Postgraduate study

Italian PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Italian

A PhD in Italian studies at the University of Edinburgh is a unique opportunity to expand on your interests and expertise, and to make an original contribution to the study of Italian culture as part of a vibrant, research-active community.

Offered at Edinburgh since the late 16th century, Italian was formally added to the University’s curriculum in 1919. Since then, it has developed into a broad area of study.

Join our community and undertake a specialised research project under the guidance of experienced and well-published supervisors.

Our expertise covers most areas of Italian cultural studies from the Middle Ages to the present, including:

  • literary history and theory
  • comparative studies
  • translation
  • film studies
  • philology
  • philosophy

Working with colleagues elsewhere in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, and across the wider University, we are able to support PhD theses crossing boundaries between disciplines and/or languages.

Over the course of your PhD, you’ll be expected to complete an original body of work under the expert guidance of your supervisors, leading to a dissertation of between 80,000 and 100,000 words.

You will be awarded your Doctorate if your thesis is judged to be of an appropriate standard, and your research makes a definite contribution to knowledge.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you’ll find a range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills.

You will also have access to the University’s rich libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Part of a community

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work.

Activities range from regular seminar series in European Languages and Cultures (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers), to networking and editorial opportunities associated with our Edinburgh Gadda Projects.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

The historic capital city of Edinburgh contains exceptional resources for study and research in Italian.

Based in the Main University Library, the Centre for Research Collections is unique in the UK, bringing together a collection of more than 400,000 rare books, six kilometres of archives and manuscripts, and the University’s collections of art, historical musical instruments and other objects. Many of our Special Collections are digitised and available online.

From the Italian Cultural Institute to the National Library of Scotland, both of which are within a short walk of our buildings, you’ll find many places to enrich your cultural and academic interest in one of the world’s great civilisations, while enjoying the cinemas, theatres, libraries and galleries of one of its favourite festival cities.

There are fantastic medieval, Renaissance and modern collections in the National Galleries of Scotland, and most of the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Old Town retaining many of its medieval buildings and streets.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree and a masters degree, or their international equivalents, in a related subject. We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

There are a number of scholarship schemes available to eligible candidates on this PhD programme, including awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Please be advised that many scholarships have more than one application stage, and early deadlines.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start dates Application deadlines
10 January 2022 31 October 2021
12 September 2022 31 July 2022
9 January 2023 31 October 2022

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

Pre-application guidance

Before you formally apply for this PhD, you should look at the pre-application information and guidance on the programme website.*

This will help you decide if this programme is right for you, and help us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

The guidance will also give you practical advice for writing your research proposal – one of the most important parts of your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH