All students follow a core language module in each year. In year 1, students are streamed into Beginners and Advanced for language modules. Beginners follow a double-credit language module in year 1. Students then select from the optional modules listed below, to complete their Italian Studies credits.
Beginners Italian Language (core, 40 credits)
This is an Ab initio language course designed to enable students with no previous knowledge of Italian to reach a level of intermediate proficiency by the end of the year. The course is based on the most advanced pedagogical research and makes regular use of the excellent IT and e-learning facilities offered by the University. The oral part of the course concentrates on communication and on learning how to use the most appropriate language in particular situations. There are five contact hours per week. The course is assessed by a 50-minute written test, at the end of semester 1, counting 20% towards the modules mark; by an aural test held (20%), an oral examination (20%) and a two-hour written examination (40%) in May/June.
Advanced Italian Language (core, 20 credits)
This advanced level language course is designed to enable students, who have an A-level or equivalent proficiency in Italian, to enhance their language skills and develop their ability to speak and write fluently in Italian. The course is based on the most advanced pedagogical research and makes regular use of the excellent IT and e-learning facilities offered by the University. There are four contact hours per week. The course is assessed by a 50-minute written test, at the end of semester 1, counting 20% towards the modules mark; by an aural test held (20%), an oral examination (20%) and a two-hour written examination (40%) in May/June.
Studies in Contemporary Italy (option, 20 credits)
This module aims to introduce students to contemporary Italian society, by outlining the political history of the Italian Republic and by developing a basic understanding of the formation of national and cultural identity in post-WW2 Italy. Examples of topics to be covered throughout the year include: the creation of the Italian Republic after WW2 and the economic miracle of the 1950s/1960s, social opposition in the 1960s and 1970s, and the political, social and economic situation of the country in the new century. In the second term we pay particular attention to women and young people in society, the role of the family in economic and social life, the problems faced by migrants, and the features of the Italian media. There are two contact hours per week, and assessment consists of four short essays.
Visions of Italy (option, 20 credits)
This module will provide you with a strong grounding in Italian culture, and give you a framework and point of reference when choosing your modules for the following years. You will learn about the history and culture of Italy from medieval times to the 20th century, and follow in the footsteps of men and women who went on the Grand Tour in Italy. You’ll also have the opportunity of engaging with some contemporary Italian cinema. The module will be delivered via a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week, and your learning is assessed by 4 short essays.
Cinema and the Written Word (option, 20 credits)
You probably feel quite confident about reading a written text, but how about reading a film? This module focuses on the techniques used to ‘read’ both verbal and visual texts, helping you to develop your critical and analytical skills and to engage with and apply theoretical concepts to the texts studied. You will explore different genres of writing, exemplifying key moments in twentieth century Italian cultural production (the short story, poetry, journalism, essays) and will learn the general techniques of film analysis: what kind of shots and angles are used and why; what is meant by framing and mise en scène. There are two classes per week, and assessment is through two projects that you devise yourself with support from the module tutors.