Religious Studies and Italian (BA)

Religious Studies and Italian BA (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to study a historical Romance language alongside religion – part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day.

Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day. It has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour.

You will be encouraged to actively pursue your own areas of interest through the highly flexible modular programmes. This will lead to the development of transferable skills, ready for entry into the graduate job market.

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. Studying 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.

The Year Abroad in your third year will provide you with a great opportunity to further improve your Italian and to fully immerse yourself in another culture.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVR63
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerABB. If you have not studied any Italian previously, the university requires an A level in any other modern foreign language at grade B or above.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades BB at GCE A-level, to include grade B in a Language subject.
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

Religious Studies, Linguistics 

Admissions tutor(s)

Professor Fabio Vighi, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Yarnell, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, 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.

This is a four-year degree programme comprising some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from to tailor your degree to meet your interests.  Year 3 is spent abroad.

Year one

Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Gender and Sexuality: Islamic PerspectivesRT134520 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT121820 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Religion in Modern BritainRT733620 credits
Innovations in European LiteratureML129820 credits
Borders and Identities in post-war European CinemaML129920 credits
History Of Art From Middle Ages To The RenaissanceML829220 credits
Italian Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML829920 credits
Dante: The Journey And The MissionML829420 credits
Introduction to Specialised TranslationML229820 credits
Principles of Translation TheoryML229920 credits
Italian Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML829620 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT122620 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
Italian Migrations (Year 2)ML828920 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Year four

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Gender and Sexuality: Islamic PerspectivesRT134520 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT121820 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Religion in Modern BritainRT733620 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT122620 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Italian Language (BA Languages)ML839720 credits
Italian Cinema: Desire, Fantasy, Trauma.ML839520 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
Italian for professional purposesML838620 credits
Twentieth Century Italian Women's WritingML839120 credits
From East to West: at the roots of European CultureML239920 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in English)ML839440 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in Italian)ML839040 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Italian)ML838920 credits
Dissertation (Italian-JH)ML838720 credits
Joint Honours Italian Dissertation IN ITALIANML838520 credits
European Cinema DissertationML230320 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.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, field trips, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned

You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors.

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.

You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management.

School of History, Archaeology and Religion
In 2013/14, 92% 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

3

Applications received

Typical applications received

ABB- BBB

To include German A level. Not including General Studies 

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Religious Studies, Linguistics 

What are the aims of this Programme?

Religious Studies and Italian BA (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine a major world language with the study of religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues, and according to a range of methodological approaches (incl. textual hermeneutics, gender theories, cultural and theoretical anthropology, conflict studies, media, globalisation etc.). The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics aims to create ‘global citizens’ of its students and, with in depth study of both Religious Studies and Italian, graduates will be an asset for an increasingly global workforce. Students divide their modules equally between Religious Studies and Italian (and in the first year potentially with a third subject).

The emphasis on the Religious Studies side of the degree is on choice with students having a free choice of all the modules that are offered in Religious Studies, subject to caps on student numbers. Students are able, in the final year, to produce original work of their own in the form of a dissertation in Religious Studies.

In Italian students will develop high-level language skills, with the aim being to achieve near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and/or society of Italy, through the study of option modules.  Students will also spend their third year in Italy, practising and developing their acquired language skills. 

What is expected of me?

It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching, but as a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing academically by attending lectures, language classes, seminars and tutorials. It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

• It is in the lectures that you find out what the key topics in your subject are, which can help you structure your additional reading.

• Your seminars are the place for you to discuss issues raised in the course and from your reading, and to enhance and develop your understanding.

• Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.

• Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group. Attendance at lectures, seminars, and tutorials is COMPULSORY. Therefore if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or the Departmental administrator in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence.Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in subject Handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook. The Department expects that Students will: 

• attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)

• prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials

• avoid plagiarism (plagiarism being work which uses the words or ideas of others without acknowledging them as such)

• take responsibility for their own learning, with appropriate guidance monitor their own progress and take account of the feedback given

• show respect for their fellow students, tutors and the learning environment

• manage their time effectively so that they are adequately prepared for all classes and assignments

• complete their assessments on time and in compliance with the instructions given

•take responsibility for advising themselves of the regulations governing assessments

•ensure that they are registered for the requisite number of modules and that the Registry are aware of which modules they are taking

•read all handbooks carefully and take appropriate action

•regularly access their University e-mail account •ask members of staff before using their names as referee

How is this Programme Structured?

BA Religious Studies and Italian is a four year degree programme. It is structured so that you acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment.

Year One

Core Modules in Year One:

  • Italian Language (both at Beginner and Advanced level)
  • Modern Italy: Birth of a Nation?

