French and Philosophy BA

   
   
  

Fact file - 2018 entry

Qualification
French and Philosophy | BA Jt Hons
UCAS code
RV15
Duration
4 years full-time/year 3 out (available part-time)
A level offer
ABB 
Open to beginners and A level students of French
Required subjects
B in French at A level, if applicable. No language qualification is required for the beginners pathway.
IB score
32; 5 at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level (B programme) in French, if applicable.
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
10
 

Overview

This course offers a combination of philosophy with degree-level study in French language and culture.
Read full overview

This course, combining Philosophy with degree-level study in French language and culture, is open to beginners in French as well as post-A level students. Beginners’ French students follow an intensive language course designed to take them to degree level within four years, while post-A level students take language classes at an advanced level. Absolute beginners, GCSE, AS (beginners’ entry), or A level students (post-A level entry) in French are warmly invited to apply.

On both routes – post-A level or beginners’ – you will normally divide your time equally between French and Philosophy.

For the Philosophy part of the degree all students will take core foundational modules dealing with philosophical issues and optional modules in areas that interest them. 

Year one 

If you are taking French post-A level you will receive a firm grounding in the structures of the language through the core language module. You will also take the core Introduction to French and Francophone Studies module introducing you to the study of French linguistics, literature, politics, society and film. You will also choose further optional modules focusing on literature and contemporary France.

If you are starting French at beginners’ level, you will pursue a structured course in the language to take you from beginners’ to advanced level. You will also take core modules taught in English that introduce you to key areas of interest in the field of French Studies.

In philosophy, modules introduce you to philosophical study at university level, and guide you through principles of good reasoning, argumentation, and writing.

Year two

On the post-A level route your French language studies will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad. You will also choose from a range of modules in French and Francophone literature, culture and society, history, politics, linguistics and film. On the beginners’ route you will continue to work intensively on key skills in the French language in preparation for the year abroad. You will also take a core Introduction to French and Francophone Studies module.

In philosophy, modules typically cover social issues, the mind, ethics, freedom, asian philosophy, the nature of reality, meaning, and understanding science.

Year three

Your third academic year is spent in France or a Francophone country doing one of the following:

  • a programme of studies in a higher education institution
  • working as an assistant in a school
  • a work placement.

For more information, see the Year Abroad page.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.

 

 

 

Year four

Beginners’ and post-A level students will take the same core language module and all students will choose from a range of optional modules. You will develop your command of French to a high level and use it in increasingly sophisticated contexts. You will also study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, culture and society, history, politics, visual culture and linguistics. One of your options in French will be to write a dissertation.

Final-year philosophy modules reflect the research expertise of our department, including in metaphysics, ethics, logic, philosophy of science, and criminal law. You may also opt to write a dissertation on a subject of your choosing.

More information 

See also the Department of Philosophy.  

 
 

Entry requirements

A levels: B in French at A level, if applicable. No language qualification is required for the beginners pathway.

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

Alternative qualifications 

We recognise that potential students have a wealth of different experiences and follow a variety of pathways into higher education, so we treat applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate) as individuals, and accept students with a range of less conventional qualifications including:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC HND/HNC
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

This list is not exhaustive, and we consider applicants with other qualifications on an individual basis. The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific; for example you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. Please contact us to discuss the transferability of your qualification.

For more information, please see the alternative qualifications page.

 

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  
 

Modules


Typical year one modules (post-A level route)

French 1 (core)

You’ll develop your understanding of the French language including grammar, written expression, aural and oral skills. 3 hours per week will be spent in lectures, workshops, and oral classes with a native speaker studying for this module. 

 

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies (core)

You will receive a firm grounding in the structures of French through the core language module. You will also follow a core module 'Introduction to French and Francophone Studies' which will prepare you for studying the range of topics and skills you will develop in your degree course. You will also choose optional modules in French literature and the history and politics of contemporary France.

 
France: History and Identity
The module aims to introduce students to the course of French history since the late Middle Ages through the study of a series of historical figures, their times and lives, how their 'stories' are written and woven into the fabric of 'le roman de la nation' (the national story) and how they have been appropriated to serve a range of different ends. It will also introduce students to the iconography and visual manifestations of the French historical landscape. 
 
