BA

French / History

Key Facts

Code RV11
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in any subject. B in French unless to be studied as a beginner

  • Course Length

    4 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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In choosing to study History with French Degree at Aberystwyth University you will combine two valuable subjects. You will immerse yourself in a broad range of historical periods, and gain an understanding of how and why the world has evolved the way it has. This course is student-focused and you will be able to build on your existing knowledge of history whilst pursuing what fundamentally interests you. Our History graduates are sought by employers for their highly-developed research, analysis, teamwork and communications abilities.

It will also provide you with a thorough understanding of the French language, and a deep understanding of the literature and culture. You will benefit from the experience and enthusiasm of the expert staff in both departments. You will emerge with real world capabilities, enabling you to shape your future and develop the career you deserve.

Student Satisfaction and Employability Results

Department of History and Welsh History: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2018)

99% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 6% more than Historical & Philosophical studies graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)

Department of Modern Languages: 92% student satisfaction for the subject of Languages  (NSS 2018)

95% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 1% more than Language graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)

Overview

To enable you to take the combination of subjects that best suits your interests and requirements, the University offers a wide range of Joint Honours combinations. Joint Honours degrees enable you to study two subjects equally so that you gain a sound knowledge of both. If a language is studied as Joint Honours subject, the degree is a four-year scheme.

History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making it the oldest History department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. The interests of our lecturers span the period from antiquity to the modern world, so we can provide you with a broad range of political, social, economic and cultural history modules from all periods. All our lecturers are active researchers who publish their work, and you will benefit from being taught the latest historical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.

In addition to a fine University library, as a History student at Aberystwyth you will enjoy full membership of the National Library of Wales. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, with over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, it is situated within a five-minute walk of the Department. You will find this especially valuable when studying your special subject and writing your dissertation in your third year. Through our close association with the National Library we are also able to offer you exciting work placement opportunities there.

You will find a very friendly and welcoming community in the Department, and the lively History Society organizes a programme of guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events throughout the year. The Department has established links with a number of universities overseas, so we can also provide you with the opportunity to spend a period of time abroad immersing yourself in a different and exciting historical culture.

France is one of Britain’s main economic partners and is Europe’s foremost investor abroad. Language skills are important for the UK’s economic, political and strategic interests and languages graduates are in demand by employers. Whilst you will acquire the same skills as other Arts graduates, you will have one major advantage compared to other students: you will have lived independently in a foreign country, and have learnt the important social skill of intercultural communication. Employers value the independence, the social confidence and the high level of linguistic skill acquired during this time.

The Department of European Languages offers a range of attractive degree schemes which will equip you not only with a high level of linguistic competence but also provide you with a sound knowledge of the culture within which the language you are studying is used. During your time as a student you will be able to choose from a range of modules which appeal to a variety of interests. The Department is relatively small and this means that staff and students form a close-knit and friendly community. Many of the modules relate to staff research interests and you will benefit from being taught by staff who are experts in their fields and who are active members of national and international research communities.

Your third year will be spent abroad, either, studying at one or more universities, as an English assistant in a school, in employment, or a combination of these possibilities. Within the Erasmus framework we currently enjoy special links with the universities of Augsburg, Heidelberg, Düsseldorf and Zittau, four very different universities and cities, e.g. Heidelberg is the oldest university in Frenchy, dating from the 14th century, whereas Düsseldorf is a 1960s university. All have much to offer the foreign student.

As a History with French student you will spend a year in Würzburg, Berlin or Frankfurt/Oder. Students in the Department have often been successful in a competition for one of the prestigious annual scholarships awarded by the French Academic Exchange Service (about £700), which enables them to attend a language course in French.

Language skills are vital to the UK’s economic, political and strategic interests and languages graduates are in demand by employers. Whilst you will have acquired the same skills as other Arts graduates, you have one major advantage compared to other students: you will have lived independently in at least one foreign country, and have learnt the important social skill of intercultural communication. Employers value this independence, the social confidence and the high level of linguistic skill acquired.

Our Staff

Department of History and Welsh History lecturers are all qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

All of the lecturers in the Department of Modern Languages are qualified to PhD level and are research active specialists in their chosen field. We also employ highly qualified and experienced language tutors, and native-speakers, who will ensure that your learning is of the highest possible quality and who will provide you with constant support through your years of study.

Modules

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
French Language FR20130 30
Making History * HY20120 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
An Age of Empire: Britain and Ireland, 1850-1914 HY26920 20
Crime, Riot and Morality in Wales 1750-1850 * WH23420 20
East and West in the Age of crusades, c. 1050-c.1250 HY25120 20
European Society and the Medieval Mind 1200-1500 HY25820 20
Expansion, Intervention and Influence: The United States as a Continental Power HY29120 20
Extended Essay Module EL20510 10
From the Second Empire to the Third Reich: Weimar Germany 1914-1933 HY28420 20
Humour and Literature FR26120 20
La France De Toujours FR29920 20
Language of Business 1 FR20310 10
Littérature fantastique, 18e-20e siècles / Fantastic literature, 18th-20th centuries FR27220 20
Media and Society in Twentieth Century Britain HY27520 20
Medieval London: national capital, international city HY28020 20
Narrating and Visualising French Colonialism FR28020 20
Oral History: The Past in the Present HY22520 20
Researching with Letters and Diaries HY22620 20
Romance Linguistics EL20220 20
Science, Religion and Magic HY28620 20
Seals in Their COntext in Medieval England and Wales HY24420 20
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 1 IC21820 20
The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY29720 20
The Great Divergence: Europe and Asia, c.1300-c.1800 HY26320 20
The Ottoman EMpire and Early Modern travel Writing HY22220 20
The Rise of Modern Medicine, c.1750-2000 HY27320 20
Voyage Et Litterature En France 17e-19e / Travel and Literature in France FR27110 10
Women and Gender in Britain, c.1800-1950 HY26820 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Abroad Year Credits HYS0060 60
Year Abroad Assessment FRS0060 60

Employability

Your BA in French and History opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. Modern linguists are statistically amongst the most employable graduates. Many of our students go on to teach the language they themselves have learned and a high proportion of our graduates go into administrative and managerial posts. A degree from the European Languages Department is a qualification which opens the door to many professions in Britain, such as the civil service, tourism, social work, librarianship, publishing and broadcasting, and our degrees also take our students across the world.

