Bachelor of Arts (BA)
4 years full-time, normally including a year abroad
27 September 2021
Department of Study
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Location of Study
University of Warwick
English and Italian is a degree with a strong and distinctive comparative approach. It has been specially designed for those who wish to begin or pursue a study of Italian language and culture while continuing to study the English tradition. You will explore the interactions between the two. Italian may be studied ab initio.
English and Italian is a degree with a strong comparative approach. There is a core Italian language module in every year of study. First-year core modules will introduce you to Italian literature and culture, English literature, and comparative literatures. In your intermediate and final years all English and Italian optional modules are open to you, spanning topics from literature and critical theory to history, politics, philosophy and film. In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation on comparative Italian and English literature. A challenging but exhilarating degree programme, this course is aimed at students who wish to unite linguistic proficiency with sophisticated literary and cultural analysis. You’ll normally spend your second or third year abroad, consolidating and enhancing your learning.
Throughout your degree you will study Italian language at an appropriate level. Optional modules range from medieval literature, culture, and history to contemporary society, politics, and film. You will spend either the second or third year of your course in Italy.
How will I learn?
We employ a variety of teaching approaches, including lectures, seminars (in which the emphasis is on student participation) and written and spoken language classes. You will spend the rest of your time studying independently, preparing for classes, reading and analysing materials set for study, engaging with secondary sources, writing essays and working on your language skills.
Seminars approx 15; oral classes 8-10.
Around 10-12 hours of teaching per week.
How will I be assessed?
We will track your progress through language assignments, essays, presentations, portfolio submissions and examinations (written and oral). Throughout your course you will receive detailed, personalised feedback to help you to improve your skills.
The final degree classification is determined by your intermediate- and final-year marks; each of these years contributes 50%.
Your year abroad
We strongly recommend that students take a year abroad, if they are able to. Students may move to a three-year degree if circumstances do not permit them to complete a year abroad. In such cases, there will be further language reinforcement work and students will be encouraged to spend time abroad in other ways, during vacation times.
You will usually spend your year abroad doing one of three things:
- Working as a language assistant teaching English in a primary or secondary school
- Studying full-time at a partner university in Italy
- On a work placement
Most students going to Italy opt for an exchange at a partner university. Some are successful in obtaining a (highly competitive) language assistantship. Most students apply through the British Council's English Language Assistant scheme during the first term of their second year at Warwick.
The year abroad options are flexible so we recommend you check the department's subject pages for more details.
General entry requirements
- AAB to include English Literature or English Literature and Language (combined) and a modern or classical language
- 36 to include 5 at Higher Level in English Literature and 5 at Higher Level in a modern or classical language
- We welcome applications from students taking a BTEC alongside an A level in a modern or classical language and A level English Literature (or English Language and Literature combined)
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Modern Italian Language for Beginners
Would you like the challenge of learning a new language at university? This foundation module for absolute beginners combines the acquisition of core language skills with knowledge of broader aspects of Italian culture, equipping you with the tools to engage with a wide range of relevant, contemporary topics in Italian. Opportunities to practise your Italian vary from role play to quizzes, working both individually and in your group. Successful completion will mean you are able to hold a conversation in Italian, read newspapers and get the gist of TV and radio programmes in Italian.
Modern Italian Language 1 (Intermediate)
Do you need to consolidate and expand your competence in Italian while enjoying talking about culture and society? If so, this is the module for you. You’ll be given opportunities to revise fundamental grammar and vocabulary before acquiring more complex grammatical constructions, including through translation. We will integrate cultural topics with your linguistic studies, so you have the chance to explore areas such as tourism, the arts, the environment and Italian traditions. You will have opportunities for individual and group presentations and to engage in activities that integrate the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. By the end of your course, you’ll be expected to be able to write competently in several registers, using appropriate styles and terminology, and to converse in Italian to a good standard.
Modern Italian Language 1 (Advanced)
Would you like to use your Italian A level (or equivalent) language skills creatively? This module will develop your linguistic and intercultural competence in Italian by means of advanced activities, including creative writing, translation, debates, presentations and drama. You will explore linguistic structures using resources in a variety of media and engage with authentic and sophisticated texts to compare cultural systems and express your opinion critically and creatively. In translation, you will experiment with different genres, registers and styles to enhance your cultural appreciation of Italian. Finally, you will have opportunities to explore cultural subjects and lead group discussions.
