Triangle

Course overview

Studying French and Contemporary Chinese Studies means immersing yourself in the histories and cultures of two nations that have had enormous influence on the world. This degree will equip you with specialist skills and knowledge that, together with your international experience, will make you stand out to employers.

You will devote half your time to each subject. You will follow core language modules in French and Mandarin and you will also select optional modules. The range of options in French includes opportunities to study French literature, history, society, politics, linguistics and cinema. In Chinese your modules focus on contemporary Chinese history, politics, society and identities.

Your year abroad, which is split between France and China, gives you a unique opportunity to develop your language skills and enhance your understanding of French and Chinese culture.

For more information on our teaching, research and what it's like to study with us see the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures website.

Why choose this course?

Year abroad

Spend a year abroad immersing yourself in both languages

Beginners welcome!

Start learning a language from scratch on our beginners' pathway

Employability

Access job opportunities in French and Mandarin-speaking contexts throughout the globe


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level BBC including C in French or Mandarin in Clearing for home students

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextal admissions policy for more information.

Required subjects

C in French or Mandarin at A level in Clearing for home students. You may start one language at beginners' level.

IB score 28; 5 in French or Mandarin at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level (B Programme) in Clearing for home students

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year. You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

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 learning languages can sometimes seem challenging (they've all been where you are!) and take pride in their teaching. Demonstrating this our Modern Languages academics have been awarded seven Lord Dearing Awards over the last five years. These recognise outstanding student learning and are based on nominations from students and other academics.

Lord Dearing Winners: Erica BrasilPierre-Alexis Mével, Heike BartelJose Rino SoaresTara Webster-DeakinMarilena MinoiaManuel Lagares Alonso.

If you have worries about your work we won't wait for them to become problems. You will have a personal tutor from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures who will review your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Oral classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Following your year abroad your improved language skills and improved cultural understanding will be assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments.

Assessment methods

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

Contact time and study hours

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.

Study abroad

Study abroad

One year is spent abroad. In a French-speaking country, you may follow a programme of studies in a higher education institution, work as an assistant in a school, or take up a work placement in France or a Francophone country.

Whilst in China, you have the opportunity to learn about Mandarin and Chinese culture by spending a semester at our campus in Ningbo.

We’re dedicated to ensuring that your Year Abroad runs as smoothly as possible and have university staff to provide you with support whilst you are overseas.

For more information, see Year abroad options in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Placements

Become 'workplace-ready' with our Work Placement and Employability programme tailor made for students in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies. It helps you develop skills and experience that allow you to stand out to potential employers.

You also have access to a wide range of work experience and volunteering schemes through the:

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Why study more than one subject?

Watch our animation about studying a joint honours degree with us.

Modules

Our first-year core modules are designed as an introduction. This means that we will build everyone's knowledge to the same level, so you can progress through to year two.

You will take 60 credits of French and 60 credits of Contemporary Chinese Studies core modules as follows:

  • In French, in addition to a core module in the French language at the appropriate level, you take optional modules in reading a variety of French texts (for example, the novel, poetry, film), contemporary French politics and society or French history.
  • In Chinese you take a core Mandarin module at the appropriate level, together with a module introducing Chinese culture and institutions.

You must pass year one but it does not count towards your final degree classification.

Core modules in French (beginners level French)

French 1: Beginners

Welcome to French at the University of Nottingham — this is where your journey to fluency shall begin!

Designed for students who have little or no prior knowledge of the language, this intensive study module will support you to develop in all the key areas of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammatical competence.

We'll use a set text book, but to keep the classes engaging and interesting, we'll also use a variety of contemporary texts which may include literature, newspapers, websites and audio recordings.

You'll also become more culturally aware of the countries that make up the French-speaking world and get a better understanding of their varying current affairs and culture.

French Texts in Translation

This module is designed as an introduction to some of the main skills required to study literature by looking at landmark French texts (novels and films) 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, as well as the fictional forms they have used to explore these themes. The module will raise your awareness of a range of literary styles and techniques and the ways in which these may influence the reader. This module is for students taking French 1 Beginners only.

