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History and Music BA

UCAS code VW13
Year of entry 2018
Course length
3 years full time
Department History »

This joint degree allows you to combine a passion for history and music. Through your history studies you will be able to start satisfying your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.  At the same time you will develop a deeper understanding of music.

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.

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).

Studying Music at Royal Holloway allows you to tailor your studies to your own interests and passions. We have expertise spanning traditional, modern and world music. Through studying musical texts, practices, cultures and institutions you will explore issues in history, sociology, ethnology, and philosophy covering an exceptional geographical and chronological range. You will also be able to gain practical skills in composition, music technology and performance.

You will join a music department that is among the very best in the country, ranked third in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and the only music department in the country to hold a prestigious Regius Professorship.

  • You will have access to well-equipped studios and recording facilities as well as incredible performance spaces including the Windsor Auditorium, Boilerhouse Theatre, Victorian Picture Gallery and College Chapel.
  • Our well connected department means you have the opportunity to make valuable music industry contacts. Our staff are connected with musical networks such Wigmore Hall, the BBC Proms, Royal Opera House.

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in History are:

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.

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

The core modules in History are:

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.

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 core module in History is:

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

Optional modules in History include:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000

 

Mao to Mandela - Twentieth Century Leaders of the Non-Western World

 

Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages

 

Optional modules in Music include:

Theory and Analysis

 

Practical Musicianship

 

Creative Composition Techniques

 

Practical Composition Skills

 

Very Short History of Music

 

Introduction to Historical Musicology

 

Introduction to World Music

 

Contemporary Debates in Music

 

Solo Performance

 

Creative Ensemble Performance

 

Year 2

Optional modules in History include:

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

 

The Persuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East

 

The Victorians - British History, 1837 to 1901

 

History of the USA, 1787 to 1877

 

Spain, 1898 to 1939

 

Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1939 to 1989

 

Awakening China - From the Opium Wars to the Present Day

 

Science in Greek and Roman Antiquity

 

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

 

Optional modules in Music include:

Studies in Music Analysis

 

Studies in Composition

 

Studies in Music History

 

Studies in Ethnomusicology

 

Studies in Music, Media and Technology

 

Practical Performance

 

Solo Performance

 

Ensemble Performance

 

Composition Portfolio

 

Ensemble Performance in World Music - Andean Band

 

Choral Conducting

 

Baroque Performance Practice

 

Composing with Technology

 

Composing with Technology

 

Sounds and Cultures in East Asia

 

Introduction to Jazz

 

Popular Music and Musicians in Post-War Britain and North America

 

Orchestral Conducting

 

Orchestral Performance

 

Practical Ethics

 

Wagner's Ring

 

Issues in Sound, Music and the Moving Image

 

Sibelius and Music of Northern Europe

 

Music in the City

 

Music, Environment and Ecology

 

Music, Power and Politics

 

Ideas of German Music from Mozart to Henze

 

Silent Film Performance

 

Music and Gender

 

Debussy and French Musical Aesthetics

 

Year 3

Optional modules in History include:

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

 

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

 

Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response

 

Berlin - A European Metropolis from Kaiser to Kohl

 

The History and Historiography of the Holocaust

 

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

 

Christians and Pagans  - From Constantine to Augustine

 

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

 

Comparing Religious Fundamentalisms in the 19th and 20th Centuries

 

Migration, Identity and Citizenship in Modern Britain

 

The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present

 

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

 

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

 

Progress and its Discontents - European Culture, 1890 to 1914

 

Optional modules in Music include:

Studies in Music Analysis

 

Studies in Composition

 

Studies in Music History

 

Studies in Ethnomusicology

 

Studies in Music, Media and Technology

 

Practical Performance

 

Solo Performance

 

Ensemble Performance

 

Composition Portfolio

 

Ensemble Performance in World Music - Andean Band

 

Choral Conducting

 

Baroque Performance Practice

 

Composing with Technology

 

Composing with Technology

 

Sounds and Cultures in East Asia

 

Introduction to Jazz

 

Popular Music and Musicians in Post-War Britain and North America

 

Orchestral Conducting

 

Orchestral Performance

 

Practical Ethics

 

Wagner's Ring

 

Issues in Sound, Music and the Moving Image

 

Sibelius and Music of Northern Europe

 

Music in the City

 

Music, Environment and Ecology

 

Music, Power and Politics

 

Ideas of German Music from Mozart to Henze

 

Silent Film Performance

 

Music and Gender

 

Debussy and French Musical Aesthetics

 

Practical Performance 2

 

Composing with Technology 2

 

Special Study - Dissertation

 

Special Study - Theory and Analysis

 

Special Study - Performance

 

Special Study - Composition

 

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take twelve course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering versatility and choice.  

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and instrumental/vocal lessons. You will also have the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of musical activities supported by the department, including performances by orchestras, choirs and other ensembles. 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 Advisor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment is carried out by a combination of examinations, which take place in the summer term, along with written papers, extended essays, assessed coursework, and a portfolio of practical work.

Study time

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

Year 1

You will spend 28% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 72% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 18% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 82% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 13% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 87% in guided independent study.

Assessment

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

Year 1

Written exams account for 43% of the total assessment for this year of study, 9% will be assessed through practical exams, and 48% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 50% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 50% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 48% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 52% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB

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

Required:

  • Grade A in Music A-level or Pass at Grade 8 in Music Theory.
  • Preferably Grade 7 ABRSM (or similar practical exam)
  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.

Preferred subject: History A-level.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Music, with a minimum of 32 points overall. Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory accepted in place of Higher Level Music plus Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction in a related subject plus evidence of A-level standard Music proficiency grade A equivalent OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus A-level Music grade A OR one other A level grade A and Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-level grades AB in including Music grade A OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
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 AAB-ABB including Music grade A OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
Scottish Highers AAABB including Music grade A OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level inc H2 in Music at Higher Level OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory plus preferably Grade 7 practical exam from ABRSM or similar.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass Access Diploma with 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit PLUS evidence of A-level standard Music proficiency grade A equivalent OR Pass at Grade 8 Music Theory. 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

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.

Studying  History and Music at Royal Holloway will provide you with a unique skill set, open up a wide range of career options and provide a basis for further study.  As well as practical performance, composition and production skills, your degree demonstrates 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. 

On graduation you will be informed and independent - armed with key skills including; problem-solving, organisation and planning, research and analysis, as well as communication and presentation skills and critical thinking.

  • 85% of graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Our recent graduates have very successfully entered a wide range of careers including roles as musicians, composers and performing arts teachers, technicians, publishers, managers, lawyers and policy makers. Many graduates also go on to advanced study in a variety of fields.
  • 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*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £17,500

Other essential costs***: £50 (Music)

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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