Cambridge’s joint degree in History and Modern Languages (HML) combines the best of both subjects. It offers you the opportunity to develop near native-speaker skills in a foreign language while studying a range of papers relating to that language’s culture and history; options in some languages include film and contemporary politics. You 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 with other language students, you would spend your third year studying or working abroad, thereby immersing yourself in the language, culture, history and politics of a foreign country.
Our History and Modern Languages 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 amongst the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Modern Languages Faculty is the largest in the United Kingdom, offering 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.
Full course details are provided on the Prospective Undergraduates webpage and the University’s Undergraduate Study webpage.
HML at Churchill
With a wide range of academics spanning both disciplines, Churchill would be an excellent College for you to study HML. We are fortunate to have a strong group of Teaching Fellows in French, German, and Spanish, as well as regular native-speaker teachers, so as an HML student here, you can expect to draw upon considerable strengths of expertise and experience in teaching and research. The Churchill Archives Centre holds the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, and Sir John Major, together with a host of other politicians, civil servants, diplomats, military leaders and scientists of the twentieth century.
To find out about admissions, go to Apply | Undergraduates.
Course-specific information, including the University’s typical offers and the attainment level of the University’s typical entrants, is available by selecting your course from the University’s Course List then looking at the Entry Requirements tab. Academic offer conditions can vary by College so if you want to apply to Churchill then check out our entries in the by-College list of entry requirements that’s available on the same tab. The University’s Entrance Requirements and International Entry Requirements webpages may contain guidance relevant to you too.
To learn more about the academic profiles of Churchill entrants and our approach to setting conditional offers, see Entry Requirements | Undergraduates.
If you apply to Churchill, we’ll ask you to submit a minimum of two examples of teacher-marked written work: one in each of the languages you’re studying, plus one from History (or equivalent) written in English.
These should be taken from your present or most recent studies, and should not be re-written or corrected for your Cambridge application. Ideally, each piece should be 1500 to 2000 words in length. If you’re not presently studying a language, we’ll ask for an essay showing evidence of your linguistic abilities, and if you’re not studying History then we’ll ask for an essay written in English ideally relating to a historical topic.
All History and Modern Languages applicants are required to take a written assessment after shortlisting for interview. There’s more information on and linked from the University’s Admissions Assessments webpage.
The role of academic interviews in Churchill’s admissions process is explained at Interviews | Undergraduates. Our interviewers will be looking for evidence of enthusiasm for and a potential for aptitude in the subjects covered by the History and Modern Languages Tripos, as well as an ability in historical and linguistic thinking.