Italy is a cornerstone of culture, art and history. Studying its language and cultures offers a wonderful opportunity to engage with these traditions, as well as with the one of the most vibrant European nations.
Italian gives you the tools to explore this cultural richness, including its Roman heritage, the Renaissance, modern architecture and fashion. Its influence is widespread in the arts and Italian is spoken not only in its home country, but also by over 15 million people in countries including Switzerland, North America and Australia.
Italian was one of the first language departments created at Kent and we are proud to offer a course of study which gives you the opportunity to learn Italian to a high standard and gain real insight into Italian culture, literature and society. The course covers topics such as the history of Italian literature, 19th and 20th-century Italian fiction, Fascism, neorealist and post-neorealist cinema, and women writers. You can study Italian at Kent whether you have an A level or GCSE in Italian, or as a beginner.
Kent is an ideal location to study Italian. The majority of the Italian teaching staff are native speakers and we regularly host Italian exchange students, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language. This is supplemented by excellent technical facilities, including audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.
You also have the opportunity to take part in a mentoring scheme for secondary school pupils. By helping them to increase their ability to speak, read and write fluently in a foreign language, you will gain valuable work experience for future careers in education or leadership roles in any field.
You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.
Italian student Rose describes what it's like to study at Kent.
Teaching is by lectures and seminars. We have extensive technical facilities, including audio, video and computer-assisted language learning.
Depending on the modules you select, assessment throughout all stages of the course varies from 100% coursework, to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 50:50, 60:40, 70:30 or 80:20.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- Italian Language
- Italian and Italian Literature and cultures since unification
- Italian and Italian History
- Italian and Italian Critical Theory
- Italian and Italian Cultural Theory
- Italian and Italian civilisation and contemporary society, through first-hand experience
You develop intellectual skills in the following areas:
- Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
- Evaluate information critically
- Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
- Utilise communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
- Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
- Study and reach conclusions independently
- Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument
- Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a Italian-speaking country
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- Communicate effectively in Italian for a range of purposes and audiences
- Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting)
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of Italian
- Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
- Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary
- Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity
- Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
- Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with Italian-speaking communities
You gain transferable skills in:
- Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- Evaluate one’s own academic performance
- Problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- Accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
- Library and bibliographical research skills
- Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
- Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure
- Capacity for teamwork
- Leadership abilities
- Work creatively and flexibly
- Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
- Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a Italian-speaking country
The programme aims to:
- Provide a sound grounding in the Italian language in all its aspects, through extensive reading in Italian and through the use of Italian as a spoken and written medium.
- Develop a critical awareness of the broad canon of Italian cultures since unification, i.e. since 1861.
- Develop specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the broad canon of Italian Studies.
- Train students in the field of translation from and into Italian.
- Provide a gateway to related thematic studies comprising various bodies of knowledge and methodological approaches.
- Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
- Provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding.
- Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
- Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
- Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.
- Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations.
- Facilitate students’ ability to cope independently in Italian.
- Build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere (notably in Italian-speaking countries and regions), reflecting Kent’s position as the UK’s European University.
- Aims in relation to the learning and teaching strategy:
- produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
- prepare students for employment or further study.
- provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
- Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in Italy. They may attend one of the partner universities in Italy, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
- Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts.