Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Italian and English Literature

UCAS code: RQH3

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Italian and English Literature

Through the learning of the Italian language in its cultural context, and by enhancing your unique literary skills, this joint programme prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important.

Italian

As one of Europe's most creative and diverse civilisations, Italy has a fascinating and influential history. Study Italian with us, and you will learn the language in the context of Italian culture. Courses cover some of the most famous and influential works of literature, art and cinema.

No previous knowledge of Italian is needed. Intensive language tuition, including through a year spent studying or working in Italy, will develop your ability to read, write and speak the language to a high standard, including in translation.

English Literature

Studying English Literature will further develop your critical, analytic, linguistic and creative skills. Engaging with a broad range of texts and a variety of approaches to reading, you will acquire an understanding of the cultural contexts of writing in English from the late middle-ages to the present.

Why Edinburgh

Italian has been taught here since 1919, and has been part of our tradition for many years, as far back as the 18th century.

We are unique in Scotland in offering students a full academic year abroad within the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working.

Edinburgh is also the first UNESCO World City of Literature, a fantastic literary city which many greats of English and Scottish literature have called home.

One of the most attractive characteristics of this programme is its flexibility.

In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of Italian and English Literature. This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4.

Year 1

Italian

You will study the foundations of the Italian language, both written and spoken.

You will also take courses in Italian:

  • history
  • literature
  • cinema

English Literature

You will take two Literary Studies courses. These will introduce you to the essential skills needed for the critical close reading of the core literary genres of:

  • poetry
  • drama
  • prose

You will read works of literature written in English from around the world, and encounter a range of ideas about the nature and purpose of literary study.

Option courses

You will choose from a wide range of option courses.

Year 2

Italian

You will continue to study the Italian language.

You will also explore Italian literature, history and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. Some of our Year 2 courses are taught in Italian to help prepare you for your Italian experience on the year abroad.

English Literature

You will be introduced to the study of English literature in its cultural and historical contexts, focusing on a selection of major periods.

These courses will explore the relationship between literary texts and the construction of national, international and imperial cultures.

Option courses

As in Year 1, you will choose from a range of option courses.

These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 in Italy, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Italian culture.

You will either study or do a work placement, such as working as a teaching assistant in a school.

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of Italian language and culture.

During your year abroad, we'll aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

You'll complete prescribed work in both English Literature and Italian. For example, for Italian you will take an e-learning language course, which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language courses.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered an alternative means of engaging with your subjects, enabling you to meet your learning outcomes and preparing you for your final year.

Year 4

You will combine advanced language courses with your choice of specialist option courses in Italian and English Literature. For Italian, these typically cover a range of topics and periods, from Dante to modern cinema and avant-garde literature.

Dissertation

You will also complete your dissertation or long essay.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

Italian

It's easy to get to know teaching staff, researchers and other students due to our:

  • small class sizes
  • vibrant Italian Society
  • great links with the Italian Cultural Institute

Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Italian. We also stage an annual Italian play.

English Literature

With multiple student societies for literature and drama enthusiasts, our large English Literature community has lots to offer, including:

  • reading and writers' groups
  • poetry slams
  • creative writing magazines
  • guest seminars
  • a thriving Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (LitPALS)
  • a fantastic Writer-in-Residence

Annual student writing prizes include awards for prose and verse.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city. Twinned with Florence, it is filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include a significant collection of Italian manuscripts and books in the National Library of Scotland, and many notable Italian works in the National Galleries of Scotland.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) in Italy.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Italian culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • computer-assisted learning

You will be also required to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for English Literature classes.

How will I be assessed?

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

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

Italian

With its long and rich history, including the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any nation, Italy is a cultural and scientific powerhouse. It is also an advanced economy, with the eighth largest nominal GDP in the world.

It is a founding member of the European Union, as well as a member of numerous international institutions including the UN, NATO, and the Council of Europe.

Studying the Italian language to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers, both in Italy and elsewhere.

Previous graduates have gone into careers in a variety of sectors, including:

  • publishing
  • banking
  • journalism
  • teaching
  • IT

Some of our graduates are working for international aid organisations.

Others have joined the:

  • United Nations
  • European Commission
  • diplomatic service

English Literature

We have great links with the Careers Service. Throughout your time with us, we will encourage you to identify and hone your skills, including through initiatives such as Life After Lit, which allow you to draw inspiration from our graduates.

Further study

There are opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

There are many graduate-level programmes available, particularly in the UK, US and of course Italy itself.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB-ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA-AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: English at B. National 5s: a language other than English at B.
  • A Levels: English Literature or combined English at B. GCSEs: a language other than English at B or 6.
  • IB: HL: English at 5. SL: a language other than English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree 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.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Italian and English Literature

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this, as long as the course has been approved. You will be informed about costs as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding