Italian MA (Hons) 2020 entry

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 groups are introduced to a wide spectrum of cultural and literary genres, from medieval texts and poetry to 21st-century Italian novels, films and more.

Language is taught at all levels in small groups, allowing teaching staff to pay close attention to your progress. The Department’s innovative and distinctive teaching approach includes mixed skills and integrated classes, extensive use of contemporary audio-visual materials, and regular structured contact with native speakers. Students of Italian gain comprehensive transferable skills relevant to a wide range of careers. At Honours levels, you are also introduced to professional skills such as translation and interpreting.

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. 

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UCAS code

R310

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 June 2024

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Italian MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

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.

International applicants

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.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of Italian is necessary. Modules are not designed for native speakers.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

Other qualifications

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.

Timetables

St Andrews students must 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.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in Italian is a four-year course run by the School of Modern Languages. The course is available to both students who are beginners in Italian and to more advanced students who have studied Italian to A-Level or SQA Higher.

In the first two years, you will learn and refine your understanding of Italian grammar and language through reading, writing, listening and speaking. Those with prior knowledge in Italian will further develop their language and writing skills, and both groups will be introduced to different aspects of Italian literature, culture and history.

Alongside Italian, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partner institutions in Italy (Padua, Turin, Venice or Verona). In this case, study undertaken in Italy replaces equivalent study in St Andrews. Studying abroad is optional.

If you choose to stay in the UK for both your third and fourth years, you will take language modules focused on communication skills, and can choose from a range of specialist cultural modules. Areas of study include:

  • Italian cinema
  • Italian cultural studies
  • Italian history
  • Italian literature.

Graduates in Modern Languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only an advanced level of competency in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills, will prepare you for a career in almost any industry.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in Italy. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Italian at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Italian along with modules in at least one additional subject.

Typically, you will take one to two Italian modules per semester during your first two years, and at least two modules per semester during your third and fourth years (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Two different types of modules are offered in first year: introductory Italian modules for beginners in Italian, and more advanced language and literature courses for those with more experience in Italian.

Students who are beginners in Italian are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • Introduction to Italian Language: concentrates on grammar and usage through reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Italian Language (Elementary): builds on the Introduction to Italian Language module by increasing the student’s knowledge of, and ability to use, Italian.

Students who have an SQA Higher or a GCE A-level in Italian are required to take the following compulsory modules in first year:

  • Italian Language Intermediate 1 and 2: the core language module each semester provides a thorough and structured revision of grammar and a consolidation of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through formal grammar classes and practical oral language classes.
  • Italian Geographies: aims to give students some sense of the complexity of modern Italy through the study of particular cultural phenomena which have played an important role in national identity formation. 
  • Italian Histories: give students a sense of the complexity of Italy's past through the study of literary texts from different historical periods considered in their different contexts.

Second year modules are the same for all students regardless of any prior knowledge of Italian. Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Second Level Italian: develops the language skills acquired in first year Italian modules and enables students to achieve an intermediate level in reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. Students are introduced to a selection of Italian texts from a range of time periods (for example, Italian plays from the 16th to 20th centuries).
  • Second Level Italian (Advanced): offers an intermediate language course for students who have passed the first semester module. It is designed to further consolidate students’ knowledge of Italian grammar and vocabulary, refine language skills and develop communication skills. Students will study a selection of central Italian texts from a range of time periods (for example, Dante and Primo Levi).

If you take Italian in your third and fourth years, in addition to the compulsory language modules you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning. Modules at Honours level include (but are not limited to):

  • Authority and Subversion in the Renaissance Italy
  • Black Italians
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Fascism and Film
  • Foreign Bodies: Migration and Contemporary Italian Culture.
  • Italian Detective Fiction.

In fourth year, you have the option of undertaking a dissertation of up to either 5,000 words or 10,000 words in length, written in English, on a topic of yourchoice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue

Teaching

Teaching format

All Modern Language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical language classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors to practice language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Sub-honours Italian modules are delivered through lectures (up to 100 students in first year, up to 40 in second year), language tutorials and practical classes (typically in groups of 12 to 15 students).

At Honours level, you will attend language tutorials and practical classes in groups of 8 to 10 students and seminars of 10 to 15 students.

When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical language classes you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • developing language skills
  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a team of internationally recognised, skilled and research-active academics, with specialised language teachers. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all staff in the Department of Italian on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of Italian, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

A variety of methods of assessment to test language skills and cultural analysis are used by the Department. These methods include

  • formal examinations
  • oral presentations
  • writing projects
  • assessed coursework.

Examinations are held at the end of the second semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance. The Department aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Visit St Andrews

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

Undergraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2020 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2020 entry.
Overseas £23,910

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Erasmus+ Mobility Grant

Erasmus+ students may be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant provided by the European Commission which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying or working abroad for credit.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

In taking a joint degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Modern language degrees

It is possible to combine a degree in Italian with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, French, German, Persian, Russian, and Spanish is possible.

You can also take Italian as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

 

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

 

And one other subject:

 

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

 

And one other subject:

 

If you are taking:

  • Italian

You can also take one modern language:

 

And one other subject:

 

In taking a 'triple' modern languages degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Your future

Careers

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 specialist 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.

Study abroad

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.

Working abroad

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.

Student life

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 University buildings are located throughout the 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 makes it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3662 
Email: italianhod@st-andrews.ac.uk     

Department of Italian website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

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).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).