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2018-2019 A.Y.
Bachelor of Science Programs


Foreign Languages

Language Skills and Knowledge at the Start of the Study Program

The program requirements for all Bachelor of Science programs include a first and a second European language as compulsory.
Considering that language learning is a long and gradual process and that the exit levels of the BSc programs must be adequate for post-BSc opportunities, the University:

  • Requires a certain level of knowledge of English upon entry (B1 for BSc programs held in Italian and B2 for those held in English; evidence of this prerequisite is checked upon admission to the Study Program);
  • Advises certain levels of initial knowledge for other languages (B1 for the first language and A2 for the second language, regardless of whether the programs are taught in Italian or English).

In order to enable students to be properly prepared on entry, on the Bocconi website at www.unibocconi.eu/languagecenter in Minimum Level Required, the University:

  • Specifies the grammatical and syntactic knowledge and communication skills relating to the minimum entry levels;
  • Gives detailed specifications of learning materials which may be helpful to achieve such levels.

In addition, students who are not native Italian speakers are offered an intensive introductory Italian course, held in the first semester and lasting 38 hours. Information concerning sign-up methods is communicated to all students who are not native Italian speakers via the yoU@B student Diary.
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Foreign languages in programs taught in Italian and in English: overall framework


 All class groups

First language

Second language


1st year

2nd year


Knowledge assessment

Details 3.1.3

International certification


Bocconi exam

International certification


Bocconi exam




Details 3.1.4

Six-month courses for certifications


One-year course for Bocconi exam

Six-month courses for certifications


One-year course for Bocconi exam

Italian class group

Language choice

Foreign language courses must be different than the native language declared upon enrollment1

The first language must be different from the second language.

For those students who are not native English speakers the first language must compulsorily be English


Language: automatically assigned

Course level: B2 level  assigned; students may change to C1 level following recommendation by English teacher


Italian - French - Portuguese 2 - Spanish - German

Language: not automatically assigned but to be chosen only by native English speakers after finalization of enrollment

Course level: automatically assigned (single level)

Italian - French - Portuguese Spanish - German

Language: not automatically assigned but to be chosen upon enrollment in the second year of studies

Course level: automatically assigned (single level)

Minimum exit levels3

Academic/general content

English B2


Italian C1

Other languages B2


Italian C1

Other languages B1


English class groups


Language choice

Foreign language courses must be different from the native language declared upon enrollment1

The first language must be different from the second language

For those students who are not native Italian speakers, one of the two language courses MUST be Italian

English - Italian - French - Portuguese2 - Spanish - German

English: automatically assigned

Native English speakers MUST choose a language other than English while Non-native English speakers CAN choose a different language other than English immediately after finalization of enrollment

Course level: automatically assigned (single level)

Italian - French - Portuguese - Spanish - German

Language: not automatically assigned but to be chosen upon enrollment in the second year of studies

Course level: automatically assigned (single level)

Minimum exit levels 3

Academic/general content

English C1

Other languages B2





  1. Those students who have more than one native language e.g. because they come from a country/region where more than one language is spoken or because their parents are of different nationalities, must declare one single native language for the whole duration of their studies.
  2. Portuguese, Bocconi teaching and exam, is only offered as a second language for students enrolled in their second year of studies. For Portuguese as a first language it is only possible to record the result of one of the international certifications recognized by the University in the study plan. Materials for self-study are available at the Language Laboratory.
  3. In order to classify language knowledge, Bocconi University follows the Common European Framework established by the Council of Europe.


Course codes



First language

Second language

Exam at the end of first year

Exam at the end of second year



















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Knowledge Assessment

Students can choose between:
  • International certification / test
  • Bocconi exam.

The language level acquired by students is specified in the exam report and on the official academic transcript. The assessment is expressed as a grade out of thirty which is included in the calculation of the grade point average.
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International certifications/tests

General information relating to certifications/tests can be found below (hereinafter 'certifications').
Detailed information is available on the Bocconi website.
Students can record only one of the certifications recognized by the University, taken at one of the officially recognized Examination Centers, in Italy or abroad.

