In the Autumn term, all students follow two core modules. The first of these, Skills and Resources in Franco-British History, is an intensive induction into fundamental bibliographical, archival and methodological skills. It shares a number of seminars with the Historical Skills and Resources module taught as part of the MA in Modern History. Other seminars, including those on the French Historical tradition, French departmental and national archives, and bibliographical searching on French web sites, are taught separately. The second module, State and Society, deals with some key conceptual and historiographical problems in the history of the state over the last five centuries. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of the state in Britain, France, the USA and Poland, and to key thinkers including Karl Marx, Bishop Bossuet and Alexis de Tocqueville. This module is taught jointly with the MA in Modern History. Students also begin work on the dissertation on some aspect of French, British or Franco-British history, initially identifying and refining a suitable topic and locating potential primary source material under the guidance of a tutor who continues to act in a supervisory capacity throughout the student's period of registration.
In the Spring term, students continue the course on Skills and Resources in Franco-British History, leading up to an oral presentation on their research topic; and they intensify work on the dissertation. Additionally, they choose two options covering aspects of French/Franco-British history. The choice of options will vary from year to year, but a typical listing would include Gaullism, Political Parties in twentieth-century France, Church and state in France, Britain and France in the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, the State and its opponents in early-modern Britain and France. Alternative modules totalling 20 credits, or exceptionally up to 40 credits, may be substituted for one or exceptionally both option modules if required by the specific needs arising from the research project and subject to the specific agreement of the Programme Director.
The Summer term is given over to detailed research and writing up of the dissertation under the guidance of the supervisor.
By combining different elements of the course, it is possible to obtain a Diploma or a Certificate.
The intensive nature of the full-time course means that it is not tailored to any lengthy period of study abroad. However, opportunities exist as part of the Socrates scheme to spend a period of up to 6 weeks at a French university, usually in the Spring term. Those taking the programme part-time or on a modular basis over 3-6 years have the opportunity to study abroad for a longer period, again as part of the Socrates scheme. Placements are arranged on an ad hominem basis