Italian MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Italian Studies at UCL is one of the largest centres in the UK, and our staff cover a broad range of specialisms. We have a strong tradition of collaborative relationships with other research centres and interdisciplinary consortia within UCL and the University of London, and at a national and international level, notably in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Advanced

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Expertise covers periods from the medieval to the contemporary, with specific strengths in: Dante, medieval literature, Renaissance culture with special focus on theatre and women's writing, Romanticism, the political and cultural history of modern Italy, language study and generative linguistics, twentieth-century literature, avant-gardes, Fascism, Mafia, contemporary literature, cinema and graphic novels, ecocriticism and critical theory.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

Our staff offer expert supervision across cultural, historical, literary and linguistic disciplines. We are the only Italian Studies centre in the Arts and Humanities Research Council London Consortium (AHRC-LAHP), a major funding body: Italian Studies projects have a strong success rate with scholarships in this and other national and UCL competitions. Our students can access specialised research training programmes within UCL's doctoral school, as well as inter-university series: our staff contribute, for instance, to UK Linguistics training programmes and to the international postgraduate summer school, Hermes, in Literary and Cultural Studies. UCL's Cities Partnership programme with Rome offers opportunities to access international collaborations and research events across university, research and cultural institutions in and around the Italian capital.

We have close links to important research centres within UCL and the University of London. There are opportunities to collaborate on projects with UCL's Museums and Collections, the Slade School of Art, and the Bloomsbury Theatre. Exceptional research libraries at UCL, the London School of Advanced Study, the Warburg Institute, and the British Library, give nearby access to important holdings in all of our subject areas (including rare books and manuscripts). Staff have close relationships with London museums and cultural centres such as the Estorick, the Tate, Poetry in the City, the British Film Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, the BBC, and others.

What our students and staff say:

I spent a productive and thought-provoking time at SELCS. I was often involved in engaging departmental seminars, I had the chance to present my own papers and staff were always on hand and willing to support my projects. The academic supervision that I experienced was professional and awe-inspiring at all times. I would definitely encourage new students to join us. FRANCESCA MASIERO, Italian MPhil/PhD

I found the support and encouragement of my supervisors the most valuable part of my degree, as well as the number and variety of opportunities available to postgraduate students: societies, talks, PGTA roles, conferences, collaborative projects. BETHANY GAUNT, Italian MPhil/PhD

The foundation of your career


We support doctoral students in developing a range of skills that are invaluable in academia and in numerous other fields where PhD holders are prized for their skills in communication, critical analysis, management of projects and deadlines, and intercultural mediation. Students completing their doctorates in Italian Studies have followed a variety of different career paths, and recent destinations include: university lecturing posts (Durham, Manchester, London SAS, Reading, Rome, UCL, Urbino, Vienna), research fellowships (held at universities in the UK, Italy, Chile), posts in secondary schools (UK, Italy, Switzerland), publishing and journalism (UK, Italy), librarianship, and an internship at Christie's.


UCL Italian has many research collaborations and connections with leading institutions, especially in the USA (New York University, Notre Dame University) and the EU/EEA (University College Cork, Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Paris-Sorbonne, Paris-Nanterre), as well as in Italy (Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Universities of Bologna, Padua, Pisa, Rome-La Sapienza, Roma Tre, Siena, Turin and Venice). Our research seminar hosts visiting speakers from UK and international universities, museums, and libraries, and we regularly welcome visiting PhD students from universities outside the UK, in collaborations that widen both staff and student research networks.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

  • Art (Futurism; Novecento movement)
  • Dante and medieval literature
  • Generative linguistics (syntax, prosody, information structure)
  • Italian food
  • Italian poetry (medieval to modern)
  • Italian Fascism
  • Mafia
  • Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature
  • Post-unification history
  • Renaissance/Early Modern culture

Research environment

UCL's Italian department is one of the largest in the UK, and our staff cover a broad range of specialisms. We have a strong tradition of collaborative relationships with research centres and interdisciplinary consortia both within UCL and the University of London, and at a national and international level, notably in Italy and the USA.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.

In your first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback. We hold a research presentation dat at the end of your first year, which provides you with an opportunity to present your research before an audience of UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students.

In your second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based of one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Facutly who acts as an independent assessor.

The PhD programme is expected to be complete within three years for full-time students, and over five years for part-time students. If you are not ready to submit at the end of the third year, you may update your status to CRS which gives you an additional year's enrolment without the need to pay fees.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £22,900 £11,530

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

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