MLitt in Italian Studies


Program Description

The MLitt in Italian Studies offers students the opportunity to further their studies in Italian literature and culture. Alongside an in-depth exploration of theory and training in research methodologies, students pursue directed study into topics that will broaden and develop their own research interests.

The MLitt in Italian Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of Italian in the School of Modern Languages. The programme's core focus is on questions of Italian national identity, and students are encouraged to take their particular interests in Italian culture further through more research-focused study, drawing on the wide historical and thematic range of specialist expertise offered by the Italian Department.


  • Students will deepen their knowledge of Italian history and culture through the study of literature, cinema, and other forms of cultural expression.
  • Students receive training in theory and its applications and are introduced to traditional and new research techniques through seminars with staff from across the School.
  • Teaching is delivered in small class sizes made up of diverse international students, providing a close-knit postgraduate community and friendly environment.

Teaching format

The taught element of the course consists of five compulsory modules involving literary theory, research skills, and Italian literature and culture. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual one-to-one teaching up to 20 students. Modules are assessed through coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.

Targeted attention is also drawn to practical skills, such as designing research posters, giving formal presentations, and designing funding bids. Students will have the opportunity to broaden their language portfolios.

You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.


  • Italian Literary and Cultural Contexts: Italians: investigates how Italian identity has been constructed in cultural production from the 13th century to the present day.
  • Literary and Cultural Theory 1: explores a range of literary and cultural theories through which texts of all sorts may be conceptualised, criticised and analysed.
  • Literary and Cultural Theory 2: continues on from part 1 by studying a broad chronological and national range of seminal thinkers and theories.
  • Research and Professional Skills: introduces students to a range of skills which are essential to advanced researchers and key to many other non-academic workplaces.
  • Specialised Research in Italian Studies: allows students to pursue their own particular interests in greater depth through an extended study of individual authors or topics in or across historical periods.


Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on an agreed topic and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


Modern Language postgraduates go on to careers in the academic field or in other areas, for example as cultural advisors, translators, or in the public or civil service.

Recent graduates have secured posts such as:

  • academic and language teaching posts in the UK and Europe,
  • research assistants,
  • recruitment,
  • professional translation and interpreting,
  • business and management,
  • publishing,
  • international events organization,
  • public relations.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in Italian with an Italian language proficiency at C1 level on the European Framework or equivalent.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV,
  • personal statement (optional),
  • a sample of academic written work (2,000 words),
  • two original signed academic references,
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates,
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).


Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coas ... Read More

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience. Read less
Saint Andrews