Italy is a cornerstone in culture, art and history across Europe, you cannot help but be inspired to learn the language. By learning Italian, you give yourself a tool to explore this cultural richness and to open your eyes to its Roman heritage, the Renaissance, modern architecture, fashion and car design. It is spoken not only in its home country, but also by over 15 million people in Switzerland, North America and Australia.
Italian was one of the first language departments created at Kent and we are proud to offer a course of study which gives you the opportunity to learn Italian to a high standard and gain real insight into Italian culture, literature and society. The course covers topics such as the history of Italian literature, 19th and 20th-century Italian fiction, Fascism, neorealist and post-neorealist cinema, and women writers. You can study Italian at Kent whether you have an A level or GCSE in Italian, or as a beginner.
Kent is an ideal location to study Italian. The majority of the Italian teaching staff are native speakers and we regularly host Italian exchange students, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language. This is supplemented by excellent technical facilities, including audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.
During your Year Abroad, you have the opportunity to study or work in Italy. This is a fantastic way to improve your language skills and gain an in-depth understanding of Italian culture.
Italian at Kent was ranked 7th in The Times Good University Guide 2019. In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 91% of final-year Modern Languages and Linguistics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
In the National Student Survey 2018, over 88% of final-year students in Italian who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
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IT312 - An Introduction to Italian Cinema: Neorealism and Its Legacy
In the decade between 1943-1952, Italian cinema produced a series of films that departed dramatically from the traditions of mainstream cinema (both that of Hollywood and that produced under Fascism). These 'Neorealist' films were enormously influential around the world and had a lasting impact on film technique and style. This course will introduce students to the study of Italian cinema through an exploration of Neorealism – arguably the most significant 'movement' in Italian film history – and the work of several of the major Italian filmmakers involved in the movement (e.g. Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti).
In particular the course will consider:
- How to analyse a film, in terms of narrative, technique and style..
- The ways in which Neorealism constituted an alternative mode of practice to that of mainstream cinema (e.g. Hollywood) and the ways in which it rejected the tenets of the cinema of the Fascist era.
- The notion of realism in the cinema, in particular through the work of theorists such as André Bazin and Cesare Zavattini, and the ways in which this concept can be applied to the films studied.
- The social and political upheavals of wartime and post-war Italy and how these were reflected and negotiated in film.
- How and why Neorealism ended in the early 1950s and the ways in which its legacy is reflected in later Italian films.Read more
IT315 - An Introduction to Italian Modernity
This module aims to introduce students to Italian literature and culture from the Unification to the late 20th century. It will explore the principal historical events of this period (e.g. the Risorgimento, Fascism, the Second World War and the birth of the new Republic, the 'economic miracle', the ‘years of lead’ and the Berlusconi era) and examine how these periods have been interpreted by a number of key literary authors, artists and intellectuals such as Di Lampedusa, Vittorini and Pasolini. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between Italian literature and social and political history.Read more
IT301 - Italian Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive)
This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.Read more
IT308 - Italian Lower Intermediate B1
This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.Read more
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IT578 - Musica Maestro! Music and Society in Modern Italy
This module introduces students to key concepts in the analysis of musical products such as opera, traditional songs, pop and counter-culture songs. It also introduces students to the use of music in literature and film in Italy from mid-nineteenth century to the present. It does so by considering a selection of relevant cultural products from a variety of sources, such as nineteenth-century opera (e.g. Giuseppe Verdi; Giacomo Puccini), literature on music (e.g. Anna Banti's Lavinia Fuggita; Alessandro Baricco’s Novecento), 1960s 'cantautori’, Italian progressive rock bands and political impegno (e.g. Fabrizio De Andrè, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Area), soundtrack composers (e.g. Ennio Morricone), and contemporary singers (e.g. Simone Cristicchi, Caparezza, etc.). The module uses musical products as a point of access to understand Italian culture and history and analyses how these mirror, criticise and try to change Italian social, cultural and political beliefs. Special attention will be given to the textual and literary aspect of musical products, focusing on close readings of lyrics.Read more
IT552 - Italian Short Story
This module focuses on a number of Italian contemporary short stories. More specifically, this module discusses the literary treatment of love, and the love story, in the short stories of some of the most important Italian writers of the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century. Works by worldwide renowned authors such as Italo Calvino, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese, and Leonardo Sciascia, accomplished "postmodernist" writers belonging to a younger generation such as Antonio Tabucchi and Pier Vittorio Tondelli, as well as less celebrated authors such as Gianni Celati and Fabrizia Ramondino, will be taken into consideration. While not underestimating the profound economic, social and political changes that Italy underwent during the last sixty years, particular emphasis will be given to the similar way in which all these writers seem to fictionally conceive of the love relationship as a missed encounter. In spite of the manifold forms of love being described in these texts (between husband and wife; wife and lover; young boy and ideal father; sister and brother; mother and daughter; two young men, etc.), all the short stories chronologically analysed in this module seem to rely on Calvino's provoking suggestion according to which the missed encounter is the "fundamental element" of love relationships.Read more
IT556 - Catching the Tide: Cultural Renewal in 20th Century Italy
Despite her incomparable heritage, Italy experienced for many centuries a sense of cultural provincialism, with the world's intellectual curiosity switching to Paris, London, New York, and other centres of innovation. This module focuses on the clear connections between rapid socio-economic and socio-political change and the thrust for cultural modernity that made 20th century Italy once more a key contributor to the literary and visual arts in Europe and beyond. A wide variety of Italian 'texts’ of the first half of the 20th century will be taken into consideration, including novels, plays, short stories and films.Read more
IT508 - Italian Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive)
This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Italian course such as IT301, and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).
