Info
Foto sezione
Logo Bocconi

GUIDES TO THE UNIVERSITY

2019-2020 A.Y.
Master of Science



3.
FOREIGN LANGUAGES

          
3.1.
Entry requirements

In order to classify levels of language knowledge, Bocconi University follows the Common European Framework established by the European Council.

In order to be admitted to a MSc program taught in Italian the University requires, as minimum entry level (checked upon admission), a B1 general level in English and suggests to non-native Italian speakers (if any) a B2 general level in Italian.

In order to be admitted to a MSc program taught in English the University requires, as minimum entry level (checked upon admission), a B2 general level in English.

Last change 16/07/2019 10:17

3.2.
Study plan: foreign languages and minimum exit levels

The study plan of all MSc programs, except DSBA and Cyber, include two mandatory EU languages.

The DSBA and Cyber study plans require just one EU language, whose rules coincide with those of the second language of other MSc programs.

The rules outlined below are applicable to all Bocconi students and to students from partner Institutions (incoming students) registered in a Double Degree/Joint Degree program taught in English.

More specifically:

1st language

2 cpu: English (Professional English Seminars) - mandatory:

  • for all students (regardless of their native language, therefore English native speakers included);
  • for all MSc Programs (Eng/Ita) except DSBA and Cyber.

The main aim to foster the development of professional communication skills, in particular writing skills.

Minimum exit level:

  • for Bocconi students: B2 business or C1 business depending on personal entry level;
  • for incoming students, enrolled in a Double Degree / Joint Degree: C1 business.

2nd language for all MSc Programs except DSBA and Cyber and Single language for DSBA e Cyber

4 cpu:

  • MSc programs in English:
    • French or Spanish or German for Italian native speakers
      minimum exit level: B1 business
    • Italian (mandatory) for non-Italian native speakers
      minimum exit level:
      • A2 only for students of double programs (incoming + outgoing) + joint programs + 1 year exchange programs (i.e. AEEP) who have not previously attended a Bocconi BSc program(1);
      • B1 business for all other students.
         
  • MSc programs in Italian:
    • French or Spanish or German for all students
      minimum exit level: B1 business

N.B.: Portuguese is:

  • “curricular” language up to a.y. 2018-19: it can be chosen as second language up to a.y. 2018-19;
  • “extra” language as of a.y. 2019-20: as of 2019-20 students (any cohort) cannot choose it as second language any more.

 

Students choose their second language in January – 1st year.

Native language cannot be chosen as foreign language.

Students declare their native language during the admission process and can never change it during MSc studies.

Students are allowed to change the second language included in their personal study plan both during 1st and 2nd year (for selection/change methods and periods, see Chapter 9).

Minimum entry levels are advised for MSc foreign languages in order to be able to reach the minimum exit levels required, namely:

  • minimum entry level advised for English language: B2 general;
  • minimum entry level advised for second languages / single language: A2 general.

In order to foster active participation in curricular learning activities, preparatory courses are offered, namely:

  • English preparatory course: 1st year 2nd semester (see § 3.3.2);
  • second language preparatory course: 1st year 1st semester (see § 3.4.1).

For further detailed information, please see “course profiles” published on the website.

(1) At the beginning, double degree outgoing students are given a B1 business level; then, upon admission to the DD program (usually in March 1°year), the level is switched to A2.

Last change 23/07/2019 12:21

3.3.
First language - English

     

3.3.1.
Available options

As far as English language is concerned, the main aim of the University for MSc studies is to develop soft skills, namely communication skills in English (especially writing skills) as a good level of knowledge of grammar and syntax is taken for granted. That is why the University strongly advise all MSc students to attend the Professional English Seminars (final test: pass/fail).

However, students are allowed to opt for an international certification (recognized by the University).

In any case, the option advised to students who want to get or already have an international certification is to attend the Professional English Seminars and sit the test (in order to acquire professional communication soft skills) and take the certification as an extra.

