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French with Mathematics BA

UCAS code R1G1
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
Mathematics »

This course allows you to combine the study of French language and culture (75% of course) with Mathematics (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. As a modern linguist, 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 degree 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. This wide range of innovative courses is 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.

Our Department of Mathematics brings the beauty and breadth of mathematics to life, inviting you to delve deep into the world of abstract structures and ideas, whilst also equipping you with the practical skills and experience that will set you apart in the world of work. Guided by experts in the field, you will receive a thorough grounding in the key methods and concepts that underpin our subject, with the flexibility to tailor your studies in years 2 and 3.

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.
  • On graduation you will have the language and analytical skills, together with an in-depth knowledge of French history, culture and society, that will give you a valuable competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world.
  • 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).

Core modules

Year 1

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.

Mathematics: Number Systems

In this module you will develop an understanding of the fundamental algebraic structures, including familiar integers and polynomial rings. You will learn how to apply Euclid's algorithm to find the greatest comon divisor of two integers, and use mathematical induction to prove simple results. You will examine the use of arithmetic operations on complex numbers, extract roots of complex numbers, prove De Morgan's laws, and determine whether a given mapping is bijective.

Mathematics: Matrix Algebra

In this module you will develop an understanding of basic linear algebra, in particular the use of matrices and vectors. You will look at the basic theoretical and computational techniques of matrix theory, examining the power of vector methods and how they may be used to describe three-dimensional space. You will consider the notions of field, vector space and subspace, and learn how to calculate the determinant of an n x n matrix.

Year 2

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.

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 in a country where the native language is the same as the language the student is studying. 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: 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.

French: Dissertation

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.

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: The Visual Image in French Culture and Society

French: French History Through Film

French: Decoding France - Language, Culture and Identity

Year 2

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

Mathematics: Vector Analysis And Fluids

In this module you will develop an understanding of the concepts of scalar and vector fields. You examine how vector calculus is used to define general coordinate systems and in differential geometry. You will learn how to solve simple partial differential equations by separating variables, and become familiar with how these concepts can be appield in the field of dynamics of inviscid fluids.

Mathematics: Statistical Methods

In this module you will develop an understanding of statistical modelling, becoming familiar with the theory and the application of linear models. You will learn how to use the classic simple linear regression model and its generalisations for modelling dependence between variables. You will examine how to apply non-parameric methods, such as the Wilxocon and Kolmogorov-Smirnov goodness-of-fit tests, and learn to use the Minitab statistical software package.

Mathematics: Probability

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic principles of the mathematical theory of probability. You will use the fundamental laws of probability to solve a range of problems, and prove simple theorems involving discrete and continuous random variables. You will learn how to forumulate an explain fundamental limit theorems, such as the weak law of large numbers and the central limit theorem.

Mathematics: Graphs and Optimisation

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic concepts of graph theory and linear programming. You will consider how railroad networks, electrical networks, social networks, and the web can be modelled by graphs, and look at basic examples of graph classes such as paths, cycles and trees. You will examine the flows in networks and how these are related to linear programming, solving problems using the simplex algorithm and the strong duality theorem.

Mathematics: Ordinary Differential Equations and Fourier Analysis

In this module you will develop an understanding of the concepts arising when the boundary conditions of a differential equation involves two points. You will look at eingenvalues and eingenfunctions in trigonometric differenital equations, and determine the Fourier series for a periodic function. You will learn how to manipulate the Dirac delta-function and apply the Fourier transform. You will also examine how to solve differential equations where the coefficients are variable.

Mathematics: Linear Algebra and Group Project

In this module you will develop an understanding of vectors and matrices within the context of vector spaces, with a focus on deriving and using various decompositions of matrices, including eigenvalue decompositions and the so-called normal forms. You will learn how these abstract notions can be used to solve problems encountered in other fields of science and mathematics, such as optimisation theory. Working in small groups, you will put together different aspects of mathematics in a project on a topic of your choosing, disseminating your findings in writing and giving an oral presentation to your peers.

Mathematics: Rings and Factorisation

In this module you will develop an understanding of ring theory and how this area of algebra can be used to address the problem of factorising integers into primes. You will look at how these ideas can be extended to develop notions of 'prime factorisation' for other mathematical objects, such as polynomials. You will investigate the structure of explicit rings and learn how to recognise and construct ring homomorphisms and quotients. You will examine the Gaussian integers as an example of a Euclidean ring, Kronecker's theorem on field extensions, and the Chinese Remainder Theorem.

Mathematics: Groups and Group Actions

In this module you will develop an understanding of the algebraic structures known as groups. You will look at how groups represent symmetries in the world around us, examining examples that arise from the theory of matrices and permutations. You will see how groups are ubiquitous and used in many different fields of human study, including mathematics, physics, the study of crystals and atoms, public key cryptography, and music theory. You also will also consider how various counting problems concerning discrete patterns can be solved by means of group actions.