Introduction to French Literature: Landmarks in Narrative
This module aims to introduce students to the critical study of French narrative, covering key examples of novels from the seventeenth century to the present. In studying each text we will focus on (a) understanding the text within its historical context, and (b) developing critical approaches to the text. The module will develop students’ key skills in literary study, from the basics of understanding a text with unfamiliar syntax and vocabulary, to close reading and the application of complex literary theories.
 
Contemporary France
This module will focus on a selection of themes: French political institutions, with particular emphasis on the presidency; political parties in France; Immigration and identity, including questions of identity in contemporary French culture.
 
Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris
This module aims to introduce students to the comparative study of literature and culture, inviting students to consider how Paris is represented in a range of texts (poetic, narrative and filmic) in the modern period (post-1800). Students will learn reading techniques adapted to different genres and media, and to consider representations of the city within their broader social, historical and critical contexts.
 
Reasoning and Argument: An Introduction to Philosophical Method
In this module you will learn a series of key skills needed to follow critical methods of philosophical inquiry. It will help you understand the structure and nature of arguments of others and improve your reasoning ability to assist you in your further studies during your course. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Introduction to Ethics
This module introduces you to some of the main ethical questions studied by philosophers. The first part focuses on some contemporary moral problems (for example, the justification of punishment). The second part of the course looks at some normative ethical theories and concepts that provide ways of approaching such moral problems. The third part of the course considers some challenges to the idea of systematic moral inquiry (such as relativism, egoism and emotivism). You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
 
Self, Mind and Body
In this module you will be introduced to the important central issues in philosophy of self, mind and body which continue to be debated to present day. You will examine Descartes’s Meditations focusing on his thoughts on dualism and mind-body interaction, comparing these with other related topics. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Appearance and Reality
In this module you will examine some of the central themes surrounding the work of John Locke, one of the first philosophers who sought to integrate philosophy with our modern scientific worldview. Topics covered include empiricism and science, perception, justification and scepticism and the nature of objects among others. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Elementary Logic
This module provides an introduction to modern logic including technical vocabulary required to aid your understanding of modern philosophical work. You will discuss the symbolism of modern logic, the theory of the structure of thought and practice translation between symbolism and English. You will have two hours per week of lectures studying this module.
 
Issues in Feminist Philosophy
This module will provide an introduction to some of the issues discussed in contemporary feminist philosophy, considering a range of sometimes opposing feminist views on topics including: pornography, feminine appearance, and gender roles within the family and in the workplace. You will also examine the ways in which feminist writers have shown that matters not traditionally considered political do in fact have political significance. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
History of Western Philosophy

Through considering some of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived, you will become familiar with some of the main philosophical ideas which have shaped western analytical philosophy. You will understand how and why these ideas arose and the context in which they were developed. The thinkers which could be covered include: Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, St Augustine, St Aquinas, and Hume, among others. You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.

 
 

Typical year one modules (beginners' route)

French 1 (Beginners) (core)

The module focuses on the intensive study from beginners’ level of the five key skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, and grammatical competence. The module will use a set text book, but this will also be supplemented with other exercises and materials designed to work towards the specific requirements of a degree programme in French Studies, whereby students come into contact with modules in French literature, culture, history or linguistics. 

 
France: History and Identity
The module aims to introduce students to the course of French history since the late Middle Ages through the study of a series of historical figures, their times and lives, how their 'stories' are written and woven into the fabric of 'le roman de la nation' (the national story) and how they have been appropriated to serve a range of different ends. It will also introduce students to the iconography and visual manifestations of the French historical landscape. 
 
France: Twentieth-Century Texts in Translation

The module offers an introduction to aspects of twentieth-century French culture and society to be studied through a selection of literary texts studied in English translation. By choosing texts with varied thematic and formal features the module will give an insight into the range of themes and issues which have preoccupied writers in France in the twentieth century. The module will also raise students’ awareness of a range of literary styles and techniques and the ways in which these may influence the reader.