All the available options are listed in the table below.

Entry level Acquisition of Business English
competences
during MSc studies
Options Exit level
B1 gen or
B1 bus
Mandatory;
moreover preparatory course B2 gen
(1° year 2° sem )
B2 bus seminars B2 bus
B2 bus(1) or C1 gen plus certification  B2 bus / C1 gen
C1 bus(1) or C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance)
C1 bus / C2
B2 gen  Mandatory
moreover preparatory course B2 gen
(1° year 2° sem )
B2 bus seminars B2 bus
B2 bus(1) or C1 gen plus certification  B2 bus / C1 gen
C1 bus(1) or C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance)
C1 bus / C2
C1 gen low (2) Mandatory
moreover preparatory course B2 gen
(1° year 2° sem )
B2 bus seminars  B2 bus
B2 bus(1) or C1 gen plus certification  B2 bus / C1 gen
C1 bus(1) or C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance)
C1 bus / C2
B2 bus  Strongly advised  B2 bus seminars  B2 bus 
B2 bus(1) or C1 gen plus certification B2 bus / C1 gen
C1 bus seminars
(for those who can make a leap in performance) 
C1 bus
C1 bus(1) or C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance)
C1 bus / C2
none
(for those who do not want to improve;
strongly discouraged)
B2 bus 
C1 gen high (2) Strongly advised  B2 bus seminars  B2 bus 
B2 bus(1) certification  B2 bus
C1 bus seminars
(for those who can make a leap in performance) 
C1 bus
C1 bus(1) or C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance) 
C1 bus / C2
none
(for those who do not want to improve;
strongly discouraged)
C1 gen
C1 business,
C2
Strongly advised  C1 bus seminars  C1 bus
C1 bus(1) certification  C1 bus
C2 certification
(for those who can make a leap in performance) 
C2
none (for those who do not want to practise) C1 bus / C2

Note:

(1) Certification courses offered (free-of-charge) by the Language Center.

(2) C1 general recognized as alternative to B2 business only on condition that the student achieved/exceeded a threshold score (the threshold allows the university to reasonably assume that the student is able to interact in professional English). More specifically:

  • C1 general low (not recognized as alternative to B2 business):
    original score converted in a mark out of thirty < 26/30 for cohort 2018-19 and < 27/30 as of cohort 2019-20;
  • C1 general high (recognized as alternative to B2 business):
    original score converted in a mark out of thirty > or = 26/30 for cohort 2018-19 and > or = 27/30 as of cohort 2019-20.
Last change 16/07/2019 11:21

3.3.2.
Educational offer

The educational offer includes:

  • Professional English Seminars (with final test “pass/fail”)
    The duration of the seminar course is half a semester duration (24 hours).
    4 time-slots per year are offered (two in the 1st and two in the 2nd semester).
    The student chooses (when enrolling in his/her 2nd year) the preferred time-slot by taking into account his/her other academic activities.
    Only specific groups of students (Joint Degree Louvain, Double Degree Queen’s University, Advanced Economics Exchange Program-AEEP) are allowed to attend the seminar course in their 1st year.
    The minimum exit level (B2 business or C1 business) is assigned depending on the entry level of the student.
    Students whose entry level is below C1 business but interested in a leap in performance, have to contact the Language Center to ask to be moved from the B2 business seminar to the C1 business seminar.
    Changes are possible only towards class groups offered in time-slots that come after the running time-slot.

     
  • B2 Preparatory Course (36 hours)

    It is assigned to all students with a B1 general entry level.
    It is delivered in 1st year 2nd semester (to make active participation in Professional English Seminars possible in the 2nd year).

     
  • Courses (free-of-charge) to prepare for Cambridge International Certifications (48 hours); namely:
    B2 business (BEC Vantage, 2nd semester), C1 business (BEC Higher, 1st and 2nd semester), C2 (CPE 2nd semester).

    Courses are open to all MSc students (any year of study).

