Year 1 modules focus on the development of effective communication skills in the written and spoken mediums: consolidating grammatical knowledge of French, extending vocabulary and improving pronunciation and overall fluency as well as confidence in using the language. Emphasis is placed on linking the study of the language to current issues and general knowledge of social and cultural aspects of the country. In addition, students follow a module devoted to the introduction to translation from and into French. This module also focuses on intercultural studies, and a field-trip to Lille or another major city is included in the syllabus.
In Year 2, the emphasis is on the development of writing and academic skills, competence in oral presentations and general fluency. A joint project is carried out with students from L’Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale in Boulogne and the research part of the exercise takes place in both the UK and France.
The French/English Translation module continues the introduction to the theory and practice of translation begun in Year 1. Modules on contemporary French civilization are based on topical and/or major issues relevant to students of French. These include aspects of contemporary French society, history, literature and cinema. Students gain an understanding and appreciation of the current social and cultural landscape of France.
The emphasis in Year 3 is on the attainment of a high level of accuracy and fluency, preparing students for further studies or use of French in professional contexts. The civilisation module covers in-depth study of contemporary French novels and cinema, French history and institutions since 1970 and other specific aspects of the French cultural scene at the beginning of the 21st century. The academic or work placement (10 weeks minimum for all students) is the basis of a half module in which students have to prepare a reflective diary and report in French on the value and benefits to them of their period spent in France.
There is also a half module specially devoted to the study of ‘Francophonie’ in the world. Students have the opportunity of examining the linguistic, cultural, geopolitical and economic realities of the French-speaking regions of the world.
Additionally, combined honours students may undertake a personal study involving an investigation and critical evaluation of an aspect of the life and culture of France or another French-speaking country. This study is supported by individual tutorials.