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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > Classical Studies and Italian
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Classical Studies and Italian BA

For 2018 entry this course will be replaced by BA Modern Languages and Classical Studies.

UCAS code QR73
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Classics »
Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »

Taught by a variety of internationally recognised experts, the course combines study of the ancient world with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in Italian.  With much of modern Italian cultural life drawing from the Ancient Rome, these subjects are an ideal combination for study.

If you are captivated by classical literature and philosophy and are keen to understand more about ancient history and classical archaeology, Classical Studies is ideal.

Classical Studies offers a great deal of choice in subjects related to the ancient world, immersing you in lots of aspects of ancient Greece and Rome – its literature, history, philosophy and archaeology – even its languages; Greek and Latin can be studied at whatever level you’re at and for one, two or three years.

As a student of Classical Studies you will be part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

  • The Department of Classics is a centre for excellence in both teaching and research, 98% of our research is recognized as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognized (REF 2014).
  • A thriving Classics Society contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of the Classics department.

As a student of Italian, you will not only learn to speak and write fluently, you will also develop excellent communication and research skills and combine language proficiency with cross-cultural perspectives. 

You will be able to tailor your study of Italian to suit your specific areas of interest, gaining a greater understanding of Italian visual and musical arts, fashion and design, philosophy, literature, politics and history including topics such as Dante or Renaissance art.

You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying in Italy at a partner university, teaching placement at an Italian school or work placement in business or industry.

  • Whether you are a beginner or advanced student when you start, by the time you graduate you will be fluent in Italian: confident in reading, understanding and analysing text and able to write with ease and accuracy.
  • Our research staff are engaged in research at the highest level internationally; we are in the top 10 of UK Modern Language departments for research quality and the top in London (Research Assessment Exercise 2014).

Core modules

Year 1

Italian: Intensive Italian for Beginners

This is your core Italian language module (beginners’ pathway). It comprises a written and an oral component. There are five hours of seminars per week in which a communicative approach is adopted and the teaching is carried out in Italian whenever possible. Grammar is taught in context in accordance with your specific needs as they arise. In the oral component, you will learn to speak about set topics related to everyday matters by completing set activities including listening comprehension and role play.

Italian: Advanced Italian Language 1

This is your core Italian language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. In all parts of the module there will be a focus on learning in a cultural context, and in addition to formal grammar teaching you will develop your language skills by reading and analysing a variety of texts, articles, films, and recordings. Learning activities will include listening comprehension exercises and role play.

Year 2

Italian: Advanced Italian 2 for Post Beginners 

This is your core Italian language module (beginners’ pathway). It comprises a written and an oral component. There are five hours of seminars per week in which a communicative approach is adopted and the teaching is carried out in Italian whenever possible. You will continue to develop your Italian language skills through reading comprehension, commentary writing as well as translation from English into Italian. You will also analyse articles from Italian newspapers and podcasts related to social, cultural and political issues in contemporary Italy, and take part in informal debates during which you will practise expressing your opinions in Italian.

Italian: Advanced Italian 2

This is your core Italian language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. You will practise reading comprehension, commentary writing and translation from English into Italian, and will again analyse articles from Italian newspapers and podcasts related to social, cultural and political issues in contemporary Italy. You will also continue to work intensively on key aspects of grammar.

Year 3

The third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying or working or both. It is usually expected that students will spend at least 9 months overseas, in countries where the native langauges match the languages the student is studying. Students studying two langauges will be expected to divide their time between two relevant countries, i.e. one for each langauge. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures will support students in finding a suitable study or work placement, but students are also expected to explore opportunities independently and the ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with the student. Alternatively students may choose to enrol for courses at a partner university in the relevant country. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme; students on placement will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards their degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for courses taken will be credited towards their degree. The same applies to the assessment of spoken language on return to Royal Holloway from the period of residence abroad.

Year 4

Italian: Advanced Italian 3

This is your core Italian language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. In this module you will practise translation from English into Italian/Italian into English, focusing on a variety of texts types including journalism, fiction and history, as well as learning about theoretical aspects of translation. You will also continue to work intensively on key aspects of grammar.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Optional modules in Classical Studies include:

Beginners' Latin

 

Intermediate Latin

 

Latin Language and Reading

 

Intensive Latin

 

Latin Prose Composition

 

Latin Verse Composition

 

Beginners' Greek

 

Intermediate Greek

 

Greek Language and Reading

 

Intensive Greek

 

Greek Prose Composition

 

Greek Verse Composition

 

Greek Literature

 

Roman Literature of the Republic

 

Roman Literature of the Empire

 

Individual and Community

 

Greek History and the City State

 

Key Themes in Roman History

 

Introduction to Greek Archaeology

 

Introduction to Roman Aracheology

 

Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

 

Italian: The Heritage of Dante and the Renaissance

Italian: Building the Italian Nation - Heroes and anti-Heroes from Pinocchio to the Leopard

Year 2

Optional modules in Classical Studies include:

The Built Environment in Classical Antiquity

 

Pompeii and Herculaneum

 

Gender in Classical Antiquity

 

Greek History to 322 BC

 

