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Multilingual Studies with International Relations BA

UCAS code Q1L2
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
Politics and International Relations »

 

If you want to focus on gaining fluency in three modern languages and have a particular interest in the field of international relations, this specially designed four-year degree programme is for you. You will already have qualifications in at least two of the four languages we offer – French, German, Italian and Spanish.  You will continue your studies of these two languages, and take up another from scratch, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening. You will study the core language component for all three, each year, taught wholly or in-part by native speakers.

The remainder of your course gives you the opportunity to explore International Relations, covering themes such as war and security, diplomacy and development, globalisation and global power relations, communication and resistance, and international political economy. You will gain a solid foundation in the history of international relations and IR theory – allowing you to understand better the complexity of contemporary global governance and the theories that explain it.

In your third year you will have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying abroad when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture, and truly broaden your horizons.  You also have the choice to combine two, or even three, experiences in different countries.

  • Our Modern Languages 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).
  • On graduation you will have language and analytical skills in three modern languages, together with additional knowledge of culture, society and history, culture and society that will give you a valuable competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world.
  • Ours is an active and engaged student community, and there are opportunities to take part in debating, Model United Nations and party political societies on campus.

Core modules

Year 1

You will take three of the following in any combination, but only one language from Beginner’s level:

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.

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.

Italian: Intensive Italian for Beginners

This is your core Italian language module (beginners’ pathway). It comprises a written and an oral component. There are five hours of seminars per week in which a communicative approach is adopted and the teaching is carried out in Italian whenever possible. Grammar is taught in context in accordance with your specific needs as they arise. In the oral component, you will learn to speak about set topics related to everyday matters by completing set activities including listening comprehension and role play.

Italian: Advanced Italian Language 1

This is your core Italian language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. In all parts of the module there will be a focus on learning in a cultural context, and in addition to formal grammar teaching you will develop your language skills by reading and analysing a variety of texts, articles, films, and recordings. Learning activities will include listening comprehension exercises and role play.

Spanish: Spanish 1

This is your core Spanish language module in which you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Spanish language. There are three hours of seminars per week well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. Teaching is done in small groups and conducted largely in Spanish. The module consists of a combination of textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in situ exercises with homework revision; grammar work; lexical work and oral and listening work to develop lexical and communicative skills through the use of varied media such as the use of audio-visual aids, oral presentations and debates. You will take part in group discussions and have the chance to develop and practice your presentation skills.

Spanish: Spanish 2

This is your core Spanish language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Spanish language. It consists of a combination of textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in-situ exercises with homework revision; grammar work; lexical work and oral and listening work to develop lexical and communicative skills through the use of varied media such as the use of audio-visual aids, oral presentations and debates. Through oral practice you will have the opportunity to take part in group discussions and have the chance to develop and practice youyr presentation skills.

Spanish: Intensive Spanish 1

This is your core Spanish language module (beginners’ pathway). It is taught intensively in five weekly seminar hours. The first three hours are devoted to work on reading, writing and listening comprehension skills combining both in-situ exercises with homework revision that students will have prepared for the day. The fourth hour is reserved for oral practice, which happens in the form of debates, role plays or text commentaries. The fifth hour is a grammar lecture in which new verb tenses and grammatical structures are introduced.

You will also take:

International Relations: Introduction to International Relations

Year 2

You will take three of the following in any combination continuing with the same languages as Year 1.

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.

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.

Italian: Advanced Italian 2 for Post Beginners 

This is your core Italian language module (beginners’ pathway). It comprises a written and an oral component. There are five hours of seminars per week in which a communicative approach is adopted and the teaching is carried out in Italian whenever possible. You will continue to develop your Italian language skills through reading comprehension, commentary writing as well as translation from English into Italian. You will also analyse articles from Italian newspapers and podcasts related to social, cultural and political issues in contemporary Italy, and take part in informal debates during which you will practise expressing your opinions in Italian.

Italian: Advanced Italian 2

This is your core Italian language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. You will practise reading comprehension, commentary writing and translation from English into Italian, and will again analyse articles from Italian newspapers and podcasts related to social, cultural and political issues in contemporary Italy. You will also continue to work intensively on key aspects of grammar.

Spanish: Intensive Spanish for Beginners 2

This is an intensive course with four hours per week of contact in each term, plus an extra hour of oral practice. The first two hours are devoted to work on reading, writing and oral skills combining in-situ exercises with homework revision that you will have prepared for the day (usually a journalistic text). The third hour is reserved for the listening comprehension exercises which sometimes take place in language laboratories. The last hour is a grammar lecture in which new verb tenses and grammatical structures are introduced and subsequently put into practice during the next two hours of the following week.

Spanish: Principles and Practice of Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Classes will focus on a piece of Spanish or English from a literary or (quality) journalistic source. You will be required to draft an English or Spanish translation of it in preparation for the class, which will be spent discussing the relative merits of different versions. Some time will be devoted to vocabulary acquisition and the consideration of professional translations too.

You will also take:

International Relations: International Relations Theory

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 three langauges will be expected to divide their time between three 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

You will take three of the following in any combination continuing with the same languages as were studied in Year 1 and Year 2.

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.

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.

Italian: Advanced Italian 3

This is your core Italian language module in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the Italian language. There are three hours of seminars per week as well as a grammar lecture taught fortnightly. The lessons are taught using a communicative approach and are conducted in Italian. In this module you will practise translation from English into Italian/Italian into English, focusing on a variety of texts types including journalism, fiction and history, as well as learning about theoretical aspects of translation. You will also continue to work intensively on key aspects of grammar.

