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Modern Languages with History of Art and Visual Culture

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    • Modern Languages with History of Art and Visual Culture BA - R9W6
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Modern Languages with History of Art and Visual Culture

BA

Key information

Duration: 4 years full time

UCAS code: R9W6

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

The course

Modern Languages with History of Art and Visual Culture (BA)

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

As a Modern Languages major student you will gain fluency in up to two languages of your choice – French, German, Italian and/or Spanish. Whether you start at beginners’, advanced or native-speaker levels, you will study the core language components for your chosen language, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening. All our language teaching is 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 across the Spanish-speaking world. As a modern linguist, you will develop excellent communication and research skills, and combine linguistic proficiency 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.

  • On graduation you will have language and analytical skills in a modern language together with additional knowledge of culture, society and history, culture and society that will give you a valuable competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world.
  • Our 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).

History of Art and Visual Culture enables you to explore a rich variety of visual cultures - from paintings to sculpture, photography to film, fashion and beyond - from the early modern era to the present day. Exploring artworks from across the world, you will develop the skills to appreciate, interpret and analyse images and artefacts across cultures. You will benefit from the specialist research, curatorial experience and practice of staff in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and they will guide you as you learn to assess the expressive and stylistic possibilities offered by different media in core modules and a wide range of options which explore key developments in art and cinema.

  • Make use of Royal Holloway’s exceptional collection of Victorian Art housed in the Founder’s Picture Gallery
  • Choose options in Visual Culture from across the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Regarding funding: Royal Holloway has been successful in every application to the Turing Scheme. We will continue to apply for funding in each cycle to support student mobility.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module introduces you to the practice of critical analysis, with an emphasis on developing your skills of critical interpretation and analysis. It will be taught through a combination of lecture-style overviews of specific technical issues, and close engagement with short extracts from a range of examples taken from literature, film and visual arts. This material will be taken from a range of cultural and historical contexts, from the four language areas in which LLC specialises. This material will be provided in advance of each session for you to prepare beforehand; all passages will be given in English translation alongside the original. Alongside the short extracts, you will be expected to read some general introductory works on the specifics of analysing literature, film, and visual images.

  • This module will introduce students to a number of different media encountered in the study of visual culture. By understanding the technical characteristics of a range of art works students will be able to assess the expressive and stylistic possibilities of offered by different media. Students will study a rich variety of visual cultures in Europe and Latin America from the Middle Ages to the present day. Mediaeval illuminated manuscripts, mural decorations in Renaissance Italy, sculpture, photography and fashion and textiles will be among the media that will be the object of our analysis this year.

  • Recognising that knowledge of the target language is vital to success in professional translation, this module introduces you to the terminology and techniques of inter-lingual translation. It will provide an introduction to the roles and challenges of the professional translator across different translation scenarios and develop skills to respond to challenges identified in a number of text types (such as literature, journals, reports, manuals, marketing materials, business correspondence and web content).

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

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

  • Introduction to Translation in a Socio-Cultural Context

If you choose to study French then you will take one or two of the following modules, depending on your proficiency:

  • The module aims to develop reading and writing skills in French. Classes use French as much as possible and the course is assessed in French. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in France, an introduction to French-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to develop speaking and listening skills in French. Classes use French as much as possible and the module is assessed in French. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material.

     

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate written French. Major grammatical issues will be taught and/or revised, and students will work on a wide range of authentic material in French to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions. Key linguistic features of the texts will be identified and discussed to improve the student’s language acquisition and analysis skills. The course will be taught and assessed in French.

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate spoken French. Students will work on a wide range of authentic material in French to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions and to introduce them to contemporary issues and culture. The course will be taught and assessed in French.

  • This module develops your command of both French-English translation and critical analysis of French-language material by exposing you to a range of source material which might include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and newspaper and magazine articles. In weekly seminars, you will focus closely on the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of French-language text types.

If you choose to study German then you will take one or two of the following modules, depending on your proficiency:

  • The module aims to develop reading and writing skills in German. Classes use German as much as possible and the module is assessed in German. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in France, an introduction to German-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to develop speaking and listening skills in German. Classes use German as much as possible and the module is assessed in German. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in German-speaking countries, an introduction to German-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate written German. Major grammatical issues will be taught and/or revised, and students will work on a wide range of authentic material in German to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions. Key linguistic features of the texts will be identified and discussed to improve the student’s language acquisition and analysis skills. The module will be taught and assessed in German.

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate spoken German. Students will work on a wide range of authentic material in German to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions and to introduce them to contemporary issues and culture. The module will be taught and assessed in German.

  • The module develops students' command of both German-English translation and critical analysis of  German-language material by exposing them to a range of source material which might include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and newspaper and magazine articles. In weekly seminars, students will focus closely on the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of German-language text types.

