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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > French and Classical Studies
More in this section Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

French and Classical Studies BA

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

UCAS code RQ18
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
Classics »

Taught by a variety of internationally recognised experts, the course combines study of the ancient world with the opportunity to gain skills in the French language and knowledge of the culture of French speaking countries.

As a student of French, 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 French to suit your specific areas of interest, choosing from an exciting multidisciplinary range; from seventeenth-century theatre to nineteenth-century literature, Dada to visual art, philosophy to food, gender to cinema.

As a part of Royal Holloway’s close-knit international community based in our beautiful historic campus, you will be within easy reach of London, France’s 'sixth biggest city’, with its wealth of French cultural resources. You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying in France or a French-speaking country, when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture and truly broaden your horizons.

  • Whether you are a beginner or advanced student when you start, by the time you graduate you will be fluent in French: 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).

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

French: Pratique du Français 1

This is your core French language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language. There are three hours of seminars per week. In written French, you will study four themes (including French Institutions and the French Revolution). In spoken French, you will discuss and present on a variety of audio-visual materials as well as texts. In the practice seminars, you will develop listening comprehension skills, oral skills and work on grammar.

French: Introduction to French Literature - Critical Skills

This module will introduce you to the basic formal, stylistic and rhetorical elements of French literature. You will undertake a detailed study of three literary texts (one work of prose, another of poetry, and a third dramatic work). On completing the module you will be able to recognise and discuss the impact of some of the devices commonly found in French literary writing. The module does not assume any prior familiarity with French literary texts, nor with the history of French literature and is open to students on the Beginners French pathway.

Year 2

French: Pratique du Français 2

This is your core French language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language. There are three hours of seminars per week (written work, oral, practice) plus fortnightly grammar lectures. In written French, the module builds on techniques you have acquired in first-year language modules. Themes studied help as preparation for your year abroad. In spoken French, you will study, discuss and present on four set films. In the practice seminars, you will continue to develop listening comprehension skills, oral skills and work on 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

French: Pratique du Français 3

This is your core French language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language. There are three hours of seminars per week plus fortnightly grammar lectures. The three hours of seminars are divided in three sections: written work, oral, and practice. You will study of a variety of text types, and also have the chance to produce creative writing on a given subject, thus introducing students to a variety of styles in written French. In oral classes, you will study short passages of a demanding intellectual nature and extracts from films, radio and podcasts. In the practice seminars, you will develop listening comprehension skills, oral skills and work on 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

French: Skills and Techniques for Translation

French: The Visual Image in French Culture and Society

French: Key French Texts - the Individual and Society

French: French History Through Film

French: Decoding France - Language, Culture and Identity

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

 

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

 

Year 4

French: Arthurian Romance - Chrétien De Troyes

French: Repression And Rebellion - The Father and the Father's Law

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

French: Text and Image in France - from Cubism to the Present

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

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

French: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde

French: Dissertation

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

 

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.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year, year abroad and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

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.

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: If French is taken at A-Level, a grade B is required. We also require at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C including English and Maths.
Preferred : any Arts or Humanities A levels.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including an essay-based subject at Higher Level and 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction,Distinction in a relevant subject plus A-Level grade B. If French is taken at A level a grade B is required.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Levels grades B,B If French is taken at A level a grade B is required.
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.
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

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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.

On completion of this joint degree you will be a modern linguist with excellent communication, analytical and research skills.  You will be able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing, all of which are skills that employees are looking for. Having spent a year abroad you will have developed the kind of sensitivity to different cultures that is highly prized in the workplace. This experience and the skills gained will make you highly employable and ready to pursue your chosen career, both in Britain or abroad.  

  • Full time employment or further study achieved by 90% of French graduates and 85% of Classics graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • Language graduates have entered a wide range of careers including: international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting as well as language assistants and teacher trainers. Recent employers include: Mazda Motor Europe, British Council, Oxfam Head Office, Merlin Entertainments Group and Ralph Lauren.
  • Classics graduates have also developed their careers in a wide range of areas including: law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers include: 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.

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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