An Italian cultural module:
The History of Modern Italy
You will chart the course of cultural, political and social change in Italy over the past century, studying key moments in its history, including the rise of fascism, World War II, the economic boom of the late 1950s, and political extremism of the 1970s, through to contemporary issues such as immigration and recent economic and political crises. You will study these events through the lens of literary and cinematic works and gain an understanding of how they have contributed to the nature and identity of contemporary Italy, in order to prepare you for your year abroad and further study of Italian culture. You will also build your competence in textual analysis, independent research and essay-writing.
Introduction to Italian Culture
How should we ‘read’ a literary or visual text? What are the considerations of form, audience and context that help us make sense of a cultural product? In what ways should a performance be understood differently from something fixed on the page? You will address these questions by considering various forms of expression in Italian culture – these may include film and visual culture, short stories, poetry, theatre-writing, and political essay writing. You will refine your skills of analysis and be able to sample different periods of Italian culture, from the Renaissance to the present. You will end your course with a sound understanding of different periods of Italian culture, equipped with the appropriate skills and vocabulary to discuss a range of art forms in an informed manner.
Modes of Reading
What is a reader? How is our understanding and perception of a text formed? What does it mean to think critically when we read? This module allows you to explore these questions by putting a spotlight on the question of critical thinking in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. By studying a series of literary texts in relation to some of the most influential literary and cultural theorists of the last hundred years, you will take your own position on everything from Marxism, queer and feminist theory to ecocriticism and postcolonial critique.
One option in English:
Epic into Novel
Tracking the transition from the epics of the ancient world to the novels of modernity, this module introduces you to some of the most influential and formative works of world literature. You will study central texts of the classical world, such as Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid; ancient Indian epic The Mahābhārata; Milton’s Paradise Lost; as well as novels like Henry Fielding’s bawdy comedy Tom Jones and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o’s novel of decolonising Kenya, A Grain of Wheat. Reading across history and cultures, between languages and genres, you will develop the skills to analyse narrative, character, and style.
Medieval to Renaissance English Literature
Taking you from the mythical court of King Arthur to the real world of ambition, intrigue, and danger in the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, this module introduces you to early literature written in a range of genres (romance, epic, fabliau) and poetic forms. You will study texts like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Thomas More’s Utopia, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare’s sonnets to explore some of the period’s highest ideals—‘trawthe’ or integrity—as well as some of humanity’s darkest impulses: greed, deception, revenge, and desire.
Modern World Literatures
This module introduces you to the defining concerns, styles, and contexts of modern world literature from 1789 to the present. You will encounter concepts like Romanticism, modernity, gothic, and postcolonialism through novels, short stories, poetry, and drama from revolutionary France to Meiji era Japan, industrial Britain to the decolonizing Caribbean. Your reading might include Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, Lu Xun’s story of China in transition 'Diary of a Madman', or Clarice Lispector’s haunting meditation on life in Rio de Janeiro The Hour of the Star. You may also replace this module with a language module.
Modern Italian Language 2
This module will extend and refine your competence in Italian. With an emphasis on the key skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing, you will consolidate your proficiency in both new and familiar grammatical and linguistic structures, and expand the range and sophistication of your vocabulary and use of register in spoken and written discourse. In addition to classroom exercises, advanced discursive written work and oral projects, you will also be directed to appropriate activities for self-study.
Modern Italian Language 3
On this module, you will develop your translation, writing and oral communication skills to advanced level. You will engage in translation as a practical skill, working to produce translations of literary, journalistic and academic texts with a focus on conveying nuances of meaning and culturally specific terms. You will develop greater fluency in different writing styles and genres. Oral sessions will increase your familiarity with more sophisticated registers of spoken Italian and raise your awareness of recent developments in Italian society so that you can discuss aspects of contemporary Italy in relation to your personal experiences.