France: History and Identity

This module aims to introduce you to the course of French history since the French Revolution through the study of a series of historical figures, including Olympe de Gouges, Toussaint Louverture, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Sand and Charles de Gaulle. You will look at the way in which their 'stories' have been written and woven into the fabric of 'le roman de la nation', and how they have been appropriated to serve a range of different ends. It will also introduce you to the iconography of the French historical landscape. This module is worth 10 credits.

Core modules in French (post A-level French)

French 1

Welcome to French at the University of Nottingham — this is where your journey to fluency will really begin to take off!

Designed for students who have completed an A level (or equivalent) in the language, this module will support you to improve in all the key areas of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

We'll support you to continue growing your language abilities, improving your speaking, comprehension and grammar usage through a wide range of source materials and lively classroom conversations.

You'll also become more culturally aware of the countries that make up the Francophone world and get a better understanding of their varying current affairs and culture.

Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

This is the starting point for your French Studies journey at Nottingham. Having studied French at A level you’ll already have a good command of the language but now it’s time to go deeper. Together we’ll explore a variety of topics to help you develop a fuller understanding of the history and cultures of France and the Francophone world. These topics may include linguistics, politics, history, thought, literature, media, visual culture and cinema.

 

You’ll study a range of different texts, images and film, through which we’ll help you develop the core study skills necessary for studying this subject at degree level, such as close reading, essay writing, commentary writing, bibliographical and referencing skills, and visual analysis.

Optional modules in French (post A-level French)

France: History and Identity

This module aims to introduce you to the course of French history since the French Revolution through the study of a series of historical figures, including Olympe de Gouges, Toussaint Louverture, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Sand and Charles de Gaulle. You will look at the way in which their 'stories' have been written and woven into the fabric of 'le roman de la nation', and how they have been appropriated to serve a range of different ends. It will also introduce you to the iconography of the French historical landscape. This module is worth 10 credits.

Introduction to French Literature: Landmarks in Narrative

This module aims to introduce you to the comparative study of literature and culture, focusing in particular on how the city of Paris is represented in a range of texts (poetic, narrative and filmic) in the modern period (post-1800).

You will learn reading techniques adapted to different genres and media, and representations of the city will be considered within their broader social, historical and political context.

Contemporary France

On this module, you will focus on a selection of themes that explore the distinctive social and political landscape of contemporary France: French political institutions, with particular emphasis on the presidency; political parties in France; and immigration and questions of identity.

A close analysis of these themes will provide you with a general understanding of contemporary French society and institutions. In more specific terms, you will begin to explore the ways in which France is faced with the challenge of adapting its republican traditions to a changing world.

Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris

This module aims to introduce you to the comparative study of literature and culture, focusing in particular on how the city of Paris is represented in a range of texts (poetic, narrative and filmic) in the modern period (post-1800). You will learn reading techniques adapted to different genres and media, and representations of the city will be considered within their broader social, historical and political context.

Core modules in Chinese Studies (you will be assessed before being placed on the right language level)

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners

This is the start of an exciting journey where we'll take you through the basics of learning Mandarin.

Designed for beginners, this module will cover Chinese phonetics, grammar and vocabulary helping you to start feeling confident in understanding and communicating in your new language.

We make our sessions as practical and communicative as possible by using a core textbook, supplemented by a wide variety of Chinese learning resources including online news articles, graded storybooks and online video/audio files.

Besides language skills, we recognise the importance of employability skills, such as creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving . We'll also integrate drama activities including story or script writing, performing and dubbing to not only help you gain new skills but build confidence in your new language.

You will also begin to learn about Chinese culture and society helping you to put your new language understanding into context.

Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level

Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!

We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).

You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

International Politics of the Asia-Pacific

This module introduces you to a broadly defined international politics of the Asia Pacific, incorporating political history, political systems, political economy, foreign relations, security, development and social issues.

The module critically engages with issues in the Asia Pacific region, while situating these issues within their international context and assessing their interaction with global politics. The module combines comparative, analytical and historical approaches, with abundant use of cross-national studies and single-country case studies.

In addition to substantive learning about the region, you are introduced to key concepts, approaches and methods in the study of international politics. Through careful engagement of theoretical and substantive material, you are encouraged to reflect on how an understanding of Asian politics can better inform a more holistic understanding of global politics.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 11 July 2022.

You will consolidate your language studies and study a choice of modules offering further broad coverage of both subjects.

