IT1004-Italian Medieval and Renaissance Culture (in translation)

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn and Spring
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2012/3

Module Convenor: Miss Paola Nasti


The course aims at providing an introduction to the study of Italian Medieval and Renaissance literature and civilization addressed both to students intending to carry on with a degree in Italian Studies and to students who wish to broaden their understanding of European culture in that period as part of their University education.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will have acquired:

  • A general knowledge of some aspects of Italian history 1200-1550
  • A general knowledge of some core issues related to Italian culture and society of the same period
  • A detailed knowledge of some cultural products of that same period in literature, art and criticism

Additional outcomes:
Students will be introduced to the basic methodologies related to the study of history and of literary works (poetry, prose writing, or theoretical works). The module will help students to develop their ideas into well argued points of view, to express their point of view clearly, both orally and in writing; to make good use of appropriate reference materials (e.g. dictionaries, works of criticism, etc.); to carry out group discussions and, where appropriate, to improve their team-working skills.

Outline content:
During each term students will be introduced to specific issues relating to Medieval and Renaissance Italian history and culture. In the first term they will attend a series of lectures on Italian history and society in the period 1200-1375 and on its literature. They will study a selection of cantos from Dante's 'Divine Comedy' and various novelle from Boccaccio's 'Decameron' in small group tutorials. During the second term, the course will focus on the civilization of Renaissance Italy (1375-1550): students will follow lectures on history, culture and society in Italy from the period and in tutorials they will study Machiavelli’s 'The Prince' as well as a selection of excerpts from Vasari’s 'Lives of the Artists'. Works will be studied in translation, although students also taking the Italian Advanced Language module will be expected to look at some elements of the texts in the original.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will be taught through a combination of formal lectures and small-group tutorials in which students are expected to participate actively by providing presentations and contributing to group discussion. One hour per week will be devoted to lectures, and one hour to tutorials. Students will write one assessed essay per term on one of the topics studied either through lectures or in tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 10 10
Practicals classes and workshops 6 6
External visits 2
Guided independent study 73 73
Total hours by term 99 101 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 45
Oral assessment and presentation 5

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write a 2000-word essay and complete an assignment. They will also sit an exam in the Summer Term.

All students will be asked to contribute to class discussion and deliver short individual or group presentations.

Formative assessment methods:
In the Autumn Term students will have the chance to submit non-assessed work on which they will receive formative feedback.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in September, on basis of examination only (no coursework is to be resubmitted).

    Last updated: 7 May 2012

    Things to do now