Modern Italian Language 4
Building on Intermediate year language, you will deepen your writing, speaking and translation skills, paying particular attention to register and style and learning some of the underpinning translation theory. We approach translation not just as a linguistic exercise but as a practical skill, so you will work to produce translations of literary, journalistic and academic texts, and explore techniques for conveying semantic nuances, culturally specific terms and more sophisticated registers of spoken Italian. Both the writing and oral components of the course will raise your awareness of recent developments in Italian society and enable you to discuss relevant aspects of contemporary Italy in relation to your personal experience.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students:
- Introducing Dante’s Hell
- Love, Desire and Poetry in Dante and the Italian Middle Ages
- Medieval and Renaissance Short Fiction in Italy and England
- Renaissance Rivalries: Power, Magic, and Language
- Magic and Marvels in Renaissance Italy
- Renaissance Imitations and Parody
- Topics in Renaissance Thought and Culture
- Short Stories and Storytelling (17th-21st centuries)
- Modern Italian Culture in Dialogue with Europe
- Italian Women’s Writing: Voices of Protest
- Experiments in Narrative: Questioning the Present
- Experiments in Narrative: Telling the Past
- Italy out of Italy: A History of Italian Migrations
- Italian Cinema: Individual Perspectives
- Italian Cinema: Envisioning the Nation
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including:
- British Airways
- Civil Service
- Grayce Consulting
- HM Revenue and Customs
- Ipsos Mori
- NBC Universal
- Save the Children International
- The Department for International Trade
They have pursued careers such as:
- Business and financial project management professionals
- Chartered and certified accountants
- Financial accounts managers
- Human resources and industrial relations officers
- Management consultants and business analysts
- Public services associate professionals
- Teachers and other educational professionals
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- What are you doing after Warwick? Career planning for final year language students
- Careers in the Public Sector
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Completing effective CVs and Application Forms for students from the School of Modern Languages
- Reflecting on Your Year Abroad
- Languages Alumni Evening
"Friendly and easy to talk to"
"The department is incredible, they’re always on hand to help me whether it was with my year abroad queries or just general language-related issues. The best thing about them is that they’re really friendly and easy to talk to."
BA Modern Languages
"My favourite module that I've studies so far is one called Transnational Stories in Italy ... It focuses on Italy in the present day - also what does it really mean to be Italian these days - viewed through the lens of contemporary literature."
Italian Studies BA
Why did you choose to study languages at Warwick?
"I started quite early on with Italian, it was something that I'd carried on through my school life, and something that I just wanted to pursue my interest in, and Warwick offered the choice for me to pursue that at degree level."
How did you find the transition from A level to University?
"The transition from a level to degree level for me wasn't such a big jump because I did have such, such a solid foundation of base of knowledge. And when you do come in to study in a language degree level, the first year is based on ability, so the classes are split from beginner level, intermediate to an advanced level, so you’re never put in to a point where you feel you're out of your depth."
What has been your favourite module so far?
"My favourite model that I've studied so far is one called 'Trans National Stories in Italy'. It was, sort of, fits again with my biases about what I was interested in, sort of in contemporary history rather than a sort of very deep, deep historical perspective that sort of focuses on Italy and the present day. Also, what does it really mean to be Italian these days, viewed through a lens of contemporary literature."
Why study cultural modules whilst learning a language?
"They're not really distinct really in my mind, and I've think in Warwick’s mind as well, because when you learn the language, of course, you can just learn the verb endings the grammar, but when you learn a culture of a language as well, it helps, it helps you with sort of intricate details that you wouldn't already be aware of."
What modules can you choose?
"At Warwick there is such a wealth of different options available, which does sort of allow you to sort of pursue your own interests as well. Obviously, when you're in your first year, there is a required sort of base level of knowledge. So there will be some compulsory modules, but you're more than allowed to indulge your own interests."
Where did you go for your year abroad?
"So for my year abroad, I went to Pisa in western Tuscany, sort of where the Tower is, that’s how I always describe it to people, but there was so much more there for me because Warwick has so many links with many different universities in Italy. There was there was a choice of at least about 20 universities, I think it was, when we came to choose our destinations and there's so much information available about them all, you get to speak to students who've been away previously and that was how it was it was actually sold to me initially."
What are your plans after University?
"So after university, I've sort of been I've been interested in quite a few different industries. I've got some work experience in finance coming up soon. I've been applying for things that marketing internships and grad schemes because their language degree that they're fairly in demand just because of the transferability of the skills that you gain on them."
What advice would you give to someone looking at studying languages?
"Learning the language is such a, it's such a valuable experience, It's because everybody says, “I wish I could speak a language”, but if you do a language, you can, indeed you gain, you gain so much world experience; you get to live abroad, you get to indulge yourself in a lot of cultural experiences that you wouldn't normally do. There are so you can so many strings to your bow that you can have, having studied a language - just life-skills wise, as well as language-skills wise."
This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.