History and Modern Languages

New College welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue this joint degree. The college is fortunate in having unusual strength in both disciplines: we have two fellows in History and four covering three different Modern Languages, as well as having tutors in Spanish and Italian in other colleges. Both David Parrott and Ruth Harris on the History side have particular interests in periods of French and wider European history that relate to work done by Modern Linguists. Professor Kelly in Russian works extensively on history and culture. Much of the teaching on history papers that have a close bearing on the work of modern language students will be taught within the College.

The Modern Languages side of the course allows students the obvious advantage of being able to read some of the historical texts in the original language, and of bringing to those texts a greater awareness of the cultural context in which they were written. There are a number of options in the Modern Languages courses that allow students to make a special study of topics which align with periods available in History (numbers of courses in the early modern period, the Third Reich, the Russian Revolution, Stalinism) and there is a dedicated History / Modern Languages bridge paper which allows undergraduates to write an independent dissertation spanning the two subjects. Most of the core Modern Languages papers in French, German and Russian are taught in college.

The combined course also offers students the possibility of studying a Modern Language and History without reference to each other for the sheer benefit of exploring two disciplines in which they have demonstrable interest and aptitude.

It is one of the strengths of the course that the links between the subjects will often suggest themselves in unexpected, and always very fruitful, ways.

For further information on how to apply, entrance requirements and selection criteria, please see the University website, the Faculty of History’s website and the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages' website.

Places Available: 
9-12 in total for History and Joint Schools; 13 in total for Modern Languages and Joint Schools and normally 1-2 people each year for this Joint School.