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Granville, old port town in Normandy, France

BAFrench & History

Why this course?

French is a major international language. It is the first language of more than 100 million people across the world, while more than 60 million people speak French as a second language.

Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and/or studying in another country.

Studying history – the story of humanity through the ages – develops your knowledge of the past and gives you a better understanding of the present.

Throughout your studies you will receive excellent training in areas such as problem-solving, communication, research methods and interpretation.

Our classes cover some of the most important and interesting historical periods at home and abroad, including Scotland’s ‘Highland Problem’ in the 16th century, Slavery in World History and Cold War Europe, 1945-1991.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

French

What you'll study

Year 1

Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher French or an equivalent qualification and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary French language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.

Years 2 & 3

You’ll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In cultural classes, you’ll learn more about the history and politics of France and French-speaking countries through literature and film.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. Cultural classes – reflecting the research expertise of our staff – are currently offered in areas such as the occupation and how it is reflected in film.

Major projects

In your final year, you’ll build on your project work from previous years and write a dissertation. 

Year abroad

This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.

Student competitions

The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year. Our students usually do well in this competition; in 2013, one student secured £1,800 toward his project, and in 2014 three students were successful with awards up to £1,750.

In third year, students of French 3b - along with those in Italian and Spanish 3b - undertake a semester-long project. Students research a topic of their choice linked to French culture and produce a 20-minute presentation, a reflective report and a poster. The posters are displayed at an exhibition for two weeks in April and the student who designs the best poster in each language will receive a prize.

History

What you'll study

Year 1

Two classes (19th-century Britain and 20th-century Britain) look at the origins and shaping of our modern world by introducing themes including industrialisation, Empire, political reform, war and social change.

Year 2

You'll choose from a range of national history classes, most of which cover a period of a century or more.

Year 3

If you intend to study to Honours level you must take the class in Historiography and Research Methods. You also choose further classes from a list that includes: Theory & Practice of Oral History, Slavery in World History and Scotland & the Americas in the 17th century and many more.

Year 4

In your final year, you'll write an Honours dissertation on a topic of your choice. You'll also take further classes from the third-year range (subject to additional assessed work) and choose one of our specialist subjects.

Major projects

All Single Honours History students, and many Joint Honours students, complete a 10,000-word dissertation, in which they demonstrate their research skills on a topic of their own choosing. The dissertation draws on scholarly literature and as much primary source material (documents, for example) as students can acquire. Honours students often say that this is the most satisfying part of their History degree.

Course content

Year 1

French

Year 1

Students take two combined classes: French 1A (semester 1), French 1B (semester 2). These courses are mainly organised around a linguistic progression towards level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There is a regular input of cultural background which takes the form of three lectures in semester 1 and two in semester 2 covering the following topics:

    • The Making of Modern France
    • France in a Global Context
    • Understanding the French Republic
    • French Identities
    • Contemporary French Society 

In addition, there is an introductory lecture in semester 2 entitled ‘What is translation about?’

History

History 1A

This class focuses on the history of the British Isles from 1700 to 1914. It was a period of phenomenal change in terms of who ruled the country, the main economic activities, emerging cultural expression and attitudes and the growth of British power overseas on an unprecedented scale.

In the class we'll use the British Isles as a historical 'laboratory' to discuss key themes that have shaped the modern world.

We'll look at:

  • the formation of the British state
  • the ideas that were shaped by the Enlightenment, in which Scottish writers played an important part
  • why Britain industrialised and Ireland did not
  • the often dire social consequences of industrialisation
  • how and why Britain created the Empire
  • the growth of British overseas trade will be looked at
  • the impact of Britain on Asian, African and American societies
  • the ideological effects of the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the 1798 rebellion in Ireland
  • the meaning of Victorian values in Scotland and the development of modern political parties and the growth of democracy
  • the roles of gender and class in shaping modern British and Irish society
This class will enable students to understand the origins of both modern British society and the beginnings of an increasingly integrated global community. In the tutorials, each meeting will involve the examination of a key document or two, as well as a discussion of that week's topic.
History 1B

This class follows on from History 1A and takes the story up to the end of the 20th century. We'll look at:

