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BAEuropean and International Studies (German)

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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 German 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.

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. You will also have the exciting opportunity to spend a year working, teaching or studying in a German-speaking country, when you will immerse yourself in the language and culture and truly broaden your horizons. Among the institutions we have exchange links with are two of Germany’s most respected universities for politics and international relations – the Ludwig-Maximilian’s University of Munich and the University of Konstanz.

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 German ab initio (from scratch) then you will take Intensive German for Beginners 1. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard then you will take German Language 1. If you are a native speaker then you will take German Language – Culture and Translation.

Intensive German for Beginners 1
In this module you will develop you ability to understand common phrases and expressions in written and spoken German relating to basic personal and familial information, employment, and local geography. You will look at the structure of the German language and learn to write complex texts. You will also examine the culture and diversity of German-speaking countries.

German Language 1
In this module you will develop a broad general vocabulary and be able to understand natural, idiomatic spoken German. You will become familar with reading simple written passages of authentic German, identifying and analyising the syntactical and grammatical structures in these. You will look at a range of modern written styles and conventions, writing your own short passages on a variety of set topics, and discuss personal and cultural issues in written and spoken German.

German Language – Culture and Translation
In this module you will develop an understanding of both German-English translation and critical analysis of German-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 German-language text types, and explore published translations of German 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 German ab initio (from scratch) you will take Intensive German for Beginners 2. If you have taken the subject to A-level (or equivalent) standard you will take German Langauge 2. If you are a native speaker then you will take Advanced German Translation – Skills and Practice.

Intensive German for Beginners 2

German Langauge 2

Advanced German Translation – Skills and Practice

Year 3

The third year of this degree programme will be spent abroad, either studying or working or both. It is usually expected that students will spend at least 9 months overseas, in countries where the native langauges match the languages the student is studying. Students studying two langauges will be expected to divide their time between two relevant countries, i.e. one for each langauge. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will support students in finding a suitable study or work placement, but students are also expected to explore opportunities independently and the ultimate responsibility for securing such a placement lies with the student. Alternatively students may choose to enrol for courses at a partner university in the relevant country. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme; students on placement will be asked to complete assessed work which will be credited towards their degree, while in the case of those studying at a university, marks obtained for courses taken will be credited towards their degree. The same applies to the assessment of spoken language on return to Royal Holloway from the period of residence 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 German then you will take German Language 3.

German Language 3

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