Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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 diverse civilisations, Italy has a fascinating and influential history. Studying Italian and Philosophy, which has been at the core of Western intellectual life for 2,500 years, helps you to understand the contemporary world, while shedding light on the past.

Italian

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.

Philosophy

By studying Philosophy, you will learn about the use of:

  • argument
  • critical enquiry
  • reasoning
  • clarity of expression

These are essential tools in a variety of careers.

You will cover the basics of Western philosophy, and explore the different approaches that philosophers have taken. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in the areas that interest you most.

Why Edinburgh

We have a strong, historic connection with Philosophy at Edinburgh. We count Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among our former students.

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.

Year 1

Italian

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

You will also take courses on Italian:

  • history
  • literature
  • cinema

Philosophy

Compulsory Year 1 philosophy courses introduce you to key topics including:

  • history of philosophy
  • morality and ethics
  • the nature of argument

You can also choose to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at the basic assumptions of science. If you do not take this course in Year 1, you must take it in Year 2.

Option courses

You can 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.

Philosophy

You will take two compulsory courses in philosophy:

  • Mind, Matter and Language
  • Knowledge and Reality

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 and/or language analysis.

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 Philosophy 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 Philosophy. 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

Events and activities

You can join student societies for both Italian and Philosophy, and contribute creative writing in Italian to the online magazine, Babble. We also stage an annual Italian play.

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

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 (2021/22)

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 Italian and Philosophy to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

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

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: 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 (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 Philosophy

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