Modern Languages

Italian - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

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.

Independent rankings

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.

 

Course structure

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 'elective' modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

IT301 - Italian Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT308 - Italian Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

IT508 - Italian Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT563 - Italian Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SCL505 - Cultures of Sustainability (15 credits)

What is sustainability? It has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from 'Our Common Future', also known as the Brundtland Report (1987) which refers to 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' While the concept of sustainability has its roots in the natural sciences, it is becoming evident that theories and practices of sustainability are of relevance in social and cultural studies as much as biophysical relationships.



The module begins with an examination of the wide-ranging definitions of sustainability and of the contribution to the discourse from Humanities subjects. We proceed to analyse a range of case studies representing the four disciplines of Modern Languages in SECL at Kent: French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies. The case studies highlight cultural practices ranging across time periods and geographies in which sustainable processes are key. They may include the cultural history of sustainability or 'Nachhaltigkeit' in the German context; the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the debate in psychoanalysis on the themes of exploitation/sustainability and competition/cooperation in relation to ecological practices and the environment; the works of Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau and the challenges to French/Eurocentric concepts of sustainability; and the culture and practice of urban organic farming – organopónicos – that arose out of the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s and which have circular economics, cultural development and educational practices at their core.



The module concludes with a consideration of how the case studies illustrate theories and practices of sustainability, and how in turn they may be considered catalysts for further engagement in questions of sustainability

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT552 - Italian Short Story (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT556 - Catching the Tide: Cultural Renewal in 20th Century Italy (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT578 - Musica Maestro! Music and Society in Modern Italy (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

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.

Possible modules may include:

LA514 - Modern Languages Year Abroad Module (120 credits)

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work abroad (either as British Council language teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

IT506 - Italian Advanced C1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT548 - Italian Cinema and Literature (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT503 - Italian Dissertation (30 credits)

This module is intended to introduce undergraduate students to research. As such, it provides an opportunity to work on a topic of their own choosing relating to Italian language, culture or literature. Originality and feasibility are important aspects of writing dissertations and topics will be scrutinised and approved by Italian staff before research can begin. Students can expect guidance from the module convenor and an academic supervisor throughout the process, varying from one-to-one tutorials to classes on how to edit your own prose. There will also be a meeting regarding the Dissertation at the end of the Spring term of the previous year to clarify arrangements and to outline what work is required on this module.

The programme document with regulations is sent to all students at the end of the Spring term of Stage 2. Students are invited to suggest titles for comment, for which tutors are allocated. They are advised to do preliminary reading over the summer based on generic advice of the module convenor. They then choose precise topics in consultation with the convenor and personal tutors at the start of the Autumn term.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT564 - Istantanea: Photography and Visual Culture in Modern and Contemporary I (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT577 - Italian Regional Cinema (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom (30 credits)

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 consider a career in HE language teaching by providing them with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Languages in the primary and secondary school context as well as in HE.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & 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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a sound grounding in the Italian language in all its aspects, through extensive reading in Italian and through the use of Italian as a spoken and written medium.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the broad canon of Italian cultures since unification, i.e. since 1861.
  • Develop specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the broad canon of Italian Studies.
  • Train students in the field of translation from and into Italian.
  • Provide a gateway to related thematic studies comprising various bodies of knowledge and methodological approaches.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
  • 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 applied in a wide range of situations.
  • Facilitate students' ability to cope independently in Italian.
  • Build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere (notably in Italian-speaking countries and regions), reflecting Kent's position as the UK's European University.
  • Aims in relation to the learning and teaching strategy:
  • produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
  • prepare students for employment or further study.
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in Italy. They may attend one of the partner universities in Italy, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
  • Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts.

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding

    You gain knowledge and understanding of:

    • Italian Language
    • Italian and Italian Literature and cultures since unification
    • Italian and Italian History
    • Italian and Italian Critical Theory
    • Italian and Italian Cultural Theory
    • Italian and Italian civilisation and contemporary society, through first-hand experience

    Intellectual skills

    You develop intellectual skills in the following areas:

    • Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
    • Evaluate information critically
    • Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
    • Utilise communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
    • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
    • Study and reach conclusions independently
    • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument 
    • Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a Italian-speaking country

    Subject-specific skills

    You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

    • Communicate effectively in Italian for a range of purposes and audiences
    • Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting) 
    • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of Italian
    • Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
    • Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary 
    • Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity 
    • Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
    • Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with Italian-speaking communities

    Transferable skills

    You gain transferable skills in:

    • Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
    • Evaluate one's own academic performance 
    • Problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
    • Accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
    • Library and bibliographical research skills
    • Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
    • Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure
    • Capacity for teamwork 
    • Leadership abilities
    • Work creatively and flexibly
    • Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
    • Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a Italian-speaking country

    KIS Course data

    UNISTATS / KIS

    Key Information Sets

    The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

    Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

    If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

    Entry requirements

    Home/EU students

    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
    A level

    BBB

    GCSE

    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.

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 at HL, including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language.

    International students

    The University welcomes applications from international students. 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.

    Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
    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.

    Careers

    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.

    Funding

    University funding

    Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

    Government funding

    You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

    Scholarships

    General scholarships

    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.

    Enquire or order a prospectus

    Resources


    Read our student profiles


    Contacts

    Related schools

    Enquiries

    T: +44 (0)1227 768896

    Open days

    Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

    Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

     

    The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

    *Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department for Education or Research Council UK) permitted increases are normally inflationary and the University therefore reserves the right to increase tuition fees by inflation (RPI excluding mortgage interest payments) as permitted by law or Government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. If we intend to exercise this right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

    If, in the future, the increases to regulated fees permitted by law or government policy exceed the rate of inflation, we reserve the right to increase fees to the maximum permitted level. If we intend to exercise this extended right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

     

     

     

     

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    Last Updated: 02/06/2014