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French with Music BA

UCAS code R1W3
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
Music »

This course offers you the opportunity to combine study of French (75% of the course) with Music (25%) and to spend your third year abroad in a French-speaking country.

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 Music at Royal Holloway allows you to tailor your studies to your own interests and passions.

We have expertise spanning traditional, modern and world music. Through studying musical texts, practices, cultures and institutions you will explore issues in history, sociology, ethnology, and philosophy covering an exceptional geographical and chronological range. You will also be able to gain practical skills in composition, music technology and performance.

You will join a music department that is among the very best in the country, ranked third in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and the only music department in the country to hold a prestigious Regius Professorship.

  • You will have access to well-equipped studios and recording facilities as well as incredible performance spaces including the Windsor Auditorium, Boilerhouse Theatre, Victorian Picture Gallery and College Chapel.
  • Our well connected department means you have the opportunity to make valuable music industry contacts. Our staff are connected with musical networks such Wigmore Hall, the BBC Proms, Royal Opera House.

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.

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 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: 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

Music: Theory and Analysis

Music: Practical Musicianship

Music: Creative Composition Techniques

Music: Practical Composition Skills

Music: Very Short History of Music

Music: Introduction to Historical Musicology

Music: Introduction to World Music

Music: Contemporary Debates in Music

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

Music: Studies in Music Analysis

Music: Studies in Composition

Music: Studies in Music History

Music: Studies in Ethnomusicology

Music: Studies in Music, Media and Technology

Music: Practical Performance

Music: Solo Performance

Music: Ensemble Performance

Music: Composition Portfolio

Music: Ensemble Performance in World Music - Andean Band

Music: Choral Conducting

Music: Baroque Performance Practice

Music: Composing with Technology

Music: Composing with Technology

Music: Sounds and Cultures in East Asia

Music: Introduction to Jazz

Music: Popular Music and Musicians in Post-War Britain and North America

Music: Orchestral Conducting

Music: Orchestral Performance

Music: Practical Ethics

Music: Wagner's Ring

Music: Issues in Sound, Music and the Moving Image

Music: Sibelius and Music of Northern Europe

Music: Music in the City

Music: Music, Environment and Ecology

Music: Music, Power and Politics

Music: Ideas of German Music from Mozart to Henze

Music: Silent Film Performance

Music: Music and Gender

Music: Debussy and French Musical Aesthetics

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

Music: The Music-Film

 

Music: Baroque Performance Practice

 

Music: Intercultural Performance - Theory and Practice

 

Music: Composing with Technology 2

 

Music: Silent Film Performance

 

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 in Music or Grade 8 Music Theory at Pass. 

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 6 in Music and 5 in French at Higher Level with 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus A level Music grade A or Music Theory grade 8. 
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus A in A level Music or an essay based subject and ABRSM Music Theory grade 8. If French is taken to A level grade B is required.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus two A levels including A in Music or two A levels including an essay based subject and ABRSM Music Theory grade 8. 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 Music, or Music Theory grade 8 with plus Higher requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H2 in Music at Higher Level, or Music Theory grade 8.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass  with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit PLUS A-Level Music grade A or Music Theory grade 8. 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

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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.

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. 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  95% of Music graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • Graduates have entered 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. Other graduates have launched careers as musicians, music, dance and drama teachers, technicians and managers

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***: Music - £50

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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