, theatre, cuisine, history and politics of Italy alongside frequent social events.
The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the Multimedia Centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
“I chose to study Italian, French and Spanish. The option to do a triple degree programme means I can further my language skills and learn more. I really enjoy the small classes and that we have cultural lessons built into the degree.”
Daniella (Moray, Scotland)
Department of Italian School of Modern Languages University of St Andrews Buchanan Building Union Street St Andrews KY16 9PH
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).