You must pass year 2 which is weighted at 33% of your final degree classification.

You will take 60 credits of French and 60 credits of Contemporary Chinese Studies modules as follows:

Core modules in French (beginners level French)

French 2 - Beginners

This module will build on the language and cultural skills developed in last year's beginners' classes. Over the year we'll take you to the next level so that by the end of the module you'll be ready to spend time living in a French-speaking country.

We'll further develop your reading, listening, summary, translation and communication skills, building your confidence so that you feel happy working or studying abroad during year three.

Introduction to French Literature: Representations of Paris

This module aims to introduce you to the comparative study of literature and culture, focusing in particular on how the city of Paris is represented in a range of texts (poetic, narrative and filmic) in the modern period (post-1800). You will learn reading techniques adapted to different genres and media, and representations of the city will be considered within their broader social, historical and political context.

Introduction to French & Francophone Studies

This is the starting point for your French Studies journey at Nottingham. Having studied French at A level you’ll already have a good command of the language but now it’s time to go deeper. Together we’ll explore a variety of topics to help you develop a fuller understanding of the history and cultures of France and the Francophone world. These topics may include linguistics, politics, history, thought, literature, media, visual culture and cinema.

You’ll study a range of different texts, images and film, through which we’ll help you develop the core study skills necessary for studying this subject at degree level, such as close reading, essay writing, commentary writing, bibliographical and referencing skills, and visual analysis.

Core modules in French (post A level French)

French 2

This module will build on the French language and cultural skills you developed in year one and get you started on your exciting journey towards degree-level French. We're going to take your language skills to the next level and by the end of this module you'll be ready to spend time living in a French-speaking country.

We'll push you to improve your confidence in reading comprehension, listening comprehension and oral skills. In addition to this you'll get the opportunity to develop your French writing skills through a variety of tasks such as creative writing, summary writing and even resume writing. You'll also practice translation activities.

We'll keep your studies interesting and relevant by using a variety of contemporary texts including journalistic articles and audio-visual clips.

Optional modules in French

Please note, not all modules are available to those who started French at beginners' level

Literature and Politics in Modern France

What better way is there to truly understand a nation than by studying its literature and politics?

 

We’ll examine the various ways in which French writers have engaged with the political struggles of their time. By looking at ‘committed’ literature (which is literature that defends an ethical, political, religious or social view) produced by key authors you’ll learn how to unpick the tension between literature and politics that has shaped modern France.

Introduction to Contemporary Science Fiction

Focusing on texts ranging from the novels of Jules Verne through to Élisabeth Vonarburg, this module will engage with key themes in French science fiction writing. Whether it deals with the discoveries of new worlds or the confrontation with new technologies, science fiction as a genre expresses the anxieties and hopes specific to the contemporary era. Science fiction is political in that it deals with questions of power, ecology and science. It is also philosophical, since it calls into question boundaries between cultures, times, genres and species. Drawing on these political and philosophical dimensions, the module will look in particular at how science fiction explores the ways in which identity is constructed and reconfigured by material and technological forces.

Sociolinguistics: An Introduction

This module provides you with an introduction to the rich field of study known as sociolinguistics, which investigates the relationship between language and society through an exploration of the social contexts of language use.

Particular areas of focus in any one year of the module could include:

  • intercultural communication
  • politeness and face
  • linguistic determinism
  • power and solidarity
  • language choice
  • speech act theory
  • the ethnography of communication
  • language and gender
  • approaches to the study of discourse/talk
Enlightenment Literature: An Introduction

This module is an introduction to the study of 18th 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. Alongside an investigation of how literature developed during this era, you will consider key questions that thinkers and writers grappled with:

  • What is like to fall in love?
  • What is happiness and how do we find it?
  • How important is personal freedom?
  • Are people naturally good?
  • How do we live well with others?
  • How do we learn about the world and make sense of our experiences?
Huit Tableaux: Art and Politics in Nineteenth-Century France (1799-1871)

You may wonder why 19th Century French art is relevant to a student wanting to better understand today’s Francophone communities. To answer this let us take you back to a time pre-internet, pre-television, pre-photography to when historical art was a key communication tool for any society.