  • the effects of World War I on Scottish society and why Ireland broke away from the United Kingdom
  • the growth of the Labour Party and the rise of socialism will be traced
  • the effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s on British society
  • the reasons why the British government formulated a policy of appeasement, to show how foreign policy and domestic policy were inextricably linked
  • the impact of World War II on British society
  • the demands that led to the creation of the Welfare State will be explored
  • the new international realities facing Britain in 1945
  • the beginnings of the Cold War, to show how effectively Britain adapted to the loss of Great Power status
  • post-war society and the cultural revolution of the "Swinging Sixties". We'll ask whether a generation gap emerged
  • the long slow march of women's rights
  • the impact of immigration, to show the ways in which British society was changing fundamentally
  • the collapse of the traditional industrial economy in the 1980s and changes in Scottish family life, to show how social norms were being overturned
  • the advent and effects of devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Just as in the first semester History class, we will use carefully selected documents in tutorials to help us analyse each topic.

Year 2

French

Students take two language classes as in Year 1. The language courses are based on a series of classes.

Le Monde du Travail

Cultural focus: time (35 hour week, RTT and ‘ponts’, paternity/maternity leave, …) & ‘human resources’ (hierarchical organisation, discrimination, unions, relocation,…)

Linguistic focus: the negation, asking questions, using pronouns.

La France et L'Europe

Cultural focus: the origins of the European ideal, Europe and the EU viewed from France.

Linguistic focus: subjunctive mood.

Immigration & Nationalité

Cultural focus: a historical view of immigration in France and a look at the specificity of the French ‘integration’ system.

Linguistic focus: the system of tenses in French (concentrating on past tenses).

Les Femmes en Politique

Cultural focus: a further look (after first year) at French politics, concentrating on topical issues.

Linguistic focus: modal verbs.

Les Régions

Cultural focus: decentralisation, importance of regions in France.

Linguistic focus: the passive voice.

L’Économie

Cultural focus: the French economy (role of the state, …), marketing à la française

Linguistic focus: equivalent of –ing in French.

In addition, students specialising in French take the French Culture and History 2 class. This class focuses on the Occupation and French Colonialism/Decolonisation. The historical context for each topic is first set, and documents from the two periods studied, before discussion moves on to the cultural domain, via analysis of the following texts and films:

  • Au Revoir les Enfants (film, Malle)
  • Stupeur et Tremblements (text, Nothomb)
  • L'Étranger (text, Camus)
  • Le Samourai (film, Melville)
  • Anthology of historical texts relating to the Second World War
  • Anthology of historical texts relating to French Colonialism/Immigration

History

Choose three from this list

Scotland: Renaissance and Reformation

This course will focus on the period from the final establishment of the territorial boundaries of the Scottish kingdom in James III’s reign through to the Union of Crowns in 1603. In covering the era of the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland, as well as the regnal union of 1603, it will focus on the reigns of successive Stewart monarchs and their subsequent accession to the English and Irish thrones, thereby creating a British imperial monarchy.

Scotland’s contact with Europe and its strained relations with England form core themes but political history will be studied in the light of the social, religious, economic and cultural developments that lend early-modern Scotland its distinct identity, thereby examining issues such as trade and economic development, the impact of the Renaissance in Scotland, literacy and the spread of reforming ideas, the arts, education and issues of identity.

Disease & Society

This class provides a broad introduction to the historical relationship between diseases and human societies in the early modern and modern periods.

It examines the core thesis that diseases and other health conditions have had dramatic impacts on history, shaping economic relations, political and social structures and cultural and religious beliefs.  However, it also explores the reverse of this, the thesis that human activities, ideas and behaviours have radically altered the diseases and conditions that afflict our societies over the last five hundred years.

The course is grouped around three themes:

  • infectious disease
  • chronic disease
  • society's responses to disease

Lectures in the first two sections focus on exploring the origins of key diseases/debilities, the ways in which social structures/behaviours have caused or abetted these conditions, and their impacts on society, economics, politics and culture.

In the final section, lectures focus more on the ways in which societies have sought to conceptualise, control and cure diseases. The key questions that students should be able to answer by the end is how have diseases and debilities shaped human societies, and how have human societies shaped diseases and debilities?

