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English and Classical Studies BA

UCAS code QQ38
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department English »
Classics »

By combining English and Classical Studies as a Joint Honours degree you will have the opportunity to study the literature of the English-speaking world alongside ancient Greek and Roman culture and literature, taught using English translations.

From Beowulf to the Booker Prize, English offers you the opportunity to study the full historical range of literature in English as well as the latest developments in the field, and even to pursue your own creative writing.

You can discover the earliest works in English, deepen your knowledge of Shakespeare, find out what is great about Renaissance literature, darken your view of the 18th century, and unpack the Victorians. The course's structure allows you to develop a sound understanding of key periods, genres, authors, and ideas as well as choosing from a huge range of options. You can study Modernism, Postmodernism and American literature, explore literary criticism, develop your own creative writing, and analyse the latest developments in global literatures in English.

  • You will gain a solid knowledge of the whole range of English literature from its beginnings to its latest developments, ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Salman Rushdie.
  • Study unusual, non-traditional subjects such as the body in the 18th century or time in modern literature or courses incorporating visual arts and cinema.

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.

Core modules

Year 1

English: Critical Foundations - Thinking as a Critic

The aim of this module is to help you make the transition into university level work by introducing you to reading, writing and thinking as a critic. The module focuses on developing the abilities and skills of literary criticism and introducing the concepts, ideas and histories that are central to English as a discipline, including questions about interpretation, periodization, form, genre, canon, value, intention, narrative, voice, framing and identity. 

English: Re-orienting the Novel

This module introduces you to the origins, developments and innovations of the novel form through a range of contemporary, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels. Organised thematically, the module considers earlier novels in relation to contemporary examples. 

English: Introduction to Poetry

This module is designed to introduce you to a variety of major poems in English from the Renaissance to the present day. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a wide range of poems from Shakespeare to the present; a familiarity with a variety of poetic forms; an understanding of how poetry functions; and the necessary skills for analysing poetic technique.

Year 2

All modules are optional

Year 3

All modules are optional

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

Classical Studies: Beginners' Latin

Classical Studies: Intermediate Latin

Classical Studies: Latin Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Intensive Latin

Classical Studies: Latin Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Latin Verse Composition

Classical Studies: Beginners' Greek

Classical Studies: Intermediate Greek

Classical Studies: Greek Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Intensive Greek

Classical Studies: Greek Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Greek Verse Composition

Classical Studies: Greek Literature

Classical Studies: Roman Literature of the Republic

Classical Studies: Roman Literature of the Empire

Classical Studies: Individual and Community

Classical Studies: Greek History and the City State

Classical Studies: Key Themes in Roman History

Classical Studies: Introduction to Greek Archaeology

Classical Studies: Introduction to Roman Aracheology

Classical Studies: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

Year 2

English: Introduction to Medieval Literature

This module introduces you to the earliest literary writings in English, covering a span of eight hundred years, from 700 to 1500. You will cover an extensive range of genres and texts - from Beowulf to Arthurian romance, and dream vision to religious drama, and think about issues of vital concern and interest to medieval writers and audiences: religion, love, violence, the supernatural, and kingship and society.

English: Shakespeare

This module facilitates a deeper - as well as a more pleasurable and rewarding - understanding of the range of Shakespeare’s work. You will be encouraged to think about the plays as theatre as well as printed literature, although a main feature of the course will be its close attention to the extraordinary fertility and force of Shakespeare’s dramatic language. While paying close attention to Shakespeare’s very different historical context in the Renaissance, the module will be equally concerned with the question of whether the plays are still relevant to us today.

English: Middle English Poetry

English: Medieval Drama

English: Tolkien's Roots - Old English Poetry and Modern Medievalism

English: Medieval Dream and Vision

English: Medieval Epic and Romance

English: The Gawain-Poet

English: Myths of Origin in Old English Literature

English: Old English Riddles

English: Love, Honour, Obey' - Literature, 1525 to 1670

English: Intensive Shakespeare - Comedy, History, Tragedy

English: Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642

English: Theatre and The City, 1590 to 1625

English: Early Modern Bodies

English: Paradise in Early Modern Literature

English: Gender and Writing in the Eighteenth Century

English: Eighteenth Century Bodies

English: The Age of Oppositions - Literature, 1660 to 1780

English: Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel

English: Fictions of Sensation

English: Victoria Literature

English: Romanticisms

English: Creative Writing - Structure and Style

English: Writing Migrant Identities

English: Enivornmental Literatures

English: Four National Poets: Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead and Paula Meehan

