This course, combining history with degree-level study in French language and culture, is open to beginners in French as well as post-A level students. Beginners' French students follow an intensive language course designed to take them to degree level within four years, while post-A level students take language classes at an advanced level. Absolute beginners, GCSE, AS (beginners' entry), or A level students (post-A level entry) in French are warmly invited to apply.
On both routes - post-A level or beginners' - you will normally divide your time equally between French and history. For the history part of the degree all students will take a core foundational module introducing key concepts and approaches and optional modules in areas that interest them.
If you are taking French post-A level you will receive a firm grounding in the structures of the language through the core language module. You will also take the core Introduction to French and Francophone Studies module introducing you to the study of French linguistics, literature, politics, society and film. You will also choose further optional modules focusing on literature, French history and contemporary France.
If you are starting French at beginners' level, you will pursue a structured course in the language to take you from beginners' to advanced level. You will also take core modules taught in English that introduce you to key areas of interest in the field of French Studies.
The history core module is Learning History, which is skills and methodology based. The emphasis is on reflecting on the nature of history as a discipline and on developing the skills required for writing about and debating history.
On the post-A level route your French language studies will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad. You will also choose from a range of modules in French and Francophone literature, culture and society, history, politics, linguistics and film. On the beginners' route you will continue to work intensively on key skills in the French language in preparation for the year abroad. You will also take a core Introduction to French and Francophone Studies module.
The core element in history is provided by the Contemporary World since 1945, which deals not just with global developments, political and economic, social and cultural, environmental and demographic, but also explores key historical debates concerning the immediate origins of the world in which we now live. In addition, you will be able to select more specific optional modules from an extensive menu, covering an extremely wide chronological and geographical range.
Your third academic year is spent in France or a Francophone country doing one of the following:
- a programme of studies in a higher education institution
- working as an assistant in a school
- a work placement.
Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.
Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision
In French, beginners' and post-A level students will take the same core language module and all students will choose from a range of optional modules. You will develop your command of French to a high level and use it in increasingly sophisticated contexts. You will also study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, culture and society, history, politics, visual culture and linguistics. One of your options in French will be to write a dissertation.
In history, you will select a Special Subject (which involves in-depth study of a particular topic taught in seminars) and one optional module.
See also the School of History.