Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

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

Degree Programme
Italian BA
UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
European Languages, Culture and Society
Total intake (by subject area)
194 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Foreign language preferred.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
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 Diploma Core with grade B, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AA. 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

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

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

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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.
  • Together with the UCL Centre for Italian Studies, the department regularly welcomes distinguished visitors, including academics, critics, writers and actors.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses 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 courses 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 School of European Languages, Culture & Society (ELCS) courses, 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.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Italian Language 1

Optional courses

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

Background to Dante and Inferno
Introduction to Linguistics and Syntactic Theory
Italian Culture under Fascism
Italy, the First 150 years
Realism and Neo-Realism
Renaissance History and Art
Risorgimento Histories
ELCS Intermediate Level courses

Year Two

Compulsory course

Italian Language 2

Optional courses

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

Dante: Purgatorio
Docudrama in Contemporary Italian Cinema
Issues in Italian Syntax
Italian Literature 1865-1925
Italian Romanticism
Italy Since 1915: The Short Twentieth Century
Renaissance Authors: Machiavelli and Castiglione
The Italian Novel 1900-1950
ELCS Intermediate Level courses

Year Three

Year abroad

Students currently complete a 4,000-word Year Abroad Project in the target language, and:
Any assessment required by a host university (if participating in a university exchange), or:
A British Council Assistantship or work placement abroad.

Final Year

Compulsory course

Italian Language 3

Optional courses

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

Cultures of Tradition and Modernity in Postwar Italy
Dante: Divina Commedia
From Futurism to Arte Povera: Art and Design in Twentieth Century Italy
Italian Twentieth Century Literature: The Short Story
Medieval Italian Lyric
Memory and History in Twentieth Century Italy
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 courses

Your learning

Italian language beginners are taught separately in the first year, and language classes remain streamed in the second year. Cultural courses 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 courses, you may choose between an extended essay and a formal examination. During your year abroad, you will follow courses 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 (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Trainee Interior Designer, Percy Bass Ltd. (2013)
  • Senior Auditor, Deloitte (2012)
  • Writer and Researcher, Chambers & Partners (2012)
  • Marketing Assistant, Italian Chamber of Commerce (2011)
  • Special Events Assistant, Royal Horticultural Society (2011)

*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 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

Virtus UG Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

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 2016


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