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Italian Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

The Italian Studies MA is a pathway in the faculty-wide MA in Language, Culture and History, offering an extensive range of courses 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.

Degree information

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, field-work 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 module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Research: one core 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.

Core module
-Language, Culture and History. This core module permits research into two areas of major contemporary interest; for example, topics explored during the current year include the following: Trauma; Memory; Visual Culture; Queer(y)ing Sexuality

Optional modules - students take a choice of optional modules on topics such as the following:
-Medieval and Renaissance Italian
-Renaissance Texts: Resources and Research Techniques
-Dante: Divina Commedia
-Genre in Italian Cinema
-Italy: A Difficult Modernity
-Advanced Translation from and into Italian
-Contemporary Italian Cultures

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, course work and the dissertation.


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 to a doctoral level.

Recent first destinations of MA graduates from the department of Italian at UCL include:
-The Royal Armouries, Tower of London: Education Officer
-University of Naples: Language Coordinator
-International House: Teacher Trainer
-University of Trento: Doctoral Research in Italian Studies
-Warburg Institute: Doctoral Research in Renaissance Studies
-UCL University: Doctoral Research in Renaissance Studies

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Visit the Italian Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Jean Orr Scholarship - Single Award

£7,000 per annum, for one academic year only. This will be applied to the cost of tuition fees for the year, and any additional amount (if relevant) will be paid to the recipient as maintenance.

Value of Scholarship(s)



One scholarship for a postgraduate Master's student studying in one or more of the following Departments – History, French, Italian and Dutch – awarded on the basis of academic merit.

Application Procedure

Candidates will be selected by academic departments on the basis of the admission application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants must demonstrate proven competence in the Italian language, including good reading knowledge and aural comprehension. Applicants whose first degree is not in Italian, or whose first language is not Italian will normally be required to pass a test of their knowledge of the language before they can be admitted.

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Recipient: University College London
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