French Language 1
You will develop your accuracy, fluency and confidence in the use of French through intensive task-based activities practising the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. We aim to build on and increase your knowledge and understanding of grammatical structures and considerably expand your range of vocabulary. Particular emphasis is placed on developing your ability to write carefully structured and argued discursive texts such as reports and essays.
Translation and Intercultural Studies
This module aims to combine intensive practical work in translating a wide range of texts with an introduction to the main problems and issues surrounding translation seen from a slightly more theoretical perspective. A visit to Lille in the first term enables you to meet students from the Faculté des Lettres of the Université Catholique. During this visit, you will also carry out a research project on some aspect of the life of Lille.
Contemporary French Studies
In this module, you will study a number of aspects of French society, culture, and history. You will learn how to approach French texts in a critical way, develop your essay-writing skills, and begin to carry out your own independent research on an aspect of France that you find particularly interesting. The areas of study will cover a wide variety of relevant topics (the French education system, youth culture, cinema and comic books…) and will help you extend your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills in French.
French Language 2
This module builds on the work begun in year 1 and involves an exchange with students from the University in Boulogne during which you will carry out a cooperative project together.
French Language and Translation
This module brings together the two strands of language study and translation that have been the foundation of previous years. It aims to equip you with graduate-level competence in French for academic and professional purposes. A high level of accuracy and fluency will be expected and you will practise extensively the application of your knowledge of France and the French to the production of effective communications in French.
This module studies various aspects of the concept of “francophonie”. It examines the history of the word and its evolution. The most important aspects of the French-speaking world - linguistic, cultural, geopolitical and economic - are explored. This is an important opportunity to widen your study of French to encompass a global dimension to many topical issues.
Academic or Work Placement
As part of your French degree you are required to spend a minimum of ten weeks studying or working in a French-speaking country. This normally takes the form of either a work placement during the summer at the end of year two or a whole year as an Erasmus student in France, normally in Lille. This module provides you with the all-important opportunity to experience living in a country where French is the major language spoken.
It has obvious benefits in terms of language expansion at the spoken level and in terms of the acquisition of fluency, pronunciation and intonation. It is also a valuable means of getting a better insight and understanding of local issues, values, customs, and culture. Whether you opt for work-placement or academic study through Erasmus exchanges your stay will contribute in a unique way to your personal development and widening outlook.
Likely optional modules
Development of the work begun in the first year, but with a look at studying and evaluating published translations to deepen your understanding of how translation works when commercial considerations are introduced.
Aspects culturels de la France
This module focuses on the study of important aspects of contemporary French culture: film, literature and history. The aim is to enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of France’s ongoing relation to its past and present cultural ‘grandeur’.
Aspects de la société française depuis 1945
This module looks at important aspects of French society since the Second World War: the concept of the ‘trente glorieuses’, the period of thirty years (1945-75) that saw the transformation of French economy and society, the evolution of the family and women’s roles, immigration and national identity, the French education system and questions of social mobility and élitism.
Lettres et culture françaises contemporaines
The module examines closely the contemporary French novel, the ‘bande dessinée’, contemporary cinema, and major elements of French history since 1970. It requires you to read novels and historical texts, watch films and documentaries and study press coverage of events in French. It provides you with the opportunity to use the French language in an academic context, with emphasis on conventions, style and register. It centres around debate and analysis of issues of national identity and social and cultural transformations as they figure in contemporary literature and cinema, the ‘bande dessinée’ and the wider cultural scene in France.
In this module you will have the opportunity to carry out research on an agreed topic, largely independently, but supported by regular meetings with the member of staff who is supervising you. You will use a variety of sources of information, primarily in French, in order to write a 4000-word dissertation.