Mathematics: Further Linear Algebra and Modules

In this module you will develop an understanding of the language and concepts of linear algebra that are used within Mathematics. You will look at topics in linear algebra and the theory of modules, which can be seen as generalisations of vector spaces. You will learn how to use alternative matrix representations, such as the Jordan canonical or the rational canonical form, and see why they are important in mathematics.

Mathematics: Complex Variable

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic complex variable theory. You will look at the definitions of continuity and differentiability of a complex valued function at a point, and how Cauchy-Riemann equations can be applied. You will examine how to use a power series to define the complex expontential function, and how to obtain Taylor series of rational and other functions of standard type, determining zeros and poles of given functions. You will also consider how to use Cauchy's Residue Theorem to evaulate real integrals.

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: 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

Mathematics Project

In this module you will carry out a detailed investigation on a topic of your choosing, guided by an academic supervisor. You will prepare a written report around 7,000 words in length, and give a ten-minute presentation outlining your findings.

Mathematics in the Classroom

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of methods for teaching children up to A-level standard. You will act act as a role model for pupils, devising appropriate ways to convey the principles and concepts of mathematics. You will spend one session a week in a local school, taking responsibility for preparing lesson plans, putting together relevant learning aids, and delivering some of the classes. You will work with a specific teacher, who will act as a trainer and mentor, gaining valuable transferable skills.

Number Theory

In this module you will develop an understanding of how prime numbers are the building blocks of the integers 0, ±1, ±2, … You will look at how simple equations using integers can be solved, and examine whether a number like 2017 should be written as a sum of two integer squares. You will also see how Number Theory can be used in other areas such as Cryptography, Computer Science and Field Theory.

Computational Number Theory

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range methods used for testing and proving primality, and for the factorisation of composite integers. You will look at the theory of binary quadratic forms, elliptic curves, and quadratic number fields, considering the principles behind state-of-the art factorisation methods. You will also look at how to analyse the complexity of fundamental number-theoretic algorithms.

Complexity Theory

In this module you will develop an understanding the different classes of computational complexity. You will look at computational hardness, learning how to deduce cryptographic properties of related algorithms and protocols. You will examine the concept of a Turing machine, and consider the millennium problems, including P vs NP, with a $1,000,000 prize on offer from the Clay Mathematics Institute if a correct solution can be found.

Principles of Algorithm Design

In this module you will develop an understanding of efficient algorithm design and its importance for handling large inputs. You will look at how computers have changed the world in the last few decades, and examine the mathematical concepts that have driven these changes. You will consider the theory of algorithm design, including dynamic programming, handling recurrences, worst-case analysis, and basic data structures such as arrays, stacks, balanced search trees, and hashing.

Quantum Theory 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of quantum theory, and the development of the field to explain the behaviour of particles at the atomic level. You will will look at the mathematical foundations of the theory, including the Schrodinger equation. You will examine how the theory is applied to one and three dimensional systems, including the hydrogen atom, and see how a probabilistic theory is required to interpret what is measured.

Quantum Theory 2

In this module you will develop an understanding of how the Rayleigh-Ritz variational principle and perturbation theory can be used to obtain approximate solutions of the Schrödinger equation. You will look at the mathematical basis of the Period Table of Elements, considering spin and the Pauli exclusion principle. You will also examine the quantum theory of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter.

Dynamics of Real Fluids

In this module you will develop an understanding of how the theory of ideal fluids can be used to explain everyday phenomena in the world around us, such as how sound travels, how waves travel over the surface of a lake, and why golden syrup (or volcanic lava) flows differently from water. You will look at the essential features of compressible flow and consider basic vector analysis techniques.

Non-Linear Dynamical Systems - Routes to Chaos

In this module, you will develop an understanding of non-linear dynamical systems. You will investigate whether the behaviour of a non-linear system can be predicted from the corresponding linear system, and see how dynamical systems can be used to analyse mechanisms such as the spread of disease, the stability of the universe, and the evolution of economic systems. You will gain an insight into the 'secrets' of the non-linear world and the appearance of chaos, examining the significant developments achieved in this field during the final quarter of the 20th Century.

Channels

In this module you will develop an understanding of the mathematics of communication, focusing on digital communication as used across the internet and by mobile telephones. You looking at compression, considering how small a file, such as a photo or video, can be made, and therefore how the use of data can be minimised. You will examine error correction, seeing how communications may be correctly received even if something goes wrong during the transmission, such as intermittent wifi signal. You will also analyse the noiseless coding theorem, defining and using the concept of channel capacity.

