MA in Franco-British History

The Centre for the Advanced Study of French History now offers an MA in Franco-British History. The programme provides students with the skills and confidence they need to undertake an original piece of research in their chosen historical area. It also provide an underpinning for further research at doctoral level, as well as offering a satisfying and rewarding experience for those who take the programme as an end in itself. Finally, the programme aims to enhance students' employability. It augments existing skills so that they may further a career in academia or a cognate profession; and by developing a range of transferable skills, it enhances their opportunities for a successful career within the knowledge economy more generally.

Entrants to the programme are normally expected to have obtained an Upper-Second Honours degree in a course with a substantial element of either History or French or both. However, approaches are warmly invited from overseas candidates and from those with non-traditional qualifications who can demonstrate suitable ability and commitment. There is no language requirement for admission The MA is designed, for example through its language provision, to provide support to those who need to develop skills during the course of the programme. Each application is considered on its merits. The programme may be taken full-time over one year, part-time over two years, or in flexible modular fashion over 3-6 years.

Programme content

In the Autumn term, all students follow two core modules. The first of these, Skills and Resources in Franco-British History, is an intensive induction into fundamental bibliographical, archival and methodological skills. It shares a number of seminars with the Historical Skills and Resources module taught as part of the MA in Modern History. Other seminars, including those on the French Historical tradition, French Departmental and National archives, and bibliographical searching on French web sites, are taught separately. The second, Modern History: theory, practice and themes, deals with the theory and practice of history through a number of case studies designed to develop students' awareness of the development of different fields of study within history and the different methodological and theoretical approaches which have been applied to them. This module is taught jointly with the MA in Modern History.  Students also begin work on the dissertation on some aspect of French, British or Franco-British history, initially identifying and refining a suitable topic and locating potential primary source material under the guidance of a tutor who continues to act in a supervisory capacity throughout the student's period of registration.

In the Spring term, students continue the course on Skills and Resources in Franco-British History, leading up to an oral presentation on their research topic; and they intensify work on the dissertation. Additionally, they choose two Options covering aspects of French/Franco-British history. The choice of Options will vary from year to year, but a typical listing would include Gaullism, Political Parties in twentieth-century France, Church and state in France, Britain and France in the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, the State and its opponents in early-modern Britain and France. Alternative modules totalling 20 credits, or exceptionally up to 40 credits, may be substituted for one or exceptionally both Option modules if required by the specific needs arising from the research project and subject to the specific agreement of the Programme Director. Such modules include:

Institution Wide Language Modules in French 20 credits

Palaeography 20 credits

The Summer term is given over to detailed research and writing up of the dissertation under the guidance of the supervisor.

The MA in Franco-British History is designed within a 180 credit modular structure, with 90 credits awarded for the dissertation, 30 credits for the module in Skills and Resources in Franco-British History (compulsory core module), 20 credits for the module in State and Society (compulsory core module), and 20 credits for each of two Option modules as shown in the table below.

Credits Title    
 HSM01 Skills and Resources in Franco-British History  30   M
 HSMSS2 Modern History: theory, practice and themes  20  M
 HSM03 Dissertation  90  M
 HSM04 Option 1  20  M


 Option 2  20

By combining different elements of the programme, it is possible to obtain a Diploma (120 credits) or a Certificate (60 credits).

Opportunities for study abroad or for placements

The intensive nature of the full-time programme means that it is not tailored to any lengthy period of study abroad. However, opportunities exist as part of the Socrates scheme to spend a period of up to 6 weeks at a French University, usually in the Spring term. Those taking the programme part-time or on a modular basis over 3-6 years have the opportunity to study abroad for a longer period, again as part of the Socrates scheme. Placements are arranged on an ad hominem basis.

For further information of the programme, please see the University's web pages or contact its co-Directors, Dr Frank Tallett ( or Professor Joel Félix (

MPhil and PhD

A research degree offers you the opportunity to undertake a sustained and in-depth piece of original research, which is written up and assessed in the form of a thesis. The MPhil is taken over a minimum of two and maximum of three years full-time and three to six years part-time. The PhD registration is for a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years full-time,and 4 to 6 years part-time. You will be matched with a supervisor who will help in formulating and refining your research topic, and will give assistance towards timely and successful completion of your studies. You will have access to the resources and staff of the Centre, and be part of the postgraduate students seminar group. The Faculty also has a doctoral training programme, which runs over the whole of your period of registration, designed to offer a structured programme of research training. This provides guidance on, for instance, research methodology, data collection, organising your work and writing a thesis.

For those areas in which supervision at postgraduate level may be given please see the list of staff interests, or alternatively contact Dr Frank Tallett ( or Professor Joel Félix (

Things to do now

  • For further information please contact the Co-Directors:
  • Dr Frank Tallett

  • Dr Joel Felix

  • Or contact the School Postgraduate Administrator (Lisa Pickering)

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