Italian is considered by many the most romantic and musical language in the world. It is the language of one of the richest culinary traditions but also of classical music, art history, design and fashion.

Streets of Monopoli.

Italy has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and continues to charm with its breath-taking landscapes and cities rich in art and history.

In June 2022 we interviewed five of our linguists on the BA in Modern Languages and Cultures. We asked them what they thought about our classes, the topics covered and more in general why they had picked Italian in their first year at Sheffield.

Ruth's Testimonial

Ruth, student of Italian

"I’m Ruth and I studied Italian alongside French and German as part of the BA Modern Languages degree at Sheffield. I had no prior knowledge of Italian before starting but it became my favourite language thanks to the teaching and the very tangible progress we were making every week. With the Beginners Accelerated course, we could have basic conversations by Christmas of first year. Four years later we were presenting on topics such as the migrant crisis and Italy’s colonial past. 

The language classes included studying films, culture and politics and we often had the chance to choose our own topics to research. Public speaking became a lot less daunting as the course progressed which massively helped with other parts of my degree! The tutors got to know us all well and were attentive to not just our strengths and weaknesses in Italian, but also our personalities and the ways in which we learned best. 

Italian is an ideal language within the BAMLC course and fits well with languages like French and Spanish. Despite only being 20 credits of my degree, studying Italian has given me so much over the past four years. There are so many people and places I would never have got to know had I not chosen Italian!"

Undergraduate degree combinations

BA Modern Languages & Cultures

On the BA Modern Languages & Cultures you can study Italian as a combination with the other 9 languages we offer. The Italian portion will be 40 credits in first year, and 20 credits in subsequent years. 

One language and culture. You choose from French, German, Spanish or Russian and study compulsory modules in both language and culture in your first, second and final years. Each year you configure the rest of your programme from further culture options in your language, or choose optional modules from across the School of Languages and Cultures or from the wider University. You spend your third year abroad.

Two languages and cultures. You'll study any two languages and cultures from our choice of 10 (20 credits for Italian).  You take modules in both language and culture in your two choices in your first and second year.  You usually spend your third year in two different countries where your languages are spoken (with the exception of Italian). In your final year you take languages modules in both languages and a culture module in at least one language. Each year you choose additional optional modules to create your own bespoke programme of study.

Three languages and cultures. The structure is the same as the two language option but you also take a language module in your third language in your first year (20 credits for Italian). In your second and final year you continue to study language modules in all three languages.  You will take a culture module in at least one of your languages. You then choose optional modules for the rest of the programme. You will normally divide your third year between two countries where your languages are spoken and we also recommend that you spend some time in the country of your third language.

Choose from these languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Catalan
  • Dutch
  • Luxembourgish* (from second year only)
  • Czech
Dual Honours (with a non-language subject)

As a Dual Honours degree student you will combine one main language and culture (40 credits), choosing from French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Catalan, Dutch, Czech, with Italian (20 credits) and 60 credits from the list below. 

Please note, Italian can not be studied on its own in a dual degree and must be taken in combination with a second language.

  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

Find out more about our range of dual honours degrees.

Guided Module Choice

If you have some experience of modern language learning, you may be able to take Italian language & culture modules either as part of your degree (guided modules) or alongside your degree (not-for-credit modules).

Italian Finalists
The Italian Co-ordinator and some of the Italian finalists at their graduation, in July 22

Course information

Language Modules

At Sheffield you can start studying Italian from scratch with no prior knowledge. All our language classes are informal and taught in small groups. The emphasis is always on real language in real situations. Right from the start of the course you will be encouraged to speak as much as possible; after all, the best way to learn is by doing. Grammar is taught in context, as it arises in the materials in use, and is immediately put into practice with pair and group activities so that you will be able to really understand all its nuances and become a confident user.

You will be presented with a variety of materials on contemporary Italian society and matters of academic interest and will participate in lively debates on topics such as stereotypes and the phenomenon of Mammismo, controversies around the protection and restoration of many cultural heritage sites, the North and South cultural and economic divide, the recent rise of populist parties on the Italian political scene and many other issues affecting Italy today. We will also watch and review a selection of Italian films that will give you an insight into the reality of life in Italy.

Module Information

At Sheffield you can study Italian ab initio. You will take 40 credits of Italian language in your first year and 20 credits of Italian in subsequent years. These modules will develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills as well as developing your awareness and understanding of Italian culture.




Accelerated Italian Beginners  20 Core
Accelerated Italian Intermediate 20 Core

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 7 September 2022

Explore the University

Discover what sets Sheffield apart at our next on-campus open day.