French and History (BA)
French and History BA (joint honours) gives students the opportunity to combine a major world language with the study of social and political history.
This is a four-year degree programme comprising some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from to tailor your degree to meet your interests.
The BA in History and a modern language (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine learning about the past with a major world language. With in-depth study of both History and French, graduates will develop the tools to compete in an increasingly global workforce.
The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of other societies, and to cultivate intellectual skills such as the ability to assess evidence critically, to evaluate different interpretations of the evidence, to construct arguments on the basis of evidence, and to express opinions cogently in speech and in writing.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Studying in Welsh||This course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.|
|Typical places available||The School typically has 320 places available|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives 1800 applications|
|Typical A level offer||Grades ABB, to include History and French. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grades ABB from the Welsh Baccalaureate and two A-level subjects to include History and French. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||33 points from the International Baccalaureate, to include 6 points in Higher Level History and 5 points in Higher Level French.|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor
Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.
In French, you develop high-level language skills with the aim of achieving near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and society of countries where that language is spoken. Students spend their third year in an appropriate country, practising and developing their language skills.
History covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present day. There is a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.
The degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study History or French at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who wish to enter other professions.
Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Medieval Europe||HS1101||20 credits|
|Modern Wales||HS1104||20 credits|
|The Making of The Modern World, 1750-1970||HS1105||20 credits|
|Early Modern England and Wales 1500-1700||HS1106||20 credits|
|Making Global Histories: Asia and the West||HS1108||20 credits|
|Advanced French Language Year 1||ML6188||40 credits|
|Beginners French Language Year 1||ML6189||40 credits|
Year three: Sandwich year
Year studying abroad.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad - Study Abroad (French)||ML6099||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad- Semester Work placement abroad (French)||ML6097||60 credits|
|Intercalary Year Abroad For Law and French Students||ML6095||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad - Study Abroad (French, spring)||ML6093||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad- Semester Work placement abroad (French, spring)||ML6091||60 credits|
In Year 4, you choose a further 60 credits of History and 60 credits of French, including a core module in that language.
If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either History or French.
You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, field trips, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned.
The School of History, Archaeology and Religion enables you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
School of Modern Languages
Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.
Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.
Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.
Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.
Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study; to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.
Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.
School of History, Archaeology and Religion
In 2013/14, 92% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
School of Modern Languages
In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment.
Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such as Translators, Language Assistants, Export Assistants and Proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.
SCHOOL OF MODERN LANGUAGES
In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in search of employment.
Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s MA degrees in European Studies or in Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.
SCHOOL OF HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND RELIGION
In 2013/14, 92% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. History graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Overview and aims of this course/programme
The School of Modern Languages and School of History, Archaeology and Religion aim to educate our students to become ‘global citizens’. By combining French and History you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.
The History courses at Cardiff University give you an insight into processes of change from the ancient world through to the modern period. You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including India, China, Germany, Russia, Britain and Wales.
You will learn to think independently, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence for yourself, and present your findings in clearly. Our friendly academic staff will be on hand to guide you and provide full and constructive feedback throughout your studies.
France is a major actor on the European and world stage, possessing a rich and sophisticated culture. French is one of the official working languages of the European community and still a global language of culture and diplomacy.
We offer French for both advanced students and beginners. This course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills.
Your understanding of the French language will be further developed and refined during your year abroad, when you will experience life in a French-speaking country at first hand.
It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country. At Cardiff we aspire to offer a genuinely broad course including optional modules in film, literature, history of art, politics and history.
As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.
Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.
What should I know about year five?
How is this course/programme structured?
This is a four-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two subjects. The third year is spent abroad.
What should I know about year four?
In your final year you will take 60 credits in History and 60 credits in French.
French no longer distinguishes between beginner and advanced students in the final year and all students of French take the same language modules. You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and specialise in your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options.
You may wish to study a dissertation in either of your degree subjects. The dissertation module gives you the option to write a dissertation and engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills.
What should I know about year three?
Year three is spent in France, or possibly in another French-speaking country. Your options include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school through the British Council Scheme, or working for a French organisation or company.
If you choose the study option, we have established exchange programmes which provide opportunities to study in institutions in cities including Paris, Toulouse, Chambéry, Montpellier and Nantes amongst others, and we also have academic links with Brussels.
Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you to either a major city or a small, rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.
The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the French-speaking world. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak French and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.
Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.
The year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.
While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may also get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.
Final year students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have contributed to our extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with student-centred advice throughout your year abroad.
What should I know about the preliminary year?
What should I know about year one?
Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. You will take 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in History and 60 credits in French.
All first-year History students take ‘History in Practice’ which introduces you to the different frameworks that underpin historical research and the many different ways of writing history, while providing training in the skills necessary to practice history at undergraduate level. The module is taught through a range of case studies from different chronological periods, stretching from medieval life-writing through to Nazi Germany and up to uses of history in the media today.
In year one French you will build on core linguistic skills and be introduced to French culture, literature, civilisation and politics. There are two French pathways available: an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in French and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of French.
The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginner’s pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway.
The distinctive features of the course include:
- core modules that guarantee a solid base for all, but then allow you, with advice from your personal tutor, to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
- a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have French A-level
- a year spent studying or working in a French-speaking country
- students of Business French may sit the internationally recognised examination of the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
How will I be taught?
We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.
You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.
Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.
Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor
Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.
Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.How to apply