Spanish: Spanish 3

This is your core language module in Spanish, in which you will continue to develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending Spanish. It is taught entirely in Spanish, and takes the form of a combination of formal grammar lectures and seminars focused on written and oral skills. The module concentrates on textual analysis and grammar consolidation, combining in situ exercises with homework prepared in advance; grammar work: theory and practice; lexical work. You will deliver presentations in Spanish and take part in debates. You will also refine your knowledge of aspects of contemporary Spanish by studying films, podcasts, news broadcasts and other audiovisual aids.

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: 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

Italian: The Heritage of Dante and the Renaissance

Italian: Building the Italian Nation - Heroes and anti-Heroes from Pinocchio to the Leopard

Spanish: International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices

Spanish: The Birth of Film

Spanish: Introduction to Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Spanish: Passion and Betrayal on the Spanish Stage

Spanish: Text and Image in the Hispanic World

Spanish: Culture and Society in Modern Spain

Spanish: Culture and Identity in Latin America

Spanish: Authors and Readers in 20th Century Spanish American Fiction

Spanish: Comparative Hispanic Culture

Spanish: Visualising Cuba - Text, Image and Representation

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

Italian: Dante's Comedy - Themes And Ideas

Italian: Postwar Italian Cinema

Italian: Art and Literature in Renaissance Florence

Italian: Italian Crime Fiction

Italian: Boccaccio - Decameron

History: Spain, 1898 to 1939

History: Spain - from Dictatorship to Democracy

Spanish: Principles and Practice of Translation, English into Spanish

Spanish: Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film

Spanish: Myths of the Feminine in the Spanish Novel

Spanish: Twentieth Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film

Spanish: Religion and Society in the 16th and 17th Century Hispanic World

Spanish: Love in the Contemporary Spanish American Novel

International Relations: Understanding the European Union - Politicsand Theory

International Relations: International Relations Theory

International Relations: Democracy in Britain

International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

International Relations: International Political Economy

International Relations: The Politics of Migration and Ethnicity

International Relations: Empire and Decolonisation

International Relations: Political Behaviour

International Relations: War and Security in World Politics

International Relations: International Organisations

International Relations: The Politics of Human Rights

International Relations: Introduction to Political Communication

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: 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

French: Dissertation

Italian: Dante - Divine Comedy 2

Italian: Of Women, Knights, Weapons and Loves - the Italian Chivalric Tradition

Italian: Shooting History - Dictatorship, Terror and Crime in Italian Film

Italian: Approved Topic

Italian: Italian Fashion and Design

Italian: The Postmodern In Italian Literature - Pioneers, Practitioners and Critics

Italian: From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde

Spanish: The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Fiction

Spanish: Advanced Literary Translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish

Spanish: Contemporary Mexican Cinema

Spanish: Spanish American Literature - An Overview

Spanish: Seducing The Nation - Spanish Cinema 1940s to 1980s

Spanish: Conflict in 20th Century Latin American Literature and Culture

Spanish: Journeys of Discovery in Twentieth Century Spanish American Literature

Spanish: Dissertation

International Relations: Public Policy and Foreign Policy in the European Union

International Relations: The Politics of the Internet and the Information Society

International Relations: The Politics of Modern Germany

International Relations: Radical Political Theory

International Relations: The British in India - A Social and Political History

International Relations: The Politics of Toleration

International Relations: Social Justice - Theory to Practice

International Relations: Contemporary Middle East Politics

International Relations: Comparative Democracy and Elections

International Relations: US Foreign Policy

International Relations: Comparative Foreign Policy

International Relations: The Making of Modern South Asia

International Relations: Gendered Communities - Women and Nationalism in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia

International Relations: The Politics of Africa

International Relations: Defence in the Post-Cold War World

International Relations: Understanding China’s Rise - Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy

International Relations: Global Energy Policy

International Relations: Refugees and Migration in World Politics

International Relations: American Political Development

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 in the year abroad. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.  

Every course is assessed using a varied range of methods such as coursework and end of year examinations. You produce coursework such as essays, language exercises, translations, or reports at regular intervals and the marks you receive for these pieces of work count towards your final mark. We also use oral presentations and computer-based tests to assess grammar and comprehension skills in some course units.

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

ABB-BBB

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: Two languages from French, German, Italian or Spanish at A level and five GCSE passes at grades A* - C including English and Maths.
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including grade 5 in two languages at HIgher Level from French, German, Italian or Spanish with 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma  Not normally accepted.
BTEC National Extended Diploma  Not normally accepted.
BTEC National Extended Certificate  Not normally accepted.
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements 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 TWO languages from French, German, Italian or Spanish at Advanced Higher Level plus Higher requirements.
Scottish Highers AABBB at Advanced Level plus Advanced Higher requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including TWO languages from French, German, Italian or Spanish.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Not normally accepted.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below



Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification



International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

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 three modern languages, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. In addition, you will have the skills and knowledge to understand international relations along with qualitative and quantitative research skills.

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 a career in international business, finance, media and communications, the arts, law translation, travel, consultancy and teaching, both in Britain and abroad.  

  • Full time employment or further study achieved by 93% of Politics and International Relations graduates and 70% of Modern Languages 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 gone on to be language assistants and teacher trainers, and many have gone on to advanced study in a variety of fields.
  • Recent employers include: Mazda Motor Europe, British Council, Oxfam Head Office, Merlin Entertainments Group and Ralph Lauren.

Including politics into your studies at Royal Holloway provides you with a wide range of important transferable skills, enabling you to approach problems in a rigorous, analytical and critical way and to communicate clearly and concisely in both speech and writing. Our graduates leave us with skills and knowledge that not only makes them attractive to employers in a broad spectrum of careers, but prepares them for further advanced study and research.

Many of our graduates also go on to further study, entering postgraduate programmes both at Royal Holloway and at other prestigious institutions around the world. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission
  • Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • KAYAK
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children

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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