Why this course?
The study of Italian language, literature and culture will open your eyes to one of the world’s greatest civilisations. Italy is famous, among other things, for art and architecture, engineers, scientists and poets, for its films, fashion houses, footballers and food.
Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and studying in another country.
Social policy is a theoretical and applied subject which draws on many different disciplines - such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology and politics - to improve our understanding of how different societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas.
This new social policy degree programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and enables you to place these in a broader international and comparative perspective.
It also addresses some of the major questions of our time, such as how should social policy adapt to a changing global, digital, connected and information-rich world? How can we adapt social policies to the needs of a more diverse society? And how should resources be distributed, not only between generations, but also within them?
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you'll study
Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with a Higher grade or equivalent in their chosen language and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.
Year 2 & 3
In Year 2, you'll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In our cultural classes, you'll learn to critically analyse a variety of texts. You'll also study key areas including the Renaissance, 20th century history and politics.
Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining work experience in a professional environment or studying at a foreign institution.
In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. We offer cultural classes reflecting the research expertise of our staff.
At Honours level, you'll work on a specific project for your dissertation. You'll be supervised by a member of our teaching staff.
This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.
The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year. Our students usually do well in this competition; in 2013, one student secured £1,800 toward his project, and in 2014 three students were successful with awards up to £1,750.
What you'll study
Our Semester 1 module provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security. The Semester 2 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’. At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?
You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.
You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you. You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.
You'll take a core module in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.
All honours students will have the opportunity to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake independent research into an issue which is particularly important to you.
It might be based on a detailed analysis of original sources, such as policy documents or statistical records, or you might choose to generate your own data, using interviews or focus groups. The opportunity to undertake original research into an topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.
We offer two MSc programmes:
If you're looking to build on what you learned in your undergraduate degree, this is the postgradute course for you.
If you're looking to undertake a postgraduate research degree or embark upon a research career, this is the postgraduate course for you.
This intensive class, for those with SQA ‘Higher’ or equivalent, will enable you to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Following on from Italian 1A, this intensive programme will broaden your knowledge of the Italian language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
orIntroduction to Italian 1A
Introduction to Italian 1B
This intensive class, for beginners or false beginners, will enable you to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A1 of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Following on from Introduction to Italian 1A, this accelerated and intensive programme will broaden your knowledge of the Italian language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland
Private Issues & Public Problems
This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy. It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.
This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’. Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.
This class will introduce you to more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It will also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Modern Italy - State, Culture & Society
This class will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
This class provides a comprehensive overview of the major developments in Italian history, society and culture from the Unification to the present day. In Semester 1, you'll study 20th century Italian social, political and cultural history, while in Semester 2, you'll analyse a range of films and a literary text. This is an interdisciplinary class which can be taken by students with no knowledge of Italian.
Scottish Social Policy since 1845
Key Concepts in Social Welfare
This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.
The Making of Social Policy
This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.
This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level. It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas. It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process. These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.
Italian Language 3A
Italian Language 3B
This class aims to build on the students’ knowledge and understanding of the Italian language and shifts the emphasis from the acquisition of linguistic knowledge to the production of a varied linguistic output both orally and in writing. In addition to classes in written and spoken Italian students also take a course in translation from Italian into English, which includes an introduction to translation theory and practice.
Italian Stage & Screen
This class builds on the progress students have made in Italian 3A in spoken and written language. Students take a class in translation from English into Italian and engage in a large-scale group project, which encourages the development of a range of research and presentation skills.
The course explores the distinctive contribution made by Italian theatre and Italian cinema. Focusing on specific texts, such as Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Luigi Pirandello’s Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore and Dario Fo’s Morte accidentale di un anarchico, and on films such as Germi’s Divorzio all'italiana and Moretti's Caro diario, students are encouraged to engage critically with the individual works studied in their exploration of the crucial contribution which Italy has made to the development of these two genres.
Research Skills in Social Policy
Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context
This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy. It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design. It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.
This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom. To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems? To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues? How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?
This is the year abroad, spent either studying in an Italian university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours.
Italian 4 Language A (Spoken Skills)
Italian 4 Language B (Writing Skills)
By this stage students can deal effectively and appropriately with a wide range of normal, everyday situations in Italian, and can function in a variety of contexts. In this class we focus on the development of specific communicative skills, in a formal register. This takes the form of an esposizione in which the student speaks on a prepared topic from a particular point of view, and bilateral interpreting, in which the student is asked to act as channel of information in two languages.
Italian 4 Language C (Translation)
This class builds on the experiences gained in Years 1-3, and further develops student skills in writing in formal Italian. The class involves the production of pieces of writing in Italian (summaries, reports), typically based on texts in English on Italian topics.
Women, Celebrity Culture & Emancipation in Post-Unification Italy
Taking forward the expertise in translation students have acquired in Years 2-3, the course further develops skills in working from English into Italian and from Italian into English.
Italian Resistance Culture
This course, situated within the socio-historical contexts of both the Risorgimento period and post-unification Italy until WW1, focuses on female performance and its consumption by both female and male spectators as mediated through women writers’ journals, letters, diary entries and realist fictional accounts (novels and short stories). It examines women writers’ relation to the European context and the recurring themes featuring in their popular domestic fiction which was in wide circulation, particularly during the 1880s.
Visions of Italian Terrorism
The course is designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the Italian Resistance (1943-1945) and its impact on Italian culture, politics and society. It is an interdisciplinary course which requires students to show skills in history, as well as an understanding of literary and cinematic texts. Films/literary texts vary from year to year but typically include works from a wide variety of periods.
The course examines the way our understanding of Italian terrorism has been filtered through feature films, documentaries and television programmes. As with other final year studies classes this is an interdisciplinary class, which helps students to develop a wide range of research and analytical skills.
The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective
This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon. It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries. It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.
Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.
Our assessment methods include:
- written examinations, including translations
- writing for a specific purpose
Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course. Students write a dissertation in their final year.
You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including not only traditional essays and exams, but also oral presentations, group work and other forms of assessment.
Learning & teaching
We focus on the four important language skills:
We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories – and outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed Italian television.
In later years you will perform presentations, writing reports and interpreting into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
1st sitting: AAAA
2nd sitting: AAAAB
- Higher English B, plus one from the list below
- Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.
Year 1 entry:
Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)
Year 2 entry:
Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)
Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)
36 (Maths SL5)
Year 1 entry:
HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent
Irish Leaving Certificate
Subjects and grades as for Highers.
It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.
Deferred entry normally not accepted.
Applicants with Highers
Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.
Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.
Admission to Honours
All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Course materials & costs
The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students can print course materials at their own expense.
The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.
Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4. Students who choose to study in France, Spain or Italy are eligible for an Erasmus and grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad. This however, is not a full maintenance grant.
Typically, students will receive around £3,000 for a full academic year of study abroad. Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs. These costs will vary dependent on the country of study. An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.
A range of scholarships are available for students of French, Spanish and Italian - and awarded on a competitive basis.
Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend. In the case of France, this amounts approximately to 964.88 Euros per month gross (800 Euros net after social security deductions). Similar stipends are paid in Spain and Italy.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Modern language graduates are in high-demand across a range of areas. Many former students work as:
- education professionals
- business executives
- professional linguists
- IT experts
- civil servants
Language graduates have a variety of transferable skills of great value to potential employers. This includes advanced spoken and written ability, competence in interpreting/ translating and a high level of important communication skills.
The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:
- local & national government policy development and research
- regional & urban development
- business administration & management
- third sector/charity research & policy development
- children’s services
- health & social welfare
- protective services