University undergraduates studying in the Monica Partridge building. Friday November 5th 2021.Cole Pearce; Francis Adam (black and white hoodie) and Khaqan Khan (red jumper.

French and Philosophy BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Do you dream of learning French, spending time in the Francophone world and getting to grips with the diverse cultures of various French-speaking countries? Yet, are you also driven by a curiosity to better understand society and make sense of your place in the world?

If your answer to these two questions is yes, then this is the degree for you. The departments of French and Philosophy allow you to develop understanding and skills in these two highly complementary subjects.

With Philosophy modules ranging from ‘Gender, Justice and Society’ to ‘Mind and Consciousness’ and French modules taking you from ‘Enlightenment Literature’ to ‘Sociolinguistics’ – you’re able to truly personalise this degree around your personal interests or career aspirations.

Many of our students say the year abroad is their course highlight. 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Reasoning, Argument, and Logic

Mandatory

Year 1

Mind, Knowledge, and Ethics

Optional

Year 1

French 1

Optional

Year 1

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

Optional

Year 1

French 1: Beginners

Optional

Year 1

France: History and Identity

Optional

Year 1

Introduction to French Literature: Landmarks in Narrative

Optional

Year 1

Contemporary France

Optional

Year 1

Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris

Optional

Year 1

French Texts in Translation

Optional

Year 1

Philosophy and the Contemporary World

Optional

Year 1

Metaphysics, Science, and Language

Optional

Year 1

Gender, Justice, and Society

Optional

Year 1

Philosophy of Religions

Optional

Year 1

History of Philosophy: Ancient to Modern

Mandatory

Year 2

French 2

Mandatory

Year 2

French 2 (Beginners)

Mandatory

Year 2

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

Mandatory

Year 2

Introduction to French Literature: Landmarks in Narrative

Optional

Year 2

French Cinema: The New Wave

Optional

Year 2

Contemporary Translation Studies

Optional

Year 2

Contemporary Francophone Cinema and Social Issues

Optional

Year 2

Art and Contemporary Visual Culture in France

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

Sociolinguistics: An Introduction

Optional

Year 2

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

Optional

Year 2

Post-War French Theatre

Optional

Year 2

Literature and Politics in Modern France

Optional

Year 2

Introduction to Contemporary Science Fiction

Optional

Year 2

Sociolinguistics: An Introduction

Optional

Year 2

Enlightenment Literature: An Introduction

Optional

Year 2

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

Optional

Year 2

Post-War French Theatre

Optional

Year 2

The Nature of Meaning

Optional

Year 2

Normative Ethics

Optional

Year 2

Mind and Consciousness

Optional

Year 2

Knowledge and Justification

Optional

Year 2

An Introduction to Metaethics

Optional

Year 2

Philosophy of Science: From Positivism to Postmodernism

Optional

Year 2

Social Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Freedom and Obligation

Optional

Year 2

Being, Becoming and Reality

Optional

Year 2

Philosophy of Art

Optional

Year 2

Topics in Asian Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Ancient Greek Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Intermediate Logic

Optional

Year 2

Continental Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Work placement

Mandatory

Year 3

Year abroad

Mandatory

Year 4

French 3

Optional

Year 4

La République Gaullienne: 1958 to 1969

Optional

Year 4

Individual and Society

Optional

Year 4

The Everyday in Contemporary Literature and Thought

Optional

Year 4

People and Propaganda: Representing the French Revolution

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

Dissertation in French Studies

Optional

Year 4

Subtitling and Dubbing from French into English

Optional

Year 4

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

Optional

Year 4

Dissertation in Philosophy

Optional

Year 4

Marx

Optional

Year 4

Free Will and Action

Optional

Year 4

Environmental Ethics

Optional

Year 4

Advanced Logic

Optional

Year 4

Taking Utilitarianism Seriously

Optional

Year 4

Communicating Philosophy

Optional

Year 4

Philosophy and Mortality

Optional

Year 4

Play, Games and Recreation

Optional

Year 4

Advanced Topics in the Philosophy of Mind

Optional

Year 4

Advanced Topics in Aesthetics

Optional

Year 4

Philosophy of Criminal Law

Optional

Year 4

Subjectivism and Relativism in Ethics

Optional

Year 4

Buddhist Philosophy

Optional

Year 4

Philosophy of Science

Optional

Year 4

Knowledge, Ignorance and Democracy

Optional

Year 4

Philosophy of Education

Optional

Year 4

Difficult Women

Optional

Year 4

Language Contact and French

Optional

Year 4

Contemporary Francophone Cinema: The Personal and The Political

Optional

Year 4

French Documentary Cinema

Optional

Year 4

Citizenship, Ethnicity and National Identity in Post-War France

Optional

Year 4

Subtitling and Dubbing from French into English

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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

  • Commentary
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Oral exam
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Written exam

As well as scheduled teaching you’ll carry out extensive independent reading and research. A typical 20 credit module involves between three and four hours of lectures and seminars per week. You would ideally spend 8-10 hours doing preparation work.

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.

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.

Combining language studies with philosophy will help you develop the ability to write clearly and persuasively, undertake research using a variety of sources and present ideas convincingly through well-constructed, logical arguments. 

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).

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

Course data

Open Day June 2022