French in the dictionary

BAEnglish & French

Why this course?

As an English student at Strathclyde you'll enjoy the best of old and new: a grounding in the classics as well as an insight into new fields of literature.

We'll show you how exciting and wide-ranging our subject can be. Employers like the skills developed in an English degree: written and verbal communication, analysis and discussion of ideas, and broad, creative thinking.

French is a major international language. It's the first language of more than 100 million people across the world, while more than 60 million people speak French as a second language.

Studying with us will give you the chance to become a fluent linguist and, with our year abroad programme, an opportunity to experience living, working and studying in another country.

French can also be studied within the LLB Law with a Modern Language offered by the Law School and within the Masters in International Business & Modern Languages offered by the Strathclyde Business School.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are broad-based at the start. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

English

What you'll study

Year 1

Your first year of study will include Shakespearean drama and modern, cutting-edge fiction.

Year 2

You'll study some of the most momentous events in literary history, with classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing.

Year 3

You'll choose from options including children’s literature, America in the 1920s, the First World War and the Glasgow novel.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation and choose from options including Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, travel writing, oral narratives and fairy tales.

Facilities

Our location in the Lord Hope building provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces. The Andersonian Library has around a million print volumes as well as access to over one million electronic books and over 105,000 e-journals.

Postgraduate study

We offer these taught masters degrees:

Masters degrees can be a first step to a PhD or help with career and personal development. We welcome overseas students, including visiting students.

We also offer research degrees, including the PhD, and various MRes degrees, including an innovative MRes in Creative Writing.

Socrates exchange

You'll have the opportunity to take part in the Socrates exchange programme, in which you can spend your third year (two semesters) abroad and obtain credits that qualify you to enter the Honours year in one or both of your principal subjects on your return.

Socrates have partner institutions in Germany and France, as well as programmes in North America and elsewhere. While priority on Socrates is given to students who have proficiency in the relevant language, many classes (at least in the host English departments) are conducted in English and there is no language requirement for countries like the USA.

French

What you'll study

Year 1

Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher French or an equivalent qualification and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary French language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.

Year 2 & 3

You’ll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and learn more about the history and politics of France and French-speaking countries through literature and film.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. Cultural classes – reflecting the research expertise of our staff – are currently offered in areas such as the occupation and how it is reflected in film.

Year abroad

This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students, not just in terms of language but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.

Student competitions

The Stevenson Exchange Scholarship is a competitive award which offers students funding towards a project they wish to undertake while on their year abroad. Staff select and interview several candidates for this each year. Our students usually do well in this competition; in 2013, one student secured £1,800 toward his project, and in 2014 three students were successful with awards up to £1,750.

In third year, students of French 3b - along with those in Italian and Spanish 3b - undertake a semester-long project. Students research a topic of their choice linked to French culture and produce a 20-minute presentation, a reflective report and a poster. The posters are displayed at an exhibition for two weeks in April and the student who designs the best poster in each language will receive a prize.

Course content

Year 1

English

Year 1

In this wide-ranging introduction to university-level English, your required reading ranges from ancient tales, to Shakespearean drama, to cutting-edge contemporary fiction.

French

Year 1

Students take two combined classes: French 1A (semester 1), French 1B (semester 2). These courses are mainly organised around a linguistic progression towards level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There is a regular input of cultural background which takes the form of three lectures in semester 1 and two in semester 2 covering the following topics:

    • The Making of Modern France
    • France in a Global Context
    • Understanding the French Republic
    • French Identities
    • Contemporary French Society 

In addition, there is an introductory lecture in semester 2 entitled ‘What is translation about?’

Year 2

English

Year 2

You'll study momentous events in literary history in the historical core classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing. You'll also learn about the various ways in which philosophers, historians and authors have tried to analyse literature in a course on Literature, Criticism and Theory.

French

Le Monde du Travail

Cultural focus: time (35 hour week, RTT and ‘ponts’, paternity/maternity leave, …) & ‘human resources’ (hierarchical organisation, discrimination, unions, relocation,…)

Linguistic focus: the negation, asking questions, using pronouns.

La France et L'Europe

Cultural focus: the origins of the European ideal, Europe and the EU viewed from France.

Linguistic focus: subjunctive mood.

Immigration & Nationalité

Cultural focus: a historical view of immigration in France and a look at the specificity of the French ‘integration’ system.

Linguistic focus: the system of tenses in French (concentrating on past tenses).

Les Femmes en Politique

Cultural focus: a further look (after first year) at French politics, concentrating on topical issues.

Linguistic focus: modal verbs.

Les Régions

Cultural focus: decentralisation, importance of regions in France.

Linguistic focus: the passive voice.

L’Économie

Cultural focus: the French economy (role of the state, …), marketing à la française

Linguistic focus: equivalent of –ing in French.

In addition, students specialising in French take the French Culture and History 2 class. This class focuses on the Occupation and French Colonialism/Decolonisation. The historical context for each topic is first set, and documents from the two periods studied, before discussion moves on to the cultural domain, via analysis of the following texts and films:

  • Au Revoir les Enfants (film, Malle)
  • Stupeur et Tremblements (text, Nothomb)
  • L'Étranger (text, Camus)
  • Le Samourai (film, Melville)
  • Anthology of historical texts relating to the Second World War
  • Anthology of historical texts relating to French Colonialism/Immigration

Year 3

English

Year 3

You'll continue with historical core classes on Victorian and 20th-century Literature, and you'll also choose one further class (English with another subject) or three classes (single English). Our extensive menu of options means you could study anything from Shakespeare to experimental fiction, from children’s literature to America in the 1920s, from autobiography to the Glasgow novel, from First World War literature to detective fiction.

French

L’Esclavage Moderne

Cultural focus: a historical review of slavery and a look at modern forms of slavery.

Linguistic focus: reinforcement work on subjunctive mood, passive voice and negative forms.

Les Nouvelles Façons de Consommer

Cultural focus: the impact of consumerism on the environment.

Linguistic focus: adjectives and comparative, hypothesis, conditional mood.

Le Système Éducatif

Cultural focus: a look at current issues in the French education system.

Linguistic focus: reported speech, imperative mood, a further look at pronouns.

L’Année à l’Étranger

Cultural focus: practical module aiming at preparing students for the year abroad.

There is also a French Studies 3 class: Freedom and Identity in France and the Francophone world. This class is based on the study of the following texts and films as examples of the treatment of the class’s twin themes:

  • Milou en mai (film, Malle)
  • Poverty (various texts)
  • The Dreyfus Affair (various historical texts)
  • Monsieur Klein (film, Losey)
  • Rue des Boutiques Obscures (text, Modiano)
  • National Identity in the Third Republic (various historical texts)

Year abroad

Year abroad
This is the year abroad, spent either studying in a French university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours. (Students studying French and Spanish or Italian can opt to spend their years abroad in Spain or Italy, rather than in France.)

Year 4

English

Year 4

Throughout the degree, analytical and writing skills are being developed, preparing you to tackle the final-year dissertation. The choice of subjects for your dissertation is wide open – we value student initiative and reward it when we see it.

Fourth year is also your chance to take some more options – two for Joint Honours and three for Single Honours. The options on offer in Honours year include classes on Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, 1930s literature and culture, travel writing, atrocity and modernism, oral narratives and fairy tales.

French

Year 4

The language course is based on a series of thematic dossiers dealing with current issues in France and the Francophone world. The focus of the class is on reinforcing and developing key professional language skills, such as translation into English, translation into French, liaison interpreting, and 'exposé' (formal oral presentation).

Students in Joint Honours French will additionally have one or more French Studies 4 classes. Everyone will take the Core Class, Images of Women, which considers the changing portrayal of women over the centuries, using the following texts as the basis of discussion:

  • Madame Bovary (novel, Flaubert)
  • Fatale (novel, Manchette)
  • L’événement (Ernaux, novel)
  • Women in the Paris Commune of 1871 (various historical documents)

Joint Honours students not writing a dissertation in French will take these two further classes:

  • The Occupation and its Portrayal in French Films
  • France since 1945

Assessment

English

In addition to traditional exams, many classes are assessed partly or solely by essays. In later years, you have the opportunity to set the topics and titles of these essays themselves.

Some courses have specific assessment methods, for example drama students are assessed for their writing and practical performance skills, while those studying digital humanities use social media and analyse texts with software.

All our classes use Myplace, Strathclyde's virtual learning environment, which can be used for online quizzes and keeping a reading diary.

French

Written examinations include translations from and into French, writing for a specific purpose and essay questions. Continuous assessment include online grammar tests and group projects, allowing you to conduct research, prepare a presentation and produce a poster.

In your final year you'll write a dissertation. Oral and aural tests are also an important part of assessment at all levels, and include listening comprehension exercises, presentations in French followed by discussion and interpreting.

Learning & teaching

English

You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and take part in small group work, individual and group presentations, debates and writing exercises. Some classes also take place in computer labs and include analysis of texts using software tools.

Vertically Integrated Project

We've recently introduced a new research task in which staff, undergraduates and postgraduates work together.

French

We focus on the four important language skills:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

We make great use of technology in the classroom – interactive lectures and digital language laboratories – and outside, through the use of web-based learning and streamed French television.

In later years, you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.

Scholars from French universities visit regularly to give guest lectures and lead workshops, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B, plus one from the list below
  • Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Year 2 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

2017/18

Scotland/EU
  • £1,820
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.

International
  • £13,500

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs 

The majority of course materials are available to students via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  Students can print course materials at their own expense.   

The cost of course texts does not normally exceed £30 per academic year. Key language texts are used over 2 or 3 years of study. Multiple copies are also available in the University Library.  

Study abroad 

Studying abroad is an integral part of the degree course in Modern Languages - and usually takes place in Year 4.  Students who choose to study in France, Spain or Italy are eligible for an Erasmus and grant to help minimise the extra costs of living abroad.  This however, is not a full maintenance grant.  

Typically, students will receive around £3,000 for a full academic year of study abroad.  Students are required to meet travel, accommodation and extra living costs.  These costs will vary dependent on the country of study.  An estimated extra spend of £1,000 should be budgeted.

A range of scholarships are available for students of French, Spanish and Italian - and awarded on a competitive basis. 

Students who work as English language assistants will receive a monthly stipend.  In the case of France, this amounts approximately to 964.88 Euros per month gross (800 Euros net after social security deductions).  Similar stipends are paid in Spain and Italy. 

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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