For further details about courses, please see “course profiles” published on the website and “course syllabi” available on BBoard via the yoU@B students’ Diary.

All students’ study plan includes the Professional English Seminars “course code”; those who are interested can apply for courses to prepare for international certifications (with different course codes) via the yoU@B students’ Diary. Therefore, students have the following options: to attend the Professional English Seminar only, the certification course only or both of them.

Certification courses:

  • are for a limited number of students: students are admitted as long as places are available, on a first come, first served basis;
  • are activated only if a minimum number of students enroll.

In order to benefit from the course, the student must have a knowledge of the language equal to at least the level immediately lower than the level of the certificate course.

At the beginning of the course, the teacher evaluates the student’s preparation in order to suggest him/her whether to go on attending it or not.

Last change 16/07/2019 11:44

3.3.3.
Knowledge assessment and recording in the academic transcript

  1. Bocconi test: “attending students” and “non-attending students” mode; no mark out of thirty; 'pass/fail' grade only;
  2. International certification: to be recorded in the academic transcript without conversion of the score in a mark out of thirty.

The final level of competence is mentioned in the exam report and in the student’s transcript.

Students holding an international certification (taken before or during MSc studies) whose level is equal or higher than the minimum required for MSc studies can ask to have the result recorded in the academic transcript, provided that the certification is still valid (validation procedure).

Recording can take place as from 1st year 2nd semester.

If the certification is submitted in a year after the year of studies the language is positioned in, the student will appear to be a student who has not yet passed the exam (“in debito”) until the certification is recorded.

Students must contact the Language Center to have the certification recorded in the academic transcript and do not have to register for the internal test.

Exemption from taking the English exam
Rules applied to students initially enrolled in the 1st year in the 2019/2020 academic year

(Students initially enrolled in the 1st year in previous academic years must refer to the Guide to the University relating to the academic year of initial enrollment in their 1st year)

Moreover, students who had taken a Bocconi BSc degree and who had the internal Bocconi exam or an international certification recorded in their BSc academic transcript, may ask for a waiver, provided that the level of internal exam / certification was equal to or higher than the minimum required for graduate studies and:

  • the internal exam dates back 3 years as a maximum;
  • the certification taken during undergraduate studies is still valid.

Students must contact the Language Center to apply for the waiver (see deadlines in chapter 9).

In any case (see §3.3.1) the University strongly advise students to attend the Professional English Seminars and sit the test.

Students can opt for sitting the internal test only, the certification exam only or both of them; in the latter case:

  • once the result of the Professional English Seminars is recorded, the result of the certification cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum (it is an extra);
  • once the result of the certification is recorded, the result of the Professional English Seminars cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum.
     
  1. Bocconi test:
    The assessment method consists of a written test focused on writing competencies in a working environment.

    Registration via “Punto Blu” is required to sit the test.

    Attending students are allowed to sit the test immediately following the attended seminar course (end of first/second part of the 1st/2nd semester – “attending students” test) and/or in four “general” sessions which are held throughout the year (December/January, February, June, August/September - in this case the test is the same for both attending and non-attending students).

    Non-attending students are allowed to sit the test in four “general” sessions which are held throughout the year (December/January, February, June, August/September - the test is the same for both attending and non-attending students).

    Further details in the course syllabus available on BBoard.
     
  2. International certifications: see § 3.5 for detailed information.
Last change 20/03/2020 12:26

3.4.
Second language for all MSc programs (except DSBA and Cyber) and Single language for DSBA and Cyber

3.4.1.
Educational offer

For further details about courses, please see “course profiles” published on the website and “course syllabi” available on the BlackBoard via the yoU@B students’ Diary.

The educational offer includes:

  • Courses to prepare for the internal exam
    The course is organized in two parts:
    first part in the 2nd semester – 1st year (48 hours + 1st partial exam);
    second part in the 1st semester – 2nd year (24 hours + 2nd partial exam / general exam).
     
