A Level Italian will give you the opportunity to refine your linguistic skills as well as to study aspects of Italian society and the cultural background of the Italian speaking countries


When asked about the benefits of learning Italian, many people automatically think about beaches, gelato, pizza, museums and architecture.

However, learning Italian offers many benefits beyond just being able to communicate as a tourist. Italy is a world leader in several career fields such as: interior and graphic design, fashion, motor industry. Since an increasing number of businesses are “going global”, knowledge of Italian is to be considered as an important asset when applying for jobs.

Italian is spoken by 60 million people in Italy and 62 million people throughout the world. Italy is the 3rd-largest national economy in the Eurozone, the 8th largest by nominal GDP in the world.

In the new specification of the Italian A Level, the cultural component plays an important part. The study of an Italian film will be a focus at AS level. The A level course will enable you to develop your language skills further, whilst continuing to enhance your knowledge of the Italian language, the country and its culture. You will study either one text and one film or two texts.

The Syllabus offers a variety of contemporary and classical Italian titles including authors and directors such as Leonardo Sciascia, Italo Calvino, Niccolo Ammaniti, Gabriele Salvatores, Roberto Benigni and many more.



Please note that this A Level course is subject to a minimum number of students enrolling.


The objective of the Italian A level course is to provide students with useful and enjoyable lifelong skills. Teaching is based on thematic approach and you will study a broad range of contemporary issues, and historical and artistic culture within Italy. The study of an Italian film and a literary text is integral to the course. Great emphasis is placed on practising all four language skills. You will be taking notes, listening to recordings, reading texts, engaging in discussions and producing pieces of writing. Regular assessments will help you to consolidate and improve your grammar and vocabulary. IT and networked resources are widely used in class activities and to facilitate self-study. During the course, you will have the opportunity to visit museums, art galleries and attend cultural events and debates hosted by the Italian Institute of Culture.


Legacy specification until June 2018

The legacy specification will also be running for students who have already started the AS/A2 course.

Unit 1: Spoken Expression and Response 15% Oral examination 8-10 minutes
Unit 2: Understanding and Written Response 35% Written examination 2 hours and 30 minutes
Unit 3: Understanding and Spoken Response 17.5% Oral examination 11-13 minutes
Unit 4: Research, Understanding and Written Response 32.5% Written examination 2 hour and 30 minutes

Weighting Format of Italian AS (starts 2017, first assessment summer 2019)

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation 40% Written examination 1 hour and 30 minutes
Paper 2: Written response to works and translation 35% Written examination 2 hours and 30 minutes
Paper 3: Speaking 30% 21 – 23 minutes (includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal presentation time)

Weighting Format of Italian A level (starts 2017, first assessment summer 2019)

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation 40% Written examination 1 hour and 30 minutes
Paper 2: Written response to works and translation 35% Written examination 2 hours and 30 minutes
Paper 3: Speaking 30% Oral 21 – 23 minutes (includes 5 minutes preparation time for Task 1)


To be able to do Italian A-level, you need a grade B or above at GCSE.

Learning a foreign language requires time and dedication as it means learning extensive range of vocabulary and mastering tenses and grammar rules. However, it is also a clever move if you want a fascinating subject that provides countless opportunities and offers a lot of fun whilst you study it.


Languages are considered facilitating subjects by the Russell Group of Universities. An A Level in Italian would therefore be useful to a greater majority of university courses. For example, Archaeology, Classics and History, Art History, Architecture, Business, Law and Linguistics.


You can capitalise on your language skills to pursue any career at an international level.

As more and more businesses are going global by opening offices throughout the world, knowledge of Italian is an increasingly important asset when applying for jobs. Six of the 100 biggest global companies have their headquarters in Italy, and Italy is the world’s 5th largest industrial producer of goods. Italian will also give you an advantage if you wish to apply for jobs at EU Commission for positions such as interpreters, policy advisers and translators.

Should you plan to spend a year abroad as part of your Degree, you can use your language skills to experience the essence of Italian culture.


Q. Can I do the course in one year?
A Yes, you can do the legacy units in one year. The new 2017 specification has to be taken over two years.

Q. Do I have to have studied Italian before?
A. Yes.


To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.5.

At the start of each academic year of study students following an A Level course without a pass at Level 5/Grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A Level lessons.

If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the one year Academic Preparation Course (pre A Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.