- Study international, economic, cultural and social history and many geographical areas including the Americas, parts of Asia, Britain and Europe
- Develop strong skills in spoken and written language, analytical thought, and a deeper understanding of another culture and people
- Your third year will normally be spent studying abroad in a country where you can develop your chosen language
- Exeter is a city bursting with history and heritage that offers museums, art galleries and a wide range of historical architecture. The University Library has extensive historical holdings and collections
- Get involved in activities outside class: language societies, tandem partnerships, liaison work in schools and the community such as our Translation! Festival – the only public festival dedicated to translation in the UK
8th in the UK for world-leading research for History
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Top 50 in world subject rankings for History
QS World University Subject Rankings 2021
Top 200 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages and Cultures
QS World University Subject Rankings 2021
Year abroad spent studying at a partner university or in employment as part of studying Modern Languages
I decided to apply to Exeter as it offered a unique course combination that I couldn’t find at many other universities. I did Latin at GCSE and was torn between studying History and Ancient History so the option to study both was perfect for me!
I visited both the open day and offer holders’ day and really loved the green campus and felt welcomed by the friendly atmosphere. I would definitely recommend studying at Exeter; my course is so interesting and I especially like the wide range of module options I can choose from, I also take a French language module alongside my degree. All the lecturers in my department are lovely and have a great relationship with the students.
BA History and Ancient History
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAA-ABB||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|IB||36/666-32/655||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|BTEC||DDD-DDM||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
- Grade B at A level is required in any language you intend to study from A level.
- You may only choose one language.
- Students wishing to pursue language study on the basis of a GCSE are normally classed as beginners.
- French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish can be studied either from A level or beginner’s level, with both cohorts reaching degree level in the final year. Portuguese and Chinese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level, not from A Level; students of these two languages reach degree level in final year.
Languages and levels available for Combined Honours courses
I want to study a new language at beginner level alongside my other subject (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in any Modern Foreign Language|
|Advanced level languages available||n/a|
|Beginners level languages available||Chinese (Mandarin); French; German; Italian; Portuguese; Russian; Spanish|
I want to study my A level (or equivalent) language at advanced level alongside my other subject (including programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
|Advanced level languages available||French; German; Italian; Russian; Spanish|
|Beginners level languages available||n/a
Completing your UCAS form
In the section named ‘further details’ on your UCAS application form please indicate in the ‘choices’ field the language and route you wish to study using the abbreviations below, separated by a space:
The History and Modern Languages degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Your year abroad
Study/Work Abroad in Year 3
A pivotal part of all Modern Language programmes is the year spent abroad, either studying at one of our prestigious partner universities, teaching on a British Council placement, or working in other employment. By immersing yourself in the culture you study, you will not only enhance your language skills, but cultivate:
- strong intercultural understanding
- improved communication skills
- the ability to think and study in different ways
- resilience and confidence
- analytical skills and the ability to make cross-cultural comparisons
- adaptability, independence and valuable life experience
During your Year Abroad, you will still be registered as an Exeter student and therefore supported in several ways. You will retain your personal tutor and be expected to keep in contact with them. You will also have the support of the Exeter Global Opportunities team for advice on any matter.
You will need to decide how to spend your Year Abroad during the first half of the second year. We will help you in the process. During your first year you will be invited to an introductory presentation about your Year Abroad options. In your second year, there is an extensive orientation programme to help you prepare for your Year Abroad.
Ways to spend the Year Abroad
- You must spend 7-15 months abroad, maximising the opportunities available to you
- You can work, study, or split the year on two or more placements
- Students going to China or Russia can currently only study (work abroad is not available)
- If you study Portuguese, the only options available are study or work abroad (not a British Council assistantship)
Studying abroad offers a range of possibilities, with over 40 different partner universities worldwide available to Modern Languages students. This can provide you with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment with local and other international students broadening your knowledge of the language and culture you study.
Internships are very rewarding in that they can offer you valuable workplace experience. Placements can be sourced via our Global Opportunities webpages, but you can also source your own internship externally, though it must be approved by the Global Opportunities team. Some of our students have spent their Year Abroad working in translation, tourism, marketing, fashion, commerce, journalism, heritage and many other sectors.
British Council English Language Assistantship
Becoming an English Language Assistant with the British Council is a brilliant opportunity to explore both the world of working and, more specifically, the idea of working as a teacher. An academic year is spent supporting teachers in a primary or secondary school in the country of the language you are studying.
Does it count towards my degree?
The Year Abroad is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification. If you begin a language in your first year at Exeter and intend to take that language in your final year, we strongly recommend you spend the majority of your Year Abroad in a country where that language is spoken. If you would like to arrange the year differently, you should first speak with the Programme Director for your language and/or the Study Abroad Officer.
How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?
For your Year Abroad you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. You will also continue to receive any Student Finance support for which you are eligible. Other financial support may also be available for certain students.
Tuition fees for 2022 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £20,000 per year
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us from September 2022 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
Throughout the History programmes stress is laid on the need to analyse, discuss and deploy historical evidence in a variety of settings and not simply on the ability to memorise. You will learn through lectures, tutorials and seminars, with a growing emphasis at each successive level on student-led learning.
Our teaching within languages aims not just to improve your production and comprehension of the language but also to help you develop your language-learning skills. These will enable you to take responsibility for your language learning, to continue learning the language(s) after graduation and to pick up new languages in the future.
Modules are designed to encourage you to think about long-term developments and processes of historical change, and to make comparisons between countries and cultures. This helps you progress from the more tightly defined topics studied at A level. Modules are also designed to encourage you to think and write analytically about these broad subjects. They emphasise historical questions that require you to identify patterns across time, or between countries, and to isolate common or competing trends, instead of concentrating on short-term or single explanations.
Written language is taught through weekly classes of about 18 students with teams of tutors who contribute to a programme aimed at grammar improvement and the development of advanced writing skills. You’ll also have weekly oral practice in classes of about eight with native speakers of the language(s) that you are studying. You’ll be expected to prepare written work or presentations for seminars, in which you’ll have the opportunity to express your own point of view and to discuss other people’s ideas.
Non-language modules are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and/or tutorials. Our teaching methods are chosen to encourage you to become an increasingly independent learner as you progress through the years.
You'll have a personal tutor, as well as tutors in individual subjects and they will work with you to monitor your progress, as well as offering pastoral support and other help. You will have a chance to make your mark on the programmes through regular student evaluations and participation in the Student-Staff Liaison Committees and the student History Societies on both campuses.
How will I be assessed?
Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework (essays, projects and other written and oral tasks).
You will have to pass assessments in your first year to proceed to the second year, but they do not count towards your final degree classification. The assessments in the second year, year abroad and final year contribute to your final degree award.
You must pass your first-year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.
Employer-valued skills this course develops
History graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market. Alongside in-depth subject knowledge you’ll develop highly transferable skills in researching; analysing and assessing sources; written and verbal communication; managing and interpreting information; developing ideas and arguments; teamwork; and problem solving.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, with offices at our Exeter and Penryn campuses, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates. For further information please visit our Careers Service.
You will be equipped with skills that are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers, including graduate-level roles in the heritage and arts sectors as well as other fields of work, including education, retail management, recruitment, charities, finance and accounting, and journalism.
A History degree may also lead to further study or research and recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:
- MA History
- MA English Literary Studies
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MA Conflict, Security and Development
- MSc International Management