Our typical conditional offer for History and Modern Languages is A*AA at A-Level. IB offers are usually for a total of 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level.

The 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.

Course requirements

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.

Written Work

Candidates should submit two recent essays marked by your class teacher, which will be available to the interviewers. 

Admission Assessments

All applicants for History and Modern Languages will be required to take two written assessments at interview (the History assessment and the Modern Languages assessment), if interviewed.

The 2022 HML History assessment will take place on Thursday 24 November. Detail on the format of this assessment can be found on the History course page.

The 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. The 2022 HML Modern Languages assessment will take place on Tuesday 29 November.

You do not need to register for either assessment. No special preparation or prior knowledge is required.  Applicants for Russian Ab Initio will be assessed for language aptitude at interview.

For further information, please view the entry requirements tab on: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/history-and-modern-languages

Pre-Course Preparation

General information and reading lists for the MML part of this joint degree can be found under the heading 'Pre-Course Preparation' on the MML page.

Directors of Studies

Dr David Woodman (History)

Dr R McGlade (Languages - Part IA)

Dr R Finnin (Languages - Part IB)

Dr E K Price (Languages - YA & Part II LT & ET)

Dr J Page (Languages - Part II MT)

Last updated September 2022