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French and Politics BA

   
   
  

Fact file - 2016 entry

UCAS code:RL12
Qualification:BA Jt Hons
Type and duration:4 year UG (year 3 out)
Qualification name:French and Politics
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.
Available part time: yes 
Course places: 15 (across RL12 and RL22)
Campus: University Park Campus 

Course overview

This course, combining Politics 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 Politics. In the Politics part of the degree all students will take core foundational modules dealing with key political 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, French history 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 Politics, you will take modules in contemporary political theory, comparative politics and international relations. You will learn to compare and contrast political institutions and behaviour in liberal democracies and to apply political ideas and concepts to key social issues and issues in world politics.

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 Politics, you take a range of options from three designated 'core' areas: political theory, comparative politics and international relations.

Year three

Spent in France or a French-speaking country as a language assistant in a school, on an approved course of study or on a work placement.

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.

In Politics there will be free choice from a wide variety of more advanced modules, including the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of your own choosing. You may opt to research and write a dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff, and/or choose options in political theory, comparative politics and international relations.

More information 

See also the School of Politics & International Relations.

Entry requirements

A levels: ABB, 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)

Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 (minimum 55)

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

At the University of Nottingham we treat all applicants as individuals; we may make some a lower offer than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.

Your exam grades are very important, but we also look at a range of other factors and aim to give everyone an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievements. If we judge that you have experienced extenuating circumstances that have had an adverse effect on your academic achievement, we will take them into account. These may include:

  • being from a less advantaged family environment in terms of income, education and experience
  • being from a school or college where high academic achievement is not the norm
  • having daily family, caring or work responsibilities
  • being a care-leaver, refugee or from a travelling community

We will recognise these personal and/or educational circumstances as a positive factor when assessing your overall potential. However, whether or not we make you an offer depends on our overall assessment. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

 

Modules

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.

For an insight into the modules that the School of Politics and International Relations may provide check the school website.  


Typical Year One Modules (post-A level route)

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

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.

 
The French Language
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.
 
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.
 
Political Ideas in Revolution
You’ll be introduced to some of the founding fathers of political thought such as Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli and Hobbes. The evolution of political thought such as the concepts of liberty, equality and the Enlightenment will also be examined. You’ll consider their impact on modern political thought and practice, bringing together key political ideas with historical development. In this module you’ll have 2 hours of lectures per week.
 
Power and the State
In this module you’ll compare and contrast the decision-making structures of modern states by examining different topics such as Democratic and Authoritarian Rule, Political Culture and Legal and Constitutional Frameworks. You’ll also be introduced to the method of comparative politics and theory testing. There is a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops on different weeks totalling around 3 hours per week throughout the semester.
 
Problems in Global Politics
For this module, joint honours students will explore a range of issues in contemporary international relations. It focuses on the problems of security and insecurity since the end of the Cold War. You’ll learn to develop critical and reflective thinking using a variety of approaches and methods related to the study of global politics. You’ll have 3 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops per week studying this module.
 
 

Typical Year One Modules (beginners' route)

Beginners' French Language

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.

 
Political Ideas in Revolution
You’ll be introduced to some of the founding fathers of political thought such as Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli and Hobbes. The evolution of political thought such as the concepts of liberty, equality and the Enlightenment will also be examined. You’ll consider their impact on modern political thought and practice, bringing together key political ideas with historical development. In this module you’ll have 2 hours of lectures per week.
 
Power and the State
In this module you’ll compare and contrast the decision-making structures of modern states by examining different topics such as Democratic and Authoritarian Rule, Political Culture and Legal and Constitutional Frameworks. You’ll also be introduced to the method of comparative politics and theory testing. There is a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops on different weeks totalling around 3 hours per week throughout the semester.
 
Problems in Global Politics
For this module, joint honours students will explore a range of issues in contemporary international relations. It focuses on the problems of security and insecurity since the end of the Cold War. You’ll learn to develop critical and reflective thinking using a variety of approaches and methods related to the study of global politics. You’ll have 3 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops per week studying this module.
 
 

Typical Year Two Modules (post-A level route)

French Language
Building upon the language module studied in Year One, you will further improve your skills in reading, listening, speaking, creative writing and translation. You will spend two hours per week in workshops and in oral classes with a native speaker for this module.
 
Sociolinguistics: an Introduction
In this introduction to sociolinguistics, you’ll consider the social contexts of language use, paying particular attention to intercultural communication, politeness, linguistic determinism, language choice, speech act theory, and approaches to the study of speech. You’ll be required to do weekly readings and to engage in discussions during a two hour lecture held once a week.
 
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.

 
Caribbean Francophone Writing
In this introduction to literature in French from the Caribbean, you’ll study texts by authors from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and will combine discussion of the contexts with critical analyses of the texts themselves. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and seminars if you study this module.
 
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 two 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.

