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.

Key facts

Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 320 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1800 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerGrades ABB, to include History and French. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrades 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 offer33 points from the International Baccalaureate, to include 6 points in Higher Level History and 5 points in Higher Level French.
Other qualificationsApplications 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

History, Linguistics

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Lloyd Bowen , Admissions Tutor

    Welsh medium provisionThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

    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.

    Year one

    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.

    Year two

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    French Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML629920 credits

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
    Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
    From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
    History and ICT: A Guided StudyHS170530 credits
    India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
    Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
    Innovations in European LiteratureML129820 credits
    Principles of Translation TheoryML229920 credits
    Rhyfel AlgeriaML629720 credits
    Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
    Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
    Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
    French Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML629920 credits
    Business French IML629420 credits
    Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
    The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
    Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
    Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass CultureHS174830 credits
    Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
    "An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
    The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
    The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
    Women and the Second World War in FranceML628620 credits
    Revels and Riots: Popular Culture in Early Modern EnglandHS174330 credits
    A Great Leap Forward China Transformed 1840-PresentHS175230 credits
    Diwydiannaeth, Radicaliaeth a'r Bobl Gyffredin yng Nghymru a Phrydain mewn Oes Chwyldro, c. 1789-1880HS175730 credits
    Radicalism and the Common People, 1789-1880HS175830 credits
    Latin American HistoryHS176130 credits
    A Jagged History: Germany in the 20th CenturyHS176330 credits
    War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
    The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
    French Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML628720 credits
    At the Roots of European CulturesML129520 credits
    Imaging the Islands: Francophone Caribbean CulturesML620020 credits
    Introduction to Specialised Translation (French)ML229420 credits
    Narrating and Visualising French Colonialism: Canada, the Indian Ocean, Africa and FranceML620220 credits

    Year three: Sandwich year

    Year studying abroad.

    Year four

    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.

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    French Language (BA Languages)ML638020 credits

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    DissertationHS180130 credits
    Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
    Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
    Race, Sex and Empire & India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
    The Dangerous City? Urban Society & Culture 1800-1914HS189630 credits
    Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
    Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
    From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
    Writing AfricaML638120 credits
    May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
    Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
    French for professional purposesML639620 credits
    Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
    Dissertation (Single honours - in English/Welsh)ML638340 credits
    Dissertation (Single honours - in French)ML638540 credits
    Advanced Translation Practice (French)ML638620 credits
    The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
    Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
    Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
    Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
    Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
    Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
    Dissertation (Joint Honours -In English/Welsh)ML638420 credits
    Final Year Joint Honours French Dissertation IN FRENCHML637920 credits
    City Lives: Urban Culture and Society, c.1550-1750HS182630 credits
    Cultures of Power: The Gentry of Tudor and Stuart EnglandHS182730 credits
    Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
    Latin American HistoryHS185930 credits
    Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918HS186030 credits
    Llafur, Sosialaeth a Chymru, 1880-1979HS186230 credits
    War and Violence in Modern German History: Myth, Memory and MemorializationHS186330 credits
    Kingship: Image and Power c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
    History of French LabourML630020 credits
    European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
    Dissertation (Translation)ML238920 credits
    Dépassement de l’art: The Parisian Avant-Garde and the Revolution of Everyday Life from Breton to DebordML630220 credits
    European Cinema DissertationML230320 credits
    The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

    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.


    4 Year(s)

    Next intake

    September 2016

    Places available

    Typical places available


    Applications received

    Typical applications received


    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    History, Linguistics

    What are the aims of this Programme?

    French and History BA (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine a major world language with the study of social and political history. The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics aims to create ‘global citizens’ of its students and, with in depth study of both French and history, graduates will be an asset for an increasingly global workforce. Students divide their modules equally between History and French (and in the first year potentially with a third subject). The emphasis on the History side of the degree is on choice, and on giving students the opportunity to study History modules that include French components, but students have a free choice of all the modules that are offered in History, subject to caps on student numbers. Students will also spend their third year in France, practising and developing their acquired language skills. Students are able, in the final year, to produce original historical work of their own in the form of a dissertation.

    What is expected of me?

    It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching, but as a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing academically by attending lectures, language classes, seminars and tutorials. It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

    1. It is in the lectures that you find out what the key topics in your subject are, which can help you structure your additional reading.
    2. Your seminars are the place for you to discuss issues raised in the course and from your reading, and to enhance and develop your understanding.
    3. Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.
    4. Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group.

