European and International Studies explores the key areas of contemporary European politics and international relations and combines these with the in-depth study of French language, society and culture. Taught in partnership between the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, this course is informed by the outstanding research and international outlook of both departments.
The politics element of the course provides an introduction to the working of international relations and the growth of Europe as a political entity. This includes research into areas such as Brexit, the European Union’s Budget, the European Parliament, security, international diplomacy, and the use of military force, as well as European languages and cultures. Your second and final year courses in European politics and international relations will be taught by Giacomo Benedetto, who holds a Jean Monnet professorship in European integration awarded by the European Union.
The prominence of France and the French-speaking countries when it comes to literature, art, thought and culture makes the study of the French language highly rewarding and engaging.
As a modern linguist, you will not only learn to speak and write fluently, you will also develop excellent communication and research skills and combine language proficiency with cross-cultural perspectives.
As a part of Royal Holloway’s close-knit international community, based in our beautiful historic campus, you will be within easy reach of London, France’s "sixth biggest city", with its wealth of French cultural resources. You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying in France or a French-speaking country, when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture and truly broaden your horizons. Among the universities we have exchange links with is Sciences Po Strasbourg, one of France’s most respected schools for politics and international relations.
- Study with leading experts on Brexit and EU Budgets.
- Taught in partnership with the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
- Spend a year of study and/or work in a French-speaking country.
- Gain written and verbal fluency in French.
- Other language options in German (R200), Italian (R300) and Spanish (R401).
Core ModulesYear 1
This module offers a broad introduction to theory and history in international relations since 1870. You will look at a variety of different theoretical lenses, ranging from orthodox to critical perspectives, in order to understand events from the collapse of the Bismarckian European order and the origins of World War 1 to the contemporary War on Terror. Along the way you will also explore the origins and the end of the Cold War, decolonisation and the End of Empire, the rise of international institutions, humanitarian intervention and new security issues.
This module will introduce you to the academic study of politics and to the ‘real world’ of contemporary politics. As a foundational course, it will give you all the essential tools to understand the nature of politics and analyse the way different political systems work. You will be introduced to key concepts such as politics, power, rights, ideologies, democracy and representation, and will learn about the different actors, institutions and processes that make up politics today.
You will take one of the following modules in French depending on your language proficiency:
In this module, you will develop your core skills in French without prior knowledge of the language. You will look at the basic French grammatical structures and examine the diversity of culture in Francophone countries. You will gain confidence in conversing everyday matters with clear pronunciation and read simple written texts in French. You will become familiar with writing short paragraphs in French on everyday matters, or in answer to reading comprehension questions, and enhance your comprehension skills to understand simple recordings and conversations.
In this module you will develop your skills in writing, speaking and comprehending the French language, building a wide and specific vocabulary. In written French, you will look at a range of themes, including French Institutions, the French Revolution, 'Laïcité' and 'La francophonie'. In spoken French, you will discuss and present on a variety of audio-visual materials as well as texts, with topics linked to French current affairs, media, cultural issues in French and other Francophone countries. In the practice seminars, you will gain enhanced listening comprehension skills, oral skills and knowledge of grammatical structure.
In this module you will develop an understanding of both French-English translation and critical analysis of French-language material. You will look at a range of source material, which may include prose fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, multimedia and web content, and/or newspaper and magazine articles. You will closely examine the syntactical, stylistic, lexical and culturally specific features of a range of French-language text types, and explore published translations of French material to discern the translation strategies adopted. You will consider a range of translation issues, including cultural specificity, untranslatability, intercultural communication, as well as stylistic features, idioms, techniques of linguistic compensation, and word order.
In this module you will analyse the contemporary politics of the European Union and its institutions, amid the challenges of the triple crisis of economics, migration and Brexit. You will learn about the political history of European integration after 1949 and the contemporary theory of European integration. The first term will begin with an introduction to the European Union as a political system followed by an overview of the European Union's historical development. The second term will focus on contestation of the European Union and the theories that underpin this, in order to explain how the EU developed and the challenges that it faces. Topics will include Euroscepticism, party politics, public opinion, Brexit and EU-UK relations, and European Parliament elections. The theory sessions comprise of federalism, neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism and the new institutionalisms.
You will take one of the following modules in French depending on 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 this module you will further develop your ability to communicate effectively in French, enhancing your linguistic and analytical skills. You will learn to write concisely, accurately and effectively, paying particular attention to style and register as well as to specific methods of analysis. You will study key themes, such as 'Le travail en France', 'le malaise socia', and 'les jeunes et la société', gaining an enhanced understanding of contemporary French cultural and social issues. You will read and analyse texts from a variety of sources, ranging from literature to journalism, with a particular focus on how to structure an argument. You will also look at the techniques of film analysis.
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.
You will spend the third year of this degree programme abroad, either studying, working, or both. It is usually expected that you will spend at least 9 months in a country where the native language is the same as the language you are studying. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will support you in finding a suitable study or work placement, but you will also be expected to explore opportunities independently. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol for modules at a partner university in your chosen country. This year forms an integral part of your degree programme. If you undertake a placement then you will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards your degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for modules taken will be credited towards your degree. The same applies to your practical oral assessment on return to Royal Holloway from your year abroad.
In this module you will develop an understanding of regulation in the European Union, including delivery of policy and administration. You will look at how the world's largest market operates, with a focus on EU public policy, including de-regulation, re-regulation, budgets and spending. You will examine the concept of the single market, the Euro and its crisis, justice, home affairs and counter-terrorism, the EU budget, agriculture, regional development, and social and environmental policies.
You will take the following module in French:
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.
Optional ModulesYear 1
Optional modules in French may include:
- Introduction to French Literature: A Taster Course
- Introduction to French Literature: Critical Skills
In this module you will develop an understanding of how questions of social change, social mobility, success and failure, ambition and honour, oppression and alienation have been portrayed in key French literary texts. You will look at a number of key authors, considering the broad historical and cultural context of their writing. You will also examine the meaning and implications of key terms in the literary-historical tradition, such as romanticism, realism, and existentialism.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the medium of film as a means of both conveying and constructing history. You will look at the relationship between film and history, notably the representation of key historical moments in French history such as war. You will consider how national identity is created and sustained through the visual representation of history, exploring technique of textual analusis and personal judgement to critically examine a range of cinematic texts and genres including narrative fiction, documentary and propaganda.
- Decoding France: Language, Culture, Identity
In this module you will develop an understanding of the complexity and richness of the visual image. You will look at the relationship between word and image in a variety of contexts and media, critically examining primary and secondary material using techniques of textual analysis and personal judgement.
Building on Introduction to International Relations, this module explores the key thinkers and debates in International Relations Theory. You will become familiar with a variety of ways of thinking about International Relations, engaging with questions about the nature of power, identity, and ethics in politics and how these interact in the international realm. The module is divided into two parts. In the first, you will examine the three foundational theoretical paradigms within International Relations – realism, liberalism, and Marxism. The second part explores newer critical approaches to International Relations theory, including constructivism, post-structuralism, feminism, and uneven ecological exchange.
I in this module you will develop an understanding of contemporary British politics. You will look at the ways in which British government has evolved, how it continues to operate, and why it operates in the way it does. You will consider the causes and consequences of major political change in Britain and examine the underlying assumptions upon which theoretical disputes in political science are based.
In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key concepts in political theory today. You will look at political obligation, civil disobedience, democracy, citizenship, equality, global justice, human rights, and freedom and toleration. You will consider important theorists including Berlin Rawls, Nozick, Sandel, Okin and Pettit, examining the recent major theoretical perspectives in the context of contemporary politics.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the relationship between states and markets, power and wealth. You will look at the key concepts and theoretical debates in International Political Economy, such as the globalisation of trade, finance, and production, the continued problems of development and democratic governance in the world economy, and emerging questions surrounding global flows, networks and spaces. You will consider the history of regimes, crises, and competing theories of political economy from the nineteenth century to the present day and examine how political institutions operate in international politics to regulate the creation of wealth, and who benefits from these arrangements.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the main theoretical approaches of the study of political behaviour. You will look at major current controversies in the field of political behaviour and critically analyse and evaluate theoretical and empirical arguments through the interpretation of bivariate and multivariate analysis of data. You will consider the ways in which individuals directly or indirectly influence political choices at various levels of the political system, and the relationship between voters and political parties. You will also examine the theory and practice of how electors decide whether (or not) to vote and whom to vote for.
In this module you will develop an understanding of security studies as a subfield of International Relations. You will look at the issue of war and it is/should be fought. You will consider the theories of security and how these have changed, especially in an age of terrorism, and examine a wide variety of security including nuclear weapons, drone warfare, genocide, and gun control.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the themes, arguments, and interpretations of major political thinkers from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. You will look at the works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Marx and Nietzsche and consider how the ideas articulated by these thinkers continue to underpin contemporary debates about the nature of freedom, human rights, value pluralism, popular sovereignty, state legitimacy, and the modern condition. You will also examine how study of these thinkers illuminates contemporary debates even where these debates no longer make reference to them.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the scope and limitations of global governance. You will look at the creation of international organisations and the role of states in this process, how different organisations are designed, and the effectiveness and functioning of different types of organisation. You will consider the role of international organisations in creating policy, pursuing organisational objectives, and altering the relations between actors at various levels. You will also examine the significance of major challenges for global governance, such as countering international terrorism, policing organised crime, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the modern human rights regime. You will look at what human rights are and their historical origins, including governance and the international legal regime. You will consider genocide and debates about intervention, examining the war in the former Yugoslavia, genocide in Darfur, and current issues in Syria. You will explore transitional justice, the laws of war and international criminal tribunals, and assess the remedies available to victims of human rights abuses.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how citizens, politicians and the media interact across Western democracies during both electoral and governing periods. You will look at the production and consumption of political news, consider election campaigns and their effects, and examine contemporary debates in political communication, including ethical issues.
Optional modules in French may include:
- Socio-Political Issues of Contemporary France in Fiction and Translation
- Writing Romance and Desire
- Culture and Ideology: la France et la francophonie
- The Illustrated Text in France
- Subversive individuals: heroics and chivalry in the French imagination
- Subversive Desires
- Cinema in France
- Power and Money in the European Union
The dissertation offers you the opportunity to pursue independent research in a topic of your own choosing with the support of an academic supervisor working one-to-one with you. You will develop your own research question and research strategy, explore the scholarly debates surrounding your topic, and advance your own thesis that interprets or challenges the way your topic has been understood. You are encouraged to use a variety of quantitative or qualitative methods and theoretical approaches as appropriate to the field you are exploring.
- The British in India: a Social and Political History
- Contemporary Middle East Politics
- US Foreign Policy
- Comparative Foreign Policy
- Young People's Politics
- Leadership, Power and the British Prime Minister
- Visual Politics
- Understanding China's Rise: Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy
- Global Energy Policy
- Refugees and Migration in World Politics
- American Political Development
- The Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe
- The Politics of International Development
- Issues in Democratic Theory
- Political Theories of Freedom
- Defence and Security Governance
- Military Change in the 21st Century
- Leaders and Political Communication
- Global Healthy Policy
- Political Protest
In this module you will develop an understanding of the European Union's foreign relations, focussing on political, security and economic impacts. You will examine its international role, looking at the Common Foreign and Security Policy, its relationship with NATO, the USA and Russia, its connection to immediate neighbours in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, and its role in global trade negotiations.
Optional modules in French may include:
- Arthurian Romance: Chretien de Troyes
- Repression and Rebellion: The Father and the Father’s Law
- Text and Image in France: from Cubism to the Present
- Ethics and Violence: Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film
- Wanton Women: Artists and Writers of the French Avant-Garde
- Representations of Slavery in French and Francophone Culture
- Deadly Passions: Tragedy in 17th Century France
- Blindness and Vision in French Culture
- Villains and Villainy in Early Modern French Theatre
- Redefining the Erotic
- Image, Identity and Consumer Culture in Post-war Fiction and Film
- French Final Year Dissertation
Teaching & assessment
The course has a modular structure, whereby you will take 14 units at the rate of four per year in the first, second and fourth years, plus two in the third year, which is spent working or studying abroad. Most modules contain an element of assessed coursework, which contributes to the final mark awarded.
Your first year is formative, though your results will determine whether you can progress to the second year. Your second and fourth year results, alongside those of the third year spent abroad, will contribute to your final degree classifcation. Work completed in your fourth year will count for a larger proportion of the result.
You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide you with support, guidance and advice throughout your studies.
You will also have access to the comprehensive e-learning facility Moodle, which features lecture handouts and other supporting materials, such as lecture slides, quizzes, video clips, and links to relevant academic journal articles.
A Levels: ABB
- At least one A-level in an essay based subject.
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.
- Grade B at A-level in French for the advanced level language pathway. For the beginners' language pathway there is no language requirement.
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
A global economy offers exciting opportunities to those wanting to pursue successful and rewarding careers. An ability to speak several languages and a keen analytical mind are among the most sought-after qualities in today’s highly competitive job market; European Studies equips students with both.
Our European Studies and International Relations course fosters a deeper cultural understanding of a foreign language which can be a great asset in industries such as export, trade and international marketing. In these fields, workers need to build and maintain solid relationships with foreign partners, so a cultural understanding can help workers anticipate foreign clients’ expectations. Many government jobs require language skills, particularly in the sectors of immigration and diplomacy.
This course produces high calibre graduates with the skills and knowledge to fully exploit every opportunity including those presented during the study year abroad. Studies show that students who have spent time abroad as part of their degree programme gain higher status and better-paid jobs. As part of the study year abroad, those of our students who wish to pursue a career in teaching can apply to work as an English language assistant in a continental school. Alternatively, there is an opportunity to spend the year in employment on an approved work placement (former students have worked for companies such as IBM in Marseilles, France) or apply to work as an intern for an MEP or in a European institution in the host country. This latter option is a popular choice for European Studies students who wish to gain work experience in politics.
We have an outstanding record of success for work and further study with our degree programmes not only promoting academic achievement but providing you with the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation. Our students have an excellent record of finding professions in related fields, with recent graduates having forged careers in companies and institutions such as:
- The European Commission
- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
- Proctor & Gamble
- Henry Jackson Society
- Mazda Motor Europe
- British Council
- Oxfam Head Office
- Merlin Entertainments Group
- Ralph Lauren
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £16900
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 UK Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20 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 2020/21.
**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.