In addition, certifications must be:

  • Of a level equal to or higher  than the minimum exit level required (see 3.1.2.).
  • Recorded within 3 years after the date the exam was taken (except for TOEFL which must be recorded within two years).

Students can obtain a certification before (e.g. by re-presenting again certifications obtained for the purpose of being admitted to the University) or during university studies.

Certificates may be recorded before the first exam session the student can sign up for (therefore after finalizing initial enrollment) on condition that the certification is still valid.

In any case, the credit points in question and the grade are awarded in the year of studies the language is positioned in.
Only credit points relating to the first language are counted for the number of credit points needed to move on to the second year of studies and only if the certification is submitted by 12 July 2019.
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 course for the previous year/s until it is recorded.

The result of the certification is recorded in the student’s academic career with a grade out of thirty, upon conversion based on the tables published on the website.

For certification recording, students must submit the original certification to the Office of the Language Center in person and must not register for the Bocconi Exam.

To obtain a certification during university studies, the Language Center offers:

  • An information and orientation service
  • Courses to prepare some certifications (see
  • Preparatory materials and exam examples at the language laboratory
  • A Test Center for some English certifications of the British Council / Cambridge English Language Assessment. The registration method and the whole procedure entirely follow the rules of the Examination Institute.

All registration fees for certification exams are at the student's expense.
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Bocconi exam

General information on Bocconi exams is given below.

Please note that the following rules will be effective starting May 2019 for all language courses (first and second) and for all students regardless of whether or not they have duly passed the exam.

For language exams prior those held in January 2019, the rules set out in the course syllabi in the 2017-2018 a.y. or earlier (based on the a.y. in which the language course is recorded on the student’s study plan) apply.

Detailed information on exam assessment methods and calculation of the final grade is available on the course syllabi available on the website at www.unibocconi.eu/languagecenter in Curricular Courses, Bachelor of Science Programs.

Exams follow the language standards applied for international certifications. The exam consists of a written part and an oral part, which are both compulsory; admission to the oral part depends on passing the written exam with a grade equal to or higher than 18/30.

Both the first and the second language include a final compulsory exam in the second semester of the relating year of teaching concerned.

The final grade is calculated upon considering both the final grade and active participation of the student at lectures (at least 75% of lectures must be attended by registering through the 'Attendance' procedure) including activities indicated in class by the faculty.

For each specific case, both for first and second language, whether class group is in Italian or in English, a single level of the Bocconi exam equal to the minimum exit level is envisaged.

Only for English and only for class groups held in Italian, the Bocconi exam is available at both the B2 and the C1 level (although the minimum exit level is B2) and the exit level may be chosen by the student.
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Educational Offer

The Language Center offers both courses to prepare students for some international certifications and to improve skills required in the Bocconi exam.

All students are automatically allocated a class group for preparing the Bocconi exam; those students who wish to attend a course to prepare for a certification must register for the activity through the yoU@B Diary (see

Information on the courses offered is provided below.

Further details are available on the Bocconi website at www.unibocconi.eu/languagecenter.

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Courses to Prepare for English, French and Spanish Language Certifications

For English first language (in the second semester of the first year of studies).
  • IELTS, International English Language Testing System, general language, B2 and C1 levels, Examination Center British Council, IDP - IELTS Australia, Cambridge English Language Assessment.

For French second language (in the first semester of the second year):

  • DELF, Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française, general language, B1 level, Examination Center Ministère de l’Education Nationale

For Spanish second language (in the first semester of the second year):

  • DELE B1, Diploma de Español Lengua Extranjera, Nivel Inicial, general language, B1 level, Examination Center Instituto Cervantes.

Each course (lasting one semester) provides 48 hours of teaching, except for the IELTS C1 course, which  provides 24 hours.

Courses are offered only to students who have the language course code included in their study plan in the year of the course for which such courses are offered.
They are offered to a limited number of students: admission will be possible while places are available, on a first-come, first-served basis.

To properly benefit from courses, the entrance level of language knowledge must be at least at the level immediately below the certification level of the course.

At the beginning of the class, faculty members may assess student preparation for the course and, if this is deemed insufficient, students can return to the Bocconi exam preparation class that was automatically assigned in the first semester.

