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German and History BA

UCAS code RV21
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
History »

 

This joint degree allows you to equally split your studies between the German language and literature and History.

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 History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times. Exploring what people have felt, thought and done in the past expands our self-awareness. It will help to satisfy your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.

Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects, enabling you to spread your studies across the medieval and modern worlds, from Ancient Rome through to modern China, from Saladin through to Margaret Thatcher.

  • 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

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.

History: History and Meanings

This module examines the development of historical writing and debates around the meaning of history. Overall, the framework is chronological, taking you on a journey from Herodotus and other historians of the ancient world, through to the development of history as a professional discipline in the nineteenth century, and finally on to more recent debates about ‘postmodernism’. Both western and non-western history-writing traditions are discussed for comparative purposes. On the way, in both lectures and in small tutorial groups, you will need to think about the nature of historical ‘truth’ and objectivity, and will be asked to reflect upon your own status and practice as historians.

History: Public History

History has never been so popular. This course explores the development in recent years of ‘public history’, or the ways in which the past is used and written about by academic and popular historians, the heritage industry, journalists, the state, and the wider public. The module examines the nature of ‘public history’ through a series of case-studies, including topics such as how history is presented on the television and in film; history in museums and heritage sites; community and oral history; the memory of the Holocaust; debates in European societies about ‘making amends’ for slavery and the colonial past; and the uses of history in contemporary South Asia. You will be given the opportunity to make your own contribution to the field through your own ‘public history’ project.

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.

History: Independent Essay

This module allows yous to undertake a small research project of your own. You will sign up for one of approximately twenty-five advertised thematic ‘workshops’ run by academics within the department, and through a series of seminars will explore key themes and debates that allow you to identify a project of your own choosing. The course also includes training in research and writing skills, and is excellent preparation for your final-year dissertation.

History: Research Skills

This module will ensure that you have a cogent, practicable and interesting research topic to write your independent essay, and that you are equipped with the appropriate skills and a timetable for undertaking and producing research and writing in a timely manner. You will be encouraged to consult with the module leader and your supervisors to develop your research topic.

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.

History: Dissertation

You will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your own choosing, with an academic supervisor vho will provide regular consultation.

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

History: Gods, Men and Power - An Introduction to the Ancient World from Homer to Mohammed

History: Republics, Kings and People - The Foundations of European Political Though from Plato to Rousseau

History: The Rich Tapestry of Life - Early Modern England, Europe and the Wider World, 1453 to 1789

History: Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000

History: Mao to Mandela - Tentieth Century Leaders of the Non-Western World

History: Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages

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

History: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

History: The Persuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250

History: The Flowering of the Middle Ages - Politics, Pestilence and War, 1300 to 1500

History: The European Crucible, 1914 to 1947 - Politics, Culture and Society

History: New World, Lost World - The Tudor Monarchy 1485 to 1603

History: The Georginas - Politics, Society, and Culture 1688 to 1832

History: Nineteenth-Century Europe - Society and Culture, 1789 to 1905

History: Twentieth-Century World History - The Middle East, Africa and Latin America

History: Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East

History: The Victorians - British History, 1837 to 1901

History: History of the USA, 1787 to 1877

History: Spain, 1898 to 1939

History: Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1939 to 1989

History: Awakening China - From the Opium Wars to the Present Day

History: Science in Greek and Roman Antiquity

History: Mutiny to Modi - the Indian Subcontinent from the 19th Century to the Present

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

History: Faith and Fire - Religious Culture in England, 1375 to 1525

History: The Origins and Impact of the Second Crusade, 1145 to 1149

History: Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response

History: Berlin - A European Metropolis from Kaiser to Kohl

History: The History and Historiography of the Holocaust

History: The Clash of Powers and Cultures - Sino-American Relations during the Cold War

History: Christians and Pagans  - From Constantine to Augustine

History: Victorian Babylon - Life, Work and People in London, 1840 to 1890

History: Comparing Religious Fundamentalisms in the 19th and 20th Centuries

History: Migration, Identity and Citizenship in Modern Britain

History: The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present

History: Talking Cures and Troubles: The Oral History of Health and Medicine in Britain, 1948 to 2000

History: Drawing the Line - Independence, Partition, and the Making of India and Pakistan

History: Progress and its Discontents - European Culture, 1890 to 1914

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. In the final year you will complete a 10,000 word dissertation for History. 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 subjects: An essay based subject, if German is taken at A level grade B is required and at least five

GCSE passes at grades A* to C including English and Maths.
Preferred subjects: History

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including 5 at Higher Level in an essay-based subject with 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. 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus one A level grade B in an essay based subject. If German is taken grade B is required.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus two A levels grades B,B including B in an essay based subject. If German is taken 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 at Advanced Higher Level including B in an essay-based subject. If German is taken as an Advanced Higher, a grade B is required plus Higher Level requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in an essay-based subject. If German is taken at Higher Level, a grade H3 is required 
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. 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.

Combining history and German at Royal Holloway will provide you with a unique skill set and open up a wide range of career options as well as provide a basis for further study. On graduating you will have a critical enquiring mind-set together with the proven ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language, a rare skill that is highly valued by employers.

Your degree will also demonstrate that you enjoy being challenged, are able to think through issues and problems in a logical and consistent way and have a understanding other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment. 

  • 85% of the most recent German graduates and 86% of history graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different language-related fields including international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting.  
  • Our careers service offers a range of tailor-made careers events, one-to-one careers advice sessions and skills workshops specifically for history students.

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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