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Guide to studying Italian

Italian degrees aren't simply an education in the language; you also learn about the culture, history, politics and many other aspects.

View of colorful canal in Venice at sunny morning


  1. What's Italian?

  2. Why study Italian?

  3. What jobs can you get as an Italian graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Italian?

Italian covers the whole range of subjects dedicated to the study of Italy; its culture and language, with learning to speak Italian foremost among them.

Italian is spoken mainly in Europe. Outside Italy, it's a primary language in Switzerland, the Vatican, Albania, Malta, Slovenia and Croatia. It's also spoken in several former African colonies, such as Somalia.

Why study Italian?

Italy is a world leader in cooking, design, fashion, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery and transportation.

Since Roman times, Italy has exported its culture all over the world, from Latin literature to opera, film to political thought, fashion to food.

Read our four reasons to study Italian for more information on why you might choose to study this subject area.

Languages learning and translate, communication and travel

What jobs can you get as an Italian graduate?

Italian degrees teach transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as an appreciation of foreign culture, working with those from different backgrounds, and a second language.

Particular job areas include property management, art and design, international business, teaching, consultancy, life sciences, accountancy, journalism and interpretation.

Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, such as JP Morgan.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Italian have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Italian students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively. 

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

An A Level (or equivalent) in Italian, French, German, Spanish or Portuguese is usually necessary.

Other useful subjects to have studied include a second modern language, English Language or Literature, History and Politics.

Always confirm the grades and other entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • BA Italian with Film Studies
  • BA Italian and Theatre
  • BA Philosophy and Italian
  • BA International Relations and Italian

How will you be assessed?

The main assessment types are exams and coursework. You'll encounter different variations within each module. Types of coursework range from short sets of exercises to 5,000-word essays. Other methods include oral presentations and group research projects.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include a straight MA in Italian, as well as master's courses in Contemporary Italian Studies, Languages and Cultures, Secondary School Teaching of Italian and Translator Studies.

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