Italian Studies

The Department of Italian Studies is part of the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

About the major

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.

Pathways through the major

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

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Italian Studies. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

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 two to three 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.

The table below shows the pathways described above.

Sample pathways
Sample Pathway - Italian Studies major (little or no prior knowledge of the language)
First Year S1 ITLN1611
S2 ITLN1612
Second Year S1 ITLN2611
S2 ITLN2612 and Senior ITLN culture unit
Third Year S1 ITLN3611
S2 ITLN3612 and Senior ITLN culture unit
Sample Pathway - Italian Studies major (70% or more in HSC Beginners or IB Ab Initio Italian)
First Year S1 ITLN2611
S2 ITLN2612
Second Year S1 ITLN3611
S2 ITLN3612
Third Year S1 ITLN3688 or Senior ITLN culture unit
S2 Senior ITLN culture unit
Sample Pathway - Italian Studies major (70% or more in HSC Continuers or IB Standard Italian)
First Year S1 ITLN2631
S2 ITLN2632
Second Year S1 ITLN3631
S2 Senior ITLN culture unit
Third Year S1 ITLN3688 or Senior ITLN culture unit
S2 Senior ITLN culture unit
Honours

To qualify for honours, students must have completed 48 senior credit points of Italian Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. As part of this requirement, you would normally include ITLN3691 Italian Literature: 1200-1860. Admission to this unit is based on an average mark of Credit average or above in previous Italian units. 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.

Contact/further information

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 Blackboard.

The Chair of the Department is , phone +61 2 9351 4608. For further information on a particular unit of study please contact the named unit coordinator listed with the relevant unit of study description.

As early as possible each semester, a timetable will be posted on the department's web page. Parts of the timetable and units of study 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