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Language, Culture and History MA

This flexible MA allows you to enhance your knowledge of the language of your choice (Dutch, French, German, Italian, a Scandinavian option, Spanish and Portuguese) while offering you the opportunity to take courses in history, literature and culture across the range of areas offered in the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS).

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants must have a good reading knowledge of at least one European language (Dutch, French, German, Italian, a Scandinavian option or Spanish).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

Students will research cultural issues of major contemporary importance in the language of their choice.The degree will also help you develop your knowledge of one or more of the languages taught in SELCS (Dutch, French, German, Italian, a Scandinavian option, Spanish and Portuguese).

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers two pathways: taught and research. Taught: one core module (30 credits), three optional modules from a range of graduate modules (90 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). Research: one core module (30 credits), two taught modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, one core module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits) full-time nine months or part-time two years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, one core module (30 credits), one optional module (30 credits) full-time three months, part-time six months, is offered.

Core modules

This core module permits research into two areas of major contemporary interest; for example, topics explored during the current year include the following:

  • Trauma
  • Memory
  • Visual Culture
  • Queer(y)ing Sexuality

Optional modules

Optional modules may include:

  • Advanced Translation (Dutch, French, German, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish)
  • Advanced Language Modules (Dutch, French, German, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish)
  • Early Modern Exchanges Modules
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies Modules
  • Organised Crime: Gangsters in Life and Art
  • Material Encounters with Medieval Texts
  • Comparative Syntax
  • Witches in History, Fiction and Scholarship


All students are required to write a dissertation of 12,000 words on an approved research topic for the taught pathway and 18,000 words for the research pathway.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Teaching is concentrated in the first two terms, with the third term devoted to revision sessions, examinations and a dissertation project. Student performance is assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, a dissertation, and unseen written examinations.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Language, Culture and History MA


For details of scholarships available to MA students in SELCS, please refer to the MA Scholarships webpage.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jean Orr Scholarship

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The degree offers a graduate qualification in its own right, as well as serving as a pathway towards doctoral research in European literature, language, history, film and other areas. Many students progress from one of our MA programmes to an MPhil or PhD research degree.

Why study this degree at UCL?

SELCS at UCL is recognised as a world-class department for the study of European languages, culture and history.

Our central location offers students easy access to excellent resources for a range of European cultures, such as the British Library, the Institute for Modern Languages Research, the Warburg Institute, the Institute of Historical Research, along with access to numerous cultural and social events relating to the degree.

Department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society

Student / staff numbers › 52 staff including 1 postdocs › 30 taught students › 52 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society
80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"I am interested in the novel, narrative technique, literary theory and theories of gender. I have worked on the interaction of fact and fiction in the novel, on the relationship of female and national identity, and on the representation and ethics of shame. I’m currently working on an interdisciplinary project with German historians looking at the reverberations of the Second World War in Europe. I have benefited particularly from being in a department (German) that is in itself interdisciplinary, as well as from the growing interactions between colleagues within and across the faculties. These interactions are becoming more possible, not least through the establishment of the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), of which I am currently Chair, but, crucially, the impact of the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (FIGS), now extended to two faculties, Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences. "

Professor Stephanie Bird

German MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature MPhil/PhD, Film Studies MPhil/PhD, Language, Culture and History MA, Comparative Literature MA, Film Studies MA
Professor of German

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in a European language, European studies, history, politics or sociology who wish to strengthen their knowledge of European culture and history, either as a foundation for subsequent doctoral research or as a graduate qualification in its own right.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

Candidates must supply letters of reference from two referees. To be considered for one of the scholarships on offer, applications must arrive by the relevant deadline for that scholarship specified on the SELCS website, in the Postgraduate Taught section.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • which MA courses you are thinking of taking and why
  • why you want to study at UCL?
  • what attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic or professional background meets the demands of the degree
  • how the degree will benefit you

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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