While many History graduates take up careers directly linked to their subject such as working in the fields of archives, heritage or museum management, others find employment in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment, including librarianship, records management, journalism, media, advertising, the legal profession, local government, business and finance, a range of jobs which incorporate research, professional writing, the police force, the military, public relations and personnel management. The research and analytical skills you will develop during your degree also provide a sound basis for postgraduate study and for a career in academia.

Your year abroad will set you apart from the majority of graduates, demonstrating your ability to live in a foreign environment, and immerse yourself in a different culture. Alongside this, the university will offer you a range of initiatives to help improve your employability skills. Paid work and work experience opportunities are available in the University and the town, and the Careers Advisory Service are able to assist you in planning your future, putting together a CV, and looking for work during and after your studies. Furthermore, the University’s Personal Development Portfolio, in which you record and reflect on your academic studies, the development of your skills and your plans for the future is a useful way of tracking your progress through your studies, and can help you to decide what career might be suitable for you.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in French and History will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form

• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills

• the ability to work independently

• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines

• self-motivation and self-reliance

• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

• research skills

Teaching & Learning

You will be able to tailor your study through careful selection from a range of elective modules, both in history and from the European languages Department.

In your first year we offer a core module designed to ease you into your undergraduate studies. If you have studied History before, it will set your previous historical studies in a wider context; if you have not taken History at A level, it will serve as an ideal introduction to the subject. The module identifies new concepts and historical skills, new methods and periods, and some of the most exciting recent historical works. You will also be able to choose other modules from a wide selection reflecting a broad chronological and thematic range, so you can study the topics that appeal most to your own personal interests.

In your second year, you will take a module on historical method, which examines the way in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time. You can also choose from an extensive list of modules designed to broaden your knowledge, give you an insight into the historian’s craft and focus more closely on different topics and periods.

In your third year, as well as choosing a number of modules from a wide range, you select a special subject which enables you to study a specific historical topic in depth and allows an extensive use of original sources, deploying the critical research skills of a practising historian.

The aims of the History syllabus are to communicate the variety and excitement of current approaches to the academic study of History, and to teach such key skills as information retrieval, interpretation and self-expression. You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including examinations, assessed essays, projects, presentations, and a dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you.

The Department is committed to teaching through individual tutorials and small-group seminars alongside traditional lectures, and to delivering innovative and high quality teaching that will allow you to realise your potential, and to meet your learning expectations. Some preparatory reading in advance of your seminars will enable you to fully engage in the more detailed discussions and sharing of ideas that take place, and the small numbers of students in each seminar group means that you will receive a lot of attention from the lecturers. The one-to-one tutorial gives you the opportunity to receive individual attention and useful feedback from your lecturer on the coursework that you have submitted. Coursework will develop your capacity to research, analyse and present an argument clearly and coherently, while seminars will help you hone your presentation skills.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

French is available both for beginners and advanced students. Beginners follow an intensive course in the first year including guided and independent work in the Language Resource Centre. In the second year beginners and advanced students are taught together.

In French language classes you will consolidate your knowledge of French grammar and will also practise putting that grammar to use in a range of oral and written styles. Our excellent laboratory facilities offer access to live French television programmes as well as a wealth of computer-assisted language-learning exercises, most of which you can access at any time of day for self-study to support your classroom–based learning. Translation is another important skill you will practise regularly, as well as essay- and report-writing.

As a student of French at Aberystwyth you have a wide range of modules from which to choose. All of them have been designed to consolidate your knowledge of the culture, language and society of France and the French-speaking world. Modules in French linguistics, contemporary French politics and Business French are available as well as French literature. Currently we offer courses on, for example, Images of France through Childhood Memory, The Myth of Paris, Écritures de soi, and Regional Languages and Dialects of France. Staff have published widely on all of these topics.

Within the Erasmus framework we currently enjoy special links with the universities of Rennes, Paris-Sorbonne, Toulouse, Besançon, Nantes, Perpignan and La Rochelle. Your year abroad, which forms your third year of study, may well be the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding feature of a degree in European Languages. Having to spend a year living independently in a foreign country gives you an edge when it comes to impressing employers, as well as providing you with a memorable experience. 

You could also choose to be in other employment, and a good proportion of our students use their own initiative to find themselves employment for a year. There are also various EU-funded schemes which offer work placements abroad, e.g. Comenius or Leonardo. Full details will be made available to you in your second year. You can also choose a combination of these possibilities, for example studying for one semester and working for one; assistantships are also available for a half-year.

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in any subject. B in French unless to be studied as a beginner

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
28 points overall with 5 points in French at Higher Level unless to be studied as a beginner

European Baccalaureate:
70-75% overall with 70% in French unless to be studied as a beginner

The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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