The Italian Studies MA is a pathway in the faculty-wide MA in Language, Culture and History, offering an extensive range of modules in Italian literature, history and literary theory. Students can take this flexible, interdisciplinary programme as self-contained study or as preparation for a research degree.
The programme introduces students to texts from a variety of periods in Italian history and places them within a historical and philosophical framework. Students develop subject-specific, professional skills necessary for the pursuit of their chosen options, including sourcing material, fieldwork techniques, bibliographic skills and linguistic skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers two pathways: taught and research.
Taught: one core cross-language module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Research: one core cross-language module (30 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), dissertation (90 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, one core module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits) full-time nine months or part-time two years, is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate, one core module (30 credits), one optional module (30 credits) full-time three months, part-time six months, is offered.
Students choose from a range of optional modules on topics such as the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words (taught pathway) or 18,000 words (research pathway).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, tutorials, seminar-presentations, film screenings, and visits to research libraries including the British Library, the Warburg Institute, Institute of Historical Research and Senate House. Students are assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Language, Culture and History: Italian Studies MA
The programme will be of interest both to those who wish to enhance their knowledge of Italian culture for professional purposes - in the fields, for example, of education, media, commerce and tourism - as well as to students wishing to pursue their studies at doctoral level.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Italian is the original home of Italian studies in Britain, and has a distinguished record in the field of graduate studies and research. Students benefit from UCL's excellent Italian resources, including the Rotton and Ogden collections, and the Castiglione and Dante collections.
UCL's central location enables easy access to London's exceptional resources including the specialist collections of Italian material in the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. The British Film Institute Library holds major Italian film periodicals and numerous books on Italian cinema, and the nearby British Library houses the largest collection of early printed books in the world.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This programme allows you to explore the cultures of the variety of language-speaking areas in which we specialise - French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Spanish and Latin American Studies - and it also gives you a thorough grounding in comparative literature and cultural studies in the context of modern languages. You can choose whether you want your focus to be broadly comparative or whether you wish to engage with one or more specific language-speaking areas.
The programme brings together the specialisms of our teaching team who are experts in a variety of different areas: cultural studies, visual studies, linguistics, comparative literature and cultures, history and thought. We will help you steer a pathway through the programme that reflects your specific interests and knowledge of the languages of those areas on which we focus. You will be able to choose whether you study texts in the original language(s) or in English translation; if you work in the original language(s) this will be reflected in the final degree title.
Royal Holloway is a thriving centre for postgraduate research in Italian with particular expertise in Renaissance studies, cultural studies, Anglo-Italian cultural relations, 19th- and 20th-century art, Italian cinema and detective fiction, making it an ideal place to study for a postgraduate degree in Italian.
This degree enables you to independently explore your area of interest in real depth, it can also provide you with the chance to test or try out an area of study in preparation for doctoral study. Whilst you will be working independently, you won’t be alone, you will receive specialist one-to-one tuition throughout your degree. You will work closely with your specialist supervisor, or supervisors, to develop a clearly defined research topic and complete a 30,000-40,000 word dissertation.
You will be part of our research-led environment in which academic staff are working at the frontiers of their subjects. The breadth of our teaching and research expertise means that we are able to provide the latest thinking, expert support and intellectual challenges. We have a thriving Italian research environment, with topics ranging from the medieval and Renaissance periods to the contemporary 21st century. Recent research includes projects on The Italian Academies 1530-1700, The Cult of the Duce: Mussolini and the Italians 1918-2005, and Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020. Our academics would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in postgraduate research in their areas of expertise.
In addition to your dissertation you will undertake a taught course designed to equip you with an array of theoretical and historical approaches to the study of literature, art and culture. This will enable you to articulate, refine and persistently test your own approach to your chosen topic within this broader theoretical and methodological framework. You will also have access to skills training and enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor.
Theories of Literature and Visual Culture
This module is taught across two terms. It provides you with knowledge of a range of historical and modern theoretical approaches to the study of literature and the visual arts. It refines your theoretical understanding and provides you with the methodological tools needed to proceed to PhD research if you so wish.
You will write a 30-40,000 word dissertation on a subject of your choice, receiving one-to-one support from your supervisor.
Theories of Literature and Visual Culture is assessed by an essay and presentation.
The dissertation is examined by a Visiting Examiner and includes a viva voce.
On graduation you will have a proven ability to undertake focused research, improved your written and oral presentation skills, and honed skills in critical analysis. In addition, you will have an understanding and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in literature, film, cultural studies or the visual arts. All of the these skills will be appealing to employers and enable you to pursue your chosen career. Alternatively, you will also be in a strong position to continue onto doctoral study, having demonstrated that you have the self direction, originality and initiative required.
In recent years a number of our Modern Languages, Literature and Culture postgraduates have gone on to successful academic careers both in Britain and internationally in the fields of modern languages, critical theory and film.
Postgraduates have also embarked upon many interesting and successful careers outside academia – in the UK, continental Europe and the United States – including journalism at The Independent, work for NGOs, trade sales, publishing, professional translating, teaching, opera direction, museum curatorship, creative arts, and librarianship.