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BA (Hons) Italian and Linguistics (with a year abroad)

Immerse yourself in Italian language and study the science behind communication

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

RQ31

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB/ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£17,890 per year (2020/21)

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Learn Italian for the language, the rich culture and heritage, and the career opportunities it will give you. Spend a year abroad studying, working or teaching in Italy, consolidating your language skills, and immersing yourself in the culture.

Combine the study of Italian with investigations into the nature of language itself. You'll be taught the language component of the course in Italian, so you'll become confident using Italian as a means of communication, and for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of Italian culture and society which will underpin your abilities as a high-level communicator. Italian has close links to Romance languages, and to Latin, which will greatly enhance your understanding of various languages.

Your communication skills will be complemented by studying linguistics. This will enable you to understand and interpret language, and to learn the science behind how we communicate. You’ll engage with the study of language on a conceptual level as well as the detailed level of raw linguistic data. Our department is one of the highest-ranked centres for research in linguistics in the UK, and the strength and diversity of our research is reflected in our teaching.

The course has flexibility in terms of how much Italian and linguistics content you study over the four years. Your knowledge and understanding of how a language works, and how we communicate, will give you a solid foundation for many careers.

Happy students

We have 94% overall satisfaction for Linguistics, and 91% for Italian. For satisfaction with the learning community we also have 100% for Italian and 92% for Spanish from our student responses to the National Student Survey (NSS 2019).

Course content

During your degree, you'll study modules in Italian and linguistics and may have the option to study elective modules from another department.

Your language modules will explore the society and culture of Italy and you'll be taught almost exclusively in Italian. These modules will help you to develop the cultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in each language.

Your linguistics modules will help you understand the nature of language itself: how it is structured, how it has evolved, and how we use and understand it within our society. These modules will enable you to think critically and approach your studies from an analytical point of view.

In your second and final years, you can tailor your degree to your interests. In the final year, you can choose from a range of advanced Italian modules designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. You'll also become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. Many final-year linguistics modules offer you the opportunity to focus on Italian language as the topic of research.

 

Year 1

You'll study six modules overall.

Language

You'll take three 20-credit Italian modules.

Linguistics

You'll take three 20-credit linguistics modules from these options:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll study six modules overall: two Italian modules, two linguistics modules, and two more from a range of options.

Language

You'll study one compulsory 20-credit language module.

You will choose one more 20-credit module from the following options:

Your studies will focus on issues of culture and society in Italy. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using Italian in different registers. You'll tackle questions such as:

  • Why does regional cultural diversity play such an important role in modern Italian society?
  • Why is there still a broad economic divide between Northern and Southern Italy?

Linguistics

You'll study one 20-credit core linguistics module.

You'll study one 20-credit module of either:

Option modules

You'll study two further modules in languages or linguistics, these can include one Languages For All module or an elective module offered by another department.

We can offer you unparalleled coverage of the field, with modules taught by world-leading academics in the core areas of syntax, phonetics and phonology, semantics, and sociolinguistics, and in sub-fields including second language acquisition, child bilingualism, and historical-comparative linguistics.

Year 3

Year abroad

We assist you in setting up overseas university study, teaching or work placements, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

You'll complete two essays while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade. 

Year 4

You'll study six modules overall: at least two Italian modules, up to four linguistics modules, up to two electives from another department. 

You'll study two language modules in your final year. These are designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. By this stage in your degree, you'll be able to demonstrate oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural contexts. In each of these modules, you will write a research essay of around 3000 words. 

Language core module (20 credits)

Language option modules (20 credits each)

Most linguistics modules require you to have taken certain modules in your first and second year. In some of these, you can choose to focus on a language of your choice. The list belows demonstrates some of the modules that are running this year:

Linguistics modules (20 credits each)

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interact effectively, in a variety of contexts, having developed an awareness of and sensitivity to linguistic and intercultural norms and practices enabling you to solve bilingual communication-related problems.
  • Approach with confidence intricate, complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and convey their significance to different audiences.
  • Reflect on the learning process and apply a range of language acquisition strategies by taking advantage of both formal and informal bilingual settings in order to become an autonomous learner.
  • Acquire, synthesise and critically assess linguistic and culturally-sensitive information, from a variety of sources and formats, in order to better inform relevant linguistic research
  • Select and deploy appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language to gain a holistic and multifaceted understanding of a range of issues in the cognitive and social sciences.
  • Show sensitivity and perceptiveness concerning aspects of social, cultural, and political realities where language plays an important role and be able to highlight the relevance of linguistic issues to policy-making in a globalised and interconnected world.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively to specialists and the general public the nature and relevance of linguistic questions and controversies, the pivotal significance of language for human cognition, and the ways knowledge of language influences behaviour.

World-class

We are in the top 100 for Linguistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).

