Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is a study of one of the great works of world literature, Dante's Divine Comedy. The unit focusses on the structure of the work and the nature and meaning of Dante's journey through the otherworld. From the first line, Dante states that his individual journey is actually the universal journey of the human condition. Though it is now 700 years since the Comedy was completed, interest in Dante continues to grow. The unit will analyse what this medieval masterpiece, so deeply rooted in the Italy of Dante's own time, has to say that appeals to modern readers. The focus will be on the themes of good and evil; suffering, justice and mercy; Church and State; freedom and desire; and how Dante finds poetic expression for the deepest questions that are part of the human condition.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the ITLNB Italian Studies; ITLNI Italian Studies; ITLNA Italian Studies major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of this medieval text and its relevance to the contemporary world; (2) relate single episodes in the text to the overall structure; (3) critically compare medieval and modern attitudes to questions of individual morality and social co-existence; and (4) analyse how Dante reworked biblical, classical, mythological and contemporary figures to construct his poetic universe.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class presentation; (2) research essay; and (3) participation in tutorials and online forum. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Josh Brown
Unit rules
any Level 2 Italian unit
or approval of Convener
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week.

Dante, Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Any edition that contains an English translation.





  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.