European and International Studies explores the key areas of contemporary European politics and international relations and combines these with the in-depth study of Spanish 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.
Spanish is a major world language and Spain itself is a key player in Europe, while Latin America is expected to see significant expansion over the coming decades as globalisation continues to gather pace. Choosing to study Spanish at Royal Holloway means joining our friendly, supportive and culturally diverse community where you will be inspired by leading specialists from one of the UK’s most interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies teams.
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.
You will be taught by dedicated language specialists, who will ensure that you gain valuable exposure to different varieties of Spanish. You will have the opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying, in a Spanish-speaking city, such as Havana, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Seville or Salamanca, where you will immerse yourself in the language and culture, truly broadening your horizons in the process.
- 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 Spanish-speaking country.
- Gain written and verbal fluency in Spanish.
- Other language options in German (R200), Italian (R300) and French (R100).
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.
- Intensive Spanish I
- Spanish 1
- Spanish Language: Culture and Translation
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 Spanish II
- Spanish II
- Advanced Spanish Translation: Skills and Practice
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.
- Spanish III
Optional ModulesYear 1
- Passion and Betrayal on the Spanish Stage
- Re-Mapping the Amexicano Border in Visual Culture
- Authors and Readers in 20th-Century Spanish American Fiction
- Comparative Hispanic Culture
- Spanish Language: Culture and Translation
- Culture and Identity in Latin America
- Text and Image In The Hispanic World
- Visualising Cuba
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
- Myths of the Feminine in the Spanish Novel
- 20th-Century Mexican Visual Arts and Film
- Religion and Society in the 16th- and 17th-Century Hispanic World
- Love in the Contemporary Spanish American Novel
- Rebels, Revolution & Representation in Latin America
- Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spanish Film
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.
- 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
- Short Fiction by Spanish Women Writers
- Spanish American Literature: An Overview
- Don Quijote: The Text and Its Contexts
- Seducing the Nation: Spanish Film 1940s to 1980s
- Conflict in 20th-century Latin American Literature and Culture
- Journeys of Discovery in 20th- Century Spanish American Literature
- Devotion, Deceit, Desire: Literature of the Spanish Golden Age
- Horror Cinema in the Hispanic World
- Contemporary Mexican Cinema
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 Spanish 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, students can 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 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 2018/19 is £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.