 
Reasoning and Argument: An Introduction to Philosophical Method
In this module you will learn a series of key skills needed to follow critical methods of philosophical inquiry. It will help you understand the structure and nature of arguments of others and improve your reasoning ability to assist you in your further studies during your course. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Introduction to Ethics
This module introduces you to some of the main ethical questions studied by philosophers. The first part focuses on some contemporary moral problems, such as the justification of punishment. The second part of the course looks at some normative ethical theories and concepts that provide ways of approaching such moral problems. The third part of the course considers some challenges to the idea of systematic moral inquiry such as relativism, egoism and emotivism. You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
 
Self, Mind and Body
In this module you will be introduced to the important central issues in philosophy of self, mind and body which continue to be debated to present day. You will examine Descartes’s Meditations focusing on his thoughts on dualism and mind-body interaction, comparing these with other related topics. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Appearance and Reality
In this module you will examine some of the central themes surrounding the work of John Locke, one of the first philosophers who sought to integrate philosophy with our modern scientific worldview. Topics covered include empiricism and science, perception, justification and scepticism and the nature of objects among others. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Elementary Logic
This module provides an introduction to modern logic including technical vocabulary required to aid your understanding of modern philosophical work. You will discuss the symbolism of modern logic, the theory of the structure of thought and practice translation between symbolism and English. You will have two hours per week of lectures studying this module.
 
Issues in Feminist Philosophy
This module will provide an introduction to some of the issues discussed in contemporary feminist philosophy, considering a range of sometimes opposing feminist views on topics including: pornography, feminine appearance, and gender roles within the family and in the workplace. You will also examine the ways in which feminist writers have shown that matters not traditionally considered political do in fact have political significance. You will have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
History of Western Philosophy
Through considering some of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived, you will become familiar with some of the main philosophical ideas which have shaped western analytical philosophy. You will understand how and why these ideas arose and the context in which they were developed. The thinkers which could be covered include: Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, St Augustine, St Aquinas, and Hume, among others. You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
 
 

Typical year two modules (post-A level route)

French 2 (core)
Building upon the language module studied in Year 1, you’ll further improve your skills in reading, listening, speaking, creative writing and translation. You’ll spend 2 hours per week in workshops and one hour in oral classes with a native speaker for this module.
 

Language and Politics in 21st Century French

The module will focus on the interplay between language and politics in 21st-century French. It will address issues of ideology, identity, and power in French-speaking countries from a linguistic perspective. Students will examine the driving forces behind the invention and the preservation of standard French, the role of norms and variation in identity politics, and the role of language choices in current political debates in France. Students will apply the principles and methods of sociolinguistics and cognitive linguistics to a variety of recent textual and audiovisual documents, and digital data such as TV programmes, news broadcasts, interviews, radio podcasts, corpora based on social media and online newspapers.

 
Contemporary France and Globalisation

This module looks at contemporary French society in the context of an increasingly globalised culture and economy. The module analyses recent attempts to defend, redefine and adapt key aspects of French economic and cultural life in order to negotiate ways of living in an era of globalisation. The material in the module focuses on key debates around globalisation: the national and the ‘local’ versus the global; constructions of Frenchness in opposition to America; the decline of rural France; the contemporary redefinition and possible continued significance of established French values and cultural practices; and the problems associated with maintaining a distinctively French social model in the face of globalisation.

 

Surrealist Photography in France

This module will introduce students to surrealist photography in inter-war France. Through close study of key texts, including André Breton’s ‘Manifeste du surréalisme’, alongside the work of male and female photographers associated with the surrealist movement, such as Man Ray, Maurice Tabard, Claude Cahun and Florence Henri, students will engage with the theoretical and aesthetic concepts of surrealism and related aspects of photographic history and technique. Wider socio-cultural and historical issues surrealist photography raises will be addressed, together with visual analysis and text-and-image relations.  

 
Post-War French Theatre
Examining the experimental theatre which flourished in France in the 1950s and 1960s, you’ll consider authors such as Genet, Beckett and Ionesco. Focusing on dramatic technique, theory, and performance, you’ll spend around 2 hours per week studying in lectures and seminars. 
 
New Wave French Cinema
Introducing you to teaching in film analysis, you’ll consider a particular period of French cinema through a detailed study of the New Wave. You’ll spend between 2-3 hours a week in lectures and seminars for this module.
 
Enlightenment Literature: An Introduction

This module is an introduction to the study of eighteenth-century French literature, through a variety of texts chosen to offer an accessible approach to the period’s main literary genres and movements of thought.

