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Italien Studies/Italian (B.A.) (2 subjects)

« Nella letteratura avviene qualcosa su cui non ho potere. »Italo Calvino

Italian is a language with great cultural prestige. It provides access to important works of art and literature, which are interwoven with European culture in many different ways. If you are interested in the Italian language, literature and culture, ranging from Dante Alighieri and research into dialects to the digital media, study with us! Become a specialist in the multifaceted cultures of Italy with its various regions, the Italian dialects and the country’s indigenous languages. Plunge into Italo Calvino’s fictional worlds or learn more about present-day Italy with its distinctive political and social characteristics beyond the traditional image of Italy.

Name of subject: Italian Studies/Italian philology
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (2 subjects)
Standard course length: 6 semesters
Start of programme: Winter semester
Language requirements prior to start of programme (evidence required): previous knowledge of the Italian language is not required. Students with previous knowledge will be placed in a higher-level language course following a placement test.


  • 1st subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • 2nd to 6th subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • International applicants (non-EU): open admission (application to International Student Services)

Subject description


In the course of your Italian Studies, you will acquire competencies in numerous different areas:

  • linguistic competence (level B2 GER)
  • intercultural competence
  • ability to conduct scientific work
  • historical perspectives on linguistic, literary and cultural developments
  • regional and country-specific knowledge
  • analytical skills
  • key competencies in communication, investigation methods and information processing
  • knowledge about teaching the Italian language

Research areas and research focus

The sections of the Bachelor’s degree programme Italian Studies are language practice, literary studies, linguistics, regional and cultural studies and communication skills.

In the area of language practice, you will practice and expand the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing on the basis of the European Framework of Reference (from level A1 to B2), to develop your receptive and productive competence in oral and written communication. You will analyse and compare various aspects of German and Italian grammar. All courses in language practice include some aspects of Italian regional and cultural studies (such as history, culture, politics, etc.).

The purpose of linguistics is to examine the structure and usage of contemporary Italian and its historical development (e.g. the description of phonetic structure, vocabulary and grammar). The basic principles, core areas and methods of Italian linguistics are taught in the relevant courses. We make a point of offering a wide range of courses from traditional Romance language areas, such as historical linguistics, generative syntax and dialectology, as well as covering modern questions of discourse linguistics and cognitive semantics. The goal here is to enable students to carry out independent work using modern linguistic methods (e.g. computational linguistics).

Literary studies deal with the Italian culture and literature, and their history from the medieval beginnings to the 21st century. You will be familiarized with various methods of text interpretation and literary theories, whose diversity opens up a great variety of approaches to text analysis and other media forms (e.g. film). In the literary studies courses, some specific eras and works are dealt with in more detail. Some research areas in Italian literary studies are Dante Alighieri, the Italian Renaissance (autobiography, culture of correspondence, pictures and texts) and the Italian culture under fascism.

In regional and cultural studies, you will acquire basic knowledge about Italian history, economics, politics, society and culture, using theories from the social and cultural sciences. The acquisition of regional and cultural knowledge includes the development of intercultural competence to enable you to reflect on both your own and the foreign culture, and to comprehend the two cultures as dynamic, living and multifaceted systems. In the advanced courses, this basic knowledge is expanded using specific examples.

The degree programme includes one module to impart knowledge about using and designing media to process and present subject-specific content. Here you will also learn how to critically analyse content presented via various media.

Structure of the degree programme

The degree programme consists of several basic and advanced modules in the sections of language practice, linguistics, literary studies and regional and cultural studies, as well as one module of communication skills. The modules are composed of individual courses, for each of which a fixed number of credits can be obtained. These credits reflect the amount of work required to complete the individual courses and are granted separately from the grades.

Studying Italian in Göttingen

There are so many advantages to studying Italian in Göttingen:

  • You learn about Italian language and culture in the heart of Germany.
  • You will get personal support in learning groups with small numbers of participants.
  • We have an international teaching staff.
  • A major part of the curriculum is taught in the target language.
  • Your studies are research-oriented thanks to our interdisciplinary cooperation projects.
  • We have a special subject library with more than 100,000 volumes.
  • You can also get into contact with other Romance languages and cultures, if you like.

Possible/recommended profiles

Depending on the targeted occupational field, a combination of the subject Italian Studies with subjects of cultural and social sciences is recommended, or, alternatively, with studies of economics and/or law. An excellent proposition is the combination of Italian Studies with English, art history or musicology. Studying in Göttingen provides opportunities for innovative, personal combinations from a choice of about 40 subjects.

Occupational fields

For graduates, all types of careers are open which are connected with the Italian language and culture. Some typical occupational fields are media professions, tourism, publishing, non-governmental and cultural organisations and public relations, for example in internationally active commercial enterprises. The Bachelor’s degree in Italian Studies offers an optimal starting point for subsequent specialisation as an interpreter or translator. The University offers many programmes of career guidance and preparation for the job market. Italian studies can also be completed as a third subject (for teaching at secondary schools). The demand for Italian teachers at secondary schools is rising continually.