Why this course?
French is a major international language. It is the first language of more than 100 million people across the world, while more than 60 million people speak French as a second language.
The study of Italian language, literature and culture will open your eyes to one of the world’s greatest civilisations. Italy is famous, among other things, for art and architecture, engineers, scientists and poets, for its films, fashion houses, footballers and food.
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/or studying in another country.
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1 you will study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you’ll study
Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with a Higher grade or equivalent in their chosen language and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary language and aspects of the country’s culture and society.
Years 2 & 3
You'll continue to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In cultural classes, you'll learn more about the history and politics of your country through literature and film.
Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining work experience in a professional environment or studying at a foreign institution. Students studying two languages may opt to spend third year in one country and a further year in the country of their other language, before returning to Strathclyde for Honours year.
In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. We offer cultural classes reflecting the research expertise of our staff.
In your final year, you’ll build on your project work from previous years and write a dissertation.
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.
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.
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?’
This intensive class, for those with SQA ‘Higher’ or equivalent, will enable you to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Following on from Italian 1A, this intensive programme will broaden your knowledge of the Italian language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
orIntroduction to Italian 1A
Introduction to Italian 1B
This intensive class, for beginners or false beginners, will enable you to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A1 of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Following on from Introduction to Italian 1A, this accelerated and intensive programme will broaden your knowledge of the Italian language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This class aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Students take two language classes as in Year 1. The language courses are based on a series of classes.
Le Monde du Travail
La France et L'Europe
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.
Immigration & Nationalité
Cultural focus: the origins of the European ideal, Europe and the EU viewed from France.
Linguistic focus: subjunctive mood.
Les Femmes en Politique
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).
Cultural focus: a further look (after first year) at French politics, concentrating on topical issues.
Linguistic focus: modal verbs.
Cultural focus: decentralisation, importance of regions in France.
Linguistic focus: the passive voice.
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
This class will introduce you to more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It will also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
Modern Italy - State, Culture & Society
This class will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, and enable you to develop further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in Italian. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Italy through the materials used. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework for Languages.
This class provides a comprehensive overview of the major developments in Italian history, society and culture from the Unification to the present day. In Semester 1, you'll study 20th century Italian social, political and cultural history, while in Semester 2, you'll analyse a range of films and a literary text. This is an interdisciplinary class which can be taken by students with no knowledge of Italian.
Students take two language classes (as in previous years).
Les Nouvelles Façons de Consommer
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.
Le Système Éducatif
Cultural focus: the impact of consumerism on the environment.
Linguistic focus: adjectives and comparative, hypothesis, conditional mood.
L’Année à l’Étranger
Cultural focus: a look at current issues in the French education system.
Linguistic focus: reported speech, imperative mood, a further look at pronouns.
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)
Italian Language 3A
Italian Language 3B
This class aims to build on the students’ knowledge and understanding of the Italian language and shifts the emphasis from the acquisition of linguistic knowledge to the production of a varied linguistic output both orally and in writing. In addition to classes in written and spoken Italian students also take a course in translation from Italian into English, which includes an introduction to translation theory and practice.
Italian Stage & Screen
This class builds on the progress students have made in Italian 3A in spoken and written language. Students take a class in translation from English into Italian and engage in a large-scale group project, which encourages the development of a range of research and presentation skills.
The course explores the distinctive contribution made by Italian theatre and Italian cinema. Focusing on specific texts, such as Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Luigi Pirandello’s Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore and Dario Fo’s Morte accidentale di un anarchico, and on films such as Germi’s Divorzio all'italiana and Moretti's Caro diario, students are encouraged to engage critically with the individual works studied in their exploration of the crucial contribution which Italy has made to the development of these two genres.
This is the year abroad, spent either studying at a foreign university or working as a language assistant or on a work placement. This year is compulsory to gain entry into Honours.
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
Italian 4 Language A (Spoken Skills)
Italian 4 Language B (Writing Skills)
By this stage students can deal effectively and appropriately with a wide range of normal, everyday situations in Italian, and can function in a variety of contexts. In this class we focus on the development of specific communicative skills, in a formal register. This takes the form of an esposizione in which the student speaks on a prepared topic from a particular point of view, and bilateral interpreting, in which the student is asked to act as channel of information in two languages.
Italian 4 Language C (Translation)
This class builds on the experiences gained in Years 1-3, and further develops student skills in writing in formal Italian. The class involves the production of pieces of writing in Italian (summaries, reports), typically based on texts in English on Italian topics.
Women, Celebrity Culture & Emancipation in Post-Unification Italy
Taking forward the expertise in translation students have acquired in Years 2-3, the course further develops skills in working from English into Italian and from Italian into English.
Italian Resistance Culture
This course, situated within the socio-historical contexts of both the Risorgimento period and post-unification Italy until WW1, focuses on female performance and its consumption by both female and male spectators as mediated through women writers’ journals, letters, diary entries and realist fictional accounts (novels and short stories). It examines women writers’ relation to the European context and the recurring themes featuring in their popular domestic fiction which was in wide circulation, particularly during the 1880s.
Visions of Italian Terrorism
The course is designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the Italian Resistance (1943-1945) and its impact on Italian culture, politics and society. It is an interdisciplinary course which requires students to show skills in history, as well as an understanding of literary and cinematic texts. Films/literary texts vary from year to year but typically include works from a wide variety of periods.
The course examines the way our understanding of Italian terrorism has been filtered through feature films, documentaries and television programmes. As with other final year studies classes this is an interdisciplinary class, which helps students to develop a wide range of research and analytical skills.
Our assessment methods include:
- written examinations, including translations
- writing for a specific purpose
Continuous assessment ranges from online grammar tests to group projects, while oral/aural tests are performed throughout the course. Students write a dissertation in their final year.
Learning & teaching
We focus on the four important language skills:
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 and Italian television.
In later years, you'll perform presentations, write reports and interpret into English, which prepares you for potential future careers.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
1st sitting: AAAA
2nd sitting: AAAAB
- Higher English B, plus one from the list below
- Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.
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)
36 (Maths SL5)
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Rest of UK
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.
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.
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
You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility.
Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.
International Students (Non UK, EEA)
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.
The Dean's Rest of UK Merit Scholarship recognises academic achievement. It's for students who are paying the Rest of UK tuition fee of £9,250 per year and achieve ABB or above at A Level (or equivalent). Successful applicants will receive £500 in each year of study at the University. Find out more.