 
Social Philosophy
In this module you’ll discuss key issues in social philosophy. Indicative topics that might be covered include: philosophy of gender; philosophy of race; philosophy of disability; philosophy of relationships and friendship; slavery and abolition; social and psychological oppression; the political thought of Hannah Arendt.  Recently, the focus for this module has been on the Philosophy of Race and has concerned questions such as: How should race be conceptualised following the discrediting of biological conceptions of race? What does it mean to consider race as a social construct? Should we be eliminitivists about race? What are the implications of how we conceptualise race for understandings of racism? The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
The Nature of Meaning
The module begins with an exploration of various theories of naming, paying particular attention to the works of Frege, Russell, and Kripke. We then turn our attention to various puzzles concerning the nature of meaning, including the distinction between analytic and synthetic sentences. In the final part of the module, we move on to a discussion of some of the mainstream theories of meaning; particularly, a truth-conditional semantics, and we explore how this might be developed to take into account indexical terms such as `I', `now', and `here'. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar. 
 
Freedom and Obligation
This module combines consideration of the political philosophy of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and J.S. Mill with related themes in contemporary debates. The module is designed to introduce you to each of the thinkers and then to consider how related issues are treated by contemporary writers. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.
 
Mind and Consciousness
This module aims to introduce you to some of the major issues within contemporary philosophy of mind. We will examine four topics and the interactions between them: intentionality, consciousness, mental causation and the status of physicalism. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.
 
History of Philosophy
The module involves the study of one or more texts by one or more influential pre-twenty-first century philosophers. The module will proceed via a close reading of the texts set and also draw on additional material by scholars, background material, and influential responses. For the 2015–16 session, the philosopher selected for study in this module is the 18th century philosopher David Hume, arguably the greatest, and undeniably one of the most influential, of all British philosophers. We focus on some of Hume’s most striking and influential contributions to philosophical topics (in the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind), including induction, causation, scepticism, and the implications of empiricism in general. The principal text is Hume’s short work An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, also known as his ‘First Enquiry’, supplemented with some passages from Hume’s other writings. Although the focus is on Hume’s philosophy, the module will include comparison of his views with those of some of his predecessors and contemporaries, including Locke and Berkeley. In addition, one of the aims of the module is to provide students with knowledge of ways in which Hume’s work has influenced subsequent theorizing in philosophy up to the present day. There is a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.
 
Knowledge and Justification
This module explores contemporary treatments of issues pertaining to knowledge and the justification of belief. It addresses issues such as the following: the structure of justification and its relation to one's mental states and evidence; the justification of induction; the notion of a priori justification and the relation between your evidence and what you know, among others. You’ll have two hours of lectures some weeks and a hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Normative Ethics
We all have opinions about moral matters. But for most of us, our moral opinions are not very well-organized. Indeed, upon reflection we may discover that some of our beliefs about morality are inconsistent. One of the main projects of moral theorizing over the past few hundred years has been the attempt to systematically denominate right and wrong actions. In this module you will examine some of these, including consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics. Teaching will be via a weekly two hour seminar and one hour lecture. 
 
Being, Becoming and Reality
In this module you’ll discuss several topics in contemporary metaphysics. You will examine a number of topics in detail. Recent examples include: What is metaphysics? Do composite objects exist? And, if so, when does composition occur? Do numbers, sets, propositions exist? Do other possible worlds exist? What is the nature of time?The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
Contemporary Metaethics
Are there moral fact? What is moral truth? Do psychopaths really understand moral language? These are just some of the questions we’ll be asking on this module. Metaethics isn’t anything like normative or applied ethics; rather it is about asking how ethics works. This means we’ll be thinking about, amongst other things, moral ontology, moral language, moral psychology and moral reasons. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
Philosophy of Art
This module includes a discussion of some philosophical problems pertaining to art. Topics will include: definitions of art, Walton’s theory of make-believe, art, music, and the emotions, and the ontological status of artworks. This module aims to promote a deeper understanding of philosophical issues pertaining to art. By the end of the module, you should be able to discuss and evaluate different views of the expressive power of art, to explain certain current views on expression and representation, and to present the main contemporary viewpoints pertaining to the nature of artworks. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
 

Typical year two modules (beginners' route)

French 2 (Beginners (core))

The module builds on the intensive language study undertaken in the first year, developing the key skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, and grammatical competence. In this way it is anticipated that, by the end of the second year, students will be linguistically equipped to cope with the challenges of the year abroad.

 
Introduction to French and Francophone Studies (core)

You will receive a firm grounding in the structures of French through the core language module. You will also follow a core module 'Introduction to French and Francophone Studies' which will prepare you for studying the range of topics and skills you will develop in your degree course. You will also choose optional modules in French literature and the history and politics of contemporary France.

 

Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris (core)

This module aims to introduce students to the comparative study of literature and culture, inviting students to consider how Paris is represented in a range of texts (poetic, narrative and filmic) in the modern period (post-1800). Students will learn reading techniques adapted to different genres and media, and to consider representations of the city within their broader social, historical and critical contexts.

 

Francophone Africa: Exploring Contemporary Issues through Culture

Through literature, film and popular culture, you’ll explore a range of political and social issues relevant to contemporary sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. Spending around 2 hours a week in lectures and seminars, you’ll be given an overview of the history of the French language in Africa and introduced to the range of varieties of French spoken there today. 

 

Post-War French Theatre

This module focuses on developments in French theatre in the mid-twentieth century. This includes plays that dramatise existentialist issues, as well as examples of what was known as the Theatre of the Absurd: a new, experimental approach to theatre, which flourished in France in the 1950s and 1960s. Authors studied will include Sartre, Beckett and Ionesco, and the module will analyse dramatic technique and theory, along with performance. The module will explore the various ways in which these plays challenged dramatic conventions and how they engaged with fundamental questions relating to meaning, causality, language and society.

 
Social Philosophy

In this module you’ll discuss key issues in social philosophy. Indicative topics that might be covered include: philosophy of gender; philosophy of race; philosophy of disability; philosophy of relationships and friendship; slavery and abolition; social and psychological oppression; the political thought of Hannah Arendt.  Recently, the focus for this module has been on the Philosophy of Race and has concerned questions such as: How should race be conceptualised following the discrediting of biological conceptions of race? What does it mean to consider race as a social construct? Should we be eliminitivists about race? What are the implications of how we conceptualise race for understandings of racism? The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.

 
The Nature of Meaning

The module begins with an exploration of various theories of naming, paying particular attention to the works of Frege, Russell, and Kripke. We then turn our attention to various puzzles concerning the nature of meaning, including the distinction between analytic and synthetic sentences. In the final part of the module, we move on to a discussion of some of the mainstream theories of meaning; particularly, a truth-conditional semantics, and we explore how this might be developed to take into account indexical terms such as `I', `now', and `here'. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar. 

 
Freedom and Obligation

This module combines consideration of the political philosophy of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and J.S. Mill with related themes in contemporary debates. The module is designed to introduce you to each of the thinkers and then to consider how related issues are treated by contemporary writers. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.

 
Mind and Consciousness
This module aims to introduce you to some of the major issues within contemporary philosophy of mind. We will examine four topics and the interactions between them: intentionality, consciousness, mental causation and the status of physicalism. You’ll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.
 
History of Philosophy
The module involves the study of one or more texts by one or more influential pre-twenty-first century philosophers. The module will proceed via a close reading of the texts set and also draw on additional material by scholars, background material, and influential responses. For the 2015–16 session, the philosopher selected for study in this module is the 18th century philosopher David Hume, arguably the greatest, and undeniably one of the most influential, of all British philosophers. We focus on some of Hume’s most striking and influential contributions to philosophical topics (in the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind), including induction, causation, scepticism, and the implications of empiricism in general. The principal text is Hume’s short work An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (also known as his ‘First Enquiry’), supplemented with some passages from Hume’s other writings. Although the focus is on Hume’s philosophy, the module will include comparison of his views with those of some of his predecessors and contemporaries, including Locke and Berkeley. In addition, one of the aims of the module is to provide students with knowledge of ways in which Hume’s work has influenced subsequent theorizing in philosophy up to the present day. There is a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.
 
Knowledge and Justification
This module explores contemporary treatments of issues pertaining to knowledge and the justification of belief. It addresses issues such as the following: the structure of justification and its relation to one's mental states and evidence; the justification of induction; the notion of a priori justification and the relation between your evidence and what you know, among others. You’ll have two hours of lectures some weeks and a hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.
 
Normative Ethics
We all have opinions about moral matters. But for most of us, our moral opinions are not very well-organized. Indeed, upon reflection we may discover that some of our beliefs about morality are inconsistent. One of the main projects of moral theorizing over the past few hundred years has been the attempt to systematically denominate right and wrong actions. In this module you will examine some of these, including consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics. Teaching will be via a weekly two hour seminar and one hour lecture. 
 