Together, we’ll examine eight French paintings from the key historical period of the Consulate (1799) to the Paris Commune (1871). By discovering what French citizens gained from ‘reading’ these images you will better understand their relationship with national identity, religion and political culture. It is these historical ideologies that laid the foundation for contemporary French society and your understanding of this will help you form a more thorough and nuanced appreciation of contemporary France and the Francophone world.

Among the huit tableaux to be discussed are David's Sacre de Napoléon, Delacroix's La Liberté guidant le peuple, and Meissonier's Le Siège de Paris.

Hear Dr Paul Smith give a brief overview of this module.

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.

French Cinema: The New Wave

The module is designed to introduce you to this particular period of French cinema by offering a detailed study of the New Wave of the late 1950s and early 1960s, focusing in particular on the films of Godard, Truffaut, Resnais and Chabrol.

As the module will show, New Wave film-makers often employed a variety of new and challenging formal techniques in order to make films that reflected an emergent, modern, iconoclastic sensibility in post-war France. For these reasons, the module combines a contextual approach with introductory teaching in film analysis.

Contemporary Francophone Cinema and Social Issues

This module engages in a detailed analysis of four recent Francophone films that deal with contemporary social issues and institutions: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, L’Enfant (2005); Jacques Audiard, Un prophète (2009); Thomas Lilti, Hippocrate (2014); Stéphane Brizé, La loi du marché (2015). It focuses on the way in which the films present characters in a social context. The module looks at the ways in which these characters are subject to economic forces, interact with institutions, and function as members of social groups. The films are analysed from a formal perspective, considering the ways in which they all draw on the resources of cinematic realism in order to provide a representation of contemporary life that is both compelling and challenging for viewers.

Art and Contemporary Visual Culture in France

This module explores contemporary art and media production in France and beyond, looking at how recent French art and ideas feature in and contribute to a cultural world-system. We will be looking at pioneering artworks from the late 20th century and the 21st century, examining work in film, visual art of many genres, photography, music and also media technology.

Beginning with key foundational artists from the 1960s and 1970s, we move on to consider works across artistic media, mostly from the 21st century, and this will form the principal course content.

We will be looking at the work of individual artists in detail, both for the value of the work, but also to explore how contemporary cultural production reflects and reacts to the world in which it is made. Visual art is particularly useful in this context as it necessarily contains a reflective element, and this is often critical of existing situations. We will also incorporate key readings by theorists who have reflected on the themes, media, technology and politics of both art and culture in the broader sense.

On Location: Cinematic Explorations of Contemporary France

This module offers students an opportunity to explore actual cultural, economic and social differences within modern France through its representations in contemporary filmmaking. Beyond narrative themes, students will gain an understanding of how filmmakers engage the formal resources of cinema, both fiction and documentary, to capture the specificities of diverse spaces and places and to invite reflection on larger questions of identity and community, nation and citizenship, mobility and belonging.

Contemporary Translation Studies

Explore possible career avenues and gain practical experience in this interesting module which will show you how to apply your language learning to translation.

You'll gain a good understanding of the key concepts of translation theory, including equivalence, text type and skopos alongside linguistic theories such as register and relevance.

With these theories under your belt, you'll be guided through their application to your own translations. We'll work on the translation of a variety of texts to help you strengthen and embed your new skills.

Core modules in Chinese Studies

Selection depends upon ability

Mandarin Chinese for Research

This module will focus mainly on:

  • reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
  • writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
  • understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
  • communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts
Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level

This module includes: 

  • topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today 
  • vocabulary on the above 
  • grammar knowledge for the level 
  • language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions 
  • understanding of authentic materials on the above topics 
  • productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level

Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!

We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).

You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

China Beyond the Headlines

This module emphasises sociological theories with reference to current events and social policy making in China. Topics change every year according to what is in the news, but may include:

  • nationhood, identity and ethnicity
  • gender, family and sexualities
  • inequalities, social capital and welfare
  • health, education and popular culture
  • crime, deviance and justice
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

This year is spent abroad. For French, you can follow a programme of studies in a higher education institution, work as an assistant in a school, or take up a work placement in France or a Francophone country.

For Contemporary Chinese Studies, you have the opportunity to learn about Mandarin and Chinese culture by spending a semester at our campus in Ningbo.

