University undergraduate students studying in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.Khaqan Khan (red jumper) and Megan Mahoney (blue top).

French Studies BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

 

More than 275 million people speak French across all five continents and it is the official language of 29 countries. Are you interested in discovering more about the rich history, politics and culture of France and the Francophone world? French and Francophone Studies at Nottingham offers you this and much more.

We are one of the largest French sections in the UK and our lecturers are experts in their fields. You can take modules in:

  • translation and interpreting
  • linguistics
  • art, theatre and photography
  • cinemahistory and culture
  • politics
  • literature from around the Francophone world

 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

French 1

Mandatory

Year 1

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

Mandatory

Year 1

France: History and Identity

Mandatory

Year 1

Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris

Mandatory

Year 1

Introduction to French Literature: Landmarks in Narrative

Mandatory

Year 1

Contemporary France

Optional

Year 1

Exploring Language and Linguistics

Optional

Year 1

Language Meaning, Variation and Change

Optional

Year 1

Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Studies

Optional

Year 1

After Empire: Colonisation and its Legacies

Mandatory

Year 2

French 2

Optional

Year 2

French Cinema: The New Wave

Optional

Year 2

Contemporary Francophone Cinema and Social Issues

Optional

Year 2

On Location: Cinematic Explorations of Contemporary France

Optional

Year 2

Literature and Politics in Modern France

Optional

Year 2

Introduction to Contemporary Science Fiction

Optional

Year 2

Huit Tableaux: Art and Politics in Nineteenth-Century France (1799-1871)

Optional

Year 2

La France en guerre: Memoires de la Premiere Guerre Mondiale

Optional

Year 2

Varieties of French

Optional

Year 2

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Optional

Year 2

Nineteenth Century French Narrative

Optional

Year 2

Work placement

Mandatory

Year 3

Year abroad

Mandatory

Year 4

French 3

Mandatory

Year 4

Translation from French

Mandatory

Year 4

Translation into French

Optional

Year 4

Citizenship, Ethnicity and National Identity in Post-War France

Optional

Year 4

Contemporary Representations of Travel

Optional

Year 4

French Documentary Cinema

Optional

Year 4

Language Contact and French

Optional

Year 4

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

Optional

Year 4

Dissertation in French Studies

Optional

Year 4

Difficult Women

Optional

Year 4

Contemporary Francophone Cinema: The Personal and The Political

Optional

Year 4

Subtitling and Dubbing from French into English

Information Icon

About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Tuesday 3 October 2023.

When you begin studying at university, you will probably find that you cover material much more quickly than you did while studying for your A levels. The key to success is preparing well for classes and then taking the ideas you encounter further in your own time.

Lectures – provide an overview of what you are studying, using a variety of audio and visual materials to support your learning.

Seminars and workshops – give you the chance to explore and interact with the material presented in lectures in a friendly and informal environment. You will be taught in a smaller group of students, with discussion focusing on a text or topic you've previously prepared.

Workshops are more practical, perhaps through exploring texts, working with digital materials, or developing presentations.

Tutorials – individual and small-group tutorials let you explore your work with your module tutor, perhaps discussing plans for an essay or presentation, or following up on an area of a module which has interested you.

eLearning – our virtual-learning system, Moodle, offers 24-hour access to teaching materials and resources.

Peer mentoring

All new undergraduate students can opt into our peer mentoring scheme. Your peer mentor will help you settle into life at Nottingham, provide advice on the transition to university-level study and help you access support if needed.  

The majority of the language teaching you will experience on this degree will be led by native speakers.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A weekly lecture on a core module may have 50-60 students attending while a specialised seminar may only contain 10 students.

Teaching quality

Our staff know that studying complex subjects can sometimes seem challenging (they've all been where you are!). Their contributions to high quality teaching and learning are recognised through our annual Lord Dearing Awards. View the full list of recipients.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Oral classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

You will be assessed by a wide variety of methods, consisting mainly of coursework and exams, but you may also be tasked with commentaries, dissertations, group work, in-class tests, portfolios and presentations.

Each module has its own methods of assessment and we strive to make these as varied as possible so that everyone can perform to the best of their abilities. When choosing optional modules, you will be able to see how the module is assessed in advance.

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Oral exam
  • Presentation
  • Written exam
  • Commentary

As well as scheduled teaching you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as preparation for seminars and assessments, as well as language practice. As a guide 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study). An average week will have between 12-15 hours of classes.

The majority of the language teaching you will experience on this degree will be led by native speakers.

Studying languages can open up a world of opportunities. From banking to charities and from teaching to MI5, businesses and organisations across the globe seek to employ language specialists.


During this degree you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of modules, allowing you to tailor your studies around personal interests. In doing so you’ll start to identify potential career paths and begin to discover your areas of professional interest.


In addition to language skills, you’ll develop transferable skills highly sought after by employers such as confident communication skills, strict attention to detail and the ability to work within different cultures and organisational styles.


“My [language] studies have helped me to develop excellent communication skills, as well as helping me to hone my reading, writing, listening and speaking skills for both my target languages.  I have also become a much more resilient learner, being able to persevere when things start to get tough and independently solve issues where possible.” Charlotte Allwood , French and Contemporary Chinese Studies BA.


Find out more about careers of Modern Language students

Average starting salary and career progression

78.8% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £23,974.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017 to 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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 consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate students studying in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.Khaqan Khan (red jumper) and Megan Mahoney (blue top).

My favourite French word is ‘dépaysant’ – which means ‘uncountrying’ – it means getting out of your comfort zone and has a similar meaning to homesickness. It’s very fitting as I’ll be heading off on my year abroad next year! 

Lucy Cooper

Course data

Open Day June 2022