Italy’s language and culture have had a lasting impact on Europe. Today, its innovative contributions to design, technology and fashion make it a major global commercial force. 

At Bristol, you will gain an excellent knowledge of spoken and written Italian, along with an in-depth understanding of Italy and its cultural history, through direct contact with ground-breaking academic researchers who have an international reputation.

Why study Italian at Bristol?

The Department of Italian at Bristol is one the country's largest and most prestigious. Our degree offers the chance to learn the Italian language and gain an understanding of the complexity of Italy as a nation through the study of Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present day.

You can study Italian at Bristol whether you have an advanced knowledge of Italian already or are a beginner. The structure of the first year depends on your existing knowledge of the language, but in later years your choice of units will not be affected by your level of entry. Whatever combination of subjects you study, you will be working alongside top-quality students in the School of Modern Languages from a range of different disciplines.

Bristol is an exciting place to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Studying Italian at Bristol will suit you if you have an enquiring mind, a love of language and a passion for exploring other countries and societies.

If you have an aptitude for language, an interest in other cultures and enjoy studying literary texts and films in relation to their historical and social contexts, you will be very well suited to these courses.

The year abroad is a particularly valuable opportunity for you if you would relish the challenge and enjoy the satisfaction of living and working or studying in a different language and culture.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Italian can be studied on its own or alongside one or more other languages or subjects. All Italian courses last four years and include a work or study placement in Italy during your third year.

Our units are taught via discussion groups, seminars and lectures. Italian language is taught in small groups tailored to individual needs, using a range of language learning technologies and supported by online resources.

Language is assessed by a regular exercises, translations, essays and guided writing tasks, as well as by written and oral exams. Other units require essays, projects, exams, individual or group presentations or a combination of these.

What are my career prospects?

Many Italian graduates use their language skills after graduation, with a high proportion finding employment in jobs where their languages are advantageous.

Recent graduates have found employment in publishing, journalism, media, art galleries and museums, art dealing, law, commerce and education.

Others who are aiming for a career in higher education, or who wish to become professional linguists (eg translators or interpreters), have gone on to postgraduate study.

Read more about what students from Modern Languages go on to do after graduation

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Italian leaflet 2017 (PDF, 302kB)


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