Back to:Italian major

Study Italian language and culture in one of Australia's leading Italian language programs. Learn the language of a culturally rich country to help with your own travel, and learn how Italy has influenced Australian art, food and lifestyle. 

Italian language subjects are organised in a progressive sequence of units from Italian 1 through to Italian 6 and beyond. Entry and exit points are determined by your background in the language, placement testing if required, and prerequisites.

Italian language study at the University of Melbourne is also available in the Diploma in Languages.

Careers

  • Communications
  • Community development 
  • Diplomacy
  • Government
  • International relations
  • Multinational business
  • Teaching
  • Translation and interpretation

Subjects you could take in this major

  • This subject provides a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Italian. Language classes will gradually familiarise the students with the structures, rules and skills necessary to communicate in Italian. Continuous assessment (through tests, exercises and other activities) is fundamental to evaluating the students’ progress in the acquisition of Italian. By the end of the semester, students should have developed oral and written competency in Italian and acquired the skills necessary to read and discuss simple literary texts.

  • This subject provides in intensive mode a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Italian. Language classes will gradually familiarise the students with the structures, rules and skills necessary to communicate in Italian. Continuous assessment (through tests, exercises and other activities) is fundamental to evaluating the students’ progress in the acquisition of Italian. By the end of the semester, students should have developed oral and written competency in Italian and acquired the skills necessary to read and discuss simple literary texts.

  • This subject is a continuation of Italian 1 and / or Italian 1 (Mid Year Intensive). Students will extend their knowledge of the basic structures of the Italian language and will also widen their range of Italian vocabulary to further develop their ability to communicate through Italian. Students will be introduced to new aspects of contemporary Italian society through the programmatic study of topics ranging from Italian society, history, politics and cinema.

  • Students will consolidate and develop their ability to communicate in Italian while improving their understanding of Italian culture. A range of authentic media will be used to explore key themes in modern Italian society. This subject is designed for students with some prior knowledge, or experience, of the language, spoken and written. By the end of the semester, students should have attained a moderate level of complexity in speaking, listening, reading and writing of Italian, allowing them to expand their ability to engage in discussion, as well as to read, understand and produce a range of texts.

  • Students will further develop their communicative abilities in Italian and their understanding of Italian culture by engaging with authentic texts, written, spoken and audiovisual. A range of media and activities will be used to explore key themes in modern Italian society. The acquisition of structures such as the subjunctive and the passive will significantly extend students’ ability to understand and discuss information and views in Italian in both spoken and written form.

  • Students continue intensive revision and further development of the major areas of contemporary Italian language and culture. Through the analysis of language structures with a practical focus, students will extend their linguistic capacities in reading, writing, listening, speaking and describing the Italian language. Students also explore aspects of contemporary Italian literature, society and history through a programmatic study of post-war Italy. Students develop a critical capacity enabling them to understand and analyse a variety of text types (film, music, mass media, literature, etc.). Communication skills will also be developed through online and face-to-face collaboration in a range of in- and out-of-class activities.

  • Students in this subject intensively revise and further develop their knowledge of contemporary Italian language and culture. The subject combines analysis of language structures with a practical focus, all designed to extend students’ linguistic capacities in reading, writing, listening, speaking and describing the Italian language. Students also explore aspects of contemporary Italian literature, society and history through themes such as young people in contemporary society, and changing views on marriage and relationships. This subject assists students to develop a critical capacity enabling them to understand and analyse a variety of text types (film, music, mass media, literature, etc.).

  • This subject focuses on the spoken and written language and culture of present dayItaly. Students will undertake regular activities in order to improve their linguistic and cultural skills. They will also participate in regular conversation practice for the purpose of reinforcing their command of current idiomatic Italian. Students will explore aspects of contemporary Italian culture and language, through a critical analysis of a variety of texts and documents (including films, music, mass media and literature). By the end of the subject, students should have improved their written production skills and should be able to express themselves with fluency on most topics of a general nature.

