This Joint Honours course you will deepen your understanding of English literature, and give you the opportunity to gain fluency in the language of your choice - French, German, Italian or Spanish.
Whether you start at beginners’, advanced or native-speaker level, you will study the core language components for the language you have chosen, gaining skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening. All our 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 all the corners of the Spanish-speaking world. As a modern linguist, you will develop excellent communication and research skills, and combine lingusitic 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).
From Beowulf to the Booker Prize, English offers you the opportunity to study the full historical range of literature in English as well as the latest developments in the field, and even to pursue your own creative writing.
You can discover the earliest works in English, deepen your knowledge of Shakespeare, find out what is great about Renaissance literature, darken your view of the 18th century, and unpack the Victorians. The course's structure allows you to develop a sound understanding of key periods, genres, authors, and ideas as well as choosing from a huge range of options. You can study Modernism, Postmodernism and American literature, explore literary criticism, develop your own creative writing, and analyse the latest developments in global literatures in English.
- You will gain a solid knowledge of the whole range of English literature from its beginnings to its latest developments, ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Salman Rushdie.
- Study unusual, non-traditional subjects such as the body in the 18th century or time in modern literature or courses incorporating visual arts and cinema.
Teaching & assessment
The course has a modular structure, whereby you will take 14 modules at the rate of four per year in years 1, 2 and 4, and two during your year abroad. Some modules are compulsory while others are optional, thereby offering you flexibility and choice. Your first year results don't count towards your final degree award, but those achieved in your second, third and fourth years will.
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Outside classes, you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging, but guided independent study, including completing language exercises and reading prescribed and open material. Private study is essential, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you will be assigned a Personal Tutor to support your academic and personal development.
In your first year with the English department, you will also work in small groups of just four or five students focusing on study skills such as close reading, essay writing and presentation and self-editing. As you progress through your degree, these tutorials focus on your own personal development, for instance working on your CV.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations. Coursework includes long and short essays, language exercises, translations, reports, commentaries and portfolios of creative work. Oral presentations and computer-based tests are used in some Modern Languages modules to assess grammar and comprehension skills. You can, to some extent, choose modules which suit your own assessment preferences.
You will also take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with 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.
Required subjects: A-level grade B in English Literature or English Literature & Language 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 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.
A Levels: ABB
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. Read more about what we look for here.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:
- Pearson Test of English
- Cambridge ESOL
Your future career
Choosing a joint honours degree which combines modern languages and English gives you the best of both worlds through an increased skillset and access to a wide variety of employment opportunities.
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, whether that be in Britain or abroad.
Modern languages graduates have entered a wide range of careers including international management, consultancy, sales and marketing, media and publishing, banking, the arts, politics, teaching, travel and tourism, translating and interpreting as well as language assistants and teacher trainers.
Recent employers include:
- Mazda Motors Europe
- The British Council
- Oxfam Head Office
- Merlin Entertainments Group
- Ralph Lauren
Taking a degree in English sets you up with great prospects for future employability. On the course itself we place a strong emphasis on your future employability, meaning the skills that you gain won’t just be applicable to the study of English.
Although many of our students go on to further study in literature and other fields, skills such as research, presentation, teamwork, negotiation and communication will prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities.
In your second year, you'll meet with your personal tutor group, to work on planning your career beyond university. In the past, graduates from this course have gone on to careers in
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £16500
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, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.
**Fees for international students starting a degree at Royal Holloway in the academic year 2019/20 have not yet been set, and those for 2018/19 are shown for reference purposes only. 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.