Programme description

Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs is a second-level degree (Laurea Magistrale) in Linguistics (LM39-Linguistica), taught in English, offered by the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Industries of the University of Parma.


It is a two-year programme, on successful completion of which graduates are awarded the “Laurea Magistrale” (second-cycle degree certificate).


It is designed for candidates from different academic backgrounds.

As regards Italian first-cycle degrees, this course is mainly addressed to graduates from L-11 (Lingue e Culture Moderne) and L-12 (Mediazione linguistica).

Foreign academic titles held by prospective students are subject to a preliminary evaluation aimed to verify if they meet all requirements to grant access to the Course.


Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs aims to provide students with a thorough grounding and advanced linguistic and cultural competence in English and a second foreign language (including Italian as a Foreign Language), and research skills in the field of Language Sciences, in particular Educational Linguistics. The course devotes specific attention to aspects related to language learning and teaching, with particular reference to Special Educational Needs affecting communication and language, such as developmental language disorders, learning disorders and sensory disabilities.

The teaching methods adopted are mainly interactive and require student participation. All the core subjects are taught in English, most of them provided in a blended mode, both on campus and online. Assessment takes place within every unit in several ways with a preference for project work, where single individuals or groups of students, assisted by their teachers, prepare, present and discuss projects with teachers and peers.


Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs students are also encouraged to gain experience abroad during the two academic years, and can take advantage of a wide range of opportunities for international mobility.


A particular strength of the programme in Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs is the acquisition of a high level of competence in the field of inclusive language education. In this respect, it aims to form language experts able to operate with learners with special needs, both in educational contexts and in academic research, or in a variety of fields related to the language industry, such as publishing houses (both traditional and digital), language testers, language schools, online language teaching companies, etc.


Depending on the optional subjects of their choice, students can develop specific skills to work as a foreign language teacher and researcher, in Italy and internationally, and in one or more foreign languages, including Italian.

Prospective students must hold a fist-cycle degree in the Humanities and have acquired upper-intermediate to advanced competence in two or more European languages, one of which is English. See "Admission requirements".


Moreover, the programme in Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs enables students to develop basic skills in Instructional Design, necessary to work as editors or instructional designers. Such skills are combined with inclusive language education competence in traditional and e-learning modes.
Graduates will be able to apply such competence to create learning environments which are inclusive and accessible to all, in particular to learners with special needs.


The programme in Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs also provides students with the credits required to access teaching in state schools in Italy in the areas of foreign languages (English and a second FL including Italian) and literary subjects (Lettere).

Video presentation

Watch the video presentation of the programme.


Leaflets of the programme

Click below to download some more material on the programme.