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French and History BA

UCAS code RV11
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
History »

This joint degree allows you to equally split your studies between History and the French language and literature.

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).

Studying History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times. Exploring what people have felt, thought and done in the past expands our self-awareness. It will help to satisfy your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.

Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects, enabling you to spread your studies across the medieval and modern worlds, from Ancient Rome through to modern China, from Saladin through to Margaret Thatcher.

  • 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

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.

The core modules in History are:

History and Meanings

This module examines the development of historical writing and debates around the meaning of history. Overall, the framework is chronological, taking you on a journey from Herodotus and other historians of the ancient world, through to the development of history as a professional discipline in the nineteenth century, and finally on to more recent debates about ‘postmodernism’. Both western and non-western history-writing traditions are discussed for comparative purposes. On the way, in both lectures and in small tutorial groups, you will need to think about the nature of historical ‘truth’ and objectivity, and will be asked to reflect upon your own status and practice as historians.

Public History

History has never been so popular. This course explores the development in recent years of ‘public history’, or the ways in which the past is used and written about by academic and popular historians, the heritage industry, journalists, the state, and the wider public. The module examines the nature of ‘public history’ through a series of case-studies, including topics such as how history is presented on the television and in film; history in museums and heritage sites; community and oral history; the memory of the Holocaust; debates in European societies about ‘making amends’ for slavery and the colonial past; and the uses of history in contemporary South Asia. You will be given the opportunity to make your own contribution to the field through your own ‘public history’ project.

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.

The core modules in History are:

Independent Essay

This module allows yous to undertake a small research project of your own. You will sign up for one of approximately twenty-five advertised thematic ‘workshops’ run by academics within the department, and through a series of seminars will explore key themes and debates that allow you to identify a project of your own choosing. The course also includes training in research and writing skills, and is excellent preparation for your final-year dissertation.

Research Skills

This module will ensure that you have a cogent, practicable and interesting research topic to write your independent essay, and that you are equipped with the appropriate skills and a timetable for undertaking and producing research and writing in a timely manner. You will be encouraged to consult with the module leader and your supervisors to develop your research topic.

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.

The core module in History is:
Dissertation

You will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your own choosing, with an academic supervisor vho will provide regular consultation.

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 History include:

Gods, Men and Power - An Introduction to the Ancient World from Homer to Mohammed

 

Republics, Kings and People - The Foundations of European Political Though from Plato to Rousseau

 

The Rich Tapestry of Life - Early Modern England, Europe and the Wider World, 1453 to 1789

 

Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000

 

Mao to Mandela - Twentieth Century Leaders of the Non-Western World

 

Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages

 

Year 2

French: Approaches to Translation Work

French: Socio-Political Issues of Contemporary France in Fiction and Translation

French: Writing Romance and Desire

French: Culture and Ideology - France and La Francophonie

French: Cinema in France - From Modernism to the Postmodern

French: The Illustrated Text in France

Optional modules in History include:

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

 

The Persuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250

 

The Flowering of the Middle Ages - Politics, Pestilence and War, 1300 to 1500

 

The European Crucible, 1914 to 1947 - Politics, Culture and Society

 

New World, Lost World - The Tudor Monarchy 1485 to 1603

 

The Georginas - Politics, Society, and Culture 1688 to 1832

 

Nineteenth-Century Europe - Society and Culture, 1789 to 1905

 

Twentieth-Century World History - The Middle East, Africa and Latin America

 

Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East

 

The Victorians - British History, 1837 to 1901

 

History of the USA, 1787 to 1877

 

Spain, 1898 to 1939

 

Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1939 to 1989

 

Awakening China - From the Opium Wars to the Present Day

 

Science in Greek and Roman Antiquity

 

Mutiny to Modi - the Indian Subcontinent from the 19th Century to the Present

 

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 History include:

Faith and Fire - Religious Culture in England, 1375 to 1525

 

The Origins and Impact of the Second Crusade, 1145 to 1149

 

Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response

 

Berlin - A European Metropolis from Kaiser to Kohl

 

The History and Historiography of the Holocaust

 

The Clash of Powers and Cultures - Sino-American Relations during the Cold War

 

Christians and Pagans  - From Constantine to Augustine

 

Victorian Babylon - Life, Work and People in London, 1840 to 1890

 

Comparing Religious Fundamentalisms in the 19th and 20th Centuries

 

Migration, Identity and Citizenship in Modern Britain

 

The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present

 

Talking Cures and Troubles: The Oral History of Health and Medicine in Britain, 1948 to 2000

 

Drawing the Line - Independence, Partition, and the Making of India and Pakistan

 

Progress and its Discontents - European Culture, 1890 to 1914

 

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.

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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. In the final year you will complete a 10,000 word dissertation for History. 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.

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: If French is taken at A-Level, a grade B is required and at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C including English and Maths.

Preferred subjects: History

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher level including an essay based subject with 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus an A Level in an essay based subject 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 including B in an essay based subject. 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 requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher requirements.If French is taken grade B is required.
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. 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.

Combining history and French at Royal Holloway will provide you with a unique skill set and open up a wide range of career options as well as provide a basis for further study. On graduating you will have a critical enquiring mind-set together with the proven ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language, a rare skill that is highly valued by employers.

Your degree will also demonstrate that you enjoy being challenged, are able to think through issues and problems in a logical and consistent way and have a understanding other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment. 

  • 90% of the most recent French graduates and 86% of history graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many 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.  
  • Our careers service offers a range of tailor-made careers events, one-to-one careers advice sessions and skills workshops specifically for history students.

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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