Being, Becoming and Reality
In this module you’ll discuss several topics in contemporary metaphysics. You will examine a number of topics in detail. Recent examples include: What is metaphysics? Do composite objects exist? And, if so, when does composition occur? Do numbers, sets, propositions exist? Do other possible worlds exist? What is the nature of time?The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
Contemporary Metaethics
Are there moral fact? What is moral truth? Do psychopaths really understand moral language? These are just some of the questions we’ll be asking on this module. Metaethics isn’t anything like normative or applied ethics; rather it is about asking how ethics works. This means we’ll be thinking about, amongst other things, moral ontology, moral language, moral psychology and moral reasons. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
Philosophy of Art
This module includes a discussion of some philosophical problems pertaining to art. Topics will include: definitions of art, Walton’s theory of make-believe, art, music, and the emotions, and the ontological status of artworks. This module aims to promote a deeper understanding of philosophical issues pertaining to art. By the end of the module, you should be able to discuss and evaluate different views of the expressive power of art, to explain certain current views on expression and representation, and to present the main contemporary viewpoints pertaining to the nature of artworks. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
 
 

Year three

Your third academic year is spent in France or a Francophone country doing one of the following:

  • a programme of studies in a higher education institution
  • working as an assistant in a school
  • a work placement.

For more information, see the Year Abroad page.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.
 

Typical year four modules (post-A level and beginners' routes)

French 3 (core)
Building on the skills gained in Years one and and two, you’ll further develop your oral and written skills, translation into and out of French, creative writing in different registers, linguistic commentary and production of summaries, as well as perfecting your French grammar and vocabulary. In the course of this year-long module, you’ll spend two hours per week in language workshops and one hour in oral classes with a native speaker.
 
Citizenship, Ethnicity and National Identity in Post-War France
You’ll examine the range of social, political and philosophical questions raised by mass immigration to France in the post-war period. These questions will be tackled through historical analysis of patterns of migration and changing immigration policies, as well as through the study of relevant films, novels and theoretical texts. You’ll spend 2 hours each week in lectures and seminars studying this module.
 
Individual and Society
You’ll explore the ways in which French social theory and fiction have thought through the changing nature of the individual and the self in society. You’ll spend 2 hours in lectures and workshops each week studying this module. 
 
Contemporary Representations of Travel
From tourism to exploration, from exile to migration, from pilgrimage to business travel, we will question the tacit ideologies found in contemporary travel discourses. The importance of this field has been steadily growing in between disciplines that range from literary studies to ethnography. The module will use these cross-cultural influences to create an arena in which to develop connections between key disciplines and different forms of arts (literature, ethnography, films photography). You will spend 2 hours a week in seminars for this module.
 

Subtitling and Dubbing from French into English

This module focuses on the theory and practice of two modes of audio-visual translation: subtitling and dubbing. The linguistic, technical, and cultural theoretical underpinnings of subtitling and dubbing from French into English will be examined in detail, and students will be able to put the theory into practice using professional dedicated software. 

 
Peuple and Propaganda
Studying various forms of artistic works taken from key moments in the French Revolutionary decade (1789 – 1799), you’ll consider the reflection of contemporary events in such works. Around 2 hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.
 

The Everyday in Contemporary Literature and Thought 

From the 1930s onwards the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre argued that theorists who wanted to understand the political and ideological dimensions of life had neglected the sphere of the everyday. The module looks at the various ways in which the novel has evolved and adapted to “the contemporary” by responding to the “everyday”. Giving an overview of the various approaches to the everyday in the contemporary novel from the 60s to the present, this module will explore how key authors negotiate, through their writing, the everyday’s indeterminacy and the unstable space it occupies between the social and the individual. You will spend 2 hours a week in lectures and seminars on this module.

 

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

This module is part of the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS) which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools as teaching assistants and to act as role-models (for more information please check uas.ac.uk). Students split their time between the university-based support seminar and their allocated school, where they will work in the language department as an assistant. This may involve one-to-one tuition, small group teaching or extra-curricular activities in the context of the school’s language provision. Students will develop a special teaching project and will be supported in their activities by the module convenor, the education specialist on campus, and their contact teacher at the school. Typically there will be a fortnightly seminar on campus and 7 half-days spent at school. This module is especially suitable for students with prior experience as a language assistant during the year abroad.

 
Francophone Writing in Canada
This module studies a selection of texts which have played a significant part in establishing a tradition of Canadian writing in French. The module includes texts by both Québécois and non-Québécois writers. The texts are studied in the context of the specific cultures to which they belong and of the reception they found. You will spend 2 hours a week in lectures and seminars for this module.
 
