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BA History and French / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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BA History and French provides you with the opportunity to study aspects of history that interest you most, from ancient, medieval, modern, and economic and social history, to the history of science, technology and medicine.
You will also develop a comprehensive grounding in French language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in French to live and work effectively in a French-speaking environment.
- We offer one of the most diverse history courses in the UK, with course units covering almost all human history, including British, European, American, Asian and African history, and ranging from the classical era (Greece and Rome), through the medieval and modern periods, to the late 20th century.
- We offer a wide variety of approaches to history, from political and economic history, to gender, social, cultural, and colonial history.
- You will benefit from studying in the historically rich and multi-ethnic city of Manchester, itself a living history book - from Peterloo to the anti-slavery and suffragette movements, and from Roman and Anglo-Saxon forts to medieval monuments.
- You can draw on the abundant library, archive and museum holdings of the local area, including the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, Chetham's Library, The Museum of Science and Industry, The People's History Museum and the Working-Class Movement Library.
- You will also have access to one of only five National Research Libraries, including the special collections of The John Rylands Library, as well as the exclusive holdings of Manchester Museum.
- Our course content is directly informed by our world-leading research - the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (a UK-wide benchmark for research excellence) ranked History at Manchester 4th in the UK for the quality of our research outputs, with 82% of our overall research activity recognised as 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).
- Over two-thirds of our staff are native speakers, teaching you in French language classes as well as most culture classes.
- You will experience between 3 and 6 hours of French grammar and conversation every week (at post A-Level or beginners' level), in order to reach near-native precision and fluency. This will run in parallel with optional course units on French and Francophone history, politics, literature, popular culture and/or linguistics, from the Early Modern period to the present.
- You will benefit from our long-established partnership with the Alliance Francaise de Manchester with cultural events throughout the year, such as film screenings, talks, plays, concerts, exhibitions and intensive language classes.
- You will also benefit from our collaboration with the Institut de Touraine in the Loire Valley, which hosts Easter and Summer French language classes that are appropriate for complete beginners and finalists.
- Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and three colleagues have won University and Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards.
Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Portuguese-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.
Connect with like-minded students
Join the History Society, which plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent) and hosting social events, and get involved with the student magazine, The Manchester Historian .
You can also join The Francophone Society and benefit from French classes, discussion groups, cheese and wine nights, film screenings, themed socials, and a yearly trip to Paris.
Teaching and learning
Our courses take maximum advantage of our well-established areas of research expertise, including everything from modern British and European cultural history, to economic and social history from the later Middle Ages to the 20th century.
You will learn through:
- web-based seminars;
- small group tutorials;
- field trips.
We encourage you to study a diverse range of types of history and to develop your own original and imaginative approaches.
You will spend approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.
The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.
Coursework and assessment
You will be assessed in various ways, including:
- written and oral examinations;
- coursework essays;
- research reports;
- practical tests;
- learning logs;
- web contributions.
Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.
In your final year, you will write a dissertation.
Course content for year 1
Your time will be split equally between History and French with 60 credits in each area.
- In History you will have broad range of options covering a variety of topics, thematically, temporally and geographically.
- All students take History in Practice, in which students learn important skills in research and writing to equip them for historical study at university level.
- The first year equips you with a range of important skills such as linguistic expertise, the ability to read and analyse material, skills in presentation, group work and independent language learning.
- Content courses are broad-based at this level and cover a wide range of topics from the medieval period to aspects of contemporary French and Francophone culture.
- Language courses are compulsory.
Course units for year 1
|History in Practice||HIST10101||20||Mandatory|
|From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History, 1877-1988||AMER10002||20||Optional|
|Constructing Archaic Greek History||CAHE10011||20||Optional|
|From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC||CAHE10022||20||Optional|
|The Making of the Mediterranean||CAHE10132||20||Optional|
|The Story of Britain||CAHE10141||20||Optional|
|Cities and Citizens||CAHE10231||20||Optional|
|Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites||CAHE10282||20||Optional|
|Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt||CAHE10651||20||Optional|
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Course content for year 2
As you move into your second year you can choose to maintain an equal weighting between the two subjects or devote more time to either History or French Studies.
- You will write an individual independent research project with one-on-one supervision, as well as choosing from a range of courses.
- In History your work will build on knowledge and skills gained in your first year developing each subject area to provide a greater breadth and depth of experience. There is greater flexibility of choice than in your first year.
- This year's core language course develops that of the previous year and prepares you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad, including dedicated sessions on writing CVs and cover letters for job applications in French.
- The other courses available in your second year are more numerous and specialised than in the first year. Several include a research component that encourages you develop your skills of analysis and information-gathering, working independently or in a group.
- Language courses are compulsory.
Course units for year 2
|French Language 4||FREN51040||20||Mandatory|
|Independent Research Project||HIST20390||20||Mandatory|
|Work and Play in the USA, 1880-2020||AMER20112||20||Optional|
|From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture||AMER20141||20||Optional|
|The American Civil War||AMER21001||20||Optional|
|The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great||CAHE20041||20||Optional|
|The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age||CAHE20052||20||Optional|
|Politics and Society in Classical Greece||CAHE20061||20||Optional|
|Roman Women in 22 Objects||CAHE20532||20||Optional|
|Race and Empire in the French-speaking World||FREN20562||20||Optional|
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Course content for year 3
Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions.
For more information on the period of residence abroad please consult Residence abroad .
Course content for year 4
On your return to Manchester in your final year you will again have flexibility about how to weight your study time in each subject.
- You will undertake a more extensive personal research project resulting in a History dissertation, completed under personal academic supervision.
- Explore a huge variety of History course units to complete your degree.
- Continue with your core language course and choose additional units from a wide range of even more specialised courses, building effectively on Year 2 study.
- Language study is centred on essay writing, translation and oral work involving discussion of texts, debates and presentations.
- Also available in this year are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff. As part of your final-year work, you can write a dissertation on a theme of your choice related to one of your courses, which students find an especially rewarding experience.
- Language courses are compulsory.
Course units for year 4
|French Language 6||FREN51060||20||Mandatory|
|The Visual Culture of US Empire||AMER30521||20||Optional|
|The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers||CAHE30881||20||Optional|
|Egypt in the Graeco-Roman World||CAHE31401||20||Optional|
|Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes||ELAN30242||20||Optional|
|Dissertation in French Studies||FREN30000||40||Optional|
|Art and Culture in France in the Digital Age||FREN30732||20||Optional|
|History and Memory in Francophone Cinema||FREN30831||20||Optional|
|Wild and Tamed: Nature in French Culture and Politics||FREN30842||20||Optional|
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What our students say
There are so many other students from all around the world and lots of societies which organise events with and for international students.
There's a great atmosphere of friendliness in Manchester, so international students have nothing to worry about!
Vendula Hoppe, History and French BA
The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding cultural and historical resources.
As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.
Learn more on the Facilities page.