Italian Studies


The Department of Italian Studies is one of the largest and best resourced in Australia offering programs from absolute language beginners to PhD. At Undergraduate level, it offers a wide range of language and culture units of study. The language units cater for students at different entry points and, through innovative teaching methods, aim to develop high levels of linguistic skills. The culture units aim to develop in-depth understanding of some of the most representative Italian authors, thinkers and literary and intellectual movements from the Middle Ages to the present, within their historical and socio-cultural context; and of contemporary Italy from a socio-linguistic, historical and cultural perspective.

If you wish to major in Italian Studies you are expected to engage with both language acquisition and cultural studies, in order to gain a deep understanding of the close connection between language and culture. All our units of study aim to develop your analytical and critical skills, so as to enable you to pursue your interest in all aspects of Italian language, literature and culture, and equip you with the necessary skills for Honours and postgraduate studies. We also strongly encourage you to spend a semester in Italy as part of your undergraduate studies, and to this effect we have developed agreements with several Italian Universities.

Major outline

A major in Italian Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 6 credit points at 3000 level.

There are different pathways through a major depending on whether you are a beginner or have completed HSC Italian or you are a very advanced speaker.

Students without substantial prior knowledge of the language
If you commence Italian Studies without substantial prior knowledge of the language, you are required to first complete two junior units of study: ITLN1611 and ITLN1612. Junior units are devoted to language acquisition. From second year, you proceed to language units (ITLN2611 and ITLN2612) and culture units (either literary, cultural or linguistic). In order to major in Italian we recommend that beginners complete 18 credit points of senior language units and 18 credit points of culture units.

You will select culture units on the basis of language prerequisites. Every year at least one unit of study is offered that is especially directed at students who have only completed 2 to 3 semesters of language studies.

Students who have completed HSC Italian
If you have completed HSC Italian, you are admitted directly to second year as follows:

- If you have completed HSC Italian (or IB Ab Initio) with a mark of at least 70%, you join the language intermediate strand (ITLN2611 and ITLN2612) and can also enrol in culture units directed at your language level.
- If you have completed HSC Italian Continuers or Extension (or IB Standard) with a mark of at lest 70%, you join the language advanced strand (ITLN2631 and ITLN2632) and can also enrol in all culture units.

Post-HSC students can enrol in culture units, however you are advised to do so from your second semester at University, and/or in your second year of study (see pathways below). If you have prior knowledge of Italian, we recommend that the 36 senior credit points include 12 credit points of senior language units and 24 credit points of culture units.

If you have very advanced language competence or are not sure of your level, you should contact the Chair of Department for advice in selecting language and culture units of study. At any point you can join more advanced language units following an informal assessment.

For more information on pathways through the Italian Studies major, visit the online handbook.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Art History, European Studies

Our courses that offer this major

Not available in 2014