History and Modern Languages

The joint degree in History and Modern Languages combines the best of both subjects. It offers the opportunity to develop near native-speaker skills in a foreign language while studying a range of papers relating to the culture and history of the relevant language area; options in some languages also include film and contemporary politics.

Students will also develop analytical skills in History through a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history, as well as the history of political thought. There will be opportunities to work with historical sources in foreign languages. As for other language students, those who take this course will spend their third year studying or working abroad, thereby immersing themselves in the language, culture, history and politics of a foreign country.

The languages available for study are:

  • French (post A-level)
  • German (from scratch or post A-level)
  • Italian (from scratch or post A-level)
  • Portuguese (from scratch)
  • Russian (from scratch or post A-level)
  • Spanish (from scratch or post A-level)

Both faculties are regarded worldwide as leaders in their respective fields. The History Faculty is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics Faculty is the largest in the United Kingdom and also consistently rated as one of the best. It offers an unrivalled range of courses taught by leading scholars. The library resources in Cambridge, which support teaching and research in both Faculties, are world-class; the University also has extensive collections of films in all relevant languages.

Admissions Information

Standard Offer:

A-level - A*AA; IB - 776 at Higher Level, 42 points overall; Advanced Highers: A1A2A2; other exam systems.

Course Requirements:

For History: A-level (or equivalent) History.

For MML: A-level (or equivalent) for the language to be studied post A-level; and evidence of language ability for the language studied from scratch.

The course page on the university website gives details of what subjects History and Modern Languages students have studied.

Course Outline: Further course details can be found online. The Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics Faculty also has a dedicated page for offer holders.
Applying: For information on how to apply: University application process and Emmanuel application timeline.
Submitted Work:

Applicants will be asked – following receipt of their application – to submit two pieces of written work. These should be in essay format with a word limit of up to 2,000 words per sample. If you are applying for a post-A Level (or equivalent) language, one piece of written work should be in the language you intend to study. The work can be extracted from coursework or an EPQ. All work must be original and not re-written or corrected for Cambridge. The deadline for submission will be early November.

Admissions Assessment: All applicants, who are shortlisted for interview, will take a written assessment. The College's Admissions Officer will register applicants for the assessment.

For History: All applicants will take the History Admissions Assessment at interview. An assessment specification is available online. Date of assessment: to be confirmed.

For MML: see entry requirements. Date of assessment: to be confirmed.

Candidates should normally expect two interviews. The interviews will take place during the period Monday 9- Wednesday 18 December 2024. Specific subject dates will be emailed to applicants in November.

For History: applicants will be given a reading passage 20-30 minutes prior to one of the interviews. A discussion of the reading will form part of the interview.

For MML: if you wish to continue with a language you are already studying (for A-level or equivalent), you will be asked to read a passage (20-30 minutes prior to your interview) in this language and answer questions on it. Some portion of the interview will be conducted in the language concerned. For those who wish to study a language ab initio, you may be asked to answer questions on a passage (given to applicants 20-30 minutes before the interview) in English.

Course Enquiries: Emmanuel Admissions Office