For more information, see; Year abroad options in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

In both fields, you will develop your command of both languages and their uses in increasingly sophisticated contexts and study optional modules covering a wide range of topics in the fields of Chinese and French language, history, society and culture.

You must pass year 4 which is weighted at 67% of your final degree classification.

You will take 60 credits of French and 60 credits of Contemporary Chinese Studies core modules.

Core module in French

French 3

Following your time spent living in a French-speaking country this advanced module will be your final step towards fluency. We'll help you continue to improve your oral and written skills using a wide variety of texts.

Your grammar expertise and vocabulary shall be deepened through the production of linguistic commentary and summaries. In addition, we'll help you develop translation skills. Your French writing skills will improve immeasurably as we translate into and out of French creative writing in different registers.

Core modules in Chinese Studies

Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level

Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.

With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.

You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level

This module includes: 

  • topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today 
  • vocabulary on the above 
  • grammar knowledge for the level 
  • language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions 
  • understanding of authentic materials on the above topics 
  • productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Research

This module will focus mainly on:

  • reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
  • writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
  • understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
  • communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts

Optional modules in French

La République Gaullienne: 1958 to 1969

This module explores how the Fifth Republic came into being and examines the problems of bedding in a regime that revolutionised French political culture without jettisoning the key features of the 'modèle républicain'.

We follow a chronological narrative of French politics between 1958 and 1969, and will also examine themes such as the ‘écriture de la constitution’, the clash of political visions and bipolarisation and its tensions. We conclude with de Gaulle's apparent act of 'political suicide' in 1969.

Individual and Society

On this module we will look at the changing relationship between individuals and society in a French context. Key sociological concepts relating to the social construction of the individual are explored in order to analyse fiction and non-fiction texts that deal with work and social organisation in contemporary France.

The theoretical starting point of the module is Michel Foucault’s analysis of the emergence of ‘disciplinary’ societies.

Key fictional works include Laurent Cantet’s film L’emploi du temps and Thierry Beinstingel’s novel Retour aux mots sauvages.

The Everyday in Contemporary Literature and Thought

This 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.

People and Propaganda: Representing the French Revolution

This module is designed to introduce you to the study of various forms of artistic work in relation to the political and social background of the French Revolutionary decade (1789 - 1799). A variety of works will be studied (theatre, opera, song, iconography, painting) in order to consider the reflection of contemporary events, the notion of politically engaged arts, and questions of cultural administration (theatrical repertory, representation, censorship and privilege).

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 which engage with questions of citizenship, identity and ethnicity.

Contemporary Representations of Travel

This module will study the different ways travel has been used and represented in contemporary French and Francophone texts, arts and films. From tourism to exploration, from exile to migration, from pilgrimage to business travel, we will question the tacit ideologies found in contemporary travel discourses. We will study more specifically how contemporary discourses of travel have been, or not, adapting themselves to a post-colonial awareness and how it has enabled travellers to represent travel differently. 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 and photography).

French Documentary Cinema

This module aims to introduce you to key aspects of French documentary cinema by considering a range of documentary cinematic techniques, and by looking at the ways in which documentary form has developed over time. The module examines the work of a range of filmmakers and explores the theoretical, socio-cultural and ethical questions raised by documentary cinema.

You will develop analytical tools that can be used to understand the different ways in which documentaries attempt to engage audiences and deal in sophisticated and often challenging ways with a range of issues.

Language Contact and French

This module looks at various issues relating to the field of language contact, including bilingualism, multilingualism and diglossia.

The module also explores the outcomes of such language contact:

  • linguistic borrowing
  • code-switching
  • language maintenance
  • language shift and language death
  • the emergence of pidgins and creoles
  • the development of language policy and planning
  • the shaping of attitudes towards language

These topics will be explored by using examples from several different languages, and by looking at the French language in contact with other languages in France and further afield.

Translation into French
This module is a practical course which aims to develop advanced skills of comprehension and analysis of a variety of English texts (fiction and non-fiction) and of translating accurately and fluently into French. It aims to enhance accuracy and fluency of written French through attention to the grammar, syntax, vocabulary and register of both languages and to develop a self-conscious translation practice.
Dissertation in French Studies
This year-long module is based on guided independent study of a chosen topic in the field of French and Francophone Studies for which supervision can be offered by the Department. Topics typically relate to a module taken in the second year, or to a module to be taken in the final year, and it is expected that students have some familiarity with the chosen field.

