English writers since Chaucer have looked to Italy for inspiration. On this joint degree, you can explore the enduring links between these two cultures. Italian Studies at Reading attracts students of many different nationalities, ages and educational backgrounds. They are mostly drawn by our focused and intensive approach to language learning and the opportunity to study a wide range of optional culture topics with experts from different disciplines. 98% of our research overall in modern languages and linguistics is rated as world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), which feds directly into your learning. We provide accelerated learning in Italian, meaning that you can start from beginner's level if you have not studied the language before, or at intermediate level if you have only learnt it up to GCSE or AS level. Regardless of your language skills when you join, you will soon master the fundamental elements of the language and will graduate with a near-native command of it. As well as modules in Italian language, you can take modules in medieval and twentieth-century Italian history and culture. In English Literature, you will study the different ways that literary texts respond to their cultural context; the development of poetry in English over time and across the globe; and the ways that literary texts accrue new meanings in the process of interpretation. In English Literature, you can study everything from Renaissance lyric poetry to contemporary novels. You will be able to shape your degree to your interests, particularly in your final year where module choices are more diverse and specialised. With Italian, you can choose from a range of modules on Italian history, cinema, linguistics and culture, including options on Dante, Machiavelli, or Renaissance theatre. Everyone in our departments teaches at every level of the degree: this gives you the benefit of our expertise and makes you part of the conversation about our research. A great deal of your time will be spent in small-group teaching sessions, which we believe is vital for successful study in the humanities. We’re proud of our small language classes, led by native speakers. Direct access to expert staff for help and feedback ensures you develop your skills to the best of your ability. An integral part of this degree is the opportunity for you to spend up to a year in Italy, immersing yourself in the culture and language. You could study at a partner institution through the Erasmus+ programme, undertake a work placement, or work as a British Council language teaching assistant. Core modules in the second year will prepare you for your time abroad, equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to live, work, and study in a different culture. Throughout your degree you will be thinking about career choices and we help you put in place the skills and experience that you need to launch that career. Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. **Careers** By the time you graduate, you will be able to write and speak confidently in Italian: an immensely useful skill when there is currently a great shortage of well-qualified linguists in the UK. 98% of graduates from the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies are in work or further study six months after graduating (DLHE survey, 2015-16). Our graduates have an excellent record of finding careers in many different sectors, including education, publishing, translation, EU institutions, finance, fashion, entertainment, the film business and tourism, both in the UK and abroad. They have found employment with the Ministry of Defence, Energis Communication, BNP Paribas, the Taylorian Institution Library and Riso Scotti SRL, Christie’s, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, PGL Travel Ltd. Others opt to continue their studies at postgraduate level.