The Department of Italian Studies is in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC). Offices of staff from the Department of Italian Studies are located on Level 7 of the Brennan MacCallum Building A18.
Program structure and content
The Italian Studies program is designed to develop the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in the target language, standard Italian, along with the analytical and critical skills necessary to pursue studies in all areas in which the department has special competence. These encompass Italian literary history and criticism, philology, philosophical and literary culture of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries (Middle Ages and the Renaissance), Italian philosophy, literary and intellectual culture of the 19th and 20th centuries, travel literature, visual theory, translation, language and migration studies, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching methodologies.
Italian language units are structured in seven different levels. Students start at the most appropriate level and progress systematically through the levels. Students with previous knowledge of the language from both formal and informal sources are required to identify themselves to the department as soon as possible.
Students majoring in Italian are encouraged to spend a semester on exchange as part of their studies. Scholarships are offered by the School of Languages and Cultures and the department of Italian Studies to support students during their study abroad.
The two junior introductory units of Italian language, ITLN1611 and ITLN1612, are 6 credit points junior level units for students with no prior knowledge of Italian. Students who have completed ITLN1612 proceed to ITLN2611 and ITLN2612.
Students who have already studied Italian at HSC level, or who have substantial previous knowledge of the language, as established by the department, cannot take these language junior units. Students with previous knowledge of Italian who enrol in ITLN1611 or ITLN1612 without checking their eligibility may be requested by the coordinator to withdraw and enrol in a more appropriate unit of study.
Students who have achieved more than 70 percent in Italian Beginners at HSC (or IB Ab Initio) enter directly into ITLN2611. Those who have achieved more than 80 percent in Italian Continuers at HSC (or IB Standard) enter directly into ITLN2631. No special permission is required.
Students who have successfully completed IB Advanced should identify themselves to the department. Students who are not sure about their language level should contact the Chair of the Department.
In addition to language acquisition units, students with intermediate or advanced language skills may select from a range of specialist units in Italian culture and linguistics. For further details about the contents of these units and the language of instruction (either English or Italian) please contact the unit coordinator.
Requirements for a major
Students who wish to major in Italian Studies must take at least 36 senior credit points from both language and specialist units. The 36 senior credit points normally include: either (a) 18 credit points of senior language acquisition units and 18 senior credit points of specialist units for students who entered as beginners; or (b) 12 credit points of senior language acquisition units and 24 senior credit points of specialist units for students who entered with prior study of Italian. Students with very advanced Italian language competence, as established by the department, must choose their units in consultation with the Chair of the Department.
Students may take European Studies units in addition to completing an Italian Studies major to provide breadth in their major sequence. Mid-year entry students may need to exceed the junior credit point limit of their course in order to commence a language in their second year, in which case special permission will be needed. If you are not sure, consult with the Student Advisers in the Faculty office.
Students are permitted to take up to 12 credit points of cross-listed units. The list of units on offer in 2013 that are officially cross-listed to the major will be available from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website. Students, however, are advised to develop their language skills through ITLN code units of study.
Please note that where the description refers to 'other units of study' this means specialist units in Italian, or approved cross-listed units.
Pathway 1: for students who have no substantial prior knowledge
- First year: ITLN1611 and ITLN1612.
- Second year: ITLN2611 and ITLN2612 plus 6 or 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
- Third year: ITLN3611 and ITLN3612 plus 6 or 12 senior credit points in other units of study; or ITLN3611 and 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
Pathway 2: for students who have successfully completed HSC Beginners (or IB Ab Initio)
- First year: ITLN2611 and ITLN2612.
- Second year: ITLN3611 and ITLN3612 plus 6 or 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
- Third year: ITLN3687 and 6 or 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
Pathway 3: for students who have achieved 70 percent or more in HSC Continuers Italian (or IB Standard), or equivalent prior study
- First year: ITLN2631 and ITLN2632.
- Second year: ITLN3631 plus 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
- Third year: ITLN3687 and 12 senior credit points in other units of study.
To qualify for honours, students must have taken 48 senior credit points of Italian Studies and must have achieved a credit or better average in those units. As part of these units students would normally include ITLN3691 or other units including exchange units as approved by the department. The honours program consists of seminar courses on specific areas of Italian Studies and a thesis on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the department.
A comprehensive overview of the Italian Studies program is available on the website: sydney.edu.au/arts/italian. There is also an Italian Studies noticeboard on Level 7 of the Brennan MacCallum Building A18. Other administrative information will be emailed directly to students or provided via WebCT.
The Chair of the Department is Dr Antonia Rubino (
As early as possible each semester, a timetable will be posted on the department's web page. Parts of the timetable and courses offered may change in the period between the first posting and the first week of semester, in response to changes in student numbers or for any other reason.
All classes in the department meet in the first week of semester. In addition to Faculty enrolment, students must register with the department in the first class of each Italian unit of study.
For general information about language study please contact the School of Languages and Cultures, phone +61 2 9351 2869, email