French and History

VR11 BA (Hons) 4 years


In the National Student Survey 2017 (NSS 2017) QMUL’s French achieved 100% and History 92% in Overall Student Satisfaction.

Studying French at QMUL means appreciating the global diversity of the French-speaking world. Students learn not only about metropolitan France, but also about French as a global language; France’s role on the world stage; and the culture and thought of groups who have historically been silenced or excluded, such as women, the working class, and ethnic minorities. As a result, besides developing high-level linguistic and analytical skills, our students gain an understanding of cross-cultural issues that equips them well to deal with today’s increasingly globalized world.

The study of French and History offers the exciting prospect of a four-year degree programme that combines two contrasting, but often complementary, areas of interest. You divide your time equally between the two subjects, following modules designed to help you develop your linguistic and intercultural competence, and to engage with French, British and European history.

Why study French and History at Queen Mary?

French at QMUL is about more than the French nation-state, and more than the traditional roll-call of famous writers and artists that comprise ‘the canon’. Our award-winning researchers are specialists in the Francophone cultures of Canada, North Africa, Belgium, and the Indian Ocean, and they bring their passion for their subjects to the classroom. You can learn about the kinds of French spoken in Canada or Mauritian creole, study the quirks of Belgian culture (not only the French-speaking element), or spend your Year Abroad on the island of La Réunion. You can also tackle the work of challenging, unconventional, and often overlooked writers and thinkers: French Muslim feminists, anti-colonial thought, and modern North African writers. The visual art of the French-speaking world also plays a major part in our curriculum, enabling you to develop both a different perspective on French culture and an understanding of how images work – an important life skill in an increasingly image-dominated world.

You will spend a year abroad in the third year of your degree. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills through immersion and boost your intercultural competence. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with our support, or independently, with our approval.

Our Library has extensive audio-visual materials and equipment, and our language learning labs and resource rooms are state of the art. We also offer a full programme of language-related social activities to students, including film screenings, discussion groups, and debates.

The School of History at Queen Mary is one of the largest, friendliest and most distinguished history departments in the capital.  The School prides itself on, top-quality teaching from leading academics in their fields, including the President of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, three recipients of the French distinction of the Ordre des Palmes académiques, and four Fellows of the British Academy.

Through strong engagement with the world outside, many of our staff in the History department contributes regularly to television, radio and the print media. We also count an MP and a member of the House of Lords among our academic body, and through our famous Mile End Group think tank we have strong links to the worlds of journalism and politics.


From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees. 

For further information on this initiative please contact the Undergraduate Programmes team

Year 1

History compulsory modules:

  • History in Practice (QMUL Model Module)
  • Chose one module from the following
    • Europe in a Global Context since 1800
    • Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801
  • Options include:
  • From Reformation to Revolution Europe and the World from 1500-1800
  • What the Middle Ages have done for us, Europe 1100-1500

French core and compulsory modules:

  • French I (QMUL Model Module)
  • French Foundations (QMUL Model Module)
  • Critical Thinking and Writing for Modern Foreign Languages

Year 2

History options include:

  • Britain and Europe 1945-1963
  • A Century of Extremes: Germany 1890-1990
  • Challenging Europe’s Political and Social order: The 1848 French Revolution

French Core modules:

  • French II
  • Translation into French

French options include:

  • Memories of WWII in Literature, Film and Art
  • The Sounds of French
  • The Story of my Life?: French Autobiography and Autofiction
  • Out of Place: Literature and Dislocation
  • Twentieth Century French Thought: Values and Violence

Year 3

  • Year abroad: Study Abroad or written and oral assignments

Year 4

  • History core modules:
  • History special subject: The French Civil War 1934-44

French core module:

  • French III 

Options include:

  • Advanced Oral Competence in French
  • Language and Society in the French-speaking World
  • Proust
  • French Feminist Writing
  • Lovers and Libertines: Eighteenth-Century French Fiction
  • Modern Languages Research Project

For a complete list of modules please visit the directory of modules

Use the following abbreviation in the Code search¿

  • FRE – French
  • HST – History

QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions to read more:


Entry requirements

General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades ABB at A-Level. This must include A-Level French. This must include A-Level History. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking.
IBInternational Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include French at Higher Level. This must include History at Higher Level.
BTECSee our detailed subject and grade requirements
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.
EPQAlternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.
Contextualised admissionsWe consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.

General Admissions Entry Requirements

English Language Proficiency

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.

Vocational and Other Qualifications

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Combined Qualifications

If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( before making an application for individual advice.

If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.

We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.

Non-UK students

European and International Applicants

Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.

Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team ( is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511

See our information and guidance on how to apply.

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:
Teaching typically involves a lecture per week for each module, followed up by a smaller seminar group session where you will have the opportunity to actively contribute. In addition to this, you will spend up to five hours per week in language classes – you will be taught in small groups of no more than 20 for classroom or language lab teaching, and fewer than 10 for oral and aural work.

Independent Study:
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2 - 3 hours of independent study.  Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations. 

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. 

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment methods vary from module to module, and include a mixture of exams and coursework, coursework only, oral exams (including the production of a short radio programme), final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £15,400

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate employment

Graduates in French and History go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as translating, teaching, and journalism whilst others transfer skills gained during study into a wide range of areas, including marketing.

The broad range of skills gained through our courses, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

Global Technical Support Representation


Assistant Tour Manager


Trainee Manager

Majestic Wine

Training Centre Co-ordinator

ESI International

Fundraising Administrator

Mildmay International

International Product Analyst


Marketing Executive




Graduate Account Executive

Hall & Partners

Publishing Assistant



Self Employed


Self Employed

Teacher (French and German)

St James Senior Boys School

English as a Foreign Language Teacher

British Council

Careers support

Throughout the course, students have access to QMUL’s rich Careers and Enterprise programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer-led workshops on job applications and interviews, as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Careers events for students of French include an annual workshop for students returning from their year abroad, and a “Make Languages Work for You” event that allows you to meet alumni working in a variety of roles.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages