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BAEuropean and International Studies (French)

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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.

Programme structure

Year 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. You will be equipped with 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.

If you choose to study French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 1. If you have studied the language to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take French Language – Culture and Translation.

Intensive French for Beginners I
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 pronounciation, 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.

Year 2

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.

If you are stuyding French ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive French for Beginners 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take Pratique du Français 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced French Translation – Skills and Practice.

Intensive French for Beginners 2
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 2
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 social’, 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 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 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.

Year 3

The third year of this degree programme will be spent 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. Ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with yourself. 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.

Year 4

European Union Public Policy
In thid 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 operatures, 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 politicies.

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.

If you are stuyding French then you will take Pratique du Français 3.

Pratique du Français 3
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 of cultural questions and examine the key features of French culture and society.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

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

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States