BA Modern Languages and History
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Study a modern language, and discover the richness and variety of the human experience, with our BA Modern Languages and History degree.
This highly flexible degree enables you to study a modern language – choosing from our core languages of French, German, Italian and Spanish – alongside your studies in history.
Throughout, you'll be encouraged to follow your interests as they develop and tailor your learning to your career goals.
Learn a language
At the University of Reading, you’ll join a lively, multilingual community and study alongside students from all over the world.
Learn from internationally recognised researchers whose wide-ranging expertise includes migration, literature, history, cinema, linguistics, publishing, and translation. 98% of our research overall is classed as world leading (Research Excellence Framework 2014 - Modern Languages and Linguistics).
Choose to study one of our four core languages:
These languages are offered at beginner's, intermediate or advanced level, depending on your experience.
Our flexible, supportive teaching style will enable you to become confident and highly skilled in your chosen core language. You will master the fundamentals of the language – both written and spoken – graduating with near-native command.
Direct access to our staff for help and feedback ensures you develop your language skills to the best of your ability.
The study of language includes cultural modules that develop your understanding of the cultures of the countries in which the language is spoken, from their literary and cinematic traditions to their history, politics and linguistics. As well as complementing your joint studies, this enables you to develop as a specialist with an international, comparative approach.
Optional modules also include introductory study of one of the following languages (subject to approval and availability):
- British Sign Language
- Chinese (Mandarin)
These introductory modules focus on developing your linguistic proficiency. You will reach independent-user competency by the time you graduate.
A broad exploration of history
Discover a thousand years of history from across the world, including Britain, Europe, Africa, America, the Middle East and South Asia.
Throughout your degree, you’ll explore people, politics, revolution, culture and concepts. Our academics will teach you the skills you need to study and research as a historian, as you shape your degree through our extensive range of modules. 89% of our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things in the Department of Languages and Cultures .
Your learning will benefit from:
- academics with specialist expertise. In 2020, we achieved a 91% satisfaction score for teaching on our BA History course in the National Student Survey.
- small, interactive seminars. You'll be encouraged to discuss and debate ideas with teaching staff and students.
- employability skills. Our History Education, Discovering Archives and Collections and Going Public module all offer short work placements.
- field trips in the UK and abroad. See history in context – past trips have included Winchester, Westminster, Paris and Berlin
You can also enrich your language studies through specialist history modules. For example, French students could discover the political leaders and groups of the French Revolution, or German students could examine Cold War Berlin.
Between your second and final year, you'll spend a year abroad to expand your linguistic skills and intercultural understanding. You can choose to study at a partner university, go on a work placement, or work as a language teaching assistant.
 National Student Survey, 2021.