  • Preparatory Courses
    Course offered in the 1st semester 1st year to foster active participation in curricular courses starting in the 2nd semester – 1st year.
    Italian for non-Italian native speakers: 52 hours
    French, Spanish, German for Italian native speakers: 20 hours
     
  • Courses (free-of-charge) to prepare for international certifications (48 hours)
    For Italian, French, Spanish (2nd semester); namely:
    • French – DFP B1/B2 business (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year);
    • Spanish – DELE B2 general (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year) and 3-y and 5-y programs’ students as well;
    • Italian – CELI-CILS B2 general (2nd semester); open to MSc students (any year) and 3-y and 5-y programs’ students as well.

All students’ study plans include the second language “course code”; those who are interested can apply for a course to prepare for international certification (with different course codes) via the yoU@B students’ Diary.

Therefore, students have the following options: to attend the internal exam course only, the certification course only or both of them.

Second language certification courses:

  • are open only to students whose study plan includes the foreign language related to the certification course;
  • are for a limited number of students: students are admitted as long as places are available, on a first come, first served basis;
  • are activated only if a minimum number of students enroll.

In order to benefit from the course, the student must have a knowledge of the language equal to at least the level immediately below the level of the certificate course.

At the beginning of the course, the teacher evaluates the student’s preparation in order to suggest him/her whether to go on attending it or not.

Last change 16/07/2019 11:56

3.4.2.
Knowledge assessment and recording in the academic transcript

  1. Bocconi exam: mark out of thirty;
  2. International certification: to be recorded in the academic transcript with conversion of the score in a mark out of thirty (conversion tables are published on the website).

The mark is included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA).
The final level of competence is mentioned in the exam report and in the student’s transcript.

Students holding an international certification (taken before or during MSc studies) whose level is equal to or higher than the minimum required for MSc studies can ask to have the result recorded in the academic transcript (provided that it is still valid).

Due to the fact that, for some languages, B1 business certifications do not exist, general language certifications are recognized as an alternative, provided that they are B2 general level (as a minimum).

Recording can take place as from 2nd semester – 1st year (soon after the choice of the second language to be included in the personal study plan).

If the certification is submitted in a year after the year of studies the language is positioned in, the student will appear to be a student who has not yet passed the exam (“in debito”) until the certification is recorded.

Students must contact the Language Center to have the certification recorded in the academic transcript and do not have to register for the internal exam.

Exemption from taking the  English exam

Rules applied to students initially enrolled in the 1st year in the 2019/2020 academic year

(Students initially enrolled in the 1st year in previous academic years must refer to the Guide to the University relating to the academic year of initial enrollment in their 1st year)


Moreover students who had taken a Bocconi BSc degree and who had the internal Bocconi exam or an international certification recorded in their BSc academic transcript, may ask for a waiver, provided that the level of internal exam / certification was equal to or higher than the minimum required for graduate studies and:

  • the internal exam dates back 3 years as a maximum;
  • the certification is still valid.

Students must contact the Language Center to apply for the waiver (see deadlines in chapter 9).

Students can opt for sitting the internal exam only, the certification exam only or both of them; in the latter case:

  • once the result of the internal exam is recorded, the result of the certification cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum (it is an extra);
  • once the result of the certification is recorded, the result of the internal exam cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum.


1) Bocconi internal exam:

The assessment method consists of an exam focused on reading, writing, listening and speaking competencies as with international certifications.

Students can sit the exam offered in “partial” mode (only in the first two exam sessions after the end of lessons) and/or in “general” mode.
The 1st partial exam is at the end of 1st year – 2nd semester; it is a written test; and, it is required to register via Punto Blu.
The 2nd partial exam is at the end of 2nd year – 1st semester. Two dates are scheduled for the 2nd partial (the first on the same date as the first general exam and the second on the same date of the second general exam) but the student can sit just one of them.
In order to be allowed to sit the 1st partial exam, a 75% attendance of the 1st part of the course (1st year – 2nd semester) is required.
Only those who sat the 1st partial exam (minimum result: 15 out of 30) are allowed to sit the 2nd partial exam, regardless of whether or not they attended the 2nd part of the course in the 2nd year.
The written test of the 2nd partial exam is the same for attending and non-attending students (2nd part of the course).

