A Level Italian


AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The AS course bridges the gap between GCSE and A level and introduces students to the demands of studying a language at A level.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8IN01


General topic areas:

  • youth culture and concerns
  • lifestyle; health and fitness
  • the world around us (travel, tourism, environmental issues and the Italian-speaking world)
  • education and employment.

Unit 1: Spoken expression and response in Italian

15% of A level
In section A students respond to four set questions on a stimulus related to the chosen general topic area;

In section B students engage in a discussion that, although still relating to the same general topic area and linked to subtopics, moves away from the main focus of the stimulus.

Unit 2: Understanding and written response in Italian

35% of A level
2 hour 30 minute paper in three sections
In section A students listen to a range of authentic recorded Italian language and retrieve and convey information given in the recording by responding to a range of Italian language questions;

In section B students read authentic Italian language printed materials and retrieve and convey information by responding to a range of mainly Italian language test types;

In section C students write 200-220 words in the form of a letter, report or article in Italian. The written task will be based on a short printed Italian language stimulus.

Reading list 

T. Marin & S. Magnelli Nuovo Progetto Italiano 2 ISBN 9789606632761


A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

A2 consolidates analytical language skills acquired at AS level and develops all areas of linguistic expression.

A2 Specification Number
Edexcel 9IN01


A2 students revise the four AS general topic areas and explore the following three:

  • customs, traditions, beliefs and religions
  • national and international events: past, present and future
  • literature and the arts.

Unit 3 Understanding and spoken response in Italian

17.5% of A level
The exam requires students to:

  • present a clear stance on any issue of their choice
  • interact effectively, defending and justifying an opinion on the chosen issue
  • engage in a spontaneous discussion with the teacher/examiner in which a minimum of two further unpredictable areas will be covered

Unit 4 Understanding and written response in Italian

32.5% of A level
Written Paper: 2 hours 30 minutes
In section A students produce a short written translation exercise from English into Italian (about 80 words).

In section B students produce a short essay (240-270 words) in Italian from a choice of seven questions. The essays will be discursive or creative, based on an imaginative Italian language text or a combination of text and visual(s). Both discursive and creative questions link to the prescribed seven topic areas.

In section C students produce a short research-based essay (240-270 words) in Italian. Research will revolve around L. Visconti’s The Leopard (Il Gattopardo). Interesting for both its psychological and socio-historical analysis, this film is also admired for its cinematographic techniques. The more advanced students will be able to compare it with the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa on which it is based.

Reading list 

T. Marin & S. Magnelli Nuovo Progetto Italiano 2 ISBN 9789606632761


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”