Study abroad

Immerse yourself in Italian culture, language and art in the country with the most UNESCO world heritage sites in the world.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,890

Additional costs

Set texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. For ab-initio languages you may need to buy books with a total cost of £50 to £60. Second hand books are often available more cheaply.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to Languages and Linguistics.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

The staff at York are inspiring, approachable and most of all, great at teaching languages.
Jacob, Spanish and Italian student

Read more on Jacob's blog.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

In your first year we offer you extra study support in several ways. You can work with other students with our Peer Assisted Learning programme, add an optional contact hour with one of our staff each week as well as receive designated support with easing into university life.

Language

Our focus at York is on effective communication in Italian. That is why:

  • we teach mainly in small seminars (not more than 15)
  • classroom interactions are in Italian
  • we use authentic Italian materials (eg resources designed for native speakers of the language)
  • we emphasise issues of culture and society, allowing you to develop a high level of cultural awareness to underpin your language skills

Linguistics

Core linguistics modules are taught through lectures (some with over 100 students), accompanied by sessions in smaller groups (15–20 students). With more advanced linguistics modules, you'll typically have more interactive classroom activities, such as group presentations or practical sessions, in addition to lectures. In final-year linguistics modules, most teaching is in smaller groups. Depending on the module, your work may focus on library-based study using primary research papers, lab-based analysis of linguistic corpora, or lectures and seminars in one the advanced areas of specialism of our staff.

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 12 hours per teaching week in the classroom (including both languages and linguistics). Contact hours in the final year will vary depending on individual module choices.

In addition to your classroom time, you should expect to devote at least 30 additional hours a week to independent study. This will include completing exercises, reading and digesting assigned papers, researching projects, writing and revising coursework, and preparing for assessments. Twice a year, in the middle of Autumn and Spring Terms, we have a reading week, which is devoted to independent study. You will receive guidance on your goals for each reading week.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures and seminars228 hours204 hours0 hours168 hours
Placement0 hours0 hours1200 hours0 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Facilities

All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are always accessible. Most first-year modules provide additional self-study practice exercises on the VLE.

We have our own departmental e-Lab for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials. Several undergraduate modules are taught in this laboratory and you'll receive training in using these resources.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms eg written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on an assignment, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Your year abroad is assessed, you must satisfactorily complete certain criteria in order to graduate with a degree that has 'with a year abroad' in the title.

  • Two essays in the target language submitted to York during the year
  • You must fulfil your year abroad obligations (for example attending courses and completing all the local assessments if you're at university, or carrying out your teaching duties if you're on a teaching assistantship).

However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that, it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam. This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages, there are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams50%74%0%54%
Coursework42%18%100%38%
Practical exams8%8%0%8%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Spanish seminar

Learning in your target languages

In our French, German, Italian and Spanish programmes, we emphasise oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural context. All our core language modules are taught in your target languages, in small groups. We teach a range of content modules, with topics on current issues, media, film, social trends and politics, and with an introduction to translation in the final year. Our focus is on your competence in the culture and language, providing you with the means to function in the language at a professional level.

Everything about the University and the Department was welcoming when I came to visit, I could really see myself fitting into the community here where I couldn't anywhere else. Secondly, York is celebrated worldwide for its Department of Linguistics, and being able to say I study here is something I am proud of.
Roz, BA French and Spanish with a year abroad

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and linguistics at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.

Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation.

Apart from your knowledge of linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.

There are specialist careers that lead directly from your degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), forensic linguistics (forensic speech science), teaching (primary and secondary) teaching English as a foreign language, academic research and higher/further education.

Career opportunities

  • marketing and communications
  • publishing
  • broadcasting and journalism
  • local government and public service
  • business, finance and accountancy
  • teaching
  • translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • effective communication skills
  • intercultural awareness
  • critical thinking
  • project management
  • independent learning
  • data analysis
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAB/ABB

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate 35/34 points

If you successfully complete our Accents, Attitudes and Identity online course, you may be eligible for a reduced offer.

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers of who wish to study their own language.

You'll take the Italian part of this programme ab initio (ie, from scratch, or with a qualification below A-level).

Qualifications

GCSE or AS level Italian may be appropriate qualifications for entry onto the programme. However, even if you do not have one of these qualifications, but you can demonstrate an aptitude for languages through other experience (eg, successful study of a different foreign language), you may be eligible for this programme.

Language interviews

Some students who do not have an A level in the language that they wish to study may nonetheless already have A level standard knowledge of the language (eg, a student who took GCSE and then spent time in a country where the target language is spoken, before university). At the time of application, we will conduct an interview and task, to determine which route would be most appropriate for students who do not have an A level in a language they wish to study.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

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Department of Language and Linguistic Science

Related courses

You can study Italian on a variety of other courses:

You can study linguistics on other degree courses, too:

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