History of Scotland 1700-1832

This course will explore Scotland’s political, economic, religious, intellectual and social development in the aftermath of the Union of 1707 through to 1832.  The benefits, disadvantages and tensions that arose from the process of becoming part of the British state will be explored through such issues as:

  • causes and impact of union
  • the significance of Jacobitism
  • the nature and consequence of agricultural and industrial change
  • Empire
  • the role of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Modern Europe

This class examines some of the principal developments in international history of twentieth century Europe. It pays particular attention to:

  • the causes of the First World War
  • the impact of the war upon the international system
  • the rise of new powers within the international community after 1919
  • the causes of the Second World War
  • the Cold War and the forces driving European integration since 1945
  • the role of the USA and USSR in recent European history
In terms of geographical coverage the class will seek to balance consideration of Europe-wide developments with finer-focus treatment of French, Italian and German history. The class will introduce students to some of the main debates in the academic literature and encourage them to look at a range of relevant primary sources.

Year 3

French

Students take two language classes (as in previous years).

L’Esclavage Moderne

Cultural focus: a historical review of slavery and a look at modern forms of slavery.

Linguistic focus: reinforcement work on subjunctive mood, passive voice and negative forms.

Les Nouvelles Façons de Consommer

Cultural focus: the impact of consumerism on the environment.

Linguistic focus: adjectives and comparative, hypothesis, conditional mood.

Le Système Éducatif

Cultural focus: a look at current issues in the French education system.

Linguistic focus: reported speech, imperative mood, a further look at pronouns.

L’Année à l’Étranger

Cultural focus: practical module aiming at preparing students for the year abroad.

There is also a French Studies 3 class: Freedom and Identity in France and the Francophone world. This class is based on the study of the following texts and films as examples of the treatment of the class’s twin themes:

  • Milou en mai (film, Malle)
  • Poverty (various texts)
  • The Dreyfus Affair (various historical texts)
  • Monsieur Klein (film, Losey)
  • Rue des Boutiques Obscures (text, Modiano)
  • National Identity in the Third Republic (various historical texts)

History

Oral History: Theory and Practice

Please note that this is compulsory for students who wish to use oral history in their dissertation.

Oral history is a way of engaging with the past via the experiences and memories of those who were there. ‘Oral history’ is a multifaceted term that refers to the sources (interviews), the methodology (interviewing), theory (analysis), and products (of which there are many).

This new class aims to alert students to the possibilities of using oral history as a way of understanding the past. It will examine key concepts and methodologies in oral history and explore how oral history has helped to shape historical understanding.

This class also has an important practice-based focus – students taking the class will gain an opportunity to develop practical skills in oral history interviewing and analysis as well as to reflect critically on theory in relation to practice. They will also get an opportunity to explore the application and use of history in the public arena through engaging with work on oral history and public history.

Because of the practical nature of this class and the limited supply of equipment, numbers are capped at 25.

Cold War Europe
Disability in Modern Britain

The aim of this class is for to gain an understanding of the key role that disability plays in the study of the historical past.

The class will explore the ways in which disability has been defined, treated and experienced. It will place developments in disability policy within wider social, cultural and political contexts. Students will engage with, and think critically about, primary sources ranging from official papers, newspaper articles, and oral testimonies, in addition to relevant secondary source material.

The use of oral testimonies in particular will help students to consider the lived experiences of disabled people and the ways in which society sought to define and treat disability. 

Medicine & Warfare

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

France at War

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents. 

Propaganda & War in the Twentieth Century

This class examines means by which states conduct informal activities to promote their domestic and foreign objectives during wartime. In particular, it analyses the role of propaganda throughout the twentieth century, focusing on the use of modern mass communication and technology by states involved in conflicts.

The class is structured around a number of historical themes, which help shed light on the emergence of propaganda as an important means of modern warfare. Key themes analysed throughout the course include:

  • the First World War as the first ‘total war’
  • the growth of international radio broadcasting
  • the creation of centralised propaganda machines in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union
  • home-front propaganda during the Second World War
  • propaganda, disinformation and the Cold War
  • the United States and the experience of Vietnam
  • information, media coverage and the Gulf War
  • 9/11 and the war on terrorism
During seminars, students will be exposed to relevant primary source material. Particular attention will be given to understanding the theory and practice of propaganda and analysing how technological developments have contributed to shaping modern information and mass persuasion.
Historiography

This class is compulsory for students who want to study history at Honours level.

This class will introduce students to the methods used by historians to reconstruct the past, exploring and analysing the techniques used by historians in doing primary research. The class is designed to demonstrate how students can use these techniques in their own work, particularly their 4th year/Honours dissertation.

Among the topics that will be covered are:

  • constructing bibliographies
  • using evidence
  • using academic conventions
  • constructing research plans
  • writing historical prose
The class will also introduce students to the subject of historiography – the history of history – and the ways in which our understanding and construction of history has evolved. The class is designed to promote independent learning and encourage students to reflect more deeply on the subject matter.
Madness and Society
Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.
Society and Politics in Colonial India: 1880s-1947

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Scottish Society since 1914

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914. The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society in the twentieth century by assessing the impact of industrialisation and the problems associated with de-industrialisation, as well as the development of an urban society.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, techniques and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland. Among the themes to be covered are:

  • the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable culture and identity
  • the myths and realities of 'Red Clydeside'
  • the notion that Scotland was a more intensely patriarchal society than the rest of Britain
  • the idea that Scotland was an anti-immigrant, racist and religiously intolerant society

Year abroad

Year abroad
This is the year abroad, spent either studying at a foreign university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours.

Year 4

French

French

The language course is based on a series of thematic dossiers dealing with current issues in France and the Francophone world. The focus of the class is on reinforcing and developing key professional language skills, such as translation into English, translation into French, liaison interpreting, and 'exposé' (formal oral presentation).

Students in Joint Honours French will additionally have one or more French Studies 4 classes. Everyone will take the Core Class, Images of Women, which considers the changing portrayal of women over the centuries, using the following texts as the basis of discussion:

  • Madame Bovary (novel, Flaubert)
  • Fatale (novel, Manchette)
  • L’événement (Ernaux, novel)
  • Women in the Paris Commune of 1871 (various historical documents)

Joint Honours students not writing a dissertation in French will take these two further classes:

  • The Occupation and its portrayal in French films
  • France since 1945

History

Compulsory classes

Special subject classes (taught over both Semesters 1 & 2)

The Scramble for the Middle East: Arab Nationalism, Zionism and European Colonial Powers, 1914-1939

The interwar years are central to any analysis of the decline of European colonial rule in the Middle East and the formation of nation states. It was in the 1920s and 1930s that British and French mandatory authorities faced the emergence of nationalist movements throughout the Arab world as well as the increasing competition and penetration of hostile forces.

Students will examine historical themes and events that are significant to the development of political and cultural identities in the Middle East. Through the analysis of primary sources, students will focus on:

  • the debate surrounding British and French colonial practices
  • the emergence of the Zionist movement and the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine
  • the radicalisation of Arab nationalism and its impact upon the relations between local political elites and European colonial powers
  • the increasing tension between Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine
  • the creation of the mandates in Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon and the process that led to the independence of Egypt and Iraq
  • the challenge brought by German and Italian subversive activities to British and French strategic interests in the region
Twentieth-Century Czechoslovakia

The class will explore major themes in twentieth-century European history:

  • the post-World War I settlement
  • the rise of fascism
  • the origins and course of the Second World War, Soviet expansion, the Cold War, the social and political revolutions of the 1960s and the waning of the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s -- from the perspective of a central European country which was created in 1918, dissolved in 1993, and whose opinions were seldom taken into account by the Great Powers.

Students will obtain a solid grounding in the history of Czechoslovakia from its creation to its dissolution. The class should also offer a useful introduction to themes in twentieth-century European history more generally.

Independent reading will concentrate heavily on source material, enabling students to taste the excitement as well as the frustrations of historical research. By being encouraged to view European affairs from a Czech perspective while at the same time having special responsibility for one other European country, students will be led to consider the problems of historical bias and subjectivity, and should develop historical empathy as well as considerable sensitivity to the complexity of international affairs.

Rwanda: Peace, Conflict & the Politics

The purpose of this special subject is to introduce students to the study of peace and conflict, broadly defined, and to encourage them to write and think about these subjects in a critical and engaged manner informed first and foremost by history-based discourse, but also borrowing from political science, anthropology, and related disciplines.

The module will focus on the case study of Rwanda, with individual classes proceeding chronologically.

The first semester will cover the pre-colonial period to the start of the second Hutu Republic in 1973, while the second semester will cover 1973 to present.

Throughout, students will analyse relevant primary and secondary sources to explore the benefits of applying a historical lens to understanding a nation whose recent history includes both periods of peace and political stability, and several manifestations of state-sanctioned violence, including colonialism, small-scale ethnic, regional, and political conflicts, civil war, genocide, and authoritarianism.

Students seeking careers in human rights advocacy, international law, diplomacy, and journalism will also find this course particularly relevant.

Plantation in Ulster

This class will explore the plantations that took place in Ulster during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Students will examine the emergence of the idea for plantation in Ireland, why Ulster was regarded as suitable for plantation, and the various endeavours by English and Scots to settle in the north of Ireland, whether by private enterprise or by the state. This will culminate in the official Plantation of Ulster, a 'British' project initiated by James VI and I in the early years of his reign as king of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Students will also look at a couple of cases studies of individuals who were involved in plantation, enabling a detailed study of the political, social, economic and confessional reasons why they chose to migrate to and settle in Ireland at this time.

Elective classes
France at War, 1870-1962

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents.

Medicine & Warfare in the Twentieth Century

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

Cold War Europe
Scottish Society

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914.

The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society (and place it in a wider context) and to examine dominant narratives of Scotland and Scots in the twentieth century.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, methodologies and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland.  Among the themes to be covered are:

  • gender relations (for example, analysis of the Scottish ‘hard man’ narrative)
  • religion (including sectarianism and secularisation)
  • health and deprivation
  • the arts and culture (including festivals, theatre, cinema and television)
  • industry (and de-industrialisation and its impacts)
Overall, this class will explore the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable national culture and identity and assess and deconstruct narratives of Scottish society since 1914.
Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Madness and Society
Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.
Society & Politics in Colonial India

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Assessment

French

Our assessment methods include:

  • written examinations, including translations
  • writing for a specific purpose
  • essays

Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course. Students write a dissertation in their final year.

History

You'll be assessed using methods including group work, projects, presentations, dissertations, document analysis, essays and exams.

Learning & teaching

French

We focus on the four important language skills:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories – and outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed French television.

In later years you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.

Scholars from French universities visit regularly to give guest lectures and lead workshops, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

History

As a history student you'll be expected to attend lectures and seminars and take part in group projects. Bibliographic search sessions in the University Library will also be provided. We encourage close, critical reading of texts and the evaluation of historical controversies to help self-directed learning and improve your analytical skills.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B, plus one from the list below
  • Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Year 2 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year Entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU
  • TBC
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

The 2018-19 fee rate will be updated when it has been confirmed by the UK and Scottish Governments. Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

International
  • £14,050

International Study Centre

Please find information about the student fees for university pathway programmes on the International Study Centre (ISC) website

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs 

The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  Students can print course materials at their own expense.   

The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.  

Study abroad 

Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4.  Students who choose to study in France, Spain or Italy are eligible for an Erasmus and grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad.  This however, is not a full maintenance grant.  

Typically, students will receive around £3,000 for a full academic year of study abroad.  Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs.  These costs will vary dependent on the country of study.  An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.

A range of scholarships are available for students of French, Spanish and Italian - and awarded on a competitive basis. 

Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend.  In the case of France, this amounts approximately to 964.88 Euros per month gross (800 Euros net after social security deductions).  Similar stipends are paid in Spain and Italy. 

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Strathclyde French graduates are currently working in a wide variety of environments around the world. Job titles include:

  • journalists
  • entrepreneurs
  • lawyers
  • engineers
  • education professionals
  • business executives
  • professional linguists
  • researchers
  • IT experts
  • civil servants

All language graduates have a range of transferable skills, which are greatly valued by employers. These include advanced spoken and written ability, competence in interpreting and/or translating and a high-level ability in other important communication skills.

Many History graduates progress to careers in education, social welfare, the Civil Service and the Scottish Government or in areas such as finance. Some graduates work in teaching, museums or heritage, while others find satisfying careers in library and information science, arts management and administration or journalism.

Many students expand their knowledge of history by taking further postgraduate study.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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