The new joint degree in History and Modern Languages combines the best of both subjects. It offers the opportunity to develop near native-speaker skills in a foreign language while studying a range of papers relating to the culture and history of the relevant language area; options in some languages also include film and contemporary politics. Students will also develop analytical skills in History through a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history, as well as the history of political thought. There will be opportunities to work with historical sources in foreign languages. As for other language students, those who take this course will spend their third year studying or working abroad, thereby immersing themselves in the language, culture, history and politics of a foreign country.
As of 2018 entry, the languages available for study will be:
- French (post A-Level)
- German (ab initio or post A-Level)
- Spanish (ab initio or post A-Level)
- Italian (ab initio or post A-Level)
- Portugese (ab initio)
- Russian (ab initio or post A-Level)
Both faculties are regarded worldwide as leaders in their respective fields. The History Faculty (http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/) is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Modern Languages Faculty (http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/) is the largest in the United Kingdom and also consistently rated as one of the best. It offers an unrivalled range of courses taught by leading scholars. The library resources in Cambridge, which support teaching and research in both Faculties, are world-class; the University also has extensive collections of films in all relevant languages.
Applicants for this joint degree will normally have studied both History and at least one foreign language to A Level or equivalent. If this is not the case, applicants will be expected to demonstrate an interest in both subjects and will be assessed on their potential to succeed in them. Such applicants are encouraged to contact the Admissions Tutor prior to making an application, who may be able to offer further guidance on this matter. All colleges require A-Level/IB Higher level for the languages to be studied post A-Level; and evidence of language ability for the languages studied from scratch.
The application process
Candidates should normally expect two interviews, one in each subject. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow.
All applicants for History and Modern Languages are required to take written assessments both pre-interview (the History assessment) and at interview (the Modern Languages assessment), if interviewed.
The pre-interview History assessment will consist of Comprehension (60 minutes) and an Essay/text response element (60 minutes). This assessment must be taken at an authorised centre (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).
The at-interview Modern Languages assessment is of 60 minutes’ duration and you will be asked to produce two short pieces of writing, one in a foreign language of your choice and one in English, in response to a passage you are given.
No special preparation or prior knowledge is required. Applicants for Russian from scratch will be assessed for language aptitude in interview.
For further information on the assessment format, please view the entry requirements tab on: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/history-and-modern-languages.