This Joint Honours course will provide you with a solid grounding in the practical and theoretical study of Music, 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).
Studying Music at Royal Holloway allows you to tailor your studies to your own interests and passions. Our Department of Music is among the very best in the country, ranked third in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and the only one to hold a prestigious Regius Professorship.
You will explore themes spanning traditional, modern and world music. Through studying musical texts, practices, cultures and institutions, you will examine issues in history, sociology, ethnology, and philosophy, covering an exceptional geographical and chronological range. You will also gain practical skills in composition, music technology and performance.
- You will have access to well-equipped studios and recording facilities as well as incredible performance spaces including the Windsor Auditorium, Boilerhouse Theatre, Victorian Picture Gallery and College Chapel.
- Our well connected department means you have the opportunity to make valuable music industry contacts. Our staff are connected with musical networks such Wigmore Hall, the BBC Proms, Royal Opera House.
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.
- Choose beginners’, advanced or native-speaker level French, German, Spanish or Italian.
- The opportunity to take music modules that reflect your language study.
- Spend your year abroad improving your fluency.
- Research a special study thesis combining your music and language skills.
- Choral, organ, orchestral and music scholarships.
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, individual tutorials, instrumental/vocal lessons 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.
Assessment is carried out by a combination of examinations, which take place in the summer term, along with written papers, extended essays, assessed coursework, portfolios of compositions and other practical work, and performance recitals.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations. Coursework includes essays, written papers, 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 Music you will often be asked to submit portfolios of compositions and perform at recitals. 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
- A-level Music at grade A, or Grade 8 Music Theory at pass
- Grade 7 ABRSM (where applicants are unable to take Grade 7, video evidence may be acceptable)
- Applicants without A-level grade A in Music or pass in Grade 8 Music Theory may be eligible for the Intensive Theory entry. This requires Music GCSE grade A/7 or equivalent, plus performance at Grade 7 level. In term 1 you will be required to take Fundamentals of Music Theory, an intensive music literacy course.
- Students wishing to take Solo Performance options will need to be of Grade 8 level in performance at point of entry.
- At least five GCSES at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
- 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.
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
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 gives you the best of both worlds through an increased skillset and access to a wide variety of employment opportunities. You will be a creative and adaptable thinker with impressive communication and leadership skills.
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
You’ll also have an understanding of music from a variety of perspectives, and industry contacts, insider knowledge of music networks in London and specific practical skills in performance, composition and production.
Recent graduates of Music have very successfully entered a wide range of careers including roles as:
- performing arts teachers
- policy makers
Many graduates also go to Postgraduate study on our MMus Advanced Musical Studies course.
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***: "Music - £50. 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.