Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Italian

Why choose Italian at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Edinburgh has one of the widest ranges of languages and joint honours programmes of any UK university. That creates a uniquely exciting and stimulating environment for language study.

  • In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, modern languages at Edinburgh was rated 4th in the UK and 17th in the world.

  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 70 per cent of our European languages and cultures research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent, in a joint submission with Celtic and Scottish Studies.

  • We offer a rich and diverse learning experience. Our small class sizes, friendly staff and vibrant Italian Society make it easy to get to know tutors and fellow students, creating a supportive learning environment.

Study abroad

As students we're treated as individuals and encouraged to follow our own instincts and preferences. There are many opportunities to broaden your experience as a result of the first two years of study, which allow you to take up new courses.

Niamh Keenan MA (Hons) Italian & English Literature graduate
Niamh Keenan MA (Hons) Italian & English Literature graduate

Established in 1919, Italian at the University of Edinburgh offers you a solid foundation in both the language and the culture of Italy. With more than 300 undergraduates studying Italian, the University hosts the largest population of Italian students in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK.

You will benefit from involvement in the activities of the research clusters run by the department and from our close links with the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh. You will also benefit from our links with the National Library of Scotland, which hosts a large collection of Italian manuscripts and books.

Year 1

You will study the foundations of the Italian language, both written and spoken. You will also take courses on Italian history, literature and cinema.

Year 2

You will develop your mastery of the Italian language, in preparation for the year abroad. The Italian literature, history and culture that you will study spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary Italy.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 abroad, either studying at a university or working in an approved placement.

Year 4

Yeah 4 will combine advanced language courses with a choice of option courses that will give you access to the full range of Italian culture, from Dante to modern cinema and avant-garde literature.

Are there additional costs?

The normal residence requirement for European languages at Edinburgh is 30 weeks in the relevant country or countries.

Some students of Italian may apply for posts as English language assistants in schools, for which a salary is paid. Costs vary according to destinations: capital cities are more expensive than provincial towns.

For EU countries, a number of Erasmus places are available, which include a small grant from European Union funds.

Students studying more than one language must complete a minimum of eight weeks in each country.

Some limited government funding may be available from the University to assist with the cost of studying abroad during the summer vacation.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, located within the University's Central Area.

We are based in a state-of-the-art building, at 50 George Square, which houses computer microlabs, a language resource centre, and social facilities as well as tutors' offices, lecture theatres, and a film projection room.

Study abroad

You will spend Year 3 in Italy.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted learning. You will also complete a research project or dissertation in Italian in Year 4.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework, which may include a Year 4 dissertation.

As a graduate of Italian, your employment prospects will be very good. You will have a remarkable range of career options available to you.

Previous graduates have gone into careers as varied as publishing, banking, journalism, IT and teaching.

Some are working for international aid organisations or within the European Commission, the diplomatic service and the United Nations.

There are also opportunities to continue studying in the UK, Italy or the US.