Dissertation in French
You’ll undertake an in-depth study into a chosen subject within French and Francophone Studies, and will produce a 7,500 word dissertation. Teaching takes place in the form of regular individual meetings with the allocated supervisor, and group meetings with the module convenor, centred more generally on research and writing skills.
 
Free Will and Action

This module will focus on  a number of questions, including: what would it take for an action to be free (or an exercise of ‘free will’)? Is there is any way in which our actions could be free in the relevant sense, whether or not determinism is true? How do actions differ from bodily movements that are not actions? Actions are typically (perhaps always) done for reasons, but what exactly is the relation between the reasons and the actions? Do the reasons cause the corresponding actions – and if they do, can this be the same kind of causation as is involved in ordinary ‘mechanistic’ causal explanation? What is the connection between intentional or voluntary action and rational action? In particular, it seems that we sometimes intentionally and voluntarily do things that we ourselves regard as irrational – but how is such ‘weakness of will’ possible? You’ll be taught through a two-hour lecture each week.

 

Taking Utilitarianism Seriously

This module is an extended discussion of utilitarian approaches to moral and political philosophy, including utilitarian accounts of the nature of wellbeing, reasons and rightness, rights and justice democracy, individual decision-making, and praise and blame.

 
Marx
In this module you’ll be introduced to the theories of Karl Marx through selected texts from his works. Topics covers will include: alienation, the material conception of history, the labour theory of value and French political theory among others. You’ll gain an understanding of concepts essential for advanced study on this course.
 

God and Money

This is a module in the philosophy of political economy. It explores the tensions between earlier visions of society where obligation, personal fulfilment, trust, and the common good were understood primarily in religious terms, and a modern society where these are understood primarily in economic terms. These tensions remain present in contemporary religious critiques of capitalism: the module will start with recent Papal pronouncements on economic life and close with a critique of the ‘theology’ inherent in money itself. In the first half of the module, various philosophical and theoretical resources will be introduced: e.g. theories of money from Aristotle and Marx; Graeber’s work on the anthropology of debt; Nietzsche and the post-Nietzscheans on governmentality through debt; Weil and Gorz on work and time. In the second half of the module, more contemporary perspectives will be introduced, such as modern money theory and explanations of the recent credit crisis; ecological perspectives on political economy; ecclesial visions of economic life; and a new perspective on money and debt as the defining principles of modern civilization. This module has been designed for both Philosophy and Theology students, and may be taken as part of either degree programme.

 
Buddhist Philosophy
The module will focus on a critical examination of core aspects of Buddhist thinking, with emphasis on some of its basic psychological, spiritual, and metaphysical conceptions. These include, in particular: the origin and nature of suffering, the no-self thesis, enlightenment, consciousness, experiential knowing, and the doctrine of Emptiness - the lack of inherent nature in all things and impermanence. The module will focus particularly on Nâgârjuna’s philosophy of the ‘middle way’ and some modern commentaries on it. The module will approach Buddhism as a philosophical world-view, rather than as a religious one. The module will not be involved in detailed exegesis of ancient texts. When possible the module will try to link Buddhist conceptions to contemporary ideas about personhood, consciousness and the fundamental nature of reality. You will have a mixture of seminars and lectures for this module. 
 

Language, Metaphysics, and Metametaphysics

Metaphysics is the philosophical discipline that purports to investigate the nature of reality in itself. Metaphysical theories aim to tell us what things really exist and how they really are (perhaps in some very general or fundamental sense). In this module we question the nature of metaphysics as an investigation of reality, and ask whether its presuppositions are open to question. Likely topics include: is there a standard method for approaching metaphysical questions within analytic philosophy? Can we legitimately make claims about what exists independently of any linguistic or conceptual framework? Are metaphysical debates ‘merely verbal disputes’? How, if at all, can we come to know metaphysical truths? Does metaphysics have any practical implications? How do approaches to metaphysics vary within different philosophical traditions? 
 
Metaphysics and Language: Quine, Kripke and Lewis
The module involves the study of Naming and Necessity, a seminal text in the philosophy of language, philosophical logic and metaphysics of one of the most influential philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century: Saul Kripke. His work is generally considered the starting point of a twentieth century revolution in the philosophy of language and metaphysics, overturning the consensus established through the writings of Frege and Russell on reference and naming, and inaugurating a new era of analytical metaphysics, central to which is the acknowledgement of necessary a posteriori truths and a division between essential and accidental properties of individuals and kinds. The course will proceed via a close reading of Naming and Necessity, and also draw on additional material by Kripke, background material and some influential responses.
 