 
Democracy and its Critics
You’ll examine the concept and organisation of democracy using primary sources to investigate historic and contemporary debates. You’ll consider the principles and arguments of democracy and its critics as well as the future for democracy in the context of accelerating globalisation. A variety of approaches and methods will be used to help you develop your skills for the study of political theory. You’ll have 3 hours a week of lectures and seminars studying this module.
 
International Political Economy
The study of International Political Economy is essentially interdisciplinary, based on the premise that the political and economic domains are inextricably intertwined in the international system. You will learn the main approaches to International Political Economy, related to a conceptual as well as empirical engagement with the history of, and recent changes in, areas such as international trade, global finance, transnational production and development related to the North-South problematic. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week.
 
Civilisation and Barbarism
You’ll explore some of the major themes of international relations using a variety of different sources including novels, essays, manifestos, treatise and film. Power and Order is the underlying theme linking together areas such as imperialism, emancipation, human rights, terrorism and torture among others. The interconnectivity between all of these areas and the sources will help you appreciate texts from the breadth of your studies. There will be 3 hours a week of seminars and lectures for this module.

 
 

Typical Year Two Modules (beginners' route)

French Language (Post-Beginners')

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
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.
 
Democracy and its Critics
You’ll examine the concept and organisation of democracy using primary sources to investigate historic and contemporary debates. You’ll consider the principles and arguments of democracy and its critics as well as the future for democracy in the context of accelerating globalisation. A variety of approaches and methods will be used to help you develop your skills for the study of political theory. You’ll have 3 hours a week of lectures and seminars studying this module.
 
International Political Economy
The study of International Political Economy is essentially interdisciplinary, based on the premise that the political and economic domains are inextricably intertwined in the international system. You will learn the main approaches to International Political Economy, related to a conceptual as well as empirical engagement with the history of, and recent changes in, areas such as international trade, global finance, transnational production and development related to the North-South problematic. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week.
 
Civilisation and Barbarism
You’ll explore some of the major themes of international relations using a variety of different sources including novels, essays, manifestos, treatise and film. Power and Order is the underlying theme linking together areas such as imperialism, emancipation, human rights, terrorism and torture among others. The interconnectivity between all of these areas and the sources will help you appreciate texts from the breadth of your studies. There will be 3 hours a week of seminars and lectures for this module.
 
 

Year Three : This year is spent abroad. You will spend it in France or a Francophone country, on a programme of studies in a higher education institution, as an assistant in a school or on a work placement.  For more information, please see the Department of French and Francophone Studies' Study Abroad page .


Typical Year Four Modules (post-A level and beginners' routes)

The French Language
Building on the skills gained in Years One and Two, you will 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 will spend two hours per week in language workshops and in oral classes with a native speaker.
 
Citizenship, Ethnicity and National Identity in Post-War France
You will 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 will spend two hours each week in lectures and seminars studying this module.
 
Individual and Society
You will 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 will spend two 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 two hours a week in seminars for this module.
 
Theories and Practices of Translation
You will examine the history of translation and different translation models across a range of genres, including novel, drama, audiovisual media and poetry. For each theory, you will examine a number of case studies, either French texts translated into English or English texts into French. Spending around 1.5 hours per week in lectures, you will be encouraged to develop a critical and reflective approach to translation practice. 
 
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 two hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module. 
 
The Everyday in Modern French Fiction
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 two hours a week in lectures and seminars on this module.
 
Language and Social Interaction
This module undertakes a detailed study of spoken language as a fundamental resource for human action and social organisation. Examination of both ordinary conversation and institutional discourse will enable you to explore the ways in which actions are performed, identities constructed and context achieved through talk. You’ll have a two hour lecture each week for this module.
 
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 two 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.
 
Politics and Drugs
This module examines the implications of narcotics abuse for the political system from both a national and international perspective. Contemporary British drug policy will be the explored and questions raised by drug control policy will be discussed. You’ll consider the production, consumption and trade of drugs as a global problem. You will spend around 3 hours a week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
 
Weapons of Mass Destruction
This module introduces a range of debates concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to give you an appreciation of the importance of the issue. The reasons for states to develop or acquire WMDs will be explored through core concepts such as deterrence, the security dilemma and organisation theory.  You’ll discuss whether WMDs are good or bad and if Britain should build a missile defence system among other topics. 3 hours a week are spent in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
 

 

 

Careers

You will have a broad knowledge of political ideas and concepts and the ability to think and study independently. You will have a level of French that allows you to operate in sophisticated social and professional contexts. Your year abroad will suggest to potential employers that you are adaptable and independent.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 93% of first-degree graduates in the Department of 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 £20,777 with the highest being £32,000.*

In 2014, 94 % of first-degree graduates in the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,047 with the highest being £48,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

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.  

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.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* 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

The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.

 

KIS data

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 abroad. 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

The Enquiry Centre

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