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Modern Languages with Music BA

New Course for 2018 - Programme Under Development

UCAS code R9W3
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures »
Music »

This course offers you the opportunity to combine the study of Modern Languages (75% of the course) with Music (25%), and spend your third year abroad.

As a Modern Languages student you will gain fluency in a language of your choice - French or Spanish. Whether you start at beginners’, advanced or native-speaker level, you will study the core language components, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening, with teaching led by native speakers.

The remainder of your modern languages study will give you an opportunity to explore the literature, art, culture and history of the language area you are studying, from seventeenth-century French theatre to representations of childhood and youth in German culture, and from Italian fashion and design to visual arts from all the corners of the Spanish-speaking world. As a modern linguist, you will develop excellent communication and research skills, and combine proficiency in multiple languages with cross-cultural perspectives.

In your third year you will have the opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying abroad, where you will immerse yourself in the language and culture, truly broadening your horizons in the process.

  • 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, together with additional knowledge of culture, society, and history, that will give you a valuable competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world.

Our Department of Music is among the very best in the country, ranked third in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and the only one to hold a prestigious Regius Professorship.

You will explore themes spanning traditional, modern and world music. Through studying musical texts, practices, cultures and institutions, you will examine issues in history, sociology, ethnology, and philosophy, covering an exceptional geographical and chronological range. You will also gain practical skills in composition, music technology and performance.

  • 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

All languages we teach have a beginners', post-A Level, and native speaker level pathway, allowing you to study one ab initio (from scratch).

As a Modern Languages student you will take:

Critical Analysis for Linguists

In this module you will develop an understanding of the practice of critical analysis. You will look at examples from literature, film and visual arts, considering a range of cultural and historial contexts, with all passages given in English transalation alongside the original. You will examine techniques and approaches that are required for modern languages study, with an awareness of the cultural specificities of the language areas covered. 

If you speak your chosen language as a native speaker then you will take:

Introduction to Translation - Professional Skills

In this module you will develop an understanding of the terminology and techniques of inter-lingual translation. You will look at the the roles and challenges of the professional translator across different translation scenarios, considering a number of text types, such as literature, journals, reports, manuals, marketing materials, business correpsondence and web content. You will examine the specificities of target language syntax and style, translaton scenarios and strategies, and communicative and sematic translation.

If you choose to study French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 1. If you have studied the language to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take French Language - Culture and Translation.

Intensive French for Beginners I

In this module you will develop your core skills in French without prior knowledge of the language. You will look at the basic French grammatical structures and examine the diversity of culture in Francophone countries. You will gain confidence in conversing everyday matters with clear pronounciation, and read simple written texts in French. You will become familiar with writing short paragraphs in French on everyday matters, or in answer to reading comprehension questions, and enhance your comprehension skills to understand simple recordings and conversations.

Pratique du Français I

In this module you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language, building a wide and specific vocabulary. In written French, you will look at a range of themes, including French Institutions, the French Revolution, 'Laïcité' and 'La francophonie'. In spoken French, you will discuss and present on a variety of audio-visual materials as well as texts, with topics linked to French current affairs, media, cultural issues in French and other Francophone countries. In the practice seminars, you will gain enhanced listening comprehension skills, oral skills and knowledge of grammatical structure.

French Language - Culture and Translation

In this module you will develop an understanding of both French-English translation and critical analysis of French-language material. You will look at a range of source material, which may include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and / or newspaper and magazine articles. You will closely examine the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of French-language text types, and explore published translations of French material to discern the translation strategies adopted. You will consider a range of translation issues, including cultural specificity, untranslatability, intercultural communication, as well as stylistic features, idioms, techniques of linguistic compensation, and word order.

If you choose to study Spanish ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive Spanish 1. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Spanish 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take Spanish Language - Culture and Translation

Intensive Spanish I

 

Spanish 1

 

Spanish Language - Culture and Translation

 

Year 2

If you speak your chosen language at native speaker level you will take:

Questions of Translation and Transcultural Communication

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of communication and translation, and the key trends and tendencies within these fields. You will look intercultural cummincation and its political, economic and social implications, considering how meaning are carried between and affect different cultural contexts, undergoing shifts in the process. You will also examine broader questions of language and representaton in the globalised world.

If you are stuyding French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced French Translation - Skills and Practice

Intensive French for Beginners 2

In this module you will further develop your ability to communicate effectively in French, in writing or orally, with good grammatical and lexical accuracy. You will look at texts from a variety of sources and examine authentic recordings from a range of subjects. Much of the content is delivered in French, with the exception of grammar classes, which are taught in English.

Pratique du Français 2

In this module you will further develop your ability to communicate effectively in French, enhancing your linguistic and analytical skills. You will learn to write concisely, accurately and effectively, paying particular attention to style and register as well as to specific methods of analysis. You will study key themes, such as ‘Le travail en France’, ‘le malaise social’, and ‘les jeunes et la société’, gaining an enhanced understanding of contemporary French cultural and social issues. You will read and analyse texts from a variety of sources, ranging from literature to journalism, with particular focus on how to structure an argument. You will also look at the techniques of film analysis.

