History and French BSc

Study a BSc History and French degree course at Aston University to grow your understanding of the world we live in and learn about the past to build a better future for all. Make the most of your potential by combining your studies in global contemporary history with French, and completing an integrated year abroad for a flying start to your career.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Integrated international placement

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year /

3 years without integrated placement year (option only available for international/EU students)

UCAS code(s)

RV11

Start date

Overview
Explore History and French at Aston University

Be part of a school that unites the study of languages, literature, history, culture, politics and sociology to help you tackle the complexity of tomorrow's world.

Here's for the ones who do things differently and carve out their own path

Best University Careers Service Award

Here to support you.

Aston University recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020.

Amal Al-Azzani BSc History and International Relations

“History at Aston is unique as it focuses on modern, contemporary history, from the 19th and 20th centuries rather than traditional history courses where you study ancient, medieval periods. The small classes and mixture of lectures and seminars really help to develop your understanding of a topic. I really do love all aspects of my course – from the modules we study to the lecturers who teach them.”

Amal Al-Azzani

BSc (Hons) History and International Relations

Amal Al-Azzani BSc History and International Relations

“History at Aston is unique as it focuses on modern, contemporary history, from the 19th and 20th centuries rather than traditional history courses where you study ancient, medieval periods. The small classes and mixture of lectures and seminars really help to develop your understanding of a topic. I really do love all aspects of my course – from the modules we study to the lecturers who teach them.”

Amal Al-Azzani

BSc (Hons) History and International Relations

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

Whether you have A Level French or are just a beginner, you can study History and French at Aston. Aston's language degrees offer an up-to-date approach to becoming a highly competent French speaker and a cultural expert on contemporary French-speaking countries.

Crucially, Aston languages degrees aim to prepare you for working life in the 21st century at a time when the world of employment is being revolutionised by artificial intelligence and automation. In this context, they focus closely on helping you develop excellent intercultural understanding, the power of persuasion, empathy, and skills for deep-listening, problem solving and cross-systems thinking. They also offer a series of modules focused on routes into employment, not only in the language industries but right across professional life.

In the final stage of our language degrees it is possible for students to take a series of modules that lead to an additional ‘Translation Studies’ exit award. By acquiring intercultural communication competencies, technological skills and negotiation skills in multicultural contexts, our graduates become equipped for successful careers in the growing international language industries.

The value of a language degree is all the greater when combined with a discipline like history.

Working closely with experienced historians, you’ll have opportunities to study topics such as nationalism, state-building and inter-state relations; the history of war and peace; religious and ethnic conflict; trauma and memory; and issues of globalisation in the present that can only be understood by looking to the past. For example, you’ll learn how the British Empire helped to create the NHS, why Britain voted to stay in the EU in 1975 and why Margaret Thatcher became the first pop star of British international relations.

With a global outlook, our teaching is informed by exciting historical research. As part of the course, you’ll participate in field trips to historical sites and get your hands dirty by digging into local archives, as well as conducting original research on a topic of your choosing. Studying cutting-edge techniques such as digital and oral history will give you new insights and further boost your employment prospects.

In your third year, you will complete an integrated placement either working or studying abroad in a French-speaking country, to ensure that you master the language and add further value to your degree. A year abroad teaches students self-confidence, independence and self-reliance, as well as helping them to understand another culture from the inside.

We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

 

Modules

BSc History and French (Beginner/Ab Initio)
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Global History in Perspective
  • Making Histories I: Methods, Theories, Controversies
  • Contemporary Britain: from the Boer War to Brexit
  • French Language Skills I
  • Introduction to Language and Communication
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Case Studies in Global History
  • Making Histories II: Oral and Digital Methods
  • French Language Skills II
  • Language and Society in the French-Speaking World

 

Optional modules:

  • Humanitarian Action and Foreign Intervention, 1915 – today
  • The Atlantic World: Slavery and Emancipation
  • History of Internationalism: From Karl Marx to Greta Thunberg
Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a French-speaking country.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • French Language Skills III
  • Case Studies in French and Francophone Settings
  • History Workshop
  • Dissertation/Extended Research Essay

 

