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Classical Studies and Comparative Literature and Culture BA

UCAS code Q8Q2
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Classics »
Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »

Studying a Joint Honours degree in Classical Studies and Comparative Literature and Culture allows you to examine both ancient and modern culture through a variety of texts and media, all taught using their modern English translations.

If you are captivated by classical literature and philosophy and are keen to understand more about ancient history and classical archaeology, Classical Studies is ideal.

Classical Studies offers a great deal of choice in subjects related to the ancient world, immersing you in lots of aspects of ancient Greece and Rome – its literature, history, philosophy and archaeology – even its languages; Greek and Latin can be studied at whatever level you’re at and for one, two or three years.

As a student of Classical Studies you will be 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.

  • The Department of Classics is 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 contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of the Classics department.

Comparative Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to study global literature as well as to explore film, philosophy and visual arts. CLC combines a fascinating breadth of material with a focus on contexts – places, periods, and genres – to explore how key cultural shifts transform how we see, represent, and make sense of our changing world. CLC at Royal Holloway is a unique and intellectually stimulating degree which will develop you as a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker.

We’ve developed this degree so that you can tailor it to suit your own evolving interests, choosing from our exceptionally wide range of fascinating options, ranging across continents and centuries, from antiquity to the present day, novels and poetry to philosophy, cinema and art. We will read, watch, and compare from Ancient Greece to contemporary New York, from Cuba to Korea, from epics to crime fiction, and from tragedy to the avant-garde. CLC enables you to study texts originally written in many languages, all translated into in English.

Core modules

Year 1

Reading Texts - Criticism for Comparative Literature

This module will introduce you to the theory and practices of textual analysis and comparative textual analysis as well as to the major debates about the theory and practice of comparative literature in a transnational context. You will be given extracts from a variety of historically, geographically, culturally, and stylistically diverse texts and introduced to a range of analytical techniques and approaches. In addition to developing close reading skills and acquainting yourself with key examples of classic and contemporary literature from across the world, you will encounter important critical issues, first in connection with practices of reading more broadly, and secondly, in relation to the history and practice of comparatism. All passages from non-English-language works will be given in English translation.

Tales of the City - Introduction to Thematic Analysis

This module will introduce you to a range of literary and filmic texts depicting different aspects of the city. The focus on a common thematic ground allows you to develop skills of comparison and analysis, while encouraging you to reflect on wider questions of urban space, public and private spheres, and alterity. The works to be studied on the city explicitly engage with three periods and aspects of the modern city: early twentieth-century modernity; post-war industrialisation and urbanisation; and the contemporary transnational metropolis and multiculturalism. Themes that run through the module include: money/poverty, technology, migration, crime, gender and sexuality.

Year 2

Comparative Literature and Culture: Histories of Representation

Comparing short stories from different periods and geographical areas is a great way of exploring how literature evolves structurally and thematically in response to different ideas and contexts. In this module you will read short stories - and look at examples of visual art - from the eighteenth century to the present day to discover what structural and symbolic elements characterize major movements of Western art, including the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism. All non-English-language texts are in English translation.

Comparative Literature and Culture: Critical and Comparative Approaches

The module takes the form of a chronological account of the major trends and currents in post-war western literary and critical theory. It will show in clear, accessible terms, how critical and literary theory has evolved, from an essentially universalist notion of the author/work/critic relation to one informed by semiology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, questions of sexuality and gender, race, and the history of post-colonialism. The set text includes examples of different types of theory applied to literary texts, and further case-studies will be supplied by individual tutors. You will be encouraged to attempt different theoretical readings of chosen literary material through coursework and group presentations at the end of the module.

You must also pick two from the following:

A Special Theme in the Novel - Transgressions

 

Deviance, Defiance and Disorder in Early Modern Spanish and French Literature

 

Gender and Clothing in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture

 

Visual Arts 2 - Genres and Movements

 

International Film 2 - Readings and Representations

 

Year 3

All modules are optional

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

The Individual and Society - Key Works in French Literature

 

Passion and Betrayal on the Spanish Stage

 

Culture and Identity in Latin America

 

Comparative Hispanic Culture

 

Visualizing Cuba

 

Politics, Religion and Love - Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio

 

German History and Culture

 

Visual Arts 1 - An Introduction to Visual Media

 

The Visual Image in French Culture and Society

 

International Film: Contexts and Practices

 

The Birth of Film

 

Year 2

Writing Romance and Desire

 

Death, Desire, Decline: Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka

 

Love and Marriage in Major Novels by Theodor Fontane

 

Italian Crime Fiction

 

Religion and Society in the 16th- and 17th-century Hispanic World

 

Rebels, Revolution and Representation in Latin America

 

Representations of Childhood and Youth in Modern German Culture

 

Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film

 

Twentieth Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film

 

Post-war Italian Cinema

 

Renaissance Florence

 

Cinema in France - From Modernism to the Postmodern

 

Art and Literature in Renaissance Florence

 

Year 3

Dissertation

 

Ethics and Violence - Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film

 

Dante – The Divine Comedy

 

Wanton Women - Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde

 

Image, Identity and Consumer Culture in Post-war Fiction and Film

 

Villains and Villainy in Early Modern French Theatre

 

Narrative and Identity - The German Novel

 

Dark Tales - E.T.A. Hoffman and German Romanticism

 

Devotion, Deceit, Desire: Literature of the Spanish Golden Age

 

Text and Image in France - From Cubism to the Present

 

National Socialism and the Third Reich in German Film and Visual Culture

 

Contemporary Mexican Cinema

 

Seducing the Nation - Spanish Cinema 1940s to 1980s

 

Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World

 

Shooting History - Dictatorship, Terror and Crime in Italian Film

 

The Postmodern in Italian Literature - Pioneers, Practitioners and Critics

 

The course has a flexible structure, whereby students take twelve course units at the rate of four per year, including both core courses to develop your critical skills, and optional course units. 

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Outside classes, you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study, including completing language exercises and reading prescribed and open material. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources 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.

In your final year the Classics department provides ongoing support for your dissertation work, 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.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 11% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 89% in guided independent study.

Assessment

Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 62% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 38% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 80% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 20% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 70% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 30% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

ABB-BBB
How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects

At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C,or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics. 

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 5,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall  
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject area 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus an A-level Grade B 
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction in a relevant subject plus A levels Grades B,B 
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 ABB-BBB  
Scottish Highers AABBB 
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including an essay based subject 
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant is 21 or over at the time of application and has had a 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.

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Studying Classics involves analysing the cultural, social and political context of the ancient world.  By choosing to study this intellectually demanding discipline you will develop a broad range of skills which are highly prized by employers, including:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers like 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 have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it?  Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our  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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