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French and History BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    French is an important world language with a rich cultural and historical background. This joint honours degree will allow you to develop your written and spoken language skills alongside your understanding of British, European and world history.

    Core modules will allow you to refine your language skills and introduce you to historiography. We also offer a fantastic variety of optional modules, giving you the chance to explore Francophone literature, politics and philosophy alongside historical topics from the fall of Rome to the 20th century.

    You could take a module on Francophone Africa while studying the process of decolonisation. Or you could take a more diverse approach, trying translation or interpreting while exploring modern Japan or 20th century Africa. You’ll explore two different disciplines and gain a wide range of skills.

    Specialist resources

    Leeds has plenty of high-quality resources for historians and language students. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a full training programme to help you make the most of them.

    Digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) are all available in our fully-equipped Language Zone. There’s also an extensive lending library of foreign films and newspapers as well as other on-demand resources.

    Our Interpreter Training Suites also offer you the chance to explore a career in interpreting, and our Electronic Resource Information Centre houses specialised computing facilities to support translation studies.

  • Course content

    A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer optional and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.

    You’ll spend your first year taking core modules that introduce you to historical research methods and historiography, as well as building your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in French. You’ll also choose one of our Cornerstone modules to help bring your two subjects together.

    From this foundation, you can begin to explore your interests more deeply the following year – you’ll choose from modules on topics such as politics and society in post-war France, African and Caribbean culture in French and history topics from the Crusades to black politics and the Meiji Restoration in Japan. However, you’ll also continue to develop your language skills as you prepare to spend your third year in a Francophone country.

    When you return to Leeds, you’ll have a new appreciation of a different culture as well as improved language skills. You’ll hone these in advanced language classes and benefit from optional modules including translation studies and interpreting. In history, you’ll be able to focus on a specific topic in depth when you select a special subject from a range that reflects the diverse research interests of the School of History.

    An independently researched dissertation or long essay will then give you the chance to demonstrate the cultural, critical and research skills you’ve gained throughout your degree.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Language Awareness and Skills 20 credits
    • Introduction to French Studies (Resistance and Desire) 20 credits
    • Historiography and Historical Skills 20 credits
    • Primary Sources for the Historian: An Introduction to Documentary study 20 credits
    • IT for LCS Students 5 credits
    • World Histories 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Introduction to Skills in French Translation 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Language in Contexts 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Laughter, Love and Chivalry: Society and Culture in the French Middle Ages 20 credits
    • The Seventh Art - Cinema in France 20 credits
    • Francophone Africa and the Caribbean 20 credits
    • Introduction to Professional Translation and Interpreting 20 credits
    • The Crusades and Medieval Christendom 20 credits
    • Urban Experience and Identity in Early Modern Europe 20 credits
    • The American Century, 1941-1980 20 credits
    • The Global Caribbean, 1756-1848 20 credits
    • The Rise of Modern Japan: From the Meiji Restoration to the Present Day 20 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Year Abroad 120 credits

    Year 4

    Compulsory modules

    • Advanced Language Skills 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Antiracism in France since 1945 20 credits
    • The Algerian War of Independence: From the Colonial to the Post-Colonial 20 credits
    • French as a Professional Language 20 credits
    • Gender, Sex and Cinema in France 20 credits
    • Conquest, Convivencia and Conflict: Christian and Muslim Spain, 711-1212 40 credits
    • Stalin and Stalinism 40 credits
    • The French Wars of Religion 40 credits
    • From Byron to Bin Laden: Transnational War Volunteers 40 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read French and History BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    Our tutors in both French and History are experts in their fields, who are conducting exciting research that informs their teaching. We use a variety of teaching and learning methods, such as lectures, seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops, so you can benefit from their expertise. Independent study is also a significant part of your degree, since this allows you to develop your skills in critical thinking and independent research.


    We also use a variety of assessment methods. These will normally include a mixture of exams and essays, but oral presentations and group work may also be used in some modules. Plenty of support is available to help you handle assessments – you’ll be able to attend extra classes on subjects such as structuring essays and exam technique throughout your degree.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB including A in French and A in History excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

    • Access to HE Diploma

      Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • BTEC

      We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3, M1, M1 including D3 in History and M1 in French.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in French at Higher Level and 6 in History at Higher Level.

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in French and H2 in History

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      AB in Advanced Highers including A in History and B in French and AABBB in Highers.

    • Welsh Baccalaureate

      The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

    • Other Qualifications

      European Baccalaureate: 80% including 85% in French and 85% in History.

    Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAC at A Level including A in French and A in History and grade A in the EPQ.

    We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

    Alternative entry

    Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level including French and History (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) and pass Access to Leeds.


    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    A Joint Honours degree in French and History gives you fluency in a major world language and an in-depth knowledge of British, European and world history. It will also equip you with important transferable skills that employers actively seek.

    You’ll be a strong communicator, who can think critically about information from a range of sources and then draw your own conclusions. You’ll be confident working independently or in a team and have good organisational and time management skills. Spending a year abroad will demonstrate that you are self-reliant and adaptable. In addition, studying for a Joint Honours degree allows you to become intellectually versatile as you switch between different disciplines.

    Graduates have gone into careers in diverse industries, within the UK and elsewhere. These include charity work, journalism, law, publishing, education, the creative industries, business and finance. Others have used their language skills in roles such as translating or interpreting, or pursued further training in these areas.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Residence abroad

    You’ll spend your third year in France or another Francophone country, immersing yourself in local culture and cultivating your language skills.

    We have partnerships with a number of universities where you could study, or you could undertake a work placement. You could even work as a language assistant in a school under the British Council’s programme.

    Whatever you choose to do, you’ll gain a new insight into a French-speaking society as well as valuable experience of adapting to another culture. If you choose to work during your time there, you’ll also return with work experience to help you stand out to employers. For many of our students, it’s the real highlight of their course.

    Read more about Residence Abroad in French