This Joint Honours course will enable you to start satisfying your curiosity about the past, enhancing your understanding of specific periods and problems, while giving 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, 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).
Studying History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times. Exploring what people have felt, thought and done in the past expands our self-awareness. It will help to satisfy your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.
Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects, enabling you to spread your studies across the medieval and modern worlds, from Ancient Rome through to modern China, from Saladin through to Margaret Thatcher.
- 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
- World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, we will commit to providing 2019 and 2020 entry students with a subsidy equivalent to current Erasmus+ funding (where this would have previously been funded by the Erasmus+ scheme). To find out more visit the Erasmus+ page.
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.
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.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations. Coursework includes essays, language exercises, translations and reports. Oral presentations and computer-based tests are used in some Modern Languages modules to assess grammar and comprehension skills. In the final year you will complete a 10,000 word dissertation for History. 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.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
- 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.
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, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
Choosing a joint honours degree which combines Modern Languages and History 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
As well as gaining practical skills in translation and interpretation, your degree will also demonstrate that you enjoy being challenged, are able to think through issues and problems in a logical and consistent way and have a understanding other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment.
- 86% of history graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
- Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different 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 careers service offers a range of tailor-made careers events, one-to-one careers advice sessions and skills workshops specifically for history students.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £
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**: £
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 undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students who started a degree in the academic year 2018/19, it was £9,250 for that year, shown here for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK undergraduates starting their degree in 2019/20 or 2020/21 has not yet been confirmed. The Government has also confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2019/20 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course. The fee status for EU nationals starting their degree in 2020/21 is under consideration.
**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.