If you want to focus on gaining fluency in one, two or three modern languages, our BA Modern Languages degree is for you. You will combine language study with translation and cultural courses in a ratio which suits you and your ambitions. Choose to study French, German, Italian and / or Spanish at beginners', advanced or native speaker level, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening. You will study the core language components for each of the languages you have chosen, being taught by native speakers.
The remainder of your course will give you an opportunity to explore the literature, art, culture and history of the language areas 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 another language and culture, truly broadening your horizons in the process. You also have the choice to combine experiences in up to three different countries.
- Choose beginners’, advanced or native-speaker level French, German, Spanish or Italian.
- Spend a year abroad working, studying or teaching.
- Specialise in translation, visual culture or literature.
- Core language skills alongside cultural options.
- Gain skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening.
Teaching & assessment
The course has a modular structure. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice. You will take a core course in critical analysis and theory, with translation courses being offered in all languages at all levels. You will also take some cultural courses focusing on aspects such as visual cultures, literature, society or history of their chosen languages: the number of these courses will vary depending on the number of languages you choose to study.
Our 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. In your final year you will have the option of writing a dissertation or submitting a portfolio of essays; you will have individual tutorials for this work.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Required subjects: Grade B at A-Level in the appropriate language(s) for the advanced-level language pathway. For the beginner-level language pathway there is no language requirement, but only one language can be studied at beginner-level. Please note that if you choose to apply for this programme you will need to provide details of which languages you wish to study on your UCAS application form. For further details on how to do this this please visit our How to Apply page. We also require at least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.
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.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here. 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.
Your future career
As a modern linguist you will have excellent communication, analytical and research skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently, alongside practical skills such as translation and interpretation. 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.
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.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
The fee for your year abroad will be 15% of the tuition fee for that academic year if you study or complete work-based placement as part of the Erasmus exchange programme, or study at a university outside of Europe. The fee will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year if you complete a work-based placement in a non-European country.
International students tuition fee per year**: £16500
The fee for your year abroad will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year.
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.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed 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. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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.