  • This subject focuses on the spoken and written language and culture of present dayItaly. Students will undertake regular activities in order to improve their linguistic and cultural skills. They will also participate in regular conversation practice for the purpose of reinforcing their command of current idiomatic Italian. Students will explore aspects of contemporary Italian culture and language, through a critical analysis of a variety of texts and documents (including films, music, mass media and literature). By the end of the subject, students should have improved their written production skills and should be able to express themselves with fluency on most topics of a general nature.

  • In this subject students will study key aspects of Italian culture, through the analysis of literary texts and other materials. Students will also have the opportunity to study the development of Italian society. By the end of the subject, students will have been introduced to a number of themes and texts in order to gain some understanding of the process of cultural analysis. They should also have acquired the ability to examine critically various aspects of Italian history and culture.

  • This subject allows students to study key aspects of Italian culture, primarily through the analysis of specific literary texts and/or films. Students will also have the opportunity to study the development of Italian society. By the end of the subject, students should have been introduced to a number of literary texts and/or films in order to improve their standard of comprehension and to gain some understanding of the process of literary/cultural criticism. They should also have acquired the ability to examine critically various aspects of Italian history and culture.

  • In this course students learn about some of Europe’s most important cuisines and how they have been plated up for consumption in Melbourne. As an expression of identity, food is often used to support national and regional identity. In the first part of this course, students will consider the relationship between gastronomy and identity. Students will be introduced to a range of key culinary concepts and practices and the way we talk about them. Through analysis of some of the key features of French, German, Italian and Spanish cuisines, students will consider how these countries’ culinary profiles speak to wider socio-political issues such as authenticity, food and space, cultural practices and the history of food.

    In the second part of this course, students will consider issues of “authenticity” in the way cuisines are plated up for consumption in Melbourne. This will require students to interrogate their assumptions and expectations about European foods and to reflect on their personal experience of the “taste” of Europe.

  • This subject provides students with a three-week intensive language and culture experience in Prato, Tuscany. The focus of the subject will be an exploration of aspects of conteporary Italy including language, culture, society, politics and the Arts. Students will be involved in a range of collaborative activities with Italians. The subject will integrate information technology to establish ongoing relationships.

  • This subject explores national identity in Europe in the modern era through studying the ‘making’ and ‘breaking’ of nations at key moments in Europe’s history such as the 19 th century, post-World War I and II, the break up of the Soviet Union and the expansion of the European Union. It introduces students to the national myths and legends of Western European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain as well as select countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Students will read stories of national beginnings and endings, tales of heroism and rebirth, nostalgia and hope, liberation and unity, taken from popular culture, songs, poems, drama and art. An enduring theme will be the ways in which a sense of national self emerges from direct comparison to perceptions of “others”, including Jews, women, the poor and peoples of other nations. Students will gain an appreciation of nation and national identity in Europe as a discursive process, and an understanding of the distinct national stories of a number of European countries.

  • European modernism refers to a wide range of experimental and avant-garde trends in literature and arts at the end of the 19th and early 20th century and has proven a major influence on current (Western) literature, film and the arts. This course introduces students to key themes of modernist literature, theatre, and film in Europe. The course familiarizes students with key writers and thinkers of this period and will address the ways in which they provoked their readers/viewers through new and complex forms and styles. Major themes comprise the crisis of representation, the representation of cosmopolitanism and urban cultural dislocation, consciousness and memory, and sexuality. (Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.)

  • This subject is designed to allow students to explore representations of Italy through creative texts with a particular focus on visual narratives. It may include a study of aspects of Italian film in its social and political contexts, and the relationship between those texts and the most relevant Italian cultural issues. Students will gain a better understanding of Italian cultural products and will improve their ability to analyse visual and written texts in Italian.

  • In this subject students will be exposed to, and will work through, a number of different styles and registers. Students will undertake the study of selected literary and non-literary texts for the purpose of extending vocabulary and practising Italian conversation. By the end of the semester, students should have learnt to identify, and correctly use, the main registers of Italian, spoken and written. improved their composition skills, and acquired the ability to discuss in Italian, both orally and in writing, extended prose texts.