Philosophy of Criminal Law
There is perhaps no more vivid example of the exercise of state power over individuals than through the institution of criminal law. The criminal law raises a host of important philosophical questions, such as these: Is there a general obligation to obey the law? If so, what is the basis for this obligation? What sorts of acts should be criminalised, and why? What does it mean for someone to be responsible for a crime, or for the state to hold someone responsible? What is the proper role for the presumption of innocence: Who must presume whom to be innocent of what? Is criminal punishment justified? If so, why? Is the state ever justified in imposing legal restrictions on offenders even after they have completed their punishment? How should the criminal law function in the international context? Readings will include seminal works by historical figures such as Plato, Bentham, and Kant, as well as prominent work by more contemporary philosophers such as Hart, Hampton, Duff, and others.
 

Philosophy of Sex

In everyday language, ‘sex’ has a dual meaning. It can refer to an activity (as in ‘having sex’) and to a set of categories (the male and the female sexes). This module considers the conceptual, moral, political, and metaphysical issues raised by both sexual activity and sex categories. Topics will include the nature of sexual desire; definitions of sexual consent; the moral and political status of commercial sex; the nature of sexual orientation and its moral and political implications; the metaphysics of sex categories; and the politics of intersex and transgender experiences and identities. Students will be encouraged to explore the relationships between these topics and to consider their application to debates and practices outside of philosophy.

 

Topics in the Philosophy of Sciences

When we evaluate scientific theories there are a number of criteria not directly connected to predictive success, or even the ability to accommodate the empirical evidence, that collectively are called “theoretical virtues”. For example, we often evaluate theories partly on their simplicity, explanatory power, coherence with other theories, ability to unify disparate domains, fruitfulness for future research, etc. In this module will focus on one of these theoretical virtues in order to address in detail if and how it is related to epistemic success. Can we, contrary to first impressions, account for the virtue in terms of predictive success? Can we give an epistemic defence of the virtue? Can it be defended on pragmatic grounds? How does our answer to the previous question affect the attitude that we should take towards our best scientific theories?

 
Communicating Philosophy
This module will teach students how to communicate philosophy through a variety of different mediums, assessing them in each. We will look at how philosophy can be communicated through legal documentation, press releases, handouts, lesson plans, digital marketing campaigns, funding bids and posters (with optional presentations). A number of the sessions may be delivered by professionals from outside the University, with support from the module conveners.
 
Personal Identity
If you and another person had your brains swapped, would you have swapped bodies? Or should we say that you still exist in your old body, only now your memories, beliefs, personality traits, etc. are different? Would you survive teleportation? What if teleporting worked by recording your body state, destroying your body, and then creating a copy of it elsewhere? Would this copy be morally responsible for your crimes? What if the teleporter created two copies? These puzzles raise the issue of what your continued existence consists of - are you essentially a brain, a soul, a body, a set of mental states, or something else? This is the issue we will examine in this course. We will also examine the moral implications of personal identity.
 

Dissertation in Philosophy

The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to write an 8,000 word dissertation on a philosophical topic, the precise subject of which is by agreement with the supervisor. At the completion of the module you will have had an opportunity to work independently, though with the advice of a supervisor.

 
 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Year abroad

 

Your third academic year is spent in France or a Francophone country doing one of the following:

  • a programme of studies in a higher education institution
  • working as an assistant in a school
  • a work placement.

For more information, see the Year Abroad page.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.
 

Careers

You will have a broad knowledge of philosophical theories and concepts and an in-depth understanding of the area covered in your dissertation (if you have opted to write one). You will have a strong command of the French language and be able to use it comfortably in a range of social and professional contexts, while your year abroad will have raised your cultural and inter-cultural awareness.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 93% of first-degree graduates in French and Francophone studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,434 with the highest being £31,000.* 

In 2015, 93% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Philosophy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,871 with the highest being £45,000.* 

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

the-140px

 
 

Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

 
 
 

Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Assessment

This course contains a period of study or work abroad between the second and final year of the degree programme. Students' language skills and cultural understanding are assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments upon their return to Nottingham.   

How to use the data

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Imagine...

speaking to the world
+44 (0)115 951 5559 Make an enquiry

Contact

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

willharrison

 

Video

 
sarahhorner

 

Video 

 

 

 

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry