History and French Joint Honours

(40 Posts)
OrgyofSausages Sun 03-Feb-19 15:43:44

Hi all,
My dd is looking to study History and French at university from Oct 2020; I wondered if MNers had any words of wisdom / advice/ suggestions/ experience to share please? where did you/ your dc go?

She would like campus based if poss. Her school is encouraging Oxbridge application but she could do without the pressure tbh. So far she likes the look of Manchester, Lancaster and Nottingham.


OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 16:00:01

My DD has a very good friend who did History and French at Warwick. He’s a barrister so it’s a highly regarded degree. I would be less keen on Manchester to be honest. I don’t think Lancaster has quite the cachet in these subjects but if she likes it, then it’s fine. Durham is a small city and more or less a campus! Exeter would be a possibility too and Leeds maybe. It really depends on where she sees her future career. Will university matter?

OrgyofSausages Sun 03-Feb-19 16:33:29

Thanks Bubbles, no ideas about career as yet...we are hoping that will start to take shape as and when.

TBH we have been deterred from looking at Warwick because of the recent scandal there.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 17:38:03

To be honest, lots of universities have scandals. As I said on another thread, there was no court case and we don’t know why Warwick reduced the exclusion period. One might think the original 10 years was legally unsound based on their disciplinary rules. I would not boycott one of the best courses and universities because of these males. You also have no idea if there are similar types at the universities you mention, or worse. You don’t know what these universities would or could do if the same situation arose. Out of thousands of students at Warwick the chance of your DD getting involved in anything like this is minute. So she should look at the best universities for the course and not base your views on a few objectionable people.

Danglingmod Sun 03-Feb-19 18:08:24

A friend studied two languages at Lancaster and went to work at the UN as a translator so I think their MFL dept is pretty good.

OrgyofSausages Sun 03-Feb-19 18:24:17

Thanks Dangling.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 19:01:13

My DD did MFL at Bristol and went on to be a barrister. She would be bored stiff by translation! There are all sorts of careers but going to the best university you can is the key. So do not rule anywhere out that is top 10 or so. I am not advocating Bristol by the way bcause it is not campus.


Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 20:12:37


Campus university + excellent reputation for languages.

MarchingFrogs Mon 04-Feb-19 07:50:19

DD has applied for the 'and IR' verdion of this course at Leeds:

There is also this at Birmingham?

MarchingFrogs Mon 04-Feb-19 07:50:54


BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Feb-19 10:22:43

York isn’t in the top 20 for French. The usual suspects for non Oxbridge high flyers are all there so look at them first.

Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 10:41:59

Isn't York a 'usual suspect' ? It certainly has always had a fantastic reputation for both history and its original appraoch to MFL.

Birmingham is also campus and hopefully a 'usual suspect'

MarchingFrogs Mon 04-Feb-19 11:28:51

Ah, but if the OP's DD has high enough predicted grades, she might get an unconditional if firmed offer, so however good the departments are, they are desperate to get her bum on rheir seats and therefore not to be countenanced. Leeds wants A grades in both History and French for its course, but would perhaps let folk in with CCD or so on the day, being neither Bristol nor Durham?

Was it Bristol or Exeter SU that used to sell an I am not an Oxbridge reject, back in the day?

MarchingFrogs Mon 04-Feb-19 11:30:04

*I am not an Oxbridge reject T shirt* ,

BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Feb-19 13:30:02

No. York isn’t a usual suspect for History and French.

It’s worth adding that departments are desperate for MFL applicants. When you add this to History you should get offers from better universities. They will want you!
History is very popular at places like Warwick, Durham and Bristol for example but many of their language courses want AAB. So they want and need linguists. It puts you in a stronger position than a pure History applicant and you get the year abroad too.

OrgyofSausages Mon 04-Feb-19 13:47:40

Thanks a lot all x

OP’s posts: |
FranklinTheCat Mon 04-Feb-19 13:55:02

How about Birmingham (campus) or Sheffield?

Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 14:04:21

hmmm... York is 13th for history if you remove Oxbridge and in terms of campus unis I think ti comes in at third or fourrth : so that's pretty good! It is also a lovely place to live and study.

It depends what your DD wants most really OP !

Somethingsmellsnice Mon 04-Feb-19 14:20:49

Also Lancaster is top ten for History ( so again removing Oxbridge and Scotland probably top 5!)

Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 15:16:59

Yup : War of the Roses!

Both great unis.

York specialises in medieval stuff if that floats anyone's boat and also in politics and was always well known for its interesting subject combos, as was very definitley Lancaster, which ahs an innovative appraoch to specialism.

York's French dept may fall down because you can't select general MFL on the league table and not many students do one langauge at York : it is more of a Linguistics based course and students tend to learn more applied skills, rather than a literary one. it really is horses for courses with MFL as I discovered when looking with DS this year.

I agree your DD should look at Durham, Warwick and definitely Birmingham. Lots of my recent students have gone there to do history so they must like the sound of the course.

OrgyofSausages Mon 04-Feb-19 20:40:59

Thanks Piggy that's really helpful. smile.

DD is especially interested in the history of colonialism with particular reference to the First Nations Americans . We noticed some of the modules at York cover this .

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 20:50:40

That does sound very interesting! Some of the unis which also offer American Studies might be worth looking at ,too, as they will have historians lecturing on that course.

Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 20:57:04

btw , a quick look at Birmingham's history page suggests they do a lot on colonisation, too.

BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Feb-19 21:30:09

I think many of the top universities do. Bristol even includes slavery. Don’t do American Studies instead of History. It’s not as well regarded and easier to get on, usually.

Also it’s not always wise to have such a narrow view on what you want to study at this stage. DD was completely against medieval French at age 16. At university she thrived on the French literature of the crusades. Also, if you don’t want to translate, MFLs are about much more than acquiring language. The year abroad is an opportunity to study History at a French speaking university. You learn about French literature and culture. This means you have a broad education, not one that’s narrowed down.

The best History degrees are research based. I would also say that looking at a university where you can study in the USA is also worth considering. DD could study Native American history in the country where it happened!

Piggywaspushed Mon 04-Feb-19 21:31:58

I wasn't suggesting she do American Studies, for the record.

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