Research course

Italian Studies (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Department of Modern Languages
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

A good first degree (minimum 2nd-class Honours (UK) or equivalent), either in Italian or a demonstrably relevant subject. Applicants must have an excellent command of the Italian language. Relevant knowledge and experience may be acceptable even in the absence of formal qualifications. All applicants will be interviewed.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Italian Studies at Birmingham has an excellent record in attracting funding and a vibrant postgraduate community. It is home to: the Leopardi Centre; a Leverhulme-funded project on populists in power; an AHRC-funded project on Leopardi's Zibaldone; an AHRC networking grant, ‘Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2010; an annual Birmingham–Warwick postgraduate symposium; and, since 2008, has held a student-led Italian seminar series.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning. (Read Patrizia’s experience: English | Italian)

We welcome applications in the major areas of Italian Studies, and members of staff are always willing to discuss ideas and proposals with those who are thinking of applying.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

Italian politics, Italian media, political communication, populism and neo-nationalism in Europe. Italian cinema; 20th- and 21st-century Italian poetry and narrative; cultural theory, especially theories of conflict, opposition, power and privacy; religion in Italian and European cinema; interdisciplinary practice in Italy since 1900. The Age of Romanticism in Italy; the reception of Dante in the 19th century; 20th-century fiction; critical theory in Italy; the relation between oral and written literature; the work of Umberto Eco. Autobiography; the work of Giacomo Leopardi; Leopardi in the European context. Medieval literature and Italian diachronic linguistics. Renaissance literature; the relation between literature and the visual arts; chivalric romance, particularly Ariosto; the concept of grazia; the debate about women in the Renaissance; contemporary women's writing. Literary studies; Cultural studies; Gender and Sexuality studies 19th century, 20th century and contemporary

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT - £6,840 (DL only)

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months
distance learning
36-72 months

MA by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months
distance learning
12-24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005