Italian and Politics (BA)

Expertise in politics and government combined with fluency in Italian opens the door to a wide variety of career paths.

Students on this programme can choose from the full range of Politics modules, while expert language training is accompanied by optional modules on Italian society and culture. A particular feature of this four-year degree is the Year Abroad which takes place in your third year. You will spend your third year in an Italian-speaking country in order to practise and improve your language skills.

In your first year you will concentrate on core modules plus your chosen language, Italian. In your second and final years you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Politics

Politics as an area of study develops your knowledge and understanding of governments, governance and societies. Politics is central to our everyday lives. It explores people and power and involves drama and events of great significance both today and historically. Think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration. Studying for a politics degree means investigating how politics works as it does and delves into how parliaments and governments function while also allowing you to evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

Italian

Italy possesses one of the major literary, historical and legal traditions in Western Europe, and has played a unique role in the development of fine art, cinema, architecture and music. From Roman times the Italian contribution to world culture has been enormous. It is a major political partner in the European Union, a leading force in fields such as engineering and architecture, and the home of the design and fashion industries.

Key facts

UCAS CodeLR23
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
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 including a B in a foreign language (excluding General Studies).
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades BB at GCE A-level, to include a Modern Foreign Language.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points overall (including 5 in a language at higher level).
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

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.

Year one

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor it to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Students of this course study 60 credits from the School of Modern Languages and 60 credits in Politics.

Year two

 Year 2 you choose three Politics and three Italian modules

Year three: Sandwich year

Your third year will be spent abroad in an Italian speaking country. You can either study at one of our partner universities or work for an Italian speaking organisation. Your Year Abroad coordinator will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress throughout your time away.

The University has established academic links with universities in Milan, Pavia, Parma, Pisa, Verona, Trento, Venice and Catania.  All students on a Socrates exchange receive an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend in Italy.

Year four

In your final year you choose three Politics and three Italian modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Italian Language (BA Languages)ML839720 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL938820 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
Italian for professional purposesML838620 credits
Twentieth Century Italian Women's WritingML839120 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Dissertation (Italian-JH)ML838720 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Italian)ML838920 credits
Joint Honours Italian Dissertation IN ITALIANML838520 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
Dissertation/Project (Translation)ML238920 credits
Devolution in Practice: Welsh Law and Politics Work PlacementPL931020 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
Free Speech in a Multicultural SocietyPL931420 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, bullets and ballot-boxes: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Intelligence in Contemporary Politics: Bond, Bourne and the Business of SpyingPL932320 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
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.

Politics

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.

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 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.

 

School of Law and Politics - Politics

In 2013/14, 96% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, Oxford City Council, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

Duration

4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

School of Law and Politics

In 2013/14 over 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.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

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 proof-readers, 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 Politics and Italian, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

The field of politics allows you to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability as well as incorporating international relations.

Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

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 Politics and 60 credits in Italian.

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. 

You will take 60 credits in optional year three politics modules, including the option of writing a dissertation.  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 Politics and 60 credits in Italian.

Year one Politics is an introductory year. You will take our foundation core modules to lay the groundwork for your study in years two and four.

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
  • academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO.

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


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