This course offers you the opportunity to combine study of French equally with History of Art and Visual Culture, and to spend your third year abroad in a French-speaking country.
If you have a passion for the visual arts, History of Art and Visual Culture will give you the skills to read, interpret and analyse images and artefacts across cultures. You will benefit from the research expertise of staff in the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, engaging in the key phases in the development of the history of art and visual culture of Europe and Latin America, equipping you with the skills You can take courses on key historical skills and take options that combine the study of art history with that of photography, film and other media, ranging from medieval times to contemporary visual culture.
- Make use of Royal Holloway’s exceptional collection of Victorian Art housed in the Founder’s Picture Gallery
- Choose options in Visual Culture from across the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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).
The core modules in the History of Art and Visual Culture are:
International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices
This module will introduce you to some key tenets of film theory and apply them to a selection of important pre- and post-war European and international films. It will familiarise you with the analysis of aspects of film style, genre and national and international contexts. The set films on the module will include canonical works from a century of cinema history, by filmmakers such as Joseph von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar, and significant examples of technique and style.
Visual Arts 1 - Artists and their Materials
This module will introduce you to a number of different media encountered in the study of visual culture. By understanding the technical characteristics of a range of art works you will be able to assess the expressive and stylistic possibilities of offered by different media. You will study a rich variety of visual cultures in Europe and Latin America from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The Birth of Film
This module will introduce you to the early phase of film history between 1895 and the early 1930s, from the invention of motion pictures to the establishment of sound cinema. You will look at a cross-section of American and European films made during this phase, when film-making was largely national but the absence of the spoken word gave film a truly cosmopolitan dimension, with directors, actors and technical personnel moving freely across national boundaries. You will learn about the development of film as art (with its links to the Avant-garde) and also examine cinema as an entertainment industry in which genre (horror and crime films) helped to drive innovation.
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.
The core modules in the History of Art and Visual Culture are:
International Film 2 - Readings and Representations
The module is divided into two parts, the first exploring crucial issues of filmmaking, film studies and the ‘transnational’ from the perspective of largely contemporary Latin American cinema, the second focusing on a range of European films from the 1970s to the present. The introductory two weeks of the module will introduce you to these concerns; the final two weeks of the module will bring both parts together and establish some conclusions, ask fundamental questions such as what constitutes a ‘European’, ‘Latin American’ or ‘transnational’ film.
History of Art and Visual Culture: Visual Arts 2 - Genres and Movements
What characterises genres such as Landscape Art, Portraiture, History Painting, Religious Art, Satire and Caricature, or Abstraction? In this module, by studying a selection of particular movements (‘Portraying rulers in Renaissance Italy’, for example', ‘Representing the City - Impressionism and beyond’, ‘Abstractionism’, or ‘Medievalism and the Pre-Raphaelites’), you will explore key phases in the development of the visual culture of Europe and Latin America and analyse the artists’ principal stylistic and theoretical concerns, their interaction and development, and their significance within a variety of cultural contexts.
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 third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying, working, or both. It is usually expected that you will spend at least 9 months in a country where the native language is the same as the language you are studying. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures will support you in finding a suitable study or work placement, but you will also be expected to explore opportunities independently. Ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with yourself. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol for modules at a partner university in your chosen country. This year forms an integral part of your degree programme. If you undertake a placement then you will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards your degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for modules taken will be credited towards your degree. The same applies to your practical oral assessment on return to Royal Holloway from your year abroad.
The core modules in the History of Art and Visual Culture are:
Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalization in Contemporary Film
In this module you will explore cinematic representations of transnational encounters between people, cultures and institutions connected by the forces of globalization. The topics covered range from (anti-)colonialism and revolution to postcolonialism and migration. Attention is also paid to the ways in which the films deal with the themes of emancipation, hybridity, displacement, globalism and cosmopolitanism.
This module enables you to write a dissertation of 5,000 words on a suitable Visual Arts topic of your choice, for which appropriate supervision is available within the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The topic may be related to a subject on which you have been taught but you should avoid significant overlap with previously studied material; it may equally be related to a fourth-year optional module that you take.
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.
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: Skills and Techniques for Translation
French: The Visual Image in French Culture and Society
French: Key French Texts - the Individual and Society
French: French History Through Film
French: Decoding France - Language, Culture and Identity
French: Approaches to Translation Work
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: Ethics and Violence - Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film
French: Wanton Women - Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde
French: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde
The course has a modular structure. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.
Our teaching combines a majority of seminars and small group work as well as role play and conversational activities, with some lectures. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources such as Powerpoint slideshows, copies of selected primary and secondary texts, audiovisual materials, class and seminar preparation aids, links to relevant external sites, quizzes and grammar and essay writing guidance, and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally and who holds regular surgery hours at least twice weekly.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you take. Coursework includes essays, language exercises, translations and reports. Oral presentations and computer-based tests are used in some course units to assess grammar and comprehension skills. You can, to some extent, choose course units which suit your own assessment preferences. 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.
You will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.
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.