English writers since Chaucer have looked to Italy for inspiration. On this BA English Literature and Italian joint degree course, you can explore the enduring links between these two cultures.
We provide accelerated learning in Italian, meaning that you can start from beginner's level if you have not studied the language before, or at intermediate level if you have only learnt it up to GCSE or AS level. Regardless of your language skills when you joint, you will soon master the fundamental elements of the language and will graduate with a near-native command of it. Please check the course's entry requirements for more details on entry points.
As well as modules in Italian language, you can take first year modules in medieval and twentieth-century Italian history and culture. In English Literature, you will study the different ways that literary texts respond to their cultural context (Genre and Context); the development of poetry in English over time and across the globe (Poetry in English); and the ways that literary texts accrue new meanings in the process of interpretation (Research and Criticism). 96% of our students say that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2021).
In your second year, you will have a wide choice of modules that range from Italian Cinema to Fictions of Italy. In English Literature, you can study everything from Renaissance lyric poetry to contemporary novels and Communications at Work. At this stage, you will be able to shape your degree to your interests much more, and this process continues in your final year of study, where your module choices are more diverse and specialised.For your final year, you can do archive work on Studying Manuscripts, or look at the politics of literature in Class Matters. With Italian, you can choose from a range of modules on Italian history, cinema, linguistics and culture, including options on Dante, Machiavelli, or Renaissance theatre.
Everyone in our departments, from new lecturers to professors, teaches at every level of the degree: this gives you the benefit of our expertise and makes you part of the conversation about our research. A great deal of your time will be spent in small-group teaching sessions, which we believe is vital for successful study in the Humanities. We’re proud of our small language classes, led by native speakers. Direct access to expert staff for help and feedback ensures you develop your skills to the best of your ability.
An integral part of this degree is the opportunity for you to spend up to a year in Italy, studying at a partner institution, undertaking a work placement, or working as a British Council language teaching assistant. This enables you to directly immerse yourself in the culture and greatly improve your knowledge of Italian at the same time. Core modules in the second year will prepare you for your time abroad, equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to live, work, and study in a different culture.
Throughout your degree you will be thinking about the career choices that will enable you to thrive after graduation: we will help you put in place the skills and experience that you need to launch that career. Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, in education, and in the media.
You can choose from three options for your third year: studying at a partner institution through the study abroad programme, undertaking a work placement or working as a British Council language teaching assistant.
Our Italian partner institutions include universities in Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Padua, Pisa, Siena and Venice, Bergamo, Pavia and Rome. The Department of Modern Languages has a study abroad officer who can help you prepare for study at one of these universities.
If you would prefer to undertake a placement for your year abroad, you can also talk to the Department's specialist year abroad team, who can provide you with support in securing and preparing for a placement. Past students have carried out roles with organisations such as Ermanno Scervino, the Istituto per la storia della Resistenza e dell’età contemporanea and the UN.