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Italian Studies: Language, Culture and History MA

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Italian Studies: Language, Culture and History MA


Funding from the Arts & Humanities Research council (AHRC) may be possible with this degree.

For details of scholarships available to MA students in SELCS, please refer to the MA Scholarships webpage.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jean Orr Scholarship

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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.

Department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society

Student / staff numbers › 52 staff including 1 postdocs › 30 taught students › 52 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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
80% 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.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL Italian is the oldest and one of the most prestigious Italian departments in the country. In recent years my research has concentrated on the history of Italian organised crime, where I hope to advance public and academic understanding of this major threat to democracy and the economy in Italy. "

Professor John Dickie

Italian Studies: Language, Culture and History
UCL Italian

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for students wishing to further their interest in Italian literature, language and history, and for those intending to proceed on to doctoral research. It can also serve as a conversion degree, enabling students with first degrees in other disciplines to move onto a research degree in this field.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

Applicants intending to apply for scholarships will, however, need to complete the application process before applying for a scholarship. Scholarship deadlines usually fall in early spring.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Italian Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Italian Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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