Studying Italian at University

Frequently Asked Questions

Italian is the language of Petrarch, Leonardo Da Vinci, Sophia Loren, and Mario Ballotelli. Learning Italian will allow you to explore Italy’s rich history and culture. Italy is a world-leader in many diverse fields, such as football, fashion, food and car design, and is the home of international brands such as Ferrari, Fiat, Gucci, Prada and Nutella.

In 2013, the British Council identified Italian as one of the top 10 most-needed languages in the UK (Languages for the Future report). There is a current shortage of Italian speakers. A 2012 survey highlighted Italian as one of the languages for which there was a deficit in the UK as only one per cent of businesses surveyed reported levels of Italian which were good enough to conduct business deals leading to exports (British Chambers of Commerce (2012) Exporting is Good for Britain: Skills).

In the UK, you can study Italian at 45 different institutions, in England, Scotland and Wales. See www.ucas.com for more details.

  1. UNIVERSITY OF ABERYSTWYTH
  2. BANGOR UNIVERSITY
  3. UNIVERSITY OF BATH
  4. UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
  5. UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
  6. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
  7. CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
  8. UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
  9. UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
  10. UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX
  11. UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
  12. UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
  13. UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH
  14. UNIVERSITY OF HULL
  15. IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF LONDON
  16. UNIVERSITY OF KENT
  17. UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER
  18. UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
  19. LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
  20. UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
  21. LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY
  22. UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, INSTITUTE OF MODERN LANGUAGES RESEARCH
  23. UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, QUEEN MARY
  24. UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, ROYAL HOLLOWAY
  25. UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
  26. UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
  27. MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
  28. NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY
  29. THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
  30. UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
  31. UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTS
  32. UNIVERSITY OF READING
  33. UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
  34. UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD
  35. SOUTHAMPTON SOLENT UNIVERSITY
  36. UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
  37. UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
  38. SWANSEA UNIVERSITY
  39. UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
  40. UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON
  41. UNIVERSITY OF YORK

In Ireland, you can study Italian at four universities and two institutes of technology. Go to www.cao.ie for more details.

  1. DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
  2. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY
  3. TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
  4. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK
  5. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
  6. WATERFORD INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
You will study Italian language (at either beginners or non-beginners level), covering all aspects of grammar, speaking, reading, writing and listening. In addition, depending on the university you choose, you will study modules in Italian literature (from the medieval period to the 21st century), Italian cinema, history, politics, culture and linguistics.
The options are endless. Many students in the UK choose to study Italian alongside another language (often French or Spanish) that they have already studied at school. However, you can combine Italian with many other subjects within the humanities, social sciences and business, including History, Art History, English, Sociology and Business Management. Studying Italian within a broad Arts degree of this type is a very common approach in Ireland. You can also study Italian with subjects such as Business, Economics, and Engineering.
Depending on the combination of subjects you choose, your degree will last three or four years.

In the UK, if you are studying Italian, it is usually compulsory to spend your third year in Italy. In general, you have three options: 1) the Erasmus scheme, an EU-funded programme allowing students to spend all or part of an academic year studying in another European university; 2) a work placement or internship in Italy; 3) a placement in a high school in Italy assisting with the teaching of English, funded by the British Council. See http://www.britishcouncil.org/language-assistants/become

In Ireland, the Third Year Abroad is usually (but not always) an optional requirement. Work placements are less common but students have plenty of options to study in partner universities in Italy or to work as an English Language Assistant in an Italian high school. See http://www.education.ie/en/learners/services/english-language-assistant-scheme/

For more information on the Third Year Abroad, see http://www.thirdyearabroad.com/, an information portal for students, which was established by a graduate of Italian Studies.

The study of Italian can also lead to many exciting careers in journalism and the media, publishing, in the arts, fashion, the food and wine industry, finance, marketing and many others. Translating, interpreting and teaching are always popular options with students who have studied languages.
Absolutely. Approximately 70-80% of students pick up Italian from scratch (known as ab initio) at university. Usually you are taught separately from non-beginners for the first (and sometimes, second) year. You learn at an accelerated pace so that after one year you have reached the standard of those who had already studied Italian at school.
Yes, you can. If you have already studied Italian at school, you will usually be taught separately from beginners for the first (and sometimes, second) year.