BA honours in combination with another subject French 2019/20

Year of entry

Canterbury is a great place to study French. You will be close to the Channel ports, making travel to France very straightforward. As well as study visits to Northern France, you will participate in exchanges and activities with students from French universities just across the Channel. You will have the opportunity to study or work in France without adding an extra year to your three year degree course.

You will focus on France and the French since 1945, studying a wide selection of topics in French history, society, literature and film. Most of our teaching is delivered in French, immersing you in the language. Our classes are small (10-15 students normally) meaning your learning takes place in a friendly and supportive environment.

You will explore areas including:

  • the films of Bruno Dumont
  • the recent political and economic situation in Algeria
  • the work of bande dessinée artist Jacques Tardi

Our programme provides a broad introduction to contemporary French culture and society in the closest British University city to France. Our long-standing connections with France are symbolised by the fact that the walls of Canterbury Cathedral are built of French stone and are still repaired using that stone today. We take advantage of our proximity to Northern France by incorporating study visits and exchanges into the curriculum.

Studying French in combination with another subject will enable you to work in France with confidence, work for a French company in the UK, visit France with greater understanding and enjoyment, or lay the foundations for further study or research. Our programme is also ideal for those with an interest in Translation, as you will participate in weekly Translation classes at all levels. Many of our students have gone on to study Translation and Interpreting at postgraduate level.

Our small class sizes mean that our experienced lecturers can provide you with the individual attention necessary to allow you to reach a high level of competence in French, whatever your level upon joining us.

"An incredible experience, learning new and interesting things and visiting many places in France. Culturally, I now feel richer in France."


Top reasons to choose this course

  • The programme offers the broadest possible introduction to contemporary French society and language.
  • Teaching is in small groups by staff that put the student experience at the forefront.
  • All staff are actively involved in research and publication in contemporary French studies.

Each year of study further develops your ability to understand and express yourself in French. We deepen your understanding of how language works and what it means to meet and explore another culture.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

We place considerable emphasis on translation skills and this is a part of each year’s course. We aim to equip you with the skills to translate a wide range of text types from politics, literature, history and technology to current affairs.

You will deepen your knowledge of contemporary France and the French-speaking world by studying a varied range of topics and questions, from New Wave cinema to feminism, from the novels of Michel Houellebecq to the post-war transformation of the French economy.

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.

"Through trips to France, we grew as a class, and our French improved greatly."

Pierre Year 3 student

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.

Work experience

Work or study placements in France or a French-speaking country are a requirement. See the details given for the third-year module Academic or Work Placement.

"One of the best bits of being on a year abroad is the people you meet. Just in my residence, there are Spanish, American, Canadian, Venezuelan, Mexican, Italian, Austrian, German and even some Taiwanese and Japanese to add to the mix. Everybody hangs out together and there is no shortage of things to do in Lille, with the Nightlife in Europe being very vibrant, as well as the beautiful surroundings. There’s never a dull moment."

Walker Darke BA Music and French, Year 3

Other information

The trips and opportunities to meet and work with French students from Lille and Boulogne are very popular.

Likely Core modules

Year 1

French Language and Translation Part 1 (Semester 1) and Part 2 (Semester 2) (20 credits each)

Through weekly Language classes 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.

Weekly translation classes aim 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 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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 2

French Language and Translation Part 3 (Semester 1) and Part 4 (Semester 2) (20 credits each)

These modules build on the work begun in year 1 and involve an exchange with students from the University in Boulogne during which you will carry out a cooperative project together. In the Translation classes, you will study and evaluate published translations to deepen your understanding of how translation works when commercial considerations are introduced.

Year 3

French Language and Academic or Work Placement (Semester 1) (20 credits)

This module aims to equip you with graduate­level 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.

As part of this module, you will write a report on the academic or work placement completed in Year 2 or during the summer between Year 2 and Year 3. During your French degree you are required to spend a minimum of ten weeks studying or working in a French­speaking 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 experience provides you with the all­important 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 work­placement or academic study through Erasmus exchanges your stay will contribute in a unique way to your personal development and widening outlook.

French Language and the French-speaking World (Semester 2) (20 credits)

This module builds on the Language work carried out in Semester 1 of Year 3 and addresses 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.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Aspects culturels de la France (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 3

Lettres et culture françaises contemporaines (20 credits)

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.

Individual Study (20 credits)

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.

Graduates have begun careers in a wide range of administrative, managerial and marketing positions. Each year students train as teachers and several enter further study in translation with a view to becoming translators and interpreters. Many find work with the European Union and other international institutions.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements The School will make a contribution to the travel and accommodation costs for students on work placements on the BA French programme (i.e. for the Level 6 Work Placement module, which those students who have not done an Erasmus year complete between Years 2 and 3 of the programme), and when the placement does not result in paid employment. A fund of up to £2,000 per year will be set aside to contribute to these costs for each programme.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will study a range of modules each year aimed at developing your language skills, your ability to translate into and from French, and your knowledge and understanding of key aspects of contemporary France. In the first year you will study three modules of French and three of your other subject. Year One students take six hours of French per week – your overall contact hours will depend on the optional modules you select in your other subject. In later years you can major in one or other of your subjects and do four modules of one and two of the other. Or you can continue to study three modules of each.

You will be taught in small groups using the seminar format, with continuous interaction between lecturer and student and between students. Language classes involve a range of practical activities across the skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, with short exposés of grammar points or discussions of usage. Translation classes are almost entirely practical, with some theoretical input. The vast majority of teaching on this programme takes place in French.

In your first year, you will undertake a three-day trip to Lille with your lecturers and fellow students and visit the Université Catholique de Lille. This allows you to put your French into practice and to explore a vibrant French city with a rich history. In your second year, you will participate in an exchange with students from the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale. As part of this exchange, you will spend three days on a cultural visit to Boulogne-sur-Mer completing a project with French peers. You will also complete a more extended period of residence in a French-speaking country or region. You can either spend your second year studying abroad in a French-speaking university or complete a 10-week work placement in the summer between Year Two and Year Three.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent Learning

When not attending seminars, you will continue to develop your French and your academic skills through independent study. This may include listening to the radio, watching DVDs, learning vocabulary, reading texts in French, working on group projects, studying grammatical concepts, writing essays, and producing your own translations. Your module leader will direct you towards activities to complete during your own time.

Overall workload

All French modules involve fifty hours of classroom time and 200 hours of independent study.

Academic Input

The lecturers on the French course have a PhD in French studies and are actively involved in research and publication.

There are several types of assessment:

  • Coursework: This includes work done in class as well as at home; for some modules, it is gathered in a portfolio marked as a whole at the end of the module. For other modules, there are also specific pieces of work which will have to be handed in by a specific date.
  • Timed questions (TQ): these are exams which take place in class at specific times and dates set in your subject time table. They are often open-book exams where you are allowed to consult your notes.
  • Examinations: Some modules are assessed by a formal examination at the end of the module. You will have access to a dictionary but will not be allowed to consult other notes. Examinations never count for more than 50% of the module mark.
  • Individual study: In your final year, you will have the option to write a 4,000-word essay in French on a subject of our own choosing. This will allow you to pursue the interests you have developed during your studies to a deeper level in collaboration with one of your lecturers.

You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessment) and 20 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

It is compulsory for students on the BA in French programme to spend at least 10 weeks in France or a French-speaking country during the course of their studies.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • The typical entry requirements are the standard University tariff of 88 -112 UCAS points including French grade C at AS or A2 Level (if taken) or if not then French grade B at GCSE

    More entry requirement details.



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Last edited: 21/01/2019 12:26:00