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					The University of Edinburgh
College of Humanities and Social Science


What is Italian?                                           Language teaching is in small groups with
                                                           native speakers. Though the learning curve is
                                                                                                                              “I thoroughly enjoyed studying
Studying Italian at university level offers you the
                                                           steep, the sensation of making real progress in                    Italian at Edinburgh University.
chance to become familiar with the language,
culture and history of one of Europe’s most                the language is very rewarding.                                    I was originally attracted to the
creative and distinctive civilisations. Throughout                                                                            course because of its flexibility,
                                                           In addition to linguistic training, students also
its long history, impressive cultural continuity
                                                           follow ‘content’ courses in history, literature and
                                                                                                                              particularly in the first two years.
has sat alongside spectacular political and
social upheaval, affording today’s students a              culture, designed not only to acquaint students                    The great aspect of a language
unique glimpse into the dynamics of a society              with aspects of Italian civilisation, but also to                  degree is the year abroad. I spent
                                                           develop critical and technical skills in general.
very different from their own.                                                                                                my third year studying at Bologna
                                                           In the second year, students continue to refine                    University. Small tutorial groups
Why study Italian at                                       their language skills, whilst branching out into                   in fourth year at Edinburgh mean
                                                           more ambitious academic study of aspects of
Edinburgh?                                                 Italian literature and culture.
                                                                                                                              both staff and students benefit, as
Italian has been taught here officially since                                                                                 classes are fairly informal, fun and
1919. There has always been a strong                       If specialising in Italian, students normally                      friendly.”
tradition, in Edinburgh, of the subject being              spend the third year attending university
delivered by a creative mix of native Italians                                                                                Julia Brown,
                                                           in Italy. Please see ‘Study Abroad’ section                        Recent Graduate in Italian
and UK specialists, so as to provide a multiple            overleaf.
perspective, as well as a genuine feel for the
language. All six full-time members of staff are           Students then return in fourth year to pursue                      What can I study Italian
Italian. Library facilities, built up over many            option courses, which include: Cities in Postwar
years, are excellent, and are augmented by                 Italian Literature; Cleaning up the Mess:                          with?
substantial collections in the Italian Cultural            Gadda, Cultural Identity and Geographical                          The range of joint degrees with Italian is
Institute (3 minutes walk) and the National                Displacement in Postwar Narrative; Hypernovel                      outlined in the table below. In joint Modern
Library of Scotland (10 minutes walk). More                from Boccaccio to Manganelli; Italo Calvino:                       European Language degrees, both languages
students graduate in Italian from Edinburgh                Four Decades of Renewal; Narrative Models:                         are given equal weighting. If you are taking
than from any other Scottish university, and               Manzoni and Verga; Italo Svevo: Fiction from                       European Union Studies with one or two
this critical mass, coupled with the presence              the Deep; Baroque: an Italian Introduction to                      languages, fewer of the literature options
of many students from Italy, postgraduates                 the Universe.                                                      are studied in final year. In the case of
and exchange students, means that there is                 [Please note: not all options are offered in any                   joint degrees with Italian and History of Art,
a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere which                 one year; options will only be taught if there is                  History, Linguistics, or Politics, you will devote
generates real enthusiasm.                                 sufficient uptake; and also there is a limit on the                approximately two-thirds of your time to Italian
                                                           total number of students per option.]                              and one third on the other subject area.

What does the programme                                    Students following certain curricula, e.g. the                     One of the attractive characteristics of the MA
actually involve?                                          joint degree in Modern European Languages,                         degree at Edinburgh is its flexibility. It may be
                                                                                                                              possible (depending on subjects chosen) to
Italian can be studied here either after obtaining         write a dissertation based on personal research
                                                           during their final year.                                           change curriculum after one or two years. You
a recognised university entrance qualification
                                                                                                                              might begin by taking courses in Italian and
in the subject, or as a beginner’s course (a
                                                                                                                              Spanish with Politics as an outside interest,
majority of our students, and some of our best
                                                                                                                              and then decide after first year to specialise in
graduates, are beginners). In either case, the
                                                                                                                              Politics rather than languages or vice versa.
first year lays a heavy emphasis on practical
                                                                                                                              The final choice of which subjects to study in
language acquisition, both for reading and
                                                                                                                              fourth year is usually made at the end of the
writing, and for speaking.
                                                                                                                              second year.

   Degrees in Humanities and Social Science
   MA Honours in:                                                Italian and Philosophy
   Italian                                                       Italian and Politics
   Italian and Business Studies                                  Italian and Social Policy
   Italian and Classics                                          International Business with a Language
   Italian and English Language                                  Modern European Languages*
   Italian and English Literature                                Modern European Languages and
   Italian and History                                               European Union Studies*
   Italian and History of Art
   Italian and Linguistics

      * Any two of: French, German, Italian, Russian Studies, Scandinavian Studies (Danish, Norwegian,
      Swedish) or Spanish. (Please see separate information sheet on Modern European Languages.)

                                     The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336

What sort of teaching and                                  Are there any opportunities                                What can I do after my
assessment methods are                                     to study abroad?                                           degree?
                                                           If you are studying Italian to degree level, you           Because students get an all-round exposure to
used?                                                      will be required to spend time abroad during               language, literature, history, film, popular culture
Teaching for language is invariably in small               your third year. Though regulations vary                   and politics, a wide range of occupations and
groups for face-to-face work (most of your                 between different combinations, the general                vocational training opportunities are open to
contact hours will be of this kind), and is                picture is that those studying just Italian, or            them. Employment destinations for recent
reinforced by supervised computer-assisted                 Italian with another non-language subject,                 graduates include: banking, journalism, the
learning, where assistance from native                     will spend the entire academic year in Italy,              legal profession, international aid organisation,
speakers is on hand. For the content courses,              studying at a university. Those studying two               the civil service, publishing, information
a mixture of lectures and seminars are offered.            languages will split their residence between the           technology and all areas of teaching and
The average intake in first year is about 80               two countries.                                             research. Career paths of recent graduates
students, so even lectures are not huge                                                                               include:
and impersonal, and you may well find your                 Italian at Edinburgh has Erasmus/Socrates
lecturers engaging in dialogue with you in                 links with Bologna, Milan, Venice and Verona,              Guyda Armstrong, MA Italian, PhD Italian,
lectures. In the second year groups are smaller,           but students are permitted to study elsewhere              Lecturer in Italian Studies, Manchester;
typically no bigger than 30-40 for lectures,               (and frequently do). Italian university life is very
and much smaller for language and other                    different from that in the UK, and the challenge           Julie Hunter, MA Italian, Marketing Manager,
practical classes. In final year all classes are           of studying in this new environment is an                  Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Edinburgh;
small, typically 9-12 students. The high staff/            integral part of the learning process. Students
student ratio means you get a lot of attention,            come back with impressive fluency and much                 Joanne Naysmith, MA General, PGCE,
but equally it means that you have to be well              enhanced survival skills.                                  Secondary School Teacher (Italian and French);
prepared and willing to engage in discussion.                                                                         Administrative Secretary, European Languages
Many degree combinations will require you                                                                             and Cultures, University of Edinburgh;
to submit a dissertation, based upon original
research. Students are individually supervised
                                                           Are there any bursaries or
                                                                                                                      Angelo di Placido, MA General, Entrepreneur.
for this activity.                                         scholarships available?
Assessment is by regular tests in class, by                Students who successfully apply for an
essays which count towards continuous                      Erasmus exchange place at a European                       How do I find out more?
assessment, and also by summer examination.                university receive a limited amount of financial           For further information about courses in Italian,
                                                           support from the European Community.                       please contact:
The final degree marks are based on the year
abroad mark or dissertation, and on fourth                                                                            The Secretary (SRA)
year work as follows: language is assessed                                                                            Italian Teaching Office
by class-tests (30%) and by the final end of                                                                          59 George Square
year examinations (70%); content courses are                                                                          Edinburgh
assessed on the basis of one long or two short                                                                        EH8 9JU
essays (30%) and final examination (70%).
                                                                                                                      Telephone: 0131 650 4026

                                                                                                                      For more detailed information on degree
                                                                                                                      structure and content, please see:

                                                                                                                                                                (May 2010)

Typical degree curriculum: MA Single Honours in Italian
  1st Year                         2nd Year                                                       3rd Year                               4th Year
                                                                                                                                                                             Printed on recycled paper for Student Recruitment and Admissions –

  Italian 1                        Italian 2                                                      8 months residence                     Italian 4 Honours
  Two other subjects               One of last year’s subjects                                    abroad                                 (including 4 content options)
                                   One additional content course in Italian
                                   Plus a half course in European Cinema
                                      or European Medieval Literature

Typical degree curriculum: MA Honours in Modern European Languages
  1st Year                                        2nd Year                                         3rd Year                              4th Year
  Italian 1                                       Italian 2                                        8 months residence                    4th year courses in both
  Second Language 1                               Second Language 2                                abroad                                languages
  An outside subject e.g. Philosophy,             Half course in each language
     Social Anthropology or Politics

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet at the time of going to press. However, it will not form part of a contract between the University and a
student or applicant and must be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions of Admission set out in the Undergraduate Prospectus.