  • This subject involves a detailed analysis of a number of contemporary Italian texts, literary and non-literary, for the purpose of familiarising students with various registers and styles. There are regular oral and written practical exercises. The modern literature section provides an opportunity for students to practise their spoken Italian through the study of modern literary texts. By the end of the semester, students should have further developed their written and oral production skills and should have acquired the ability to competently discuss literary texts in Italian.

  • This subject will introduce students to the study of significant literary and/or visual and written texts, and may include the study of particular genres, authors, critical methodologies, literary and cultural schools or movements, cultural and/or literary developments in a particular century. Topics will vary according to current research and teaching interests of academic staff and various approaches and methodologies will be proposed.

  • This subject is designed to provide students with an analytical and comprehensive understanding of Italian usage. Topics will vary, and may include contrastive analysis of English and Italian, varieties of Italian, dialects, geographical variation, history of the Italian language, topics in applied linguistics. This subject is both descriptive and practical and is intended to give students a better understanding of Italian in its many contexts.

  • This subject examines the relationship between language and society in Europe. It focuses on issues of relevance in an increasingly integrated Europe in which European and other languages are in contact through migration, travel, business, and mass media, and in which English is taking on an important role as a lingua franca. The topics to be covered include: the relationship between majority and minority languages, dialects and the standard language; bilingualism and multilingualism; semi-communication; language planning at state and European levels; politeness and forms of address; and the status and influence of English.

  • This intensive four-week study abroad subject will be taught in Venice between the end of November and December and focuses on the use, circulation and reception of languages and texts in early modern Venice. Texts include manuscripts, pamphlets, incunabula, inscriptions, architectural spaces and paintings. Some aspects of palaeography (the art of analysing and reading handwriting) will be studied. Field trips to the Marciana Library and the Museo Correr will provide students with basic knowledge of codicology (study of manuscripts) and the basic skills needed to work on fifteenth century primary sources. On completion of this subject, students should have acquired an understanding of the use of languages and paces in early modern Venice (and Italy). Students will also be able to gain a basic knowledge of the language and text production of the Italian Renaissance.

  • The eye-witness account and the personal memoir offer powerful ways of exploring the human legacy of overwhelming historical events on individual lives. But how do literary genres like the memoir and autobiography manage to speak about unspeakable topics, how do they represent the unrepresentable and write about trauma? What is the function, and what the effect, of writing memory for the victim, for the reader, and for the perpetrator? How do the offspring of the victims and perpetrators "remember" their parents" traumas and shape memories of events they have only experienced second-hand? What is the relationship between fiction and memory in memoir writing and how do we read a testimonial of a Holocaust survivor that has been faked? This subject will introduce students to a selection of testimonial writing and films that tell individual stories of a shameful national past. It explores the effect of generic convention on the relation of history and memory, and the need for generic invention to speak trauma and tell the un-tellable. Its focus will be on the Holocaust, the Algerian War, and life under Eastern bloc communist regimes. This subject will focus on writing from France, Germany, and Italy in the first instance, but may from time to time include writing from other parts of Europe.

  • A team-taught study of postwar European cinema during a period of intense political and social change. Students who complete this subject should be familiar with some of the major developments in cinematic representation in Europe from the early 20th century to the present. They should be able to relate the films studied to their national and European cultural and historical context.

    Note: This subject is taught in English.

  • This subject concentrates on selected cantos of Dante's Inferno. Students will develop techniques which will enable them to analyse the poetic language of the Inferno. Guided readings in secondary material will give students an understanding of some of the key medieval concepts of the Inferno. The subject is designed so that students will be in a position to appreciate and analyse one of the most impressive poems in western literature. By the end of the subject, students should have acquired some understanding of the basic theological, philosophical and literary concepts of the Inferno and have developed critical strategies for interpreting its poetry.

Entry requirements & Prerequisites

This major is available through more than one course, both of which have their own separate entry requirements.

You can read more on the the

Bachelor of Arts&Bachelor of Arts Extended