The 2nd partial exam / general exam consists of two linked parts: written (writing, reading, listening) and oral (speaking).
Please note that:

  • to sit for the 2nd partial exam / general exam, it is required to register via Punto Blu (one single registration, valid for both written and oral part);
  • written and oral part have to be taken in the same exam session as the oral part is the final step of a single exam;
  • final grade: result of the written part + result of the oral part.

Further details in the course syllabus available on BBoard.

2) International certifications: see § 3.5 for detailed information.

 

Last change 09/04/2020 09:15

3.5.
International certifications

Here below basic information about international certifications and tests (in short “certifications”).
Further detailed info, please visit the website area Campus and services > Language Center.
International certifications can be recorded in the academic curriculum provided that they are:

  • officially recognized by Bocconi University and have been taken at an officially recognized test center in Italy or abroad;
  • submitted to the Administrative Office of the Language Center before the “expiry date” which is within 3 years after sitting the international certification exam (2 years for the international test TOEFL and – as of September 1st 2019 – for the IELTS test as well);
  • submitted by the owner of the international certification (who is required to show his/her personalized Bocconi ID card); only original certifications or statement of result (with stamp and signature of the certifying Body) are allowed for submission.

The level of the certification can be higher than the minimum required for graduate studies; it can date back to undergraduate studies (provided that it is still valid) or can be taken during graduate studies (self-preparation or attendance in a course offered by Bocconi, when offered; see § 3.3.2 and 3.4.1).

The level/typology (general, business) recorded in the academic curriculum is the level/typology stated by the Certifying Body on the international certification.

In order to support students who want to earn an international certification, the Language Center offers:

  • information and orientation service;
  • courses to prepare for some certifications;
  • materials for preparation and sample examinations at the Language Lab;
  • moreover, Bocconi is accredited test center for some “British Council / Cambridge Cambridge English Language Assessment” English certifications and for some “Chambre du Commerce de Paris” French certifications. The registration procedure and the entire process strictly follow the rules established by the Certifying Body.

Registration fees for certification exams are at the student’s expense.

Last change 19/07/2019 17:03

3.6.
Self-study

In addition to attending lectures, learning foreign languages requires a constant commitment to self-study, which includes a number of activities, based on specific assignments provided by the teaching staff in class and available on the course syllabus; different tools are offered to support  learning activities (e.g. exercise books or multimedia courses/assignments available on the Bboard platform).

In addition, at the Language Laboratory students can benefit from:

  • advisory and information services;
  • tutoring service provided by the language teaching staff to support individual learning; the service is available upon reservation;
  • various materials for preparing certifications and the Bocconi exam, available at the multimedia Library of the Laboratory and/or on the BBoard platform.

In general, students are advised to spend 3-5 hours per week on self-study.

Last change 16/07/2019 12:42

3.7.
Foreign languages as additional activities

Curricular languages are usually recorded as included in the standard 120 cpu of the study plan but they can also be recorded as additional activities (on top of standard 120 cpu – see chapter 9), either by passing a Bocconi exam or upon obtaining a certification (see chapter 9). In this latter case, the certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university, must be still valid, and the level must be equal to or higher than the level required for that specific language in graduate studies.

Moreover, also “extra” languages can be recorded in the academic transcript but only as additional activities (on top of standard 120 cpu). “Extra” languages offered by the Language Center are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and as from 2019-20, Portuguese.

As no internal exams are organized for such languages, it is possible to register only the result of a certification (score converted in a mark out of thirty). The certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university and must be still valid.

For further detailed info on international certifications and conversion tables, please visit the website area Campus and services > Current Student>Service> Language Center.

Last change 23/07/2019 12:26