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Mathematics with French (BSc)

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Course details

Galileo described the universe as a book written in the mathematical language, and the concept of mathematics as a universal language is a powerful one. Like other languages it can be studied for its own sake, and also as a vehicle for transmitting ideas. So it is logical to study mathematics with a foreign language - and it also opens up a wide range of careers. This course offers the opportunity to combine mathematics with French; mathematics comprising 75% of the course, with the remaining 25% consisting of French.

Mathematics is unique. It is both a beautiful and fascinating world of abstract structures and ideas and a down-to-earth, practical subject at the heart of modern science and technology. Much of its attraction comes from studying the relationship between theory and practice – an elegant theorem on complex functions, for example, also governs the lift on an aircraft wing, and apparently highly abstract algebraic results have important consequences in data security. Our degree course aims to convey the power, beauty and excitement of the subject.

Studying French as a minor subject will mean your focus will be on core language work. With the help of our young and dynamic team of native-speaker language coordinators and assistants, and our highly developed set of textual and electronic resources, you will develop advanced technical proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Key facts

Key facts about the course
UCAS code G1R1
Qualification Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Duration Three years full-time
Department Mathematics; Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Fees / funding

Please visit the Fees and funding pages for the latest information about tuition fees and the different sources of funding which may be available to you.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Further information on making your application through UCAS is available on the Applying section of our website.

If you are interested in applying to Royal Holloway, why not arrange a visit to our campus to see for yourself what academic and student life is like here. The College runs three annual Open days which give you the chance to meet our students and teaching staff, and get a taste of what university life is really like.

Entry requirements


Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels ABB including A in A-Level Mathematics and B in A-Level French or ABC including A-Level Further Mathematics, A in A-Level Mathematics and B in A-Level French
GCSE At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics
English language
IELTS 6.0 overall and minimum of 5.5 in each subscore for equivalenices see here
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including 6 in Maths and 5 in French, with a minimum of 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction plus A-Level Maths grade A and A-Level French grade B
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction plus A-Level Maths grade A and A-Level French grade B
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A-Level Maths grade A and A-Level French grade 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 Adv Level Core.
Scottish Advanced Highers AB in Advanced Highers including A in Maths and B in French, in combination with Highers at the published level
Scottish Highers AABBB in Highers, in combination with Advanced Highers at the published level
Irish Leaving Certificate AABBB at Higher Level inc. A in Maths & B in French at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma  

Other UK Qualifications

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

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International and EU Entry Requirements

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Typical offers

Typical offers
English language
Other UK Qualifications Year 2
International Baccalaureate  
BTEC Extended Diploma  
BTEC National Diploma  
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma  
Welsh Baccalaureate  
Scottish Advanced Highers  
Scottish Highers  
Irish Leaving Certificate  
Access to Higher Education Diploma  

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

We normally require three A-levels, including Mathematics with grade A, however individual circumstances are taken into account. Although we do not require Further Mathematics, we view a good grade in AS-level or A2-level Further Mathematics as a strong asset in an application, which might in some circumstances compensate for a weaker performance in a non-mathematical subject.

Applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and we accept a broad range of qualifications in addition to A-levels. Special consideration will be given to mature applicants, and we are happy to consider applicants with QAA-approved Access to HE qualifications.

Students from overseas should visit the International pages for further information on the entry requirements from their country and English language requirements.  Royal Holloway International offers an International Foundation Programme and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

We make decisions based on achieved or predicted grades, personal statements and references. More information on how your application will be assessed, and tips for your personal statement can be found on our Applying pages.

Why choose this course?

  • Study at a Mathematics Department rated highly for ‘Overall Student Satisfaction’ each year in the National Student Survey.
  • The Department is internationally recognised for the quality of its research in Pure Mathematics, Information Security, Statistics and Theoretical Physics
  • You will be studying at a top-ranking languages department with an outstanding research record.
  • The School of Modern Languages offers excellent quality equipment and dedicated language learning facilities.
  • You will benefit from a strong focus on small group teaching led by inspirational staff who are acknowledged experts in their fields, with a dedicated support network, including a personal academic adviser to guide you in your studies.

What you'll learn

Each year you will take three course units in Mathematics and one in French.    

The Mathematics element of the degree offers a variety of subjects ranging from core course units in algebra and calculus to optional units in areas such as statistical mechanics and advanced electromagnetism. Some course units provide the tools needed in a range of mathematical disciplines, while others apply these tools to areas of interest in real life. There are also units that examine the logical basis for mathematics and the abstract patterns that run through both mathematics and nature.

The French course is structured around core course units in spoken and written language. All our courses are constructed to enable the progressive acquisition of transferable skills (such as précis-writing and oral presentations) which can be applied to other areas of study and to the world of work. Language course units exploit film resources and computer programmes designed by the department, with language laboratories, satellite television and internet available all day for personal study.

Throughout the course, you will:

  • advance your knowledge and enhance the basic techniques of mathematics first encountered at A-level
  • learn to think logically and analytically
  • see how mathematics can model and solve a variety of real-life problems
  • learn to converse and write confidently in contemporary French.

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure. In the case of combined degree courses, this approach also makes it possible to change the balance of your subjects during your time at Royal Holloway.

The websites of the Department of Mathematics and the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures give detailed lists of the course units taken for each different subject.

View the full course specification for Mathematics with French (BSc) in the Programme Specification Repository

How you'll learn & be assessed

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take a total of 12 course units at a rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering versatility 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.

In a typical week  mathemetics students will attend 12 to 14 hours of formal teaching in lectures, tutorials, problem-solving workshop session, computer classes and practical sessions in statistics and computational mathematics. There is a strong focus on small group teaching. Outside these times students are expected to work on worksheets, revision, and preparation of projects.

Most course units are examined entirely by written papers in the summer term. Statistics and Computational courses may have project components, and the first year course units have a test which contributes 10 per cent of the final mark for these courses. In the first term of the second year all students work in small groups to prepare a report and an oral presentation on a mathematical topic of their choice which contributes to one of the core subject marks. There are two optional final year courses which are examined solely by a project and presentation.

Our French 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.

Each course is assessed using a varied range of methods such as coursework and end of year examinations. 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.

 You will also  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.

Employability & career opportunities

Mathematics graduates are equipped with a diverse range of transferable skills. The Department has strong links with a variety of companies and organisations, which enables it to stay in tune with current employer needs. Certain exemptions may be given by the Institute of Actuaries and other professional bodies to students who have taken appropriate course units as part of their Mathematics degree at Royal Holloway.

The careers team also holds regular sessions, specifically for Mathematics students, on summer internships, vacation employment and the careers available to them on graduation. In recent years our graduates have gained positions as statisticians, researchers and teachers and work for employers as diverse as the Department for Health and Barclays Bank.

To find out what our students are doing now, please see the Department’swebsite.

Choosing a language degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with not only a broad range of transferable skills – self-reliance, independent thinking, time-management – but the ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language is a rare skill that is highly valued by employers. As well as gaining practical skills in translation and interpretation, you will increase your cultural awareness, initiative and independence by spending time abroad.

Our recent graduates have very successfully entered a wide range of careers including many language-related fields including international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting. Our graduates have also gone on to be language assistants and teacher trainers, as well as many going on to advanced study in a variety of fields. For more information on what our graduates are doing now, please see the School’s website.



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