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An image to illustrate the BA (Honours) History and Languages
Course type
Degree  

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Credits
360  

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

BA (Honours) History and German

Course code: R65

Combining History with German will provide you with a truly unique understanding of the history and cultures of European and North American countries from the Middle Ages to the present. By the time you graduate, you will be able to communicate fluently and competently with German speakers. The study of a modern language can be the key to the global workplace.

  • Allows you to explore a wide range of historical topics, periods and places.
  • Gives you an understanding of what it means to be a historian, understanding history as a systematic and reflective discipline.
  • Helps you become proficient in German, reaching level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Develops advanced knowledge of cultures that use German, and intercultural communication competence.
Course type
Degree  

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Credits
360  

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements

Find out more about Entry requirements

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • In Stage 1 you'll study a 60-credit history module and study two 30-credit language modules.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study a 60-credit history module and a 60-credit module in German.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study a 60-credit history module from a choice of two options and a further 60-credit module in German.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

In the first stage, you'll divide your study equally between history and language.

For your German modules, your choice at Stage 1 will depend on your current level of proficiency. If you're unsure about this, you can use our languages self-assessment quiz or see Entry requirements for more advice.

ModulesCredits
You'll study the following:
Revolutions (A113)60
You’ll choose one from:
Exploring languages and cultures (L161)30
Introduction to German studies (beginners) (L103)30
You'll study the following:
German studies 1 (intermediate) (L113)30

In the second stage, you’ll divide your study equally between history and German.

In the last stage, you’ll divide your study equally between history and German.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 19 March 2024.


Accessibility

Our qualifications are as accessible as possible, and we have a comprehensive range of support services. Our BA (Honours) History and Languages uses a variety of study materials and includes the following elements:

  • Online study – most modules are online; some have a mix of printed and online material. Online learning resources could include websites, audio/video, and interactive activities
  • Pre-determined schedules – we’ll help you to develop your time-management skills
  • Assessment in the form of short-answer questions, essays, written and spoken and examinations
  • Feedback – continuous assessment includes feedback from your tutor and using this to improve your performance
  • Using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • Finding external/third-party material online
  • Accessing online catalogues and databases
  • Online tutorials
  • Group-work
  • Practical work
  • Embedded online schools

Every module has its own Accessibility Statement with more detailed accessibility information – you’ll find these on individual module descriptions. Visit our Disability support page to learn about our services.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you’ve already completed some university-level study somewhere else, you may be able to count it towards this qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. For more details and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On completing this course, we’ll award you a BA (Honours). Your degree title will show your language choice:

  • BA (Honours) History and French.
  • BA (Honours) History and German.
  • BA (Honours) History and Spanish.

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

However, there’s a choice of starting points in the modern language element – your choice will depend on your current level of confidence and proficiency.

Beginners’ or intermediate languages module?

How to choose the right level

Unless you have prior knowledge of your chosen language equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level A2, we recommend you start Stage 1 with a beginners’ module.

Beginners’ and intermediate language modules are both 30-credit modules, and both start in October and end in June. Intermediate modules follow on from the learning in beginners’ modules, so you should not study them in the same language concurrently unless you already have significant knowledge of the language.

Our self-assessment quiz can help you decide between starting with beginners’ or intermediate French, German and Spanish and provide guidance on choosing the right modern language level for you.

Contact us if you’d like to speak to an adviser.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
  • The 30-credit beginners’ and intermediate modules in French, German and Spanish, however, are not designed to be studied at the same time.

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts, humanities and languages. It's perfect preparation for your study with The Open University as you'll develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. From the perspective of its central theme, ‘popular protest’, it explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, and popular music, all through its central theme of ‘popular protest’. The module also offers an opportunity to explore other subjects, such as modern languages, classical studies, religious studies and creative writing.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

Fees and funding in England

80% of our students pay nothing upfront by financing their studies with a student loan.

In this section:
Tuition fee
What are my funding options?
Other costs to think about
Additional support

Tuition fee

BA (Honours) History and Languages

Years of  study

3 years 6 years

Current fee per year in England

£7,272* £3,636*

How we worked out the cost

A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 60 credits per year for 6 years. A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 120 credits per year for 3 years.

Total fee for qualification at current prices

£21,816*

You’ll fund your modules as you study them – you won’t have to pay for your whole qualification up front

That’s 21% less than the cost of an equivalent qualification offered at most other universities in England.

