Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Italian and Philosophy

UCAS code: RV35

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Italian and Philosophy

One of Europe’s most creative and distinctive civilisations, Italy has a fascinating and influential history. Studying Italian and Philosophy, which has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years, helps us understand the world in which we live now, as well as shedding light on the past.

You do not need to have studied Italian previously to take our programme. Intensive language tuition, and a year spent studying or working in Italy, will teach you how to read, write and speak the language to a high standard, including in translation.

Studying Philosophy, you will explore and analyse how philosophers past and present have understood the world, and the arts of argument, critical enquiry, reasoning, and clarity of expression. These are essential tools in a variety of careers.

From the University’s own Italian Society to the Italian Cultural Institute, you will find many places in Edinburgh to indulge your interest in one of the world’s great cultures, while enjoying the cinemas, theatres, libraries and galleries of one of its favourite festival cities.

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.

Compulsory Year 1 Philosophy courses introduce you to key topics in the history of philosophy, morality and ethics, and the nature of argument.

You can opt to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at the basic assumptions of science, or to choose an option course from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. If you do not take the Philosophy of Science course this year, you must take it in Year 2.

Year 2

You will continue to study the Italian language and Italian literature, history and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. Some of our second year courses are taught in Italian to help prepare you for your Italian experience on the Year Abroad.

You will take two compulsory courses in Philosophy: Mind, Matter and Language; and Knowledge and Reality.

You will also choose one or more option courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts, and/or language analysis.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 in Italy, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Italian culture. Whether studying or working (for example, as a teaching assistant in a school), our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefitted their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of the Italian language and culture.

During your year abroad, we will 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 will complete prescribed work in both Philosophy and Italian, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your final year Italian courses.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written Italian and choose from a range of specialist courses in both Italian and Philosophy. You will also complete your dissertation or long essay.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on 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 structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area in a world-leading festival city.

Twinned with Florence, Edinburgh is bursting with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including 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.

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and neighbouring School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.

Italian has been taught here since 1919, though it has been part of our tradition for many years, as far back as the 18th century. The University also has a strong historic connection to Philosophy, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among its former students.

There’s lots going on in our subject areas, from our annual Italian Play to student-run societies for Italian and Philosophy. Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Italian.

Study abroad

You will spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) in Italy. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Italian culture, and to develop your broader life experience and skills towards life after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted learning.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by 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 (2019/20)

With its long and rich history, including the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any nation, Italy is a cultural and scientific powerhouse of the Mediterranean. It is a founding member of the European Union, a member of numerous international institutions including the UN, NATO, and the Council of Europe, and is an advanced economy with the eighth largest nominal GDP in the world.

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

Our previous graduates have gone into careers as varied as:

  • Publishing
  • Banking
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • IT

Some are working for international aid organisations or within the European Commission, the diplomatic service and the United Nations. Others have entered the travel, tourism, arts, cultural and heritage sectors.

There are also opportunities to continue studying, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you will need 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: 39 points with 666 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: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: a language other than English at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at 5 and 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 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 componens.

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 Philosophy

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities outside the EU may charge you a fee for courses but we will reimburse you for this, provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about the cost implications 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