Many congratulations on securing your place to study at the University of Bath; I wish you continued success during your time with us.

As Director of Studies (DoS), responsible for the academic and operational management of the First Year of the Undergraduate Modern Languages and European Studies programme, I’d like to take this opportunity to personally welcome you to the University and to the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. Below you will find some information about the induction programme that has been arranged for you.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week runs from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September. On Monday 24 September you will have an introductory meeting with all new students in the Department. This will give you the opportunity to meet fellow students, find out more about the course, ask questions, and to get to know the staff.

Support available in your Department

Although exciting, many students find that the transition to study at a new institution can be challenging. We are here to support you so please let us know if you are having any difficulties or have any concerns and we will do our very best to assist you through this transitional period. You can contact your Director of Studies, Dr Sandrine Alègre (s.alegre@bath.ac.uk) or Programme Administrator, Ms Anna McGregor (polis-ug-admin@bath.ac.uk).

All incoming students will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will be responsible for providing pastoral and academic support. You will also have a Peer Mentor who is a current student in the Department and will be able to share experiences with you, and answer any questions you may have about being a student here at Bath. You will have an opportunity to meet both your Personal Tutor and Peer Mentor during Welcome Week.

Department pre-arrival information

Pre-arrival reading:

We’ve put together some suggested texts to help you to read around the area of your new studies. We strongly recommend that you buy all the books listed for your languages, as the number of students is far too great for you to rely on Library holdings. You must have your own copy of the language course books, and you ought to have your own copy of the literary, historical and political texts (if money is tight, club together with fellow-students).

There are several bookshops in Bath and Amazon have a delivery point on campus. Second-hand books can often be found through the Students’ Union website. One or two additional literary texts may be recommended later.


  • Dictionary: use free online dictionaries such as Cambridge, Larousse, TLFi, WordReference.

  • M. Thacker & C. d’Angelo, Essential French Grammar, Routledge 2013

  • P.Beaumarchais, Le Mariage de Figaro, Gallimard Folio Classique

  • E. Zola, Germinal, Gallimard Folio Classique

  • W. Doyle, The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford

  • R. Gildea, Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914, Penguin

  • M. Evans & E. Godin, France since 1815, 2nd edition, Routledge 2014

  • A. Camus, La Peste, Editions Belin 2012 [for Semester 2]

  • A. Prost, Petite histoire de la France : de la belle époque à nos jours, 7th edition Armand Colin 2013 (for Semester 2)

  • Film: G. Pontecorvo, La Bataille d’Alger (1966) (for Semester 2)


  • R Wahrig-Burfeind, Wahrig Deutsches Worterbuch, 6th edition, Bertelsmann 2008

  • M Allinson, Germany and Austria since 1815, 2nd edition, Routledge 2014

  • E Toller, Eine Jugend in Deutschland, Reclam 2011

  • J Weber, Kleine Geschichte Deutschlands seit 1945, dtv (for Semester 2)

  • H Böll, Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, dtv 1995 (for Semester 2)

  • P Schneider, Der Mauerspringer, rororo 1995 (for Semester 2)

  • Dreyer/Schmitt Lehr- Und Ubungsbuch Der Deutschen Grammatik - Aktuell: A Practice Grammar of German


  • Collins Sansoni Italian Dictionary, 2005

  • F. Merlonghi and others, Oggi in Italia (International Edition), 9th edition, Heinle 2011

  • A. Cento Bull, A Very Short Introduction to Modern Italy, OUP 2016

  • C. Duggan, A Concise History of Italy, 2nd edition, Cambridge 2013

  • P. Morgan, Italian Fascism 1919-1945, Palgrave 2003

  • P. Hainsworth & David Robey, Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction, OUP 2012

Films - Roberto Rossellini, Roma città aperta, 1945 - Vittorio De Sica, Ladri di biciclette, 1948


  • The following two online tools are key dictionaries for Spanish:

  • J. Kattán-Ibarra & A. Howkins, Spanish Grammar in Context, 3rd edition, Routledge 2014 (essential)

  • J. Butt & C. Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, 4th edition, Routledge 2011 (recommended, will be useful in subsequent years of study)

  • C. Ross, Spain since 1812, 3rd edition, Routledge 2009 (a couple of additional literary texts may be recommended later)

European Studies

The most useful textbooks are T. C. W. Blanning (ed), The Nineteenth Century 1789-1914, Oxford 2000 (Semester 1) and Mary Fulbrook (ed), Europe since 1945, Oxford 2001 (Semester 2) but they are available as e-books through the University Library.

The following book is required reading for a seminar and you should buy it:

  • A. Burgess, A Clockwork Orange, Penguin 2008 (Semester 2)

The following books are recommended but not an essential purchase. If you would like to do some preliminary reading for your degree, they would be a good place to start:

  • J. Roberts, The Penguin History of Europe, Penguin 1997 OR N. Davies, Europe: a History, The Bodley Head 2014

Study Skills

It is well worth reading something on university-level study skills. There are a number of such works in the Library, but if you can afford it you should buy one to refer to as need arises. We recommend:

  • M. Lewis, How to Study Foreign Languages, Palgrave 1999 or S. Donald & P. Kneale, Study Skills for Language Students: a Practical Guide, Hodder Arnold 2001 (available second-hand)
  • P. Dunleavy, Studying for a Degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Palgrave 1986 OR R. Barnes, Successful Study for Degrees, 3rd edition, Routledge 2004

You can find more information about Welcome Week and things you can do in preparation for your arrival at Bath. These pages will be updated as the time draws closer to Welcome Week (particularly during September). Therefore, please do continue to visit these pages ahead of your arrival.

I very much look forward to meeting you at the end of September. In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With very best wishes,

Dr. Sandrine Alègre
Director of Studies for Modern Languages and European Studies
Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies
University of Bath