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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > Comparative Literature and Culture with International Film
More in this section Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Comparative Literature and Culture with International Film BA

UCAS code Q2P3
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »


This course combines the study of Comparative Literature and Culture (75% of your course) with that of International Film (25%), giving you a global cultural perspective across many different media.

Comparative Literature and Culture (CLC) with International Film offers you the opportunity to study global literature as well as to explore philosophy and visual arts, with a particular focus on international film. CLC combines a fascinating breadth of material with a focus on contexts – places, periods, and genres – to explore how key cultural shifts transform how we see, represent, and make sense of our changing world. CLC at Royal Holloway is a unique and intellectually stimulating degree which will develop you as a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker.

We’ve developed this degree so that you can tailor it to suit your own evolving interests, choosing from our exceptionally wide range of fascinating options, ranging across continents and centuries, from antiquity to the present day, novels and poetry to philosophy, cinema and art. We will read, watch, and compare from Ancient Greece to contemporary New York, from Cuba to Korea, from epics to crime fiction, and from tragedy to the avant-garde. CLC enables you to study texts originally written in many languages, all translated into English.

Your study of International Film will complement your study of Comparative Literature and Culture. You will benefit from the expertise within the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures to explore the historical and cultural significance of film and study key styles, movements and genres, important filmmakers and national cinemas.

You will be taught by world-class experts who genuinely want to get to know you. We create a supportive environment, often using group work so you can try out new ideas and participate in lively discussions.  Throughout your studies, you will receive personal guidance to ensure your course is aligned to your strengths, interests and career plans. As part of our close-knit international community you will be able to get involved in the many cultural initiatives on campus and make the most of being within easy reach of London, with its many cultural events and attractions. 

  • Our students say we are good at explaining things 100% of the time, and have given us a score of 93% for overall satisfaction (National Student Survey 2015).
  • Our teaching methods are diverse, ranging from lectures and small group seminars to e-learning.
  • You will have the exciting opportunity to spend an additional international year with a partner university.

Core modules

Year 1

Comparative Literature and Culture: Reading Texts - Criticism for Comparative Literature

This module will introduce you to the theory and practices of textual analysis and comparative textual analysis as well as to the major debates about the theory and practice of comparative literature in a transnational context. You will be given extracts from a variety of historically, geographically, culturally, and stylistically diverse texts and introduced to a range of analytical techniques and approaches. In addition to developing close reading skills and acquainting yourself with key examples of classic and contemporary literature from across the world, you will encounter important critical issues, first in connection with practices of reading more broadly, and secondly, in relation to the history and practice of comparatism. All passages from non-English-language works will be given in English translation.

Comparative Literature and Culture: Tales of the City - Introduction to Thematic Analysis

This module will introduce you to a range of literary and filmic texts depicting different aspects of the city. The focus on a common thematic ground allows you to develop skills of comparison and analysis, while encouraging you to reflect on wider questions of urban space, public and private spheres, and alterity. The works to be studied on the city explicitly engage with three periods and aspects of the modern city: early twentieth-century modernity; post-war industrialisation and urbanisation; and the contemporary transnational metropolis and multiculturalism. Themes that run through the module include: money/poverty, technology, migration, crime, gender and sexuality.

Comparative Literature and Culture: Introduction to Literary Genre - Tragedy

Murder, passion, ambition, cruelty, suicide, jealousy, anguish: over the centuries, tragedy has explored the extremes of human experience and emotion. This module introduces you to a range of tragedies from ancient Greece onwards, exploring how dramatists have combined themes, characters, plot, stagecraft and emotion to produce some of the most compelling, enduring and powerful literary works we know.

International Film: International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices

This module will introduce you to some key tenets of film theory and apply them to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. It will familiarise you with the analysis of aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts. The set films on the module will include canonical works from a century of cinema history, by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and significant examples of technique and style.

International Film: The Birth of Film

This module will introduce you to the early phase of film history between 1895 and the early 1930s, from the invention of motion pictures to the establishment of sound cinema. You will look at a cross-section of American and European films made during this phase, when film-making was largely national but the absence of the spoken word gave film a truly cosmopolitan dimension, with directors, actors and technical personnel moving freely across national boundaries. You will learn about the development of film as art (with its links to the Avant-garde) and also examine cinema as an entertainment industry in which genre (horror and crime films) helped to drive innovation.

Year 2

The core module in International Film is:

International Film 2 - Readings and Representations

The module is divided into two parts, the first exploring crucial issues of filmmaking, film studies and the ‘transnational’ from the perspective of largely contemporary Latin American cinema, the second focusing on a range of European films from the 1970s to the present. The introductory two weeks of the module will introduce you to these concerns; the final two weeks of the module will bring both parts together and establish some conclusions, ask fundamental questions such as what constitutes a ‘European’, ‘Latin American’ or ‘transnational’ film.