IT508 is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to the B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Italian, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Italy as a foreign country. IT508 is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.Read more
IT563 - Italian Upper Intermediate B2
This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in ITAL3080, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Italian through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Italian.Read more
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All Italian BA students are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.
The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.
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LA514 - Year Abroad Module
Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work abroad (either as British Council language teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).Read more
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IT506 - Italian Advanced C1
The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending Italian. It concentrates on translation into Italian and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken Italian. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.
Students engage in the following activities throughout the year:
• translation from Italian into English, using a range of registers and topics
• translation from English into Italian, using journalistic and literary texts
• study grammatical and lexical subtleties of the Italian language
• group discussion on specific topics
• preparation for oral examination in small groups
• written composition in Italian.Read more
IT564 - Istantanea: Photography and Visual Culture in Modern and Contemporary I
This module aims at developing students' visual literacy within the context of Italian studies, by teaching the skills necessary for the reading of static visual materials, especially photography. Contextually, it aims at developing and enhancing the critical response of students to such imagery, with particular focus on their social, cultural and political context.
Photography worldwide has been at the centre of daily life, artistic production and political propaganda for the last century and a half. This holds all the more true for Italy, whose contemporary history as a unified country begins almost at the same time as the popularisation of photography. This module will explore this relationship on a socio-historical basis: It will analyse, among other topics, the portrayal of the Risorgimento; Lombroso's criminological and anthropometric use of photography; pseudo-anthropological photography in colonialist exploits, racism and eugenics; Fascist propaganda; futurism and modernism; neo-realist documentary photography and its influence on photojournalism of the 1960s-70s; the paparazzi, fashion and advertisement; photography and the contemporary visual arts; digital photography and social networks. By means of a close reading of photographic and other visual materials, the students will gain a profound understanding of the practices—ideological, political, commercial, aesthetic, and social—that produce such materials within the modern Italian cultural context.Read more
IT577 - Italian Regional Cinema
This course complicates the notion that there is a unifying concept of an Italian national cinema. Specifically, it will examine particular instances of filmic production operating outside of the national and cinematic capital of Rome, examining both the factors determining and constraining the emergence of such filmmaking practices, and the ways in which the films they produce may differ from those produced in the capital and associated with an Italian national cinema.
To achieve this, the module will focus on a number of case studies, such as:
• The cinema of Naples, analysed in relation to the question of Neapolitan identity and cultural difference.
• The cinema of Turin, as a product of deliberate regional funding and cultural heritage strategies.
• The cinema of Sicily, seen in relation to the problematising of cultural stereotypes.
• How certain 'national' film productions have dealt with the problematic notion of Italian national/regional identity.Read more
SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom
This module is aimed at those students who would like to follow a career as Primary or Secondary School teachers, but is also suitable to those who would like to combine an academic course with work experience. Placements in a school environment will enhance the students' employment opportunities as they will acquire a range of skills. It will also provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Languages in the primary or secondary school context. The university sessions and weekly school work will complement each other. At the university sessions students will benefit from the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance.
