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Italian Studies

Italian at Durham is one of the top Italian units in the UK: it was ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, and it regularly appears in the top five in major national league tables, contributing to Durham University’s top-30 placing for Arts and Humanities in the Time Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2022, and 32nd in the QS World University Rankings 2023.


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BA Modern Languages and Cultures

Find out how to apply, all course details and structure, entry requirements and more.

Visit BA Modern Languages and Cultures course page
University student
Studying Modern Languages at Durham University has been nothing but a joy. The first-year modules offer an incredible insight into the literary, cinematic, and historical context of the country. From Da Vinci to Dante, Mussolini to Antonioni, I have been gifted an incredible education from a department that is both supportive and genuinely enthusiastic.

Durham University languages student

Undergraduate Programme

Our undergraduate programme offers dedicated language modules for both post A-levels and beginner students, taught by professional language teachers who are native Italian speakers, and a wide range of culture modules taught by experts at the forefront of Italian studies. The interaction between language and culture at every level as well as a strong emphasis on visual culture are features that distinguish Italian studies at Durham. For full information on our courses, see the section ‘Modules’.

Our undergraduate programme offers:

  • dedicated language modules for both post-A levels and beginner students, taught by native Italian speakers
  • a wide range of culture modules, taught by experts at the forefront of Italian studies
  • In Italy, our students can spend all or part of their Year Abroad at one of our Erasmus partner Universities, or at dedicated work placements.


Florence, photo taken by our student James Evans on their year abroad.


Year Abroad

Our students can spend all or part of their Year Abroad at one of our partner Universities, or at dedicated work placements in Italy. There is support available in planning and enjoying the Year Abroad at all stages of the process.

Italian Studies currently has exchanges with the Universities of Bologna (for postgraduate students), Catania, Florence, Modena, Pisa, Chieti and Siena Università per Stranieri.

Students in Italian can also apply to work as an English teacher in Italy under the British Council scheme. See also our year abroad page.


University student
I worked at a retail property investment company in Milan. I really valued living and working in an environment where I wasn’t a native speaker. Soon, I loved the experience of rocking up somewhere new and putting myself out there to meet people.

Durham University languages student
University student
Being a Language Assistant for the British Council in Italy has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Whilst I am here as a teacher, I often feel like I am the one learning, first about the Italian language and its culture but then also about myself on a much deeper level too.

Durham University languages student

Research-led Teaching

Our research-active members are experts in what they teach and involved in projects of international significance. Our-research-led teaching produces courses that are highly valued by all our undergraduates.

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Why study Italian?

Find out why to study Italian at university and what to expect. This video was produced by the Society of Italian Studies.

Find out more about our alumni
University student
Studying in Italy is a dream come true; I have made so many friends and visited so many beautiful places, including Bologna, Rimini, Milan, Venice, and even the microstate of San Marino. It has been very rewarding taking courses in Italian at the university, and I have seen my confidence in speaking Italian rise greatly. It is also incredibly unique to study in theatres with paintings lining the walls!

Durham University languages student
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What's it like studying Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham

In this video Mia, Spanish and Italian graduate, explains why she chose to study languages at Durham University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures and what she loves about it.

Go to BA Modern Languages and Cultures Course Page

Hear from our alumni

Get to know our alumna Amanda Jackson

Amanda took the BA Modern Languages & Culture with a Year Abroad, with a focus on French & Italian, and graduated in 2016.

Get to know our alumna Ayesha Mahmood

Ayesha studied the BA in Modern Languages and Cultures with a Year Abroad, specialising in French and Italian and graduated in 2019.

Discover more

Find out more about our members of staff responsible for Italian studies, other language courses, employability, study abroad and scholarships.


See a complete list of all members of staff responsible for Italian studies.
Staff Meeting


Find out more about our modules for Italian studies.
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Find out more about other language courses we offer.
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Find out more about job prospects and careers with a degree from MLaC.
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Study Abroad

Find out more about where and how to study abroad.
Study abroad


Find out more about scholarships for eligible undergraduate students.
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