Year 3

The core module in International Film is:

Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalisation in Contemporary Film

In this module you will explore cinematic representations of transnational encounters between people, cultures and institutions connected by the forces of globalization. The topics covered range from (anti-)colonialism and revolution to postcolonialism and migration. Attention is also paid to the ways in which the films deal with the themes of emancipation, hybridity, displacement, globalism and cosmopolitanism. 

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

Comparative Literature and Culture: Reading Texts - Criticism for Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature and Culture: Tales of the City - Introduction to Thematic Analysis

Comparative Literature and Culture: Introduction to Literary Genre - Tragedy

Comparative Literature and Culture: Key French Texts - the Individual and Society

Comparative Literature and Culture: Introduction to German Studies

Comparative Literature and Culture: German History and Culture

Comparative Literature and Culture: The Heritage of Dante and The Renaissance

Comparative Literature and Culture: Building the Italian Nation - Heroes and anti-Heroes from Pinocchio to The Leopard

Comparative Literature and Culture: Fascist Italy

Comparative Literature and Culture: Text and Image in the Hispanic World

Comparative Literature and Culture: Culture and Society in Modern Spain

Comparative Literature and Culture: Culture and Identity in Latin America

Comparative Literature and Culture: Authors and Readers in 20th Century Spanish American fiction

Comparative Literature and Culture: Comparative Hispanic Culture

International Film: The Visual Image In French Culture and Society

International Film: Visual Arts 1 - Artists and Their Materials

Year 2

Comparative Literature and Culture: Writing Romance & Desire

Comparative Literature and Culture: Death, Desire, Decline - Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka

Comparative Literature and Culture: Love and Marriage in Major Novels by Theodor Fontane

Comparative Literature and Culture: Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

Comparative Literature and Culture: Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - Kant to Hegel

Comparative Literature and Culture: Dante's Comedy - Themes And Ideas

Comparative Literature and Culture: Renaissance Transgressions - Aretino, Cellini, Bruno

Comparative Literature and Culture: A Special Theme in the Novel - Transgression

Comparative Literature and Culture: Boccaccio - Decameron

Comparative Literature and Culture: Gender and Clothing in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture

Comparative Literature and Culture: Myths of the Feminine in the Spanish Novel

Comparative Literature and Culture: Love in the Contemporary Spanish American Novel

International Film: Cinema In France - From Modernism To The Postmodern

International Film: Postwar Italian Cinema

International Film: Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film

International Film: Twentieth Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film

Year 3

Comparative Literature and Culture: Arthurian Romance - Chrétien de Troyes

Comparative Literature and Culture: Text and Image in France - From Cubism to the Present

Comparative Literature and Culture: Ethics and Violence - Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film

Comparative Literature and Culture: Wanton Women - Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde

Comparative Literature and Culture: Doubles, Devils, and Deadly Spiders - 19th-Century German Gothic Literature

Comparative Literature and Culture: Narrative and Identity - The German Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century

Comparative Literature and Culture: Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger

Comparative Literature and Culture: Dante - Divine Comedy II

Comparative Literature and Culture: Italian Fashion and Design

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

Comparative Literature and Culture: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde

Comparative Literature and Culture: The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Fiction

Comparative Literature and Culture: Humans and Other Animals in Twenty-First Century Fiction and Thought

Comparative Literature and Culture: Journeys of Discovery in Twentieth Century Spanish American Literature

Comparative Literature and Culture: Dissertation

International Film: Blindness and Vision in French Culture

International Film: Dream Factories - Recent German Film

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

International Film: Image, Identity and Consumer Culture in Post-war Fiction and Film

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.  

We use a range of assessment models to suit different learning styles, from online comprehension tests and individual and group presentations, to coursework and examinations. You will be expected to prepare material for lectures and seminars; you will also be able to try out new ideas by giving presentations and participating in lively discussions in a supportive environment. What is more, in your final year you will have the opportunity to write a research-led dissertation. 

You will also have your own Personal Advisor, an academic who helps you through your studies and guides you in tailoring your course. And when you arrive at Royal Holloway, you will take specially designed courses to help you develop the academic and writing skills that will benefit your university career and beyond.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels ABB-BBB 

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

Grade B in one essay based subject and five GCSEs graded A*-C including English and Maths

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including at least 5 at Higher Level in an essay-based subject with a minimum of 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus one A level grade B in an essay-based subject.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus two A levels grades B, B including B in an essay-based subject.
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 plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including an essay based subject at Higher Level.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass 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

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
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.

On completion of your Comparative Literature and Culture with Intentional Film degree at Royal Holloway you will have proven analytical skills and be an adaptable thinker with impressive communication and leadership skills - all of which will appeal to future employers. Your degree will demonstrate that you understand other values and cultures, a quality that will equip you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment. 

On graduation you will be ready to pursue a career in a wide range of areas including publishing, marketing, the media, arts administration, fashion, international management, the civil service, accountancy or teaching.  Alternatively you may choose to continue your studies by means of a postgraduate degree.

  • Recent graduates have launched careers in diverse roles as film, content writing, photographic editorial, journalism, sales and marketing, teaching, publishing and retail buying.

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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