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Liberal Arts with a Language Year Abroad

Thank you for considering an application

Here's what you need in order to apply:

  1. Royal Holloway's institution code: R72
  2. Make a note of the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for:

    • Liberal Arts with a Language Year Abroad BA - Y002
    • Liberal Arts BA - Y000
    • Liberal Arts with an International Year BA - Y001
    • Liberal Arts with Integrated Foundation Year BA - Y00F
  3. Click on the link below to apply via the UCAS website:
Apply via UCAS

Liberal Arts with a Language Year Abroad


Course options

Key information

Duration: 4 years full time

UCAS code: Y002

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: Y000

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

View this course

Key information

Duration: 4 years full time

UCAS code: Y001

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

View this course

Key information

Duration: 4 years full time

UCAS code: Y00F

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

View this course

The course

Liberal Arts with a Language Year Abroad (BA)

A Liberal Arts degree is ideal for creative and inquisitive individuals who have a wide range of interests. Choosing to take this highly-prized yet rarely available degree at Royal Holloway will provide you with the opportunity to create a bespoke course that is perfectly aligned to your individual interests and passions. Liberal Arts involves an internationally-recognised approach to study that will prepare you for life in our rapidly changing world. Multifaceted, diverse and adaptable graduates are increasingly sought by employers looking for people able to respond quickly and effectively to shifting needs and opportunities.

This degree is truly interdisciplinary and will allow you to have adopt either a concentrated or a broad focus in your studies, as you choose from a vast range of subjects available across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The core courses will enable you to connect with your fellow Liberal Arts students and provide you with a strong foundation upon which to base your chosen studies, and you will prompted to think about how to bring different disciplines into conversation with each other. 

You will study a Modern European language (French, German, Italian or Spanish) throughout your degree, starting either as a beginner or at an advanced level, ensuring that you learn to speak and write fluently. This will prepare you for an exciting year abroad working, studying or both.  This will enable you to immerse yourself in the language and culture and develop a global perspective, taking advantage of the partnerships we have with many prestigious universities or in an approved work placement overseas.

You will be taught by internationally renowned experts in their fields and be fully supported by a Personal Tutor. This course has a strong emphasis on teamwork alongside individual development and will equip you with skills of critical thinking, creativity and adaptability.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, we will commit to providing 2019 and 2020 entry students with a subsidy equivalent to current Erasmus+ funding (where this would have previously been funded by the Erasmus+ scheme). To find out more visit the Erasmus+ page.

  • Partnerships with prestigious international universities where you study in English.
  • Explore different disciplines and bring them into conversation with each other.
  • Lay strong foundations with core modules in Liberal Arts.
  • Develop critical thinking, creativity and adaptability.
  • Also available with an International Year spent in a country where you will speak English (Y001).

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module is the core introduction to the Liberal Arts degree. You will focus on the unifying theme of 'encounters', and engage with some of the distinctive qualities of the course. It will introduce them to some of the ways in which cultures have developed through historical, philosophical and creative 'encounters', dialogue, tension and movement. Core teaching will be delivered collaboratively by tutors from a number of different departments. Through the in-depth study of selected case studies you will begin to appreciate the value in the comparative and interdisciplinary approach allowed by the Liberal Arts programme, and develop some of the key skills in analytical and critical thinking that will be essential to your studies.

Year 2
  • This module takes the theme, 'Power, Society and Cultural Practice'', and examines it from a number of multidisciplinary and multimedia perspectives. It is designed to build on the first year module for Liberal Arts ('Cultural Encounters'). It encourages students to refine the approaches developed in that module, and to develop further their critical and creative approaches and practices in a comparative manner. The module places a particular emphasis on cultural practices across a range of media and will enable students to perceive the connections between ostensibly disparate forms of communication and discourses.

Year 3
  • 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 overseas, in a country where the native langauge matches 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 are also expected to explore opportunities independently. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol on modules at a partner university in the relevant country. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme; if on a placement, you will be asked to complete assessed work that will be credited towards your degree; if studying at a partner university then marks obtained for modules taken will be credited towards your degree. The same applies to the assessment of spoken language on return to Royal Holloway from the period of residence abroad.

    In the event of a no-deal Brexit, we will commit to providing 2019 and 2020 entry students with a subsidy equivalent to current Erasmus+ funding (where this would have previously been funded by the Erasmus+ scheme). To find out more visit the Erasmus+ page.

Year 4
  • All modules are optional

Optional Modules

For more information on optional modules, please see the list here.

  • The course has a modular structure. You will take 120 credits’ worth of modules each year in years 1, 2 and 4, and 60 during your year abroad.
  • You will take the equivalent of four units each year. These will be drawn from a variety of departments, and so the teaching and assessment methods will vary widely, depending upon your own choices.
  • In most cases, you will be taught by a mixture of lectures, seminars, and small group tutorials.
  • In all these cases, your learning will be informed by your own independent research.
  • You will be supported in your studies by a Personal Tutor, who will be available to discuss your progress and to provide advice on all academic matters.
  • You will also have access to your instructors for more specific advice about courses.
  • Assessment methods will include essays, reports, oral presentations, texts, projects, and examinations.
  • In your final year, you will write a dissertation, a long essay based on your own, independent research, which will be up to 8,000 words in length.
  • You will also take a study skills module during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This module does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

A Levels: ABB-BBB

Required subjects:

  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.

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. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.


We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:

  • AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
  • AAA – Distinction
  • BBB – Merit
  • CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
  • DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)

Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.

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.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.

Undergraduate preparation programme

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Employers increasingly seek to recruit people who are able to respond quickly and effectively to shifting business needs and market conditions, an ability that studying Liberal Arts can give you. Studying a wide range of areas at a high level demonstrates that you can be adaptable and flexible, in addition to equipping you with the creative, critical and analytical skills you would expect to gain from studying at a world-class university. You will develop an invaluable set of transferable skills, expert knowledge in a diverse range of fields, a broad contextual and international awareness, an understanding of the methods available both for tackling challenges in the workplace and communicating with different people in different ways.

As a modern linguist you will also have excellent communication skills combined with the proven ability to communicate fluently in your chosen language. Having spent a year abroad you will have developed the kind of sensitivity to different cultures that is highly prized in the workplace.

On graduation you will be ready to pursue a career in a wide range if areas, both in Britain or abroad.  Our award-winning careers service is there to guide you along the way so that you can identify the career path that will match your specific strengths and interests. Our careers advisors will also provide you with tailored support to achieve your goals.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

The fee for your year abroad will be 15% of the tuition fee for that academic year if you study or complete work-based placement as part of the Erasmus exchange programme, or study at a university outside of Europe. The fee will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year if you complete a work-based placement in a non-European country.

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £25,900

The fee for your year abroad will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year.

Other essential costs***: The cost of your year of international study 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.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. The fee for the academic year 2024/25 is £9,250 and is provided here as a guide. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2025/26 has not yet been set, but will be advertised here once confirmed. 

**This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2025/26.  

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. The increase for continuing students who start their degree in 2025/26 will be 5%.  For further information see fees and funding and the terms and conditions.

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2025/26 academic year and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included. 


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