Greek Law and Lawcourts

 

Augustus to Propaganda and Power

 

The Roman Republic - A Social and Economic History

 

The Rise of the Roman Empire - An Economic and Social History

 

Homer (in Translation)

 

Virgil (in Translation)

 

Ovid’s Metamorphoses - Art and Power in Augustan Rome

 

Virgil’s Aeneid - The Empire in the Literary Imagination

 

Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1

 

Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

 

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

 

The Roman Empire from Augustus to Commodus

 

The Later Roman Empire

 

Beginners' Greek

 

Intermediate Greek

 

Greek Language and Reading

 

Beginners' Latin

 

Intermediate Latin

 

Latin Language and Reading

 

Intensive Greek

 

Intensive Latin

 

Hellenistic Epic - Apollonius of Rhodes

 

Imperial Greek Poetry - Epic and Epigram

 

Greek Historiography

 

Latin Love Elegy

 

Catullus and Horace

 

Greek Prose Composition

 

Greek Verse Composition

 

Latin Prose Composition

 

Latin Verse Composition

 

Italian: Dante's Comedy - Themes And Ideas

Italian: Postwar Italian Cinema

Italian: Art and Literature in Renaissance Florence

Italian: Italian Crime Fiction

Italian: Boccaccio - Decameron

Year 4

Optional modules in Classical Studies include:

Greek Erotic Poetry (in Greek)

 

Hadrian's Wall

 

Archaeology of Athens and Attica

 

Gender in Classical Antiquity

 

Alexander the Great

 

Greek Law and Lawcourts

 

The Roman Army

 

The City From Augustus to Charlemagne

 

Religion and the Ancient Greeks

 

Greek Lyric, Eros and Social Order

 

Nature and the Supernatural in Latin Literature

 

Studying Ancient Myth

 

Adventures in Greek Theatre with Iphigenia

 

Ancient Greek Emotions

 

Tacitus - The Making of History

 

The Philosophy of Aristotle

 

Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2

 

The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

 

Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics

 

Philosophy Under the Roman Empire

 

Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

 

The Later Roman Empire

 

Christians and Pagans from Constantine to Augustine, AD 306 to 430

 

Beginners' Greek

 

Intermediate Greek

 

Greek Language and Reading

 

Beginners' Latin

 

Intermediate Latin

 

Latin Language and Reading

 

Intensive Greek

 

Intensive Latin

 

Greek Historiography

 

Latin Love Elegy

 

Catullus and Horace

 

Greek Prose Composition

 

Greek Verse Composition

 

Latin Prose Composition

 

Latin Verse Composition

 

Italian: Dante - Divine Comedy 2

Italian: Of Women, Knights, Weapons and Loves - the Italian Chivalric Tradition

Italian: Shooting History - Dictatorship, Terror and Crime in Italian Film

Italian: Approved Topic

Italian: Italian Fashion and Design

Italian: The Postmodern In Italian Literature - Pioneers, Practitioners and Critics

Italian: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 14 course units at the rate of four per year in years 1, 2 and 4, and two units during the year abroad. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Outside classes, you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study, including completing language exercises and reading prescribed and open material. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

In your final year the Classics department provides ongoing support for your dissertation work, which usually includes:

  • Lectures and practical sessions on Dissertation Research Methods e.g. planning your topics, carrying out research, using specialist resources, finding information in print and online, and managing your search results and references. These sessions are run in conjunction with the Library Service and are generally also open to second year students.
  • Short departmental writing ‘surgeries’, in which academic staff offer general writing support if you are experiencing problems and/or if you have specific queries.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations. Coursework includes essays, language exercises, translations and reports. In Italian, oral presentations and computer-based tests are used in some course units to assess grammar and comprehension skills. You can, to some extent, choose course units which suit your own assessment preferences. 

You will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB 

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic
     achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is 
    being taken 
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred subjects: any Arts or Humanities A levels

Required: At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.  

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including an essay-based subject with a minimum of 32 points overall 
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus A-Level grade B  
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Level grades B, B 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate 
Scottish Advanced Highers AB including an essay-based subject plus Higher Level requirements   
Scottish Highers AABBB incluidng an essay-based subject plus Higher Level requirements   
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including an essay based subject   
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject area. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education 

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For equivalencies please see here 

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation. 

Choosing a joint honours degree which combines a modern language with a classical subject gives you the best of both worlds through an increased skillset and access to a wider variety of employment opportunities.

For linguists, Britain’s increasingly globalised economy and labour market make a knowledge of languages a great professional asset both in the UK and abroad. By including a modern language into a classical degree has enabled graduates to pursue careers in different language-related fields including international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting.

Studying for a Classics based degree involves analysing the cultural, social and political context of the ancient world.  By choosing to study this intellectually demanding discipline you will develop a broad range of skills which are highly prized by employers, including:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers like Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: The cost of your year abroad will vary by country. Typical living costs to consider will be accommodation, food and household items, entertainment, travel, books and bills (including your mobile phone). You'll also need to budget for travel to and from your country of study. Additional costs compared to studying in the UK will also depend on personal choices and it is important to research the cost of living before the year commences.

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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