    Attendance atlectures, seminars, and tutorials is COMPULSORY. Therefore if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or the Departmental secretary in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in subject Handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.

    The Department expects that Students will:

    • attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)
    • prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials
    • avoid plagiarism (plagiarism being work which uses the words or ideas of others without acknowledging them as such)
    • take responsibility for their own learning, with appropriate guidance  monitor their own progress and take account of the feedback given
    • show respect for their fellow students, tutors and the learning environment
    • manage their time effectively so that they are adequately prepared for all classes and assignments
    • complete their assessments on time and in compliance with the instructions given
    •  take responsibility for advising themselves of the regulations governing assessments
    • ensure that they are registered for the requisite number of modules and that the academic registry are aware of which modules they are taking
    • read all handbooks carefully and take appropriate action
    • regularly access their University e-mail account
    • ask members of staff before using their names as referee

    How is this Programme Structured?

    BA History and French is a four year degree programme. It is structured so that you acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment.

    Year One

    Core modules in Year One:

    1. Contemporary French Language

    Typical Modules in Year One:

    1. Medieval Europe
    2. Modern Wales
    3. The Making of the Modern World
    4. Early Modern England and Wales
    5. Making Global Histories: Asia and the West
    6. Contemporary French Language
    7.  Modern France: War, Conflict and Culture
    8. Modern France: Politics, Economics and Society

    Year Two

    Core Modules in Year Two:

    1. French Language

    Typical Optional Modules in Year Two:

    1. Business French I
    2. Business French II
    3. Borders and Identities in Post-War European Cinema
    4. History of French Labour
    5. Approaches to History
    6. Exploring Historical Debate: An Independent Study
    7. Heresy and Dissent 1000-1450
    8. The Crusades
    9. War, Peace and Diplomacy c.900-c.1250
    10. The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649
    11. Managing the Mind: Psychiatry, Psychology and British Culture, 1800-2000
    12. A Great Leap Forward: China Transformed 1840-Present
    13. From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000
    14. India and the Raj 1857-1947
    15. Dynamics of Witchcraft 1450-1750
    16. Medicine and Society in Britain and Europe 1789-1919
    17. Migrant Wales 1790-1939

    Year Three

    Core Module in Year Three:

    Intercalary year abroad

    Year Four

    Core Module in Year Four:

    1. French Language

    Typical Optional Modules in Year Four:

    1. Writing Africa
    2. French for Professional Purposes
    3. Dissertation
    4. Military Orders 1100-1320
    5. Slavery and Sin
    6. Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval Europe
    7. Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945
    8. Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma 1951-1975
    9. Crime and Disorder: England and Wales 1500-1750
    10. Race, Sex and Empire: India 1765-1929
    11. Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918
    12. Culture, Society and Identity in Wales 1847-1914
    13. Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39
    14. Identity and the British State: Wales, 1485-1660
    15. Women, Health and Medicine in British Society, 1870-1980
    16. The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture 1800-1914

    *The modules available can change from year to year depending upon staff and teaching schedules, and are not guaranteed.

    Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?


    What skills will I practise and develop?

    The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. In broad terms:

    Year One introduces you to a variety and range of approaches.

    Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods.

    Year Three is a year abroad.

    Final Year provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the production of a Dissertation based on original research.

    You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners.

    How will I be taught?

    Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and individual feedback. Lectures, usually one per week, provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

    Core courses in Years One and Two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly seminars in small groups. In Year Two and especially Year Three, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with individual supervision for extended essays and dissertations. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses. The marking criteria for this work measure the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes for the Programme.

    Progression is built into assessment, in that students do smaller guided tasks in Year one, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Four.

    You will receive feedback through formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, and essay tutorials.

    How will I be supported?

    Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Please see the relevant Notice Boards for information on your Personal Tutor. If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, and you wish urgently to discuss matters with a member of staff, you may seek advice from the Senior Tutor or another member of staff. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

    Graduates from this programme will be able to:

    • demonstrate critical understanding;
    • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of human society across a wide geographical and chronological range;
    • identify patterns of change and to locate detailed examination of particular themes, episodes and events within them;
    • develop a reasoned, coherent, argument about specific problems, deploying appropriate evidence, and demonstrating awareness of the limits of their knowledge;
    • achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team.

    Other information

    Students will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. Students learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally.

    Admissions tutors

    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.