Typical Optional Modules in Year One:

  • Introduction to Religion 1
  • Introduction to Religion 2
  • Introduction to the Bible
  • The Story of Christianity

Year Two

Core Modules in Year Two:

  • Italian Language (both at ex-Beginner and ex-Advanced level)

Typical Optional Modules in Year Two:

  • Borders and Identities in Post-War European Cinema
  • Innovations in European Literature
  • History of Art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
  • Memories of Fascism
  • Emotions, Symbols and Rituals
  • Religion and Gender
  • Islamic History, Islamic Thought
  • Buddhism
  • Jainism
  • Philosophical Analysis of Religious Texts
  • Reformation History
  • New Testament Gospels and Acts

Year Three

Core Module in Year Three:

Intercalary year abroad

Year Four

Core Module in Year Four:

  • Italian Language (Autumn Semester)
  • Italian for Professional Purposes (Spring Semester) OR
  • Advanced Translation Practice (Spring Semester)

Typical Optional Modules in Year Four:

  • Twentieth-Century Italian Women’s Writing
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini: Social Conflict in Modern Italy
  • Italian Cinema: Desire, Fantasy, Trauma
  • Italian Migrations
  • Student Language Ambassador in Secondary Schools
  • Dissertation
  • Islam in the Contemporary World
  • Early Hinduism
  • Sufism
  • Bodies, Spirits and Souls
  • Ancient, Medieval and Modern Judaism
  • Money, Sex and Power in the Early Church
  • Religion in Modern Britain
  • Christian Social Ethics Today

*The modules available can change from year to year depending upon staff and teaching schedules, and are not guaranteed. 

Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

Dictionary and set texts

What skills will I practise and develop?

On completion of the degree programme students should be able to

  • communicate ideas effectively and fluently;
  • use communication and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation od information;
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management;
  • gather, organise and deploy information from a variety of sources;
  • develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement;
  • develop the learning ability needed to undertake further training of a professional or equivalent nature;
  • reflect on his or her learning progress and make use of constructive feedback;
  • manage their own learning self-critically.

The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. In broad terms:

  • Year One introduces you to a variety of topics, skills and range of approaches.
  • Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods.
  • Year Three is a year abroad.
  • Year Four provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the optional production of a Dissertation based on original research.

You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners. 

How will I be taught?

A range of teaching methods and learning styles are used throughout the degree programme. Lectures (using a wide variety of sources such as texts, images, film, music, drama) initially introduce students to the general subject matter as well as provide students with guidance on further reading to deepen their knowledge and understanding in private study. The lectures are supported by seminars, where the smaller group sizes encourage acquisition of more specialized knowledge, understanding and skills using methods such as group work and discussion, oral presentations and source criticism. Consistent and constructive feedback (oral and written) by the academic staff in lectures, seminars and personal one-to-one meetings ensures that each student optimizes their learning potential. Each one-hour seminar requires six to eight hours of preparation; in the seminar itself you will use the knowledge acquired during the preparatory time to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will receive feedback on your ideas and arguments from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument using evidence from a range of scholarly and academic sources. You will receive individual feedback on your essays from lecturers: written and oral. Modules in Year One usually comprise of two weekly lectures, supplemented by weekly seminars in small groups. In Year Two, and especially Year Four, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week. Italian is taught in small interactive classes designed to enable students to acquire grammatical precision and advanced written and oral communication skills. None of the degree programme is available through the medium of Welsh.

How will I be assessed?

Italian is assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment and examination to enable students to receive regular guidance and feedback and to monitor their own progress against the learning outcomes. Option modules are assessed by essays and examination to enable students to demonstrate their capacity for critical engagement with evidence and the discipline-specific knowledge required to produce a coherent, reasoned argument. Religious Studies is assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. Students may also write source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation. In certain modules, they give oral presentations as part of their assessment. Progression is built into assessment: Year One tasks are smaller and completed under more guidance than Year Two and subsequently Year Four. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on longer pieces of work, independent written work, e.g. written portfolios as 100% assessment model; 8,000 word final year dissertation. Modules in the final year also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on critically handling a larger number of bibliographic tasks and items. Students receive extensive feedback in a variety of forms, including Essay Clinics on formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, essay tutorials, lecturer contact-hours (in office and electronically).

How will I be supported?

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor in both Religious Studies and German with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Please see the relevant Notice Boards for information on your Personal Tutor. If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, and you wish urgently to discuss matters with a member of staff, you may seek advice from the Senior Tutor or another member of staff. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

As appropriate, modules use the Learning Central electronic learning environment, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials, as copyright permits, and electronic tests. Students undertaking the Open Choice Dissertation or the Open Choice Translation are allocated a research supervisor at the start of the academic year. Opportunities for students to reflect on their general abilities and performance are provided through Personal Development Plans (which we call ‘CV Building’). 

What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • demonstrate a high level of language competency in Italian, both orally and in writing;
  • demonstrate a knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and/or society of Italy;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of religions in a global context, in history and in the present;
  • demonstrate a general understanding of the various approaches adopted by Religious Studies to the study of religious traditions and theologies;
  • demonstrate understanding of debates concerning religious and theological issues in historical context and contemporary society;
  • demonstrate critical understanding;
  • develop a reasoned, coherent, argument about specific problems, deploying appropriate evidence, and demonstrating awareness of the limits of their knowledge;
  • achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team. 

Other information

Students will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. Students learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally.

Admissions tutors

Professor Fabio Vighi, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Yarnell, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, Admissions Tutor


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.

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