Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Italian BA

The four-year Italian BA provides a stimulating programme of Italian language and linguistics, literature, art, history and film. The third year is spent in Italy, offering unrivalled possibilities both for developing your linguistic proficiency and for immersing yourself in Italian culture. Previous knowledge of Italian is not required.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
5 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Foreign language preferred.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects, preferably including a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Foreign Language preferred.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). Foreign Language preferred.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB. Foreign language preferred.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Our department was the first to offer Italian Studies in the UK and is the only one to have a writer-in-residence on the staff.
  • Staff include experts in all periods of Italian literature, as well as historians, cultural historians and linguists.
  • Exceptional resources for Italian studies are available in the UCL Library, including five special collections on Italian studies, and a substantial video library of Italian films. The Warburg Institute Library is within short walking distance of the Italian department.
  • The department regularly welcomes distinguished visitors, including academics, critics, writers and actors to conduct seminars and workshops, hold theatre and music performances, and film screenings, including a partnership with FilmItalia.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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 and 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.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Language study is compulsory throughout the programme and is designed to cater for those either with or without prior knowledge of the language. You will also take modules each year in areas such as literature, history, linguistics, culture, film and art, covering a large historical timespan. Your third year is spent in Italy, either at a university or on a teaching or work placement.

You may also take module from SELCS, which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from outside their subject area(s), focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.

The final year is spent at UCL.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Italian Language 1

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

Background to Dante and Inferno
Imagining the Nation: Italian Unification
Introduction to Linguistics and Syntactic Theory
Italian Culture under Fascism
Italy, the First 150 years
Realism and Neo-Realism
Renaissance History and Art
World War I as an Italian War: Events, Interpretations, Representations and Memory
ELCS Intermediate Level modules

Core or compulsory module(s)

Italian Language 2

During the spring term students will participate in the Study Abroad Preparation Programme, the successful completion of which is a prerequisite for progression to the year abroad.

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

Dante: Purgatorio
Docudrama in Contemporary Italian Cinema
Fascist anti-Semitism and the Race of Laws of 1938: Origins, Applications and Memory
Futurism in Italy
Issues in Italian Syntax
Italian Literature 1865-1925
Renaissance Authors: Machiavelli and Castiglione
The Italian Novel 1900-1950
ELCS Intermediate Level modules

Year abroad key information

Students choose a first and second choice university (or two destinations for split-language students). Allocations are made according to preference, number of spaces available at each university and demand for these spaces, with the final decider being the students? average Year 1 mark achieved on SELCS modules. Students allocated to destinations within the EU are eligible for the Erasmus+ Mobility Grant. While students are advised by their host universities on how to apply for accommodation, UCL also puts students in contact with returning students and often find it helpful to take over their accommodation or get tips on living arrangements. Students must study in the target language.

Year abroad: further details

Institutions currently open to the programme include:

  • UniversitÓ degli Studi di Bologna
  • UniversitÓ degli Studi di Firenze
  • UniversitÓ degli Studi di Milano
  • UniversitÓ degli Studi di Milano La Cattolica
  • UniversitÓ degli Studi di Roma III
  • UniversitÓ per Stranieri di Siena
  • Universita G. D'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara
Note: Students can take work placements provided it is arranged and approved by the end of April in the preceding academic year. Students may also apply for British Council language assistantships.

Visit UCL Study Abroad for more information.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Italian Language 3

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

Cultures of Tradition and Modernity in Postwar Italy
Dante: Divina Commedia
Dante and Petrarch
Marriage and Divorce Italian-Style (1861-1975)
Michaelangelo: Painter, Sculptor and Poet
Nation, Culture and Society in Italy 1860-1915
Poesia Italian tra Otto e Novecento
The Contemporary Italian Novel
The Syntax of Information Structure
ELCS Advanced Level modules

Your learning

Italian language beginners are taught separately in the first year, and language classes remain streamed in the second year. Cultural studies modules in the first two years are taught mainly by lectures and tutorials. Final-year topics, which reflect staff research specialisms, use seminar classes and student presentations to encourage participation and discussion.


You will be examined through continuous assessment, take-home essays, presentations and oral and unseen examinations. For some modules, you may choose between an extended essay and a formal examination. During your year abroad, you will follow modules at your chosen university and will take the associated examinations.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Italian BA.


By the final year, we aim to equip you with spoken and written language skills similar to those of an educated Italian. The language and transferable skills developed throughout the degree can be applied in a wide variety of professions both in the UK and abroad.

Our graduates find employment in numerous areas, including teaching, media, journalism and other arts-related fields as well as in the commercial and industrial sectors. It is also open to students of the department with a good first degree to continue their studies in Italian at graduate level by way of taught MA programmes and by research leading to the degree of MPhil or PhD.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of this programme include:

  • Trainee Interior Designer, Percy Bass Ltd.
  • Senior Auditor, Deloitte
  • Writer and Researcher, Chambers & Partners

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2017/18)
Overseas students
£17,710 (2017/18)

The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We welcome students with prior knowledge of Italian and also beginners: about half of the first-year intake begins studying Italian without previous experience. When considering your application, we look for evidence of an interest in Italian literature, culture or language structure, and enthusiasm for learning a modern language.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2017


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, then we shall invite you to a post-offer Open Day, where you can experience the sort of teaching which we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as cultural awareness and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students

Page last modified on 13 January 2017 at 10:09 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.