If you choose to study Italian then you will take one or two of the following modules, depending on your proficiency:

  • The module aims to develop reading and writing skills in Italian. Classes use Italian as much as possible and the module is assessed in Italian. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in France, an introduction to Italian-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to develop speaking and listening skills in Italian. Classes use Italian as much as possible and the module is assessed in Italian. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in Italian-speaking countries, an introduction to Italian-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate written Italian. Major grammatical issues will be taught and/or revised, and students will work on a wide range of authentic material in Italian to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions. Key linguistic features of the texts will be identified and discussed to improve the student’s language acquisition and analysis skills. The module will be taught and assessed in Italian.

     

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate spoken Italian. Students will work on a wide range of authentic material in Italian to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions and to introduce them to contemporary issues and culture. The module will be taught and assessed in Italian.

  • The module develops students' command of both Italian-English translation and critical analysis of  Italian-language material by exposing them to a range of source material which might include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and newspaper and magazine articles.

If you choose to study Spanish you will take one of the following:

  • The module aims to develop reading and writing skills in Spanish. Classes use Spanish as much as possible and the module is assessed in Spanish. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in France, an introduction to Spanish-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to develop speaking and listening skills in Spanish. Classes use Spanish as much as possible and the module is assessed in Spanish. The module uses a blended approach: it is based on a beginners' coursebook with additional material on Moodle and as weekly hand-outs based on authentic material. Themes studied vary from year to year but are likely to include every-day life in Spanish-speaking countries, an introduction to Spanish-speaking society and culture, regions and traditions.

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate written Spanish. Major grammatical issues will be taught and/or revised, and students will work on a wide range of authentic material in Spanish to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions. Key linguistic features of the texts will be identified and discussed to improve the student’s language acquisition and analysis skills.  The module will be taught and assessed in Spanish.

     

  • The module aims to expand students’ ability to express themselves in accurate spoken Spanish. Students will work on a wide range of authentic material in Spanish to expand their vocabulary and range of expressions and to introduce them to contemporary issues and culture. The module will be taught and assessed in Spanish.

  • The module develops students' command of both Spanish-English translation and critical analysis of Spanish-language material by exposing them to a range of source material which might include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and newspaper and magazine articles.

Year 2
  • Visual Arts II: Genre and Movements

You may continue with one, two, or three languages, depending on those taken in Year 1.

If you speak one (or more language) at native speaker-level then you will take:

  • This module draws on theories of both communication and translation, outlining key trends and tendencies within these fields. It explores the question of intercultural communication and its political, economic, and social implications. The aim throughout is to consider how meanings are carried between and affect different cultural contexts, undergoing shifts in the process, and broader questions of language and representation in a globalised world.

If you choose to study French you will take one of the following according to your language proficiency:

  • 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.

  • In written French, the module builds on techniques acquired in first-year language modules through a particular focus on techniques of analysis, writing and rewriting, in particular on learning to construct arguments and exposés in authentic, accurate and appropriate French. Themes studied help as preparation for the year abroad (themes may vary, examples include : Le travail en France, être jeune en France, la contestation sociale).

  • 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 a 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 choose to study German you will take one of the following according to your language proficiency:

  • This module is designed to follow on from and to build on the knowledge and skills established in the first year. It will establish, through intensive practice and through the use of a range of learning materials, more advanced comprehension skills in written and spoken German. The emphasis throughout will be on everyday language and day-to-day situations.

  • In this module you’ll maintain and develop a broad intermediate vocabulary in German; revise the basics of German grammar and syntax and learn more complex language structures; be able to understand natural, idiomatic as well as formal spoken German as delivered by a native speaker, present information in written and spoken German; and discuss topical issues critically in written and spoken German.

  • The module enhances understanding of and skills in translation from German to English through sustained translation practice as well as through commentary on and discussion of translations. In weekly seminars, students will discuss the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific problems generated in the module of translating from German source text to English target text in a range of translation scenarios and a range of text types.

If you choose to study Italian you will take one of the following according to your language proficiency:

  • This module includes a written and oral component, with five weekly seminars in Italian using a communicative approach. The written part emphasises reading comprehension and essay writing, involving analysis of Italian articles and podcasts on contemporary social, cultural, and political issues. Students will paraphrase and learn relevant vocabulary. They'll also strengthen their grasp of Italian through grammar and vocabulary exercises. The oral component involves structuring presentations and participating in informal debates to practice expressing opinions in Italian. The fortnightly grammar lecture covers specific topics for understanding complex sentence structures in context.

  • This module is conducted in Italian, adopting a communicative approach. In the Written component, you’ll focus on reading comprehension and essay writing, and in the oral component, you’ll have the opportunity to structure oral presentations as well as take part in informal discussions in order to learn to express your opinions in Italian.