See comparison table

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2025. Fees typically increase annually. In England, fees are subject to the part-time fee limit, as set out in section C of the University's Fee Rules.


What are my funding options?

There are several ways to fund your study, often without paying anything upfront.

Student loan

The most common way for our students to fund their study

  • A student loan is used by 80% of our students.
  • It’s not means-tested and there’s no age limit.
  • You don’t pay anything upfront. Student Finance England pay your fees directly to the OU for you.
  • You won’t pay back a penny until you earn over £25,000.
  • The amount you repay is tied to how much you earn. For example, if you earn £27,000 you’ll pay just £15.00 per month.

Other options

Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA)

Repay in monthly instalments while you study.


Credit/debit card or bank transfer

Pay before each module starts. You can also combine card or bank transfer payments with other payment methods.


Employer sponsorship

More than 1 in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer.


Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs)

If you’re a serving member of the British Armed Forces (or you’ve recently left), you may be eligible to use ELCs to cover up to 100% of your course fees.

Which funding options could I be eligible for?



Other costs to think about

Your course fees cover your tuition, assessment and study materials, but there are still a few additional costs that can come with studying. If your income is less than £25,000 or you receive a qualifying benefit, you could get help with some of these costs after you start studying.

  • You’ll need a computer and the internet to access our learning resources and to participate in online tutorials.
  • This qualification has modules (S206/SXF206, S209 or S295) with optional residential field schools. You must pay an additional charge for each residential school and your travel. See individual module descriptions for more information.

Additional support

You may be eligible for:

  • help with study-related costs like set books and internet access
  • a free introductory Access module to build your confidence and skills
  • funding to study an OU qualification for free from our Carers’ Scholarships Fund if you are, or have recently been, an unpaid carer
  • a Carers’ Bursary towards study-related costs if you provide unpaid care to a friend or family member
  • a Care Experienced Bursary of £250 towards study-related costs if you’ve previously been, or are currently, in care
  • a Care Experienced Scholarship to study an OU qualification for free if you're care experienced and aged 25 and under
  • a Sanctuary Scholarship to study an OU qualification for free if you’ve been displaced from your homeland for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures
  • funding from our Scholarship for Black Students to study an OU qualification for free if you identify as being from a Black background

If you have a disability

  • The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a government grant to cover study support costs if you have a disability. It’s not means-tested, and there’s no age limit. Visit our Supporting students with disabilities page to find out more.
  • If your disability is a result of being injured in, or due to, military service, you could be eligible for our Disabled Veterans’ Scholarship Fund.

Need more information?

Talk through your funding options with one of our advisors

Contact us

How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise, you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website with

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials usually take place online, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually, a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end-of-module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

Studying history alongside a modern language opens up many career options. Your skills in analysis and communication can be applied to many fields ranging from education, business or international organisations. Your understanding of another language and the cultures that use it is an asset that will be highly valued by employers and that will widen your opportunities in the international market. A qualification in history and a language can lead to opportunities in a wide range of areas, such as:

  • Business and finance
  • Civil service
  • Human resources
  • Journalism
  • Research
  • Translation and interpreting
  • Editing and publishing

Career relevance

As a linguist and a historian you’ll enjoy a broad range of career opportunities directly related to your field: teaching; translating; interpreting; the civil service the diplomatic service; the media (publishing, journalism and advertising); leisure, tourism and travel; and working in international organisations and government bodies. There is also particular demand for language skills in education and more broadly across the economy in client-facing roles. These range from business development, sales, marketing, logistics and tourism to supporting and managing performance in global markets, and to offering services (from health and social care to driving instruction) in an increasingly diverse UK. Studying a language can also be your passport to a new life abroad.

Other careers

Employers in all fields value applicants who can communicate well, analyse, evaluate and present ideas and arguments effectively. These skills can be used in work where research or written communication.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice, including: online forums, website, interview simulation and vacancy service, as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • Arts administrator
  • Interpretor
  • Charity campaigner
  • Civil servant
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Editor
  • Event organiser
  • Heritage manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Journalist
  • Lecturer
  • Librarian
  • Museum curator
  • Publisher
  • Teacher

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 08/08/2024
Credit transfer: apply by 05/12/2024

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