UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Italian

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    Subject available through multiple programmes

  • Subject Title


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,170 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

A degree in Italian provides access to a rich and influential culture and to the language and society of a country that offers opportunities for exciting careers and further study. Most of our students have no Italian before joining us. 

Italian is a small, accessible department. Learning takes place in small groups, allowing you to reach a high level of linguistic proficiency and to develop important critical and analytical skills.

You can choose from a range of modules on literature and art, film and music, politics and the media. Various pathways through the BA provide the opportunity to spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities in Italy, an experience which our students often describe as the best of their lives.

Students in all years of the course take an intensive Italian language course, taught in small tutorial groups. Free access is provided to an online Computer-Assisted Language-Learning (CALL) tool. 

Year 1
Most of our students are beginners, but we also provide for the growing numbers of non-beginners taking Italian. In the award-winning Year 1 culture module, the focus is on modern Italian culture and society, providing you with a survey of Italy since unification in 1860, through the analysis of texts which include passages from literary works, films and documentaries, examples of art and architecture, music and historical documents.

You will be guided in your reading through specially written introductions, notes and glossaries, and through the close readings led by lecturers in class. UCC Italian students have an excellent record in the NUI’s Scholarship for the best performance in first-year Italian, winning the award on at least eight out of 14 occasions since 1999.

Year 2
Students continue their intensive study of Italian language, in preparation for Year 3, which may be spent abroad, or final year. Modules on Italian literature, cinema and the media (continuing to focus on the modern period) give you an understanding of the country’s culture and society. At the same time, the modules provide you with an intellectual challenge, helping you develop important critical and analytical skills sought after by employers.

Final Year
Students in final year take an advanced language course and may continue to specialise in modern Italian culture, as well as developing independent thinking through the study of Dante’s Divine Comedy and other landmarks of world literature.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on the modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours

In each year of the course, students have four hours of contact per week with language tutors, and receive feedback on the exercises done outside class. In Year 1 students have a further one-hour lecture on Italian culture, supplemented by independent study of up to three hours per week. In years 2 and 3, joint honours students in Italian have four hours of lectures/seminars on culture and society, as well as required reading.

Access is also provided to an online language course, reinforcing classwork and taken whenever and wherever you have internet access, or in the language laboratories.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.

Language skills are assessed by assignments and/or written and listening tests, which provide students with regular feedback on their progress. At the end of the semester, you take written and oral examinations.

Modules on Italian culture are assessed by a combination of in-class tests, written assignments and end-of-semester examinations. The Department of Italian places great emphasis on guiding students in the development of writing skills, and you are encouraged to engage in dialogue with lecturers during the drafting of essays and projects.

Who teaches this course

Staff in the Italian Department are all native speakers of Italian or have a near-native knowledge of the language. Courses are taught by the academic staff, by the three college language teachers, and by some of the department’s international group of PhD students.


Why Choose This Course

After graduation I was offered a job through the IBEC Export Orientation Programme, with Bord Bia in Milan.

Claire Creedon

Find Out More

The Department of Italian is one of the smallest units in UCC, which means that you get the individual attention needed to help you progress from beginners’ level to degree standard.

Key facts

  • Doorway to rich European cultural heritage
  • Language and culture complements subjects such as History of Art, Music and English
  • Opportunities to spend Year 3 studying at an Italian partner university
  • Language of a G8 country

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad

Various pathways through the BA International, Arts-Music (European Pathway), Drama & Theatre Studies (International Pathway) provide the opportunity to spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities in Italy or, where appropriate, in the country of your other language or subject. Students taking these courses may opt into the study-abroad pathway at the end of Year 1.

Currently, our partner universities in Italy for the BA include Venice, Florence, Rome 3, and Bologna, as well as other universities in smaller cities.

Work placement

If you study Italian through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.


Skills and Careers Information

Italian is not widely taught in Irish schools and consequently our student numbers are small compared, for example, to those in French. Demand by employers in Ireland for graduates of Italian, with the strong language and analytical skills you can acquire with UCC, is currently greater than supply, and many of our graduates also choose to work in Italy or other countries.

See here for examples of the career paths taken by graduates. The department also has a LinkedIn group exclusively for its graduates, where information on vacancies is exchanged.


Students wishing to take Beginners' Italian are recommended to have a minimum of Grade H4 in another modern continental language, or Irish, or Latin, or Greek in the Leaving Certificate Examination (or equivalent). Students wishing to take Non-Beginners' Italian are recommended to have a minimum of Grade H4 in Italian in the Leaving Certificate Examination or equivalent. For Arts entry requirements, refer to CK101 or CK108.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Refer to CK101 or CK108.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101 or CK108. First year students choose Arts subjects when registering.

Students wishing to take Beginners' Italian are recommended to have a minimum of Grade H4 in another modern continental language, or Irish, or Latin, or Greek in the Leaving Certificate Examination (or equivalent). Students wishing to take Non-Beginners' Italian are recommended to have a minimum of Grade H4 in Italian in the Leaving Certificate Examination or equivalent. 

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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Contact details for this course

Employability Guides for Arts Graduates

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact