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
Introduction to International Relations
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.
Introduction to Politics and Government
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.
Intensive French for Beginners
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.
Pratique du Français I
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.
French Language: Culture and Translation
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.
Understanding the European Union: Politics and Theory
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.
Intensive French for Beginners II
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.
Pratique du Français II
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.
Advanced French Translation: Skills and Practice
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.
European Union Public Policy
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.
Pratique du Français III
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
- Introduction to French Literature: A Taster Course
- Introduction to French Literature: Critical Skills
- Key French Texts: the Individual and Society
- French History Through Film
- Decoding France: Language, Culture, Identity
- The Visual Image in French Culture and Society
International Relations Theory
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.
- Democracy in Britain
- Contemporary Political Theory
- International Political Economy
- Political Behaviour
- War and Security in World Politics
- Modern Political Thought
- International Organisations
- The Politics of Human Rights
- Introduction to Political Communication
- 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
Dissertation in Politics and/or IR
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
- 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
European Union Foreign Policy
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.
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.
Required subjects: 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.
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
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 and Ferrari at Marinello, Italy) 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.
Our outstanding record of success for work and further study puts Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015). It goes to show that our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation. Our students have an excellent record of finding appropriate and interesting professions. In fact, six-months after graduation, 95% of our most recent graduates (Unistats 2015) are enhancing their skills with further study or forging 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 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 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.