Students will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school where each student will have a designated teacher-mentor who will guide their work in school. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Initially, for these sessions students will concentrate on specific aspects of the teachers' tasks, and their approach to teaching a whole class. As they progress, it is expected that their role will be to some extent as teaching assistants, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may teach brief or whole sessions with the whole class or with a small group of students where they explain a topic related to the school syllabus. They may also talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school.Read more
IT548 - Italian Cinema and Literature
This module discusses contemporary adaptations from different Italian textual sources (e.g. children's tales, novels, non-fiction) under the following main aspects:
- As "parallel" works which supplement the original literary texts. Films expand, update and adjust the themes of the original literary texts to the historical, social and cultural context in which the adaptations are made;
- As works of literary criticism. The way the narrative of a film adaptation is structured and the way a film chooses to selectively focus on some particular episodes and themes is evidence of how the film director critically analyses the literary text and "re-writes" it in the form of a screenplay and in the editing of the material filmed;
- As an altogether "new" product that structurally differs from the original literary source. Cinema's language relies on signifying images or visual signs that are irreducible to those of written and spoken languages;
Finally, we will analyse the impact that filmmaking had on the art of writing, assessing the extent to which contemporary novels are often already written with the big screen in mind.
We will focus on emblematic contemporary adaptations such as Collodi's Pinocchio, adapted, among others, by Roberto Benigni, Baricco's Novecento, adapted by Tornatore (La leggenda del pianist sull'oceano), Ammaniti's Io non ho paura, adapted by Gabriele Salvatores, and Saviano's Gomorra, adapted by Matteo Garrone for the big screen and by Stefano Sollima for the television.Read more
IT503 - Italian Dissertation
This module may only be taken provided that other Italian non-language units are being followed throughout the final year. The subject of the Essay will be agreed between the student and a supervisor appointed by the Section; it will normally arise from work done either in other Stage 2 and 3 Italian non-language modules or during the year abroad, but other topics are not necessarily excluded. It will be based on the student's own research under the guidance of a supervisor.Read more
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is by lectures and seminars. We have extensive technical facilities, including audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.
Depending on the modules you select, assessment throughout all stages of the course varies from 100% coursework, to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 50:50, 60:40, 70:30 or 80:20.
The programme aims to:
- provide a solid grounding in the Italian language in its use as a spoken and written medium
- develop students' critical awareness of Italian society since unification (ie since 1861)
- immerse students in Italian culture by enabling them to spend up to one year in Italy; in most cases as an Erasmus/Socrates exchange student, or as a language assistant in an Italian school, or working in one of the companies with whom we have links
- facilitate awareness of Italian literature, particularly 20th century literature
- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship, that requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
- train students in the field of translation from and into Italian. Particular stress is placed on familiarity with different linguistic registers and, with translation into English, students can expect to reach high levels of competence
- relate the study of Italian to disciplines such as politics, history, sociology, cinema and art theory through the study of appropriate texts and audiovisual material
- provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding
- contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a variety of entry routes
- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector
- develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be used in a wide range of situations.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- Italian language (reading, writing, listening and speaking) including advanced skills in writing and speaking in Italian, involving the grammatical, discoursal and pragmatic conventions that govern language use and the societal factors which make language use effective; productive and receptive language skills in translation and interpreting, and familiarity with a wide range of source materials in Italian
- Italian society from early modern to the present day, including the ability to develop awareness of the similarities and dissimilarities between Italian society and culture and your own
- Italian history, including an ability to appreciate the unique aspects of Italian culture in their historical perspective at both a regional and global level
- Italian cinema and visual culture, with particular reference to the multidisciplinary nature of this area
- Italian literature, particularly 20th century, including the literary contribution it has made at a regional and global level
- gender studies with particular reference to the scope for cross-disciplinary endeavour.
You develop intellectual skills in the following areas:
- general academic study skills
- the ability to critically evaluate information
- how to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to develop and maximise communication skills for the expression and transfer of knowledge
- how to analyse and interpret a range of evidence in a critical manner
- the ability to study and reach conclusions independently
- how to formulate original opinions in a self-critical manner on the basis of sound factual knowledge and from a balanced perspective.
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- communicate effectively in Italian, both orally and in writing
- demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of Italian
- translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
- critically analyse a variety of texts and images (journalistic, artistic, historical and literary)
- appreciate cultural diversity.
- develop and enhance reading skills in Italian
- develop skills in three related areas – reception (listening, observing and reading); production (speaking and writing) and mediation (translation and interpreting).
You gain transferable skills in how to:
- communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of information sources and methods
- identify problems and explore alternative solutions
- conduct library and bibliographical research
- use Italian language source materials
- take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
- manage time and prioritise workloads; think and perform under pressure
- demonstrate capacity for teamwork and the ability to work creatively and flexibly in a group environment
- demonstrate leadership abilities
- use a range of information technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, use of CD-ROMs, using email, searching databases and text files, navigating the internet.
Recent graduates have gone into teaching, translating and interpreting, marketing, journalism and publishing. Many of our graduates spend time working abroad.
The ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as more employable.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
Grade B or 6 in a second language
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 15 at HL, including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language.
The University welcomes applications from international students programmes. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Fees for Year in Industry
For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.