This course offers you the opportunity to combine study of French (75% of the course) with Philosophy (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).
At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.
With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us.
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 module in Philosophy is:
Epistemology and Metaphysics
This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.
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 modules in Philosophy are:
Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel
This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.
Mind and World
This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.
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.
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.
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
Optional modules in Philosophy include:
Introduction to Logic
This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.
Mind and Conciousness
What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.
Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals
This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.
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
Optional modules in Philosophy and related subjects include:
The Philosophy of Aristotle
The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2
Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics
Philosophy Under the Roman Empire
Moral Problems in Politics
Nietzsche and Foucault
Philosophy of Psychology
The Philosophy of Religion
Husserl to Heidegger
Critical Theory and Hermen
The Self and Others
The Varieties of Scepticism
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.