Quantum Information and Coding

In this module you will develop an understanding of how the behaviour of quantum systems can be harnessed to perform information processing tasks that are otherwise difficult, or impossible, to carry out. You will look at basic phenomena such as quantum entanglement and the no-cloning principle, seeing how these can be used to perform, for example, quantum key distribution. You will also examine a number of basic quantum computing algorithms, observing how they outperform their classical counterparts when run on a quantum computer.

Mathematics of Financial Markets

In this module you will develop an understanding of how financial markets operate, with a focus on the ideas of risk and return and how they can be measured. You will look at the random behaviour of the stock market, Markowitz portfolio optimisation theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, the Binomial model, and the Black-Scholes formula for the pricing of options.

Advanced Financial Mathematics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of mathematics and statistics in securities markets. You will investigate the validity of various linear and non-linear time series occurring in finance, and apply stochastic calculus, including partial differential equations, for interest rate and credit analysis. You will also consider how spot rates and prices for Asian and barrier exotic options are modelled.

Combinatorics

In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the standard techniques and concepts of combinatorics, including methods of counting, generating functions, probabilistic methods, permutations, and Ramsey theory. You will see how algebra and probability can be used to count abstract mathematical objects, and how to calculate sets by includion an exclusion. You will examine the applications of number theory and consider the use of simple probabilistic tools for solving combinatorial problems.

Error Correcting Codes

In this module you will develop an understanding of how error correcting codes are used to store and transmit information in technologies such as DVDs, telecommunication networks and digital television. You will look at the methods of elementary enumeration, linear algebra and finite fields, and consider the main coding theory problem. You will see how error correcting codes can be used to reconstruct the original information even if it has been altered or degraded.

Cipher Systems

In this module you will develop an understanding of secure communication and how cryptography is used to achieve this. You will look at some of the historical cipher systems, considering what security means and the kinds of attacks an adversary might launch. You will examine the structure of stream ciphers and block ciphers, and the concept of public key cryptography, including details of the RSA and ElGamal cryptosystems. You will see how these techniques are used to achieve privacy and authentication, and assess the problems of key management and distribution.

Public Key Cryptography

In this module you will develop an understanding of public key cryptography and the mathematical ideas that underpin it, including discrete logarithms, lattices and elliptic curves. You will look at several important public key cyptosystems, including RSA, Rabin, ElGamal encryption and Schnorr signatures. You will consider notions of security and attack models relevant for modern theoretical cryptography, such as indistinguishability and adaptive chosen ciphertext attack.

Applications of Field Theory

"In this module you will develop an understanding of Field Theory. You will learn how to express equations such as X2017=1 in a formal algebraic setting, how to classify finite fields, and how to determine the number of irreducible polynomials over a finitie field. You will also consider some the applications of fields, including ruler and compass constructions and why it is impossible to generically trisect an angle using them."

Groups and Group Actions

In this module you will develop an understanding of the algebraic structures known as groups. You will look at how groups represent symmetries in the world around us, examining examples that arise from the theory of matrices and permutations. You will see how groups are ubiquitous and used in many different fields of human study, including mathematics, physics, the study of crystals and atoms, public key cryptography, and music theory. You also will also consider how various counting problems concerning discrete patterns can be solved by means of group actions.

Further Linear Algebra and Modules

In this module you will develop an understanding of the language and concepts of linear algebra that are used within Mathematics. You will look at topics in linear algebra and the theory of modules, which can be seen as generalisations of vector spaces. You will learn how to use alternative matrix representations, such as the Jordan canonical or the rational canonical form, and see why they are important in mathematics.

Topology

In this module you will develop an understanding of geometric objects and their properties. You will look at objects that are preserved under continuous deformation, such as through stretching or twisting, and will examine knots and surfaces. You will see how colouring a knot can be used to determine whether or not it can be transformed into the unknot without any threading. You will also consider why topologists do not distinguish between a cup and a donut.

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.

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

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including grade 6 in Higher Level Maths with 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus Grade A in A Level Maths
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject plus Grade A in A Level Maths 
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus Grade A in A Level Maths and one essay based subject grade B.If French is taken to A level 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 A in Maths plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher Level plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H2 in Maths 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, plus A Level Maths grade A. 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



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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 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.

As a modern linguist you will have excellent communication, analytical and research skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently in French, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. In addition to these you will have numerical and analytical skills, data handling powers, creative and logical thinking and problem solving abilities. During your 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 both French and Mathematics graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • Your combined studies will open up a wide range of careers including many language-related fields, such as: international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting. 
  • Mathematics graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers in business management, IT consultancy, computer analysis and programming, accountancy, the civil service, teaching, actuarial science, finance, risk analysis, research and engineering. 

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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