First year - Italian Studies

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.

Understanding Italian Society Today (option, 20 credits)

This module focuses on contemporary Italy and aims to develop an understanding of the key issues affecting the country today. The following themes will be addressed through lectures, the discussion of videos, seminars, reading and presentations: a) changes to the family and its economic role; b) the position of women, the young and the elderly; c) the economic and social differences between north and south; d) the role and influence of the Church; e) the impact of immigration and the representation of foreigners in the media; f) the mafia; g) Italy’s political system (i.e. the functions and roles of Parliament, Government and Presidency); g) the impact of new and ‘old’ media.

Students are invited to challenge widely held stereotypes concerning the country and its features and encouraged to understand and evaluate a variety of sources to aid their awareness of Italy’s strengths and problems. There are two contact hours per week, and assessment consists of an essay and a group research project.

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 two essays.