Knowledge of a foreign language will vastly increase your chances of employment and international mobility. Our Languages courses develop language skills and explore topics such as popular culture, media, youth issues, cultural identity and social issues within the context of the country whose language is being studied. Background studies include a film and a piece of literature or a period of history. Lessons are conducted in the foreign language and involve reading, discussion, listening, and pair work. The department offers foreign trips designed to enhance language skills and provide an insight into the country visited.

What skills will I develop?

Besides the usual skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, you will also extend your knowledge of grammar and your vocabulary.

General skills include essay writing, translation, listening and debate, research, text analysis and independent study skills.

You will obtain a wide range of general knowledge on topical issues and gain an awareness and appreciation of Italian culture and history.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 - Examination: Listening, Reading & Writing (2 hours - 40%)

  • Section A: Listening & responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts.
  • Section B: Reading & responding to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary.
  • Section C: Translation passage into English & Italian.

Component 2 - Examination: Writing (2 hours, 40 minutes - 30%)

  • Section A: Essay on a Italian film, and a piece of literature.

Component 3 - Examination: Speaking (21-23 minutes inc. preparation time - 30%)

  • Section A: Oral assessment of one theme from aspects of current trends/current issues/artistic culture/political life.
  • Section B: Presentation & Discussion of individual research project.

Where does the course lead?

Due to the wide range of language and study skills acquired during the course, A Level Italian is a highly regarded qualification among university admission tutors.  It combines well with business, humanities, arts and even science courses.  Of course, A Level Italian is the requirement to read Italian itself at university.  Competence in Italian is a distinct advantage for anyone who will work in an international context or have contact with Italian speakers across the globe.

Outstanding linguists could move on to become translators or even interpreters.

Exam Board


Head of Department

Elvira Mackay / Ray Vogt (Joint)

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent) including at least a grade 6 in Italian

Assessment Breakdown

Examination = 100%