English: Literature of The Fin de Siècle

English: British Drama from Shaw to Priestly

English: Dark Reform - Scandal and Satire in American Culture

English: Contemporary Debates in Literary and Critical Theory

English: Modernist Literature

Classical Studies: The Built Environment in Classical Antiquity

Classical Studies: Pompeii and Herculaneum 

Classical Studies: Gender in Classical Antiquity

Classical Studies: Greek History to 322 BC

Classical Studies: Greek Law and Lawcourts

Classical Studies: Augustus to Propaganda and Power

Classical Studies: The Roman Republic - A Social and Economic History

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

Classical Studies: Homer (in Translation)

Classical Studies: Virgil (in Translation)

Classical Studies: Ovid’s Metamorphoses - Art and Power in Augustan Rome

Classical Studies: Virgil’s Aeneid - The Empire in the Literary Imagination

Classical Studies: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1

Classical Studies: Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Classical Studies: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

Classical Studies: The Roman Empire from Augustus to Commodus

Classical Studies: The Later Roman Empire

Classical Studies: Beginners' Greek

Classical Studies: Intermediate Greek

Classical Studies: Greek Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Beginners' Latin

Classical Studies: Intermediate Latin

Classical Studies: Latin Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Intensive Greek

Classical Studies: Intensive Latin

Classical Studies: Hellenistic Epic - Apollonius of Rhodes

Classical Studies: Imperial Greek Poetry - Epic and Epigram

Classical Studies: Greek Historiography

Classical Studies: Latin Love Elegy

Classical Studies: Catullus and Horace

Classical Studies: Greek Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Greek Verse Composition

Classical Studies: Latin Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Latin Verse Composition

Year 3

English: A Marriage of Minds?

English: Special Author Project - Joseph Conrad

English: Special Author Project - Virginia Woolf

English: Special Author Project - Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales

English: Special Author Project - The Brontes

English: Special Author Project - John Donne

English: Special Author Project - Charles Dickens

English: Special Author Project - Thomas Hardy

English: Special Author Porject - J.M. Coetzee

English: Special Author Project - Samuel Beckett

English: Special Author Poject - Christopher Marlowe

English: Special Author Project - Oscar Wilde

English: Of Circumference - Reading Emily Dickinson

English: Rewriting Mythologies in 20th Century Literature

English: Character - Literary Persons, Selfhood and Interiority in Early Modern Literature

English: 19th Century Literature and Culture

English: Special Topic - The Girl in the Book

English: The Post-Colonial Novel

English: The Pre-Raphaelite Movement

English: Byron, Modernity and Europe - 1780 to 1830

English: Sex, Death and Celebrity

English: African-American Literature

English: Science Fiction

English: The Literature of Chicago

English: Theatre and the City - 1590 to 1730

English: Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century

English: The Nineteen Thirties, Fiction and the Road to War

English: Vernacular Writing

English: Shakespeare on the Global Stage

English: Tolkien's Roots - Old English Poetry and Modern Medievalism

English: Old English Riddles

English: Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642

English: Paradise in Early Modern Literature

English: Middle English Poetry

English: Strange Fictions

English: Beowulf and the Critics

English: Literature and Philosophy

English: Fictions of Sensation

English: Writing Migrant Identities

English: Advanced Romanticism - The 18teens

English: Children's Literature

English: The Art of Noise

English: The Lives of Writing

English: Ethics and Aesthetics in the Novels of J.M. Coetzee

English: Reading Beowulf

English: Medieval Dream

English: Myths of Origin in Old English Literature

English: Advanced Shakespeare - The Problem Plays

English: Early Modern Bodies

English: Medieval Dream and Vision

English: Painting / Writing

English: Gender and Writing in the 18th Century

English: Reading Tristram Shandy

English: Everyday Literature

English: Queer Histories - Contemporary Gay and Lesbian British and Irish Fiction