Dissertation topics in past years have included:
  • The feminist and humanist aspects of Christine de Pizan's work.
  • How Albert Memmi's philosophy of colonised identity is prefigured in his literary work.
  • The representation of women in three novels by Dany Laferrière.
  • The representation of women in the films of Jean-Luc Godard.
  • The definition of malaise in the context of contemporary socio-economic and political issues in France.
  • Presidential Power in the Fifth Republic.
  • The urban landscape in surrealism.
  • Translating humour from English to French.
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.

Semester 1 is devoted to research, reading and planning, leading to the submission of a dissertation abstract, chapter outline and preliminary bibliography, as well as the presentation of posters. In the second semester, students write up and complete the dissertation under the continued guidance of the supervisor.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

In this module students learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables students to gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.

Translation from French
This module aims to develop the skills of comprehension of written French and of translating accurately and elegantly into English. In addition to the above, it aims to develop a self-conscious translation practice.

Optional modules in Chinese Studies

China in Global Politics

China, as the new and upcoming superpower, has become a focal point of global attention. This module introduces you to the major topics in China’s interaction with the evolution of China’s foreign policy since 1949 as well as its role in the international political economy.

The module will explore how domestic politics and other developments have contributed, on the one hand, to the rise of China as a great power of the first league and to the emergence of a 19th-century European-type of nationalism, on the other.

Much of the module will be an examination of China's political and economic relations with major powers and regions such as the US, Asia, the EU, the UK, Russia and Africa, the responses towards China from these powers and regions, and major issues in their relations. This module will also survey China's role in critical global issue(s) as well as the global order and governance.

China in the Media: A Clash of Narratives

After assuming his role as General Secretary in 2013 Xi Jinping stated in a meeting on propaganda and ideology that the task ahead was to "tell China’s story well, and properly disseminate China’s voice." It marked the beginning of an intensified global propaganda campaign. In stark contrast, recent years have also witnessed an intensification of western media reporting upon topics that are typically considered taboo in the Chinese domestic discourse.

This module will juxtapose 'official' and 'unofficial' narratives about China. Drawing on a wide range of domestic and international media sources you will go beyond the news headlines and learn to put media reports in their historical, political, social, and cultural contexts.

You will learn how to synthesize insights gained from official Chinese media, unofficial and more independent Chinese sources as well as international media reports about China. Typically, you’ll explore foreign affairs and international relations; technology and business; cultural and creative industries, as well as social policy issues ranging from health, education to social security.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

£20,000*
Per year

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (e.g. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Year Abroad - Reduced fees (subject to change)

As a year abroad student, you will pay reduced fees, currently set at:

  • Home/EU students: £1,385
  • International: 50% of the relevant international fee

Costs incurred during the year abroad

These vary from country to country, but always include:

  • travel
  • accommodation
  • subsistence
  • insurance

Depending on the country visited you may also have to pay for:

  • visa
  • vaccinations
  • self-funded language courses
  • additional administration fees and study supplies in the host country or organisation

There are a number of sources of funding:

  • Student Finance Loan
  • Means-tested travel grant
  • University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

Your access to funding depends on:

  • the course you are taking
  • your residency status
  • where you live in term time
  • your household income

You may be able to work or teach during your year abroad. This will be dependent on your course and country-specific regulations. Often students receive a small salary or stipend for these work placements. Working or teaching is not permitted in all countries. More information on your third year abroad.

Volunteering and placements:

For volunteering and placements e.g. work experience and teaching in schools, you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Optional field trips:

Field trips allow you to engage with source materials on a personal level and to develop different perspectives. They are optional and costs to you vary according to the trip; some require you to arrange your own travel, refreshments and entry fees, while some are some are wholly subsidised.

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 £1,000 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 students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

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

72.2% of undergraduates from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £21,539.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

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).

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" Learning more than one language is challenging. However, I’ve found that choosing the combination of French and Chinese was beneficial because the languages are so different to each other that I do not find it confusing. The workload is manageable as long as you stay on top of things and try your best. I love studying two languages because I am equally interested in both languages and their respective countries. "
Charlotte Allwood, French and Contemporary Chinese Studies BA

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Important information

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.