History and Modern Languages
- Number of students per year: up to three
- Typical offer: A*AA
- Essential subjects: Modern Language A-Level (or equivalent), no formal requirements for those learning Russian with no previous knowledge
- Useful subjects: History, English
The interests of the current Fellows in History range widely across different periods and places. All of the History Fellows regularly teach Jesus undergraduates. We place particular emphasis on getting to know our undergraduates and teaching them in College, as well as sending them to expert supervisors in other Colleges.
We have between 25 and 30 undergraduate historians at Jesus. There are also typically between 10 and 15 postgraduate students doing MPhil and PhD degrees in History and related subjects. Together, they form a lively and friendly community of historians. Our student run History Society and other events give students a chance to socialise together outside of work.
Recent Jesus history undergraduates have gone on to postgraduate study in history and other subjects, and to careers in areas including law, the civil service, the charity sector, management consultancy, journalism, social work, museum and gallery work, and theatre directing.
We have teaching Fellows in the following modern languages: French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. They teach the language students in the College in their special areas of expertise.
Students of Italian are taught by Italian Fellows in other Colleges. Every year a French Lectrice or Lecteur from the the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris spends a year in College, and one of our students can go to the ENS for their year abroad in exchange.
There's also a thriving Modern Linguists’ Society which once or twice a term puts on talks by writers, academics, and journalists. We have also had former students giving talks on their careers after graduation.
Our typical conditional offer is an A* and two A grades at A-Level, though each offer is individually determined. You don't need to take Advanced Extension Awards.
History A-Level or equivalent is desirable, but not essential. However for all languages except Russian a full A-Level or equivalent in that language is required. For Russian there are no formal requirements, but evidence of ability in learning a language beyond GCSE is desirable.
We're very open minded in respect of other A-Level subjects. Languages and English are obviously particularly relevant, but we are also perfectly happy with other arts or social science subjects, Mathematics, and the sciences. Your academic potential, suitability, and keenness for the course are more important than the combination of subjects you've studied.
You'll need to complete two written assessments. All applicants for History are required to take a written assessment at interview, if interviewed. You can find out more about the assessment on the University undergraduate History pages.
Your performance in the assessment won't be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.
The Modern Languages assessment takes place at interview in College.
In light of Covid we are currently reviewing whether we shall be holding virtual or College-based interviews and will provide further details in the future.
Interviews are an important part of the selection process. We're looking for students with the greatest academic potential, who are able and willing to think for themselves, and well motivated towards our course, whatever the language they propose to study. There's no fixed quota of student numbers for any language.
In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2020 interviews were held online. A typical virtual interview for History and Modern Languages usually consists of two 30 minute online interviews. One will be with the Directors of Studies for History or by other History Fellows, this interview may involve discussing source material. The other interview will be conducted by a relevant language specialist, and part of the interview will be conducted in that foreign language and will generally include discussion of a short written text that will be supplied beforehand. For those starting Russian from scratch, interviews will be held in English and will include discussion of Russian language and culture. The interviews aim to assess your intellectual ability, enthusiasm, and commitment to the subject. However, this format may change depending on government guidelines for 2021.
There is the possibility that interviews this year could take place in College or online once more. We will provide further details as soon as we are able.
You don't need to submit any written work for the language element, but for History you'll need to submit one piece of written work you have completed at school.
Deferred and post A-Level entry
We're happy to consider applications for immediate or deferred entry in History and Modern Languages.
We're also happy to consider post A-Level applications from those who have achieved (usually) A*AA at A-Level, including at least an A in a modern foreign language. You'll have to go through the normal competitive process with other applicants. We're also happy to consider second time applicants without prejudice.
We welcome applications from mature students. Ideally you should be studying for or have recently completed a course such as an A-Level, Open University foundation course, or Access to Higher Education. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.