English: Rites of Passage - The Male Bildungsroman Since 1945

English: Odysseus' Scar - Time in Modern Literature and Film

English: Pastoral

English: Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century

English: The Great American Novella

English: Exploring James Joyce's Finnegans Wake

English: Tragedy

English: Literatures of Genocide and Atrocity

English: Sheakspeare in Stages - Sheakspearean Adaptation Across Four Centuries

English: Special Topic - Ideas in Contemporary Fiction

English: Poetic Practice

English: The Brontes

English: Reading the Wasteland

English: Dissertation

Classical Studies: Greek Erotic Poetry (in Greek)

Classical Studies: Hadrian's Wall

Classical Studies: Archaeology of Athens and Attica

Classical Studies: Gender in Classical Antiquity

Classical Studies: Alexander the Great

Classical Studies: Greek Law and Lawcourts

Classical Studies: The Roman Army

Classical Studies: The City From Augustus to Charlemagne

Classical Studies: Religion and the Ancient Greeks

Classical Studies: Greek Lyric, Eros and Social Order

Classical Studies: Nature and the Supernatural in Latin Literature

Classical Studies: Studying Ancient Myth

Classical Studies: Adventures in Greek Theatre with Iphigenia

Classical Studies: Ancient Greek Emotions

Classical Studies: Tacitus - The Making of History

Classical Studies: The Philosophy of Aristotle

Classical Studies: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2

Classical Studies: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

Classical Studies: Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics

Classical Studies: Philosophy Under the Roman Empire

Classical Studies: Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Classical Studies: The Later Roman Empire

Classical Studies: Christians and Pagans from Constantine to Augustine, AD 306 to 430

Classical Studies: Beginners' Greek

Classical Studies: Intermediate Greek

Classical Studies: Greek Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Beginners' Latin

Classical Studies: Intermediate Latin

Classical Studies: Latin Language and Reading

Classical Studies: Intensive Greek

Classical Studies: Intensive Latin

Classical Studies: Greek Historiography

Classical Studies: Latin Love Elegy

Classical Studies: Catullus and Horace

Classical Studies: Greek Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Greek Verse Composition

Classical Studies: Latin Prose Composition

Classical Studies: Latin Verse Composition

Each year you will take two course units in each subject.

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory, while others are elective, thereby offering flexibility and some choice. During your second and third years you accumulate the marks that make up your final degree award.

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and participate in study groups, essay consultations and guided independent study. In your first year in the English department, you will also work in small groups of just four or five students focusing on study skills such as close reading, essay writing and presentation and self-editing. As you progress through your degree, these tutorials focus on your own personal development, for instance working on your CV. 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.

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure. In the case of combined degree courses, this approach also makes it possible to change the balance of your subjects during your time at Royal Holloway.

You will also 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.

In your final year the Classics department offers ongoing support for your dissertation work, if appropriate, 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.

The English department use a variety of assessment methods, including long and short essays, formal examinations at the end of each year, online tests and exercises, presentations, commentaries and portfolios of creative work. For classical studies, assessment takes place by a combination of ongoing language tests, written assignments for non-linguistic course units and end of year exams.

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 Required subjects: 
  • A Level Grade A English Literature or English Language and Literature and 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 6 in Higher Level English Literature with a minimum of 32 points overall  
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus grade A in A Level English Literature or English Language & Literature 
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus Grade A in A Level English Literature or English Language & Literature  
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction in a related subject plus A Levels Grades A,B including A in English Literature or English Language & Literature  
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 at Advanced Higher Level inc A in English Literature or English Literature & Language plus Higher Level requirements  
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements  
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H2 in English Literature or English Lit/Lang at Higher Level  
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, and Distinction in all Level 3 English studies units. 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 7.0 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. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

Our outstanding record of success for work and further study puts Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015).  It goes to show that our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation. 

Studying Classics 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

Right now, we're running work placement schemes with The Daily Telegraph, the BBC's Newsnight and a number of publishing companies. Take part in one of our schemes and you'll boost your employability: not just with something that looks good on your CV, but with real skills to help you understand and prepare for a career. In the course itself, we put a strong emphasis on your employability. 

The skills you gain with us, like research, presentation, teamwork, negotiation and communication, will prepare you for a broad range of careers. It’s why many Royal Holloway graduates have gone on to careers in law, journalism, government, publishing, finances, business, teaching, marketing and the media. 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***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

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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