Italian and Philosophy (BA)

The Joint Honours degree in Italian and Philosophy provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills and that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. This is a four year degree with a third year spent studying abroad.

Philosophy at Cardiff is distinct for its strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics and its equal attention to 'analytic' and 'Continental' styles of Western philosophy.

Italy possesses one of the major cultural, artistic and historical traditions in Europe. Italy has played a unique role in the development of fine art, architecture, film and music

From Roman times the Italian contribution to world culture has been enormous as it is obvious to anyone who steps foot in the country, however briefly. But Italy is not just a country of singular cultural importance. It is a major political partner in the European Union, and it is a leading force in fields such as engineering and architecture. It is the home of the design and fashion industries. A degree in Italian at Cardiff University enables students to access, analyse and evaluate current developments in Italian society as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Italian, students will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today.

Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVR53
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places availableThe School of Modern Languages typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School of Modern Languages typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB, excluding General Studies. Three A-level subjects, generally including a B in a modern foreign language for beginners or B in Italian for the advanced pathway. Exceptions can be made according to personal circumstances. Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding any specified language A-levels.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34-36 points overall including 5 at higher level in a modern foreign language
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Professor Fabio Vighi, Course Administrator

Professor Fabio Vighi, Admissions Tutor

Dr Richard Gray, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Philosophy

We realise that many of our students will not have had the opportunity to study Philosophy before as an academic discipline, and for the increasing number of those who have, it is still relatively new and demanding. We therefore structure the programme with great care so as to build progressively your critical understanding and creative philosophical skills.

Year one

In year one you will take 60 credits in Italian and 60 credits in Philosophy.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Modern Italy: Birth of a Nation?ML810320 credits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Advanced Italian Language Year 1ML818840 credits
Beginners Italian Language Year 1ML818940 credits

Year two

You will take 60 credits in Philosophy and 60 credits in Italian.

Year three: Sandwich year

You spend year three studying abroad.

Year four

You will take 60 credits in Philosophy and 60 credits in Italian.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

School of English, Communication and Philosophy
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy offers intellectually stimulating programmes of study, shaped by the latest research. We have a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

Our programmes foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory, and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team-working, independent research, and time management. A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.

School of Modern Languages
Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.

Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study; to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

School of English, Communication and Philosophy
In 2013/14, 91% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

School of Modern Languages
In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment. 

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such as Translators, Language Assistants, Export Assistants and Proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.

Duration

4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

We provide our students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

School of Modern Languages

In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of finding a job. Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies.

Employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

Many students find studying a joint honours stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining Philosophy and Italian, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

There are two related aspects of the philosophy course at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy, allowing students to develop a full understanding of both with the possibility of an informed choice to specialise in one approach or the other.

Since Roman times, the Italian contribution to world culture has been enormous as it is obvious to anyone who steps foot in the country, however briefly. But Italy is not just a country of singular cultural importance. It is a major political partner in the European Union, and it is a leading force in fields such as engineering and architecture. It is the home of the design and fashion industries. 

Italian at Cardiff University enables you to access, analyse and evaluate current developments across the Italian speaking world as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Italian, you will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today  

You will develop high-level language skills with the aim of achieving near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and society of Italy. You will spend your third year in Italy, practising and developing your language skills. We offer Italian for both advanced students and beginners.

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves examining many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas you are able to gain a better understanding of Italian culture and of how it has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

This full-time course lasts for four years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year, split equally between the two subjects. Most modules are worth 20 credits. The third year is spent abroad.

What should I know about year four?

In your final year you will take 60 credits in Philosophy and 60 credits in Italian

Your final year is based around Philosophy modules that reflect the current research activities of the staff who teach them, building on the themes studied in year two. You will read and think about the very same texts that the module leader is currently thinking and writing about.

We no longer distinguish between beginner and advanced Italian students in the final year and all students will take the same language modules. You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and specialise in your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options. 

Our final year dissertation module gives you the option to write a dissertation and engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills.

What should I know about year three?

Year three is spent in Italy. Your options include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school through the British Council Scheme, or working for an Italian organisation or company.  

If you choose the study option, we have established academic links with universities in Milan, Pavia, Parma, Pisa, Verona, Trento, Venice, Florence and Catania. 

Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you either a major city or a small, rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.

The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the Italian-speaking world. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak Italian and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.      

The year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may also get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.

Final year students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have contributed to our extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with student-centred advice throughout your year abroad.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. You will take 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in Philosophy and 60 credits in Italian.

The compulsory philosophy modules focus on the nature of thinking and introduce the central concepts, theories, arguments, and approaches of contemporary moral and political theory. 

In year one Italian you will build on core linguistic skills and be introduced to Italian culture, literature, civilisation and politics. There are two pathways available: an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in Italian and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of Italian.

The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginner’s pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway.

To provide a foundation for more specialised studies, you also study modules devoted to the history and culture of modern Italy as well as Italian politics, economics and society.     

Other information

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • core modules that guarantee a solid base for all, but then allow you, with advice from your personal tutor, to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
  • a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have Italian A-level
  • a year spent studying or working in Italy.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

Admissions tutors

Professor Fabio Vighi, Course Administrator

Professor Fabio Vighi, Admissions Tutor

Dr Richard Gray, Admissions Tutor


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