Optional modules:

  • Twin Periods: The Interwar Years and post-1989 History
  • Bullets, Bombs and Bitcoin: History and Technology since 1990
  • Rage, Shame, and Hope: Emotions and Politics from the 19th to the 21st Century
  • Perspectives in International Business (French)
  • Practical Translation - French
  • Working with the Language Industry
  • Introduction to Language Learning and Teaching
  • Integrated Project
BSc History and French (A Level)
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Global History in Perspective
  • Making Histories I: Methods, Theories, Controversies
  • Contemporary Britain: from the Boer War to Brexit
  • French Language Skills I
  • Introduction to the French-Speaking Countries
  • Language and Society in the French-Speaking World

 

Optional modules:

  • Business Context in France
  • Introduction to Language and Communication
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Case Studies in Global History
  • Making Histories II: Oral and Digital Methods
  • French Language Skills II
  • French Politics and Society

 

Optional modules:

  • Humanitarian Action and Foreign Intervention, 1915 – today
  • The Atlantic World: Slavery and Emancipation
  • History of Internationalism: From Karl Marx to Greta Thunberg
  • International Business and Markets (French)
  • Technology and Intercultural Communication
  • Changing Worlds, Changing Workers
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

 

Optional modules also include learning an additional language through the University Wide Languages Programme. Dependant on your level of experience, you can choose to learn Arabic, German, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish at beginners, improvers or intermediate level.

Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a French-speaking country.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • History Workshop
  • French Language Skills III
  • Case Studies in French and Francophone Settings
  • Dissertation/Extended Research Essay

 

Optional modules:

  • Twin Periods: The Interwar Years and post-1989 History
  • Bullets, Bombs and Bitcoin: History and Technology since 1990
  • Rage, Shame, and Hope: Emotions and Politics from the 19th to the 21st Century
  • Perspectives in International Business (French)
  • Practical Translation - French
  • Working with the Language Industry
  • Introduction to Language Learning and Teaching
  • Integrated Project

 

Optional modules also include learning an additional language through the University Wide Languages Programme. Dependant on your level of experience, you can choose to learn Arabic, German, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish at beginners, improvers or intermediate level.

Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

This course is available for both beginners (ab initio) and post A Level.

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC (standard offer)

BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)

CCC (contextual offer*)

This course is available at beginners level (ab initio), therefore students do not need to have an A Level in French. Students with an A Level in French will be able to study the advanced version of this course.
IB

29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects.

Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

BTEC, Access & other

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM (contextual offer*)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Distinction / Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.

Further requirements

5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Learn more about admission to this course

View our Admissions Policy.

All applications are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed carefully, including previous and predicted qualifications, experience, reference and your motivation to study the course. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.

*Click here for details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme.

Entry onto our Foundation Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Learning, teaching and assessment

What you’ll learn

You will be involved in lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. Many of your modules will be in a workshop format, alternating theoretical input with practical analysis, and allowing you to test out your understanding in discussion with other students and your tutor. There are also opportunities for group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in the final year.

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor for this work and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June. The placement year is an integral and assessed part of your studies at Aston, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree.

Personal development

You will develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, team working and communication skills.

The integrated placement year gives you skills, knowledge and experience that cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Claudia Gremler (History and Languages)

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £15,950

During placement year: £2,500

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

History graduates go on to a range of professions with recent roles including Academic Librarian, Archivist, Broadcast Journalist, Conservation Officer, Editorial assistant, Civil Service Administrator, Heritage Manager, Human Resources Officer, Marketing Trainee, Museum Education Officer, Museum/Gallery Curator, Policy Officer, Research Assistant, Solicitor and Languages Teacher.

Potential employers include IBM, Interserve, Capgemini, Virgin Active, and the BBC.

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for its use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.

Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.

Frequently asked questions

Why study History at Aston?

A versatile joint honours History degree programme at Aston gives you the chance to study contemporary history alongside a range of other subjects, taking your career prospects to the next level.

What jobs can I get with a history degree?

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. History graduates develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, research, team working and communication skills, all of which are in high demand from employers.

Why do a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

 

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

 

Chat with current students

 
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