  • Advanced Italian Translation: Skills and Practice

If you choose to study Spanish you will take one of the following according to your language proficiency:

  • This module offers four hours of weekly contact time each term and an additional hour for oral practice. The first two hours focus on reading, writing, and oral skills, combining in-class exercises with homework review based on a journalistic text. The third hour is dedicated to listening comprehension, occasionally held in language labs. The final hour features a grammar lecture introducing new verb tenses and structures, which are then practised in the following week. Weekly lesson content, tutor-prepared material, and audio-visual resources like podcasts, TV, and radio programs are provided. Classes incorporate a flexible approach, ranging from formal exposition to communicative activities in pairs and small groups. Spanish is used predominantly in the classroom, and multimedia resources are encouraged for independent study. Regular homework assignments are assigned.

  • In this module you’ll learn to demonstrate good lexical and grammatical competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Spanish. You’ll learn to understand and communicate effectively in Spanish across a complete range of tenses and will participate competently in conversation with a native speaker.

  • Advanced Spanish Translation: Skills and Practice

If you choose to study Italian you will take one of the following according to your language proficiency:

  • This module includes a written and oral component, with five weekly seminars in Italian using a communicative approach. The written part emphasises reading comprehension and essay writing, involving analysis of Italian articles and podcasts on contemporary social, cultural, and political issues. Students will paraphrase and learn relevant vocabulary. They'll also strengthen their grasp of Italian through grammar and vocabulary exercises. The oral component involves structuring presentations and participating in informal debates to practice expressing opinions in Italian. The fortnightly grammar lecture covers specific topics for understanding complex sentence structures in context.

  • This module is conducted in Italian, adopting a communicative approach. In the Written component, you’ll focus on reading comprehension and essay writing, and in the oral component, you’ll have the opportunity to structure oral presentations as well as take part in informal discussions in order to learn to express your opinions in Italian.

  • Advanced Italian Translation: Skills and Practice
Year 3
  • You will spend the third year of your degree programme abroad, either studying, working, or both, based on your own learning preferences as well as your professional goals and interests. It is usually expected that you will spend at least nine months in a country where the native language is the same as the language you are studying. The Year Abroad allows you to expand and refine your existing linguistic competencies in the relevant target language alongside the development of intercultural competency and employability skills. The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures will support you in finding a suitable study or work placement, or you may explore opportunities independently. This year forms an integral part of your degree programme and will be formally assessed.

Year 4

You may continue with one, two, or three languages, depending on those taken in Year 2.

If you choose to study French you will take:

  • 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 cultural questions and examine the key features of French culture and society.

If you choose to study German you will take:

  • In this module you’ll learn to understand natural, idiomatic spoken German as delivered by a native speaker or on radio/TV designed for native speakers. You’ll learn to discuss German current affairs using a wide range of appropriate vocabulary and read and get to understand complex passages of authentic, elevated German, including literary, academic, journalistic and other types of texts and will finally be able to produce written translations in fluent, accurate and idiomatic English and German.

If you choose to study Italian you will take:

  • In this module there is a close correlation between the material selected for use in the written and oral classes. In the written class you’ll be asked to structure cohesive and informed written commentaries on set Italian texts as well as practise reading comprehension and paraphrasing skills. You will be asked to prepare and deliver short oral presentations as well as debate issues related to Italian current affairs, and in grammar lectures, you’ll revise complex features and refine their use in context and complete a series of grammar exercises specifically devised for final year students.

If you choose to study Spanish you will take:

  • This module is taught entirely in Spanish and provides a variety of formal grammar lectures, written and oral classes. You’ll demonstrate lexical and grammatical competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Spanish and will learn to understand and communicate fluently in Spanish across a complete range of tenses. You’ll participate in conversation with a native speaker and will learn awareness of key cultural aspects of the Hispanic world.

Optional Modules

For more information on optional modules available, please see the list here.

The course has a modular structure. You will take 120 credits’ worth of modules each year in years 1, 2 and 4, and 60 during your 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.

You will also take a study skills module during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This module does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

A Levels: ABB-BBB

Required subjects:

  • A-level in the appropriate language(s) at grade B for the advanced level language pathway
  • There is no language requirement for the beginners' language pathway, but only one language can be studied at this level
  • At least five GCSES at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.

Please note that if you choose to apply for this course 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 please visit our How to apply page.

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. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.

T-levels

We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:

  • AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
  • AAA – Distinction
  • BBB – Merit
  • CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
  • DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)

Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.

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.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.

Undergraduate preparation programme

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.

On completion of your Modern Languages with History of Art and Visual Culture degree at Royal Holloway you will be equipped to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment.

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, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, the Civil Service, sales and marketing, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting. Other graduates have gone on to advanced study in a variety of fields.

Alternatively you may choose to continue your studies by means of a postgraduate degree.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

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.

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,800

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.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25, the fee is £9,250 for that year.

**This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree. The upper limit of any such annual rise has not yet been set for courses starting in 2024 but will advertised here once confirmed.  For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Undergraduate Admissions

 

 

 

Professor Joseph Harris - joseph.harris@royalholloway.ac.uk

Top 10

in the UK for research quality in French, German, Italian and Hispanic studies

Source: Complete University Guide, 2024

5th

in the UK for overall research

Source: THE REF; 2021, Subject Ranking by Grade Point Average

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