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German and Greek BA

UCAS code RQ27
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 4 years full time
Department Classics »
Classics »

This Joint Honours course combines study of classical Greek with the opportunity to gain skills in the modern German language and knowledge of the culture of German speaking countries. Studying Greek provides insights into ancient Greece as well as into the workings of language in general, complementing your study of the German language, literature and culture.

As a student of German, 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 German to suit your specific areas of interest, choosing from an exciting multidisciplinary range in German literature, thinking, history, art, film and current affairs; from Mann and Kafka to representations of childhood and youth in German culture.

You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying in Germany or a German-speaking country, when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture and truly broaden your horizons at partner universities such as Heidelberg, Munich and Vienna, teaching placements at German or Austrian schools, or work placements in business or industry.

  • Whether you are a beginner or advanced student when you start, by the time you graduate you will be fluent in German: 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 classical Greek develops your language by focusing on the study of ancient Greek texts. Over three years you’ll become a specialist in both the language and literature of the ancient Greeks with the option to study classical archaeology, ancient philosophy as well as ancient history and classical literature in translation.

Greek is part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

  • A centre for excellence in both teaching and research, 98% of our research is recognized as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognized (REF 2014).
  • A thriving Classics Society that contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of our department.

Core modules

Year 1

German: Intensive Beginners' German 1

This is your core German language module (beginners’ pathway). In five weekly seminars you will be introduced to the German language and begin to develop a knowledge of vocabulary and core grammar, as well as oral and listening comprehension skills.

German: German Language 1

This is your core German language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the German language. There will be three seminar hours per week alongside a fortnightly grammar lecture. You will focus on written German, oral practice and grammar, and study a range of texts and topics. The skills you will acquire include the writing of formal letters (letter of complaint, letter to the editor, etc.) and short essays, and presentation delivery in German.

German: Introduction to German Studies

This module will introduce you to key areas of interest in contemporary German Studies, including literary genres and styles, film, and important themes. It will also introduce you to basic library-based and bibliographical study skills. In weekly seminars you will learn how to analyse different kinds of texts and films, and be introduced to aspects of literary and film theory. You will study a variety of short texts and poems by major writers from the 18th century to the present day, a film by a major German filmmaker, and a recent novel on an historical theme.

German: German History and Culture

The module presents key developments in German history through the lens of literature and the visual arts, in a lively and accessible way. You will gain an insight into German culture and history from the Middle Ages to the present, and acquire skills and knowledge that will serve you throughout your degree. By the end of the module you will be familiar with some of the key historical moments in German history, and with some of the ways these have had a political and cultural impact.

Year 2

German: Intensive Beginners' German 2

This module is designed to follow on from and to build on the knowledge and skills established in Intensive Beginners’ German 1. You will establish, through intensive practice and use of a range of learning materials, more advanced comprehension skills in written and spoken German. The emphasis throughout will be on everyday language and day-to-day situations.

German: German Language 2

This is your core German language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the German language. There will be three seminar hours per week alongside a fortnightly grammar lecture. You will focus on written German, oral practice and grammar. The module will again include an element of ‘German for business purposes’, dealing with business related text genres, such as business letterers and report writing.

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

German: German Language 3

This is your core German language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the German language. There will be three seminar hours per week. In your grammar class you will work on the effective use of written register and style, and the presenting of a convincing argument. Your oral German classes will include debates and presentations. You will also be introduced to advanced translation skills, focusing on a variety of functional, literary, journalistic, factual and academic texts.

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

Greek: Greek Literature

Greek: Roman Literature of the Republic

Greek: Individual and Community

Greek: Greek History and the City State

Greek: Key Themes in Roman History

Greek: Introduction to Greek Archaeology

Greek: Introduction to Roman Archaeology

Greek: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

Year 2

German: Death, Desire, Decline - Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka

German: Love and Marriage in Major Novels by Theodor Fontane

German: Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

Greek: The Built Environment in Classical Antiquity

Greek: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Greek: Gender in Classical Antiquity

Greek: Greek History to 322 BC

Greek: Greek Law and Lawcourts

Greek: Augustus - Propaganda and Power

Greek: The Roman Republic - A Social and Economic History

Greek: The Rise of the Roman Empire - An Economic and Social History

Greek: Homer (in Translation)

Greek: Virgil (in Translation)

Greek: Ovid’s Metamorphoses - Art and Power in Augustan Rome

Greek: Virgil’s Aeneid - The Empire in the Literary Imagination

Greek: Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Greek: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

Greek: The Roman Empire from Augustus to Commodus

Greek: The Later Roman Empire

Year 4

German: Doubles, Devils, and Deadly Spiders - 19th-Century German Gothic Literature

German: Narrative and Identity - The German Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century

German: Dream Factories - Recent German Film

Greek: Greek Erotic Poetry (in Greek)

Greek: Hadrian's Wall

Greek: Archaeology of Athens and Attica

Greek: Roman Oratory

Greek: Gender in Classical Antiquity

Greek: Alexander the Great

Greek: Greek Law and Lawcourts

Greek: Roman Army

Greek: The City from Augustus to Charlemagne

Greek: Religion and the Ancient Greeks

Greek: Greek Lyric, Eros and Social Order

Greek: Tacitus - The Making of History

Greek: The Philosophy of Aristotle

Greek: Philosophy Under the Roman Empire

Greek: Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

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.

In your final year the Classics department offers ongoing support for your dissertation work, if appropriate, which usually includes:

  • Lectures and practical sessions on Dissertation Research Methods e.g. planning your topics, carrying out research, using specialist resources, finding information in print and online, and managing your search results and references. These sessions are run in conjunction with the Library Service and are generally also open to second year students.
  • Short departmental writing ‘surgeries’, in which academic staff offer general writing support if you are experiencing problems and/or if you have specific queries.

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:  GCSE grade A in Greek, or AS/A-level in Greek grade B.  If German 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: any Arts or Humanities A levels

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with at least 5 at Standard Level Greek and a minimum of 32 points overall. If German is taken at Higher Level, a grade 5 is required.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject PLUS GCSE grade A in Greek, or AS/A-Level Greek grade B. 
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction and one A-Level grade B PLUS GCSE Greek grade A, or AS/A-Level Greek grade B. If German is taken, a grade B is required.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction and two A-Levels grades B,B PLUS GCSE Greek grade A, or AS/A-Level Greek grade B. If German is taken, 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 B in an essay-based subject plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher Level including B in Greek at Higher Level. If German is taken at Higher Level, a grade B is required plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in Greek at Higher Level. If German is taken at Higher Level, a grade H3 is required.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit PLUS GCSE Greek grade A, or AS/A-Level greek grade B. 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. 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.

On completion of this joint degree you will be a modern and ancient linguist with excellent communication, analytical and research skills. You will be able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing, all of which are skills that employees are looking for. 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 85% of Classics and German graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • Language graduates have entered a wide range of careers including: international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting as well as language assistants and teacher trainers. Recent employers include: Mazda Motor Europe, British Council, Oxfam Head Office, Merlin Entertainments Group and Ralph Lauren.
  • Classics graduates have also developed their careers in a wide range of areas including: law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers include: Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces.

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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