Advanced French Translation - Skills and Practice

In this module you will develop an understanding of translation from French to English through sustained translation practice. You will look at the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific problems generated when translating from French source text to English target text in a range of translation scenarios and across range of text types. You will consider common translation challenges, such as conversion, transfer, compensation, gloss, exoticism, deceptive cognates, lexical gaps and cultural specificities, as well as examining the constraints of character count and house style.

If you are stuyding Spanish ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive Spanish 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Spanish 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced Spanish Translation - Skills and Practice.

Intensive Spanish 2

 

Spanish 2

 

Advanced Spanish Translation - Skills and Practice

 

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

If you are stuyding French then you will take Pratique du Français 3.

Pratique du Français 3

In this module you will enhance your ability to analyse and compare written material from different sources. You will develop competence in accurate and discursive French, and extend your oral presentation skills, with particular emphasis on the formal spoken register. You will look at extracts from French documentaries and feature films, and listen to recordings and podcasts, such as the France Inter and France Culture programmes. You will also look at a range of of cultural questions and examine the key features of French culture and society.

Optional cultural modules in Spanish include:

Contemporary Mexican Cinema

 

Spanish American Literature - An Overview

 

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

 

Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World

 

Spanish Dissertation

 

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 cultural modules in Modern Languages include:

International Film 1 - Contexts and Practices

 

Reading Texts - Criticism for Comparative Literature

 

Tales of the City - Introduction to Thematic Analysis

 

The Birth of Film

 

Visual Arts 1 - An Introduction to Visual Media

 

Optional cultural modules in French include:

The Visual Image in French Culture and Society

 

Introduction to French Literature - Critical Skills

 

The Individual and Society - Key Works

 

French History Through Film

 

Optional cultural modules in Spanish include:

Passion and Betrayal on the Spanish Stage

 

Culture and Identity in Latin America

 

Comparative Hispanic Culture

 

Visualising Cuba - Text, Image and Representation

 

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

 

Year 2

Optional cultural modules in Modern Languages include:

International Film 2 - Readings and Representations

 

A Special Theme in the Novel - Transgressions

 

Histories of Representation

 

Critical and Comparative Approaches

 

Visual Arts 2 - Genres and Movements

 

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

 

Gender and Clothing in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture

 

Optional cultural modules in French include:

Approaches to Translation Work

 

Socio-Political Issues of Contemporary France in Fiction and Translation

 

Writing Romance and Desire

 

Cinema in France

 

Optional cultural modules in Spanish include:

Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film

 

Twentieth Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film

 

Rebels, Revolution and Rebellion in Latin America

 

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 4

Optional cultural modules in Modern Languages include:

From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde

 

The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Literature

 

Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalisation in Contemporary Film

 

Humans and Other Animals in Twenty-First Century Fiction and Thought

 

Comparative Literature and Culture Dissertation

 

Visual Arts Dissertation

 

International Film Dissertation

 

Optional cultural modules in French include:

French Advanced Translating Skills

 

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

 

Text and Image in France - From Cubism to the Present

 

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

 

Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde

 

Blindness and Vision in French Culture

 

Villains and Villainy in Seventeenth Century France

 

French Dissertation

 

Optional cultural modules in Spanish include:

Contemporary Mexican Cinema

 

Spanish American Literature - An Overview

 

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

 

Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World

 

Spanish Dissertation

 

Optional modules in Music include:

The Music-Film

 

Baroque Performance Practice

 

Intercultural Performance - Theory and Practice

 

Composing with Technology 2

 

Silent Film Performance

 

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. 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

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

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • 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 B at A-level in the appropriate language(s) for the advanced level language pathway.  For the beginner pathway there is no language requirement
  • Grade A in Music A level or Grade 8 Music Theory at Pass
  • Preferably Grade 7 ABRSM (or similar practical exam)
  • Five GCSEs graded A* - C or 9-4 including English and Maths
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including 6 in Music and the appropriate language if taken at higher level, with 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction*,Distinction*,Distinction in a relevant subject plus evidence of A-level equivalent grade A standard music proficiency or ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory at Pass plus preferably Grade 7 practical.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus A- Level Music grade A or Distinction Distinction in a relevant subject, plus 1 A-Level grade A and Grade 8 Music Theory at Pass.
A-level grade B in the appropriate language if the advanced level pathway is required.There is no language requirement for beginner level.
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus A-Level Music grade A and one further A-Level grade B or Distinction plus AB at A-Level and grade 8 Music Theory at Pass.
A-level grade B in the appropriate language if the advanced level pathway is required.There is no language requirement for beginner level.
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 grade A in Music or Music Theory grade 8 and the appropriate language if the advanced level language pathway is required. There is no language requirement for beginner level.
Scottish Highers AAABB including Music and the appropriate language if the advanced level language pathway is required. There is no language requirement for beginner level.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H2 in Music, or Music Theory grade 8 and the appropriate language if the advanced level language pathway is required. There is no language requirement for beginner level.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass  with at least 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 Music Theory grade 8 at Pass. 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

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



Please select a qualification

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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.

As a modern linguist you will have excellent communication, analytical and research skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently in one or more language, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. 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 your chosen career, both in Britain or abroad.  

  • 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 launched careers as musicians, music, dance and drama teachers, technicians and managers

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

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

Other essential costs***: Music - £50

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 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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