Courses are activeted only if an adequate number of students have registered.


Further information is available on the website at www.unibocconi.eu/languagecenter, under the menu Certificates.
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Courses to prepare for the Bocconi exam

Courses last one year: the first language offers 96 hours of teaching and the second language includes 128 hours.

Detailed information on course objectives and contents is available in the course syllabi available online in the yoU@B Diary in Bboard Courses, Bachelor of Science Programs.
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In addition to lecture attendance, learning foreign languages also requires a constant commitment to self-study, which includes a series of activities and assignments, based on specific information provided by the teaching staff in class and available on the course syllabi, with the use of different tools (e.g. exercise books or multimedia courses/specific assignments  available on the BBoard e-learning platform).

In addition, the Language Center offers the following at the Language Laboratory:
  • An advisory and information service for language study;
  • A tutoring service provided by the language teaching staff to support individual learning which is available upon reservation of a time slot;
  • Various materials for preparing certifications and the Bocconi exam, available at the Laboratory's multimedia Library and/or on the BBoard platform.

In general, students are advised to spend 3-5 hours per week on self-study.
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Foreign languages as additional exams

Curricular foreign languages (French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German) can also be recorded as additional exams (see chapter 9), either by passing a Bocconi exam, or acquiring a certification.

With reference to certifications, these must be included in the list of certifications which can be recognized by Bocconi University, they must not have expired and they must be equal to or higher than the minimum level required for the languages in the BSc programs.

Moreover, students can also record non-curricular languages in their study plan, as an additional course only. The Language Center offers various types of courses for these languages, specifically: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

There are no Bocconi exams for these languages. Only results of international certifications converted into a mark out of 30 can be recorded. The certification must be included in the list of those recognized by the University and submitted before its expiry date. Specifically and only for the languages indicated above, A1 is the minimun level accepted.
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Computer Skills

Program Structure Position and Credit Points

The program requirements of all Bachelor of Science programs offered at Bocconi University include one or more curricular computer skills courses, which aim to fulfill the specific requirements of the student study paths.

The BIG, CLEACC, CLEAM, CLEF, CLES, BESS, BIEM and BIEF Bachelor of Science programs include the course of Computer Science (cod. 30424), held during the second semester of the first year of studies. The course is worth 6 credit points.

For complete information on this course, please check the website at www.unibocconi.eu/sedin, ‘Curricular courses’ section.

As the BEMACS program focuses on ICT, it includes several curricular courses on computer skills, which are part of various departments.

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Assessment of Knowledge

The exam can be taken in two ways: as two partial exams or as a single general exam.

  • Partial exams:
    These are designed for those who regularly attend lectures; only first year students can sit for partial exams. Partial exams cannot be sat or repeated in the following years.
  • General exams:
    These are addressed to those who have not sat partial exams or who have not passed them.

In both cases, the exam includes a section of questions and a section of computer exercises.

Please note that in order to be able to register for the Computer Science exam (second partial exam or general exam) it is necessary to have obtained a complete ECDL certification (ECDL Core or New ECDL Full Standard), or other equivalent certifications recognized by University. The certification must be completed and submitted to SEDIN according to the deadlines and procedures published on the website www.unibocconi.eu/sedin in the 'Prerequisites for Curricular Courses' section.
It is strongly recommended that students complete the certification before classes start, in order to attend the Computer Science course with the needed basic knowledge.

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Bocconi ECDL Test Center Service

Students who do not yet have the complete ECDL certification may take it at Bocconi University. Exams are held each week according to a calendar which is updated regularly. Students may purchase the ECDL products (at a discounted cost) online, view the exam calendar and enroll directly through their yoU@B student Diary, using the special IT certifications ECDL box.

For more information, please refer to the website at www.unibocconi.eu/sedin in the 'IT Certifications' section.

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Extracurricular IT Activities

To improve IT skills, students can attend extracurricular IT Skills courses organized by SEDIN, which are part of the extracurricular activities (see chapter 8.1 of this Guide to the University). For more information, see the website at www.unibocconi.eu/sedin, 'Extracurricular Activities' section.

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