This course combines the study of French language, literature and culture (75% of your course) with a particular emphasis on International Film (25%).
The prominence of France and the French-speaking countries when it comes to literature, art, thought and culture makes the study of the French language highly rewarding and engaging. This degree enables you to study French language, literature and culture in-depth and spend a quarter of your time studying International Film, exploring the important role of cinema in European culture. As a modern linguist, you will not only learn to speak and write French fluently, you will also develop excellent communication and research skills and combine language proficiency with cross-cultural perspectives.
Choosing this degree at Royal Holloway will see you join our friendly, supportive and culturally diverse community and being inspired by one of the largest and most exciting groups of leading French scholars in the University of London. You will be able to tailor your French studies to suit your specific areas of interest, choosing from a fascinating multidisciplinary range, from seventeenth-century theatre to nineteenth-century literature.
With its particular emphasis on European cinema, your study of International Film will complement your study of Spanish. 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.
All of our innovative courses are taught through a combination of seminars and traditional lectures by teachers who genuinely want to get to know you; they pride themselves on building a rapport with their students, continuously providing advice and encouragement.
You will spend an exciting year working, teaching or studying abroad in either France or a French-speaking country, choosing from cities, such as: Aix en Provenance, Paris and Le Reunion, where 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, when you graduate you will be fluent in French and have an in-depth knowledge of French history, culture and society, all of which will give you a valuable competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world.
- 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.
- 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).
French: Skills and Techniques for Translation
In this module you will develop your translation skills using written and recorded material, selected from the French press (newspapers, magazines, specialist journals, web-based material, etc.) and the French radio. Weekly exercises will include: vocabulary work; comprehension exercises; rewriting exercises; translation exercises; summary exercises; grammar work. You will develop an autonomous approach to learning languages and deepen your knowledge of French grammar, vocabulary and culture.
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.
French: Key French Texts - the Individual and Society
In this module you will examine images of French society through history via a selection of key literary texts. You will learn how social change, social mobility, success and failure, ambition and honour, oppression and alienation have been portrayed. The classes will offer a taste of the literature of the relevant periods, along with a discussion of its distinguishing stylistic features, and an overview of its intellectual, social, and historical background.
The core modules in International Film are:
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.
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.
French: Approaches to Translation Work
In this module you will enhance your understanding of the structures and nuances of both French and English, as well as your competence in close reading, through the practice of translation. The module will be seminar-based and will consist of progressive translation exercises from English into French, and vice versa, together with stylistic, syntactic and grammatical exposés comparing the two languages.
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 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.
The third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying, working, or both. It is usually expected that you will spend at least 9 months in a country where the native language is the same as the language you are studying. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures will support you in finding a suitable study or work placement, but you will also be expected to explore opportunities independently. Ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with yourself. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol for modules at a partner university in your chosen country. This year forms an integral part of your degree programme. If you undertake a placement then you will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards your degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for modules taken will be credited towards your degree. The same applies to your practical oral assessment on return to Royal Holloway from your year abroad.
French: Advanced Translating Skills
This module will enable you to see translation as a ‘real-life’ skill, approaching tasks which a professional translator might be faced with, understanding the requirements and parameters of the task and tailoring their approach to these requirements, as well as developing critical and editorial skills and becoming familiar with print and online reference tools available to translators. You will develop an awareness of difficulties which face French-English translators and acquire an analytical grasp of the problems posed by particular texts, subject matter and scenarios, producing strategies for translation as well as translations of a variety of texts (in both French and English).
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.
You will complete a substantial dissertation on an approved cultural topic of your choosing. Your project will supervised by a tutor who will offer guidance and support as you conduct independent research.
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.
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.
French: The Visual Image in French Culture and Society
French: French History Through Film
French: Decoding France - Language, Culture and Identity
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
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: Wanton Women - Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde
French: Deadly Passions - Tragedy in Seventeenth-Century France
French: Blindness and Vision in French Culture
French: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde
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.