- UCAS Code: RR14
Ranked: 2nd in UK for French (The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
Applicant visit day: March each year
Study abroad: partner exchanges in Dijon, Paris & Angers and Valencia, Zaragoza & Alicante
Study with us
- focus on contemporary language and culture
- opportunity to study Spanish as a beginner
- spend up to two years abroad – one on exchange to a partner university and one as an English-language assistant in a French or Spanish School
- Stevenson Exchange Scholarship – a competitive award with funding towards a project undertaken while abroad
- our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1 you will study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s)
Why this course?
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.
With more than 500 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Speaking Spanish will help you conduct business more confidently in countries that are becoming increasingly important in world markets.
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.
What you'll study
In every year, teaching focuses heavily on language work, but you'll also discover the cultures of France and Spain and French and Spanish-speaking countries.
Two streams are offered in first-year: one for students with Higher French and Spanish or equivalent qualification and another for those without. Students in both classes study contemporary French and Spanish 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. In the cultural class each year, you'll learn more about the history, politics, literature, and cinema of France and Spain and French and Spanish-speaking countries.
Honours students spend a year abroad after Year 3, usually working as an English teaching assistant, gaining experience on a work placement or studying at a foreign institution.
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.
In your final year, you'll concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. You'll also have the chance to write a dissertation in French or Spanish.
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 2019, one student secured £2000 towards his project.
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 course will further your knowledge of the Spanish language and develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language through intensive practical and communicative language work. This course aims to bring you up to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You'll extend your knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and focus on the development of contemporary Latin America and on how issues relating to it are reflected in its cultural production (for example, films, journalism, songs).
Following on from Spanish 1A, this course will broaden your knowledge of the Spanish language, and enhance basic skills already acquired in reading, writing, listening and speaking. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It'll also introduce you to new aspects of the culture of Spain through the materials used. Practical language activities, such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to Spanish through audio, video and written texts, will enable you to progress from the levels achieved in Spanish 1A. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish 2A in semester 1 of second year.
Introduction to Spanish 1A
This course aims to give an introduction to the Spanish language, assuming limited or no previous knowledge of Spanish. It introduces everyday Spanish language, as well as certain aspects of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The class is intended to help students to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish.
Introduction to Spanish 1B
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Introduction to Spanish 1A. The class will broaden your knowledge of Spanish language and enhance skills already acquired of reading, writing, listening and speaking in basic Spanish. This class also introduces students to new aspects of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
Students take two language classes as in Year 1. The language courses are based on a series of classes.
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.
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 course 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 the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the different cultures of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. This course aims to bring you up to level A2+/B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2A and will introduce you to yet more complex and formal areas of language, improving and developing further the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the Spanish language. It'll also introduce you to certain aspects of the culture of Spain and Latin America through the materials used. Practical language activities such as pair and small group work and intensive exposure to the Spanish language through audio, video and written texts will build on what you already know, and give you a feel for the Spanish language as it is used in professional contexts. Successful completion of this class will enable students to take Spanish at third-year level. This course aims to bring you up to level B1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Spanish and Latin American Studies II
This course will explore the interlinked themes of independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America. The class is intended to give students a broad overview of Spanish and Latin American social, political and cultural history through the examination of specific texts and films, as well as to develop their critical and research skills.
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)
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Spanish 2B and will consolidate the students’ knowledge and use of the Spanish language within an appropriate cultural context in order to enable the student to live, study and work in a Spanish-speaking country. This course aims to bring you up to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Spanish and Latin American Studies III
This course builds on and develops the knowledge acquired in Independence and isolation in Spain and Latin America - Hispanic Studies 2 (R4200), and adds a dimension of critical and theoretical awareness, as well as developing critical skills through a study of individual texts and films from Spain and different countries of Latin America, to build an understanding of the history and cultures in which they were produced.
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.
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
Spanish Honours Language 4
There are three strands in the Spanish 4 Language programme, which are closely integrated with each other: Language A (writing in Spanish), Language B (analysis and translation into English of Spanish texts), and Language C (oral presentation and interpreting). The programme will enable students to function in the target language at a sufficiently high level of ability, both spoken and written, to be accepted as a fully competent member of the target language community, and effectively to discharge a professional role within and/or in relation to that community.
Hispanic Studies 4
This is a level four Honours class designed to build on the knowledge of Hispanic cultural studies acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies 1A, II and III. The purpose of this class is to explore contemporary issues in Hispanic cultures. Class content will reflect the research specialisms of staff in Spanish and the actual texts and films studies may vary from year to year to reflect student demand and staff availability, as determined by the research focus of the subject. Each year, the class will focus on specific aspects of Hispanic history, politics, society and/or cultures. For example, possible class titles are: Gender and Sexuality in the Hispanic world; The Politics of the Fantastic in Hispanic Fiction and Film; Dictatorship and Resistance in Hispanic Cinema.
The Latin American Short Story
This course builds on and develops the knowledge on Latin American literature and culture acquired in Spanish and Latin American Studies II and III; and adds a dimension of theoretical analysis, as well as developing critical skills through a study of texts from the different countries of Latin America.
Shaping Spain: Ideas, Beliefs and Identity
Rooted in the Spanish History of Ideas, this course explores the condition and motivations for the development of some of the existing main currents of thought in Spain since 1989. It encourages a critical understanding of Spanish history and contextualises the work of several Spanish seminal thinkers (Unamuno, Ortega, Azaña, Zambrano) and it explores their thought in relation to the key themes of the course: ideas, beliefs, and identity.
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
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 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.
What our students think
Choosing Strathclyde was linked to my desire to experience different ways of life and develop my language skills as much as possible since it was the only university to offer a full year abroad for each language. I also liked Strathclyde’s focus on modern history, literature and culture.
I picked Strathclyde because it is a modern, practical university and there is less focus on literature in their language courses than some other universities which appealed to me as I was more interested in learning relevant language which is used day to day.
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
(Higher English, Higher French, Higher Spanish, Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent)
(Higher English B, Higher French B, Higher Spanish and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)
Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
(A Level French B, A Level Spanish, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry: A in Graded Unit; Higher French B; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent
Not normally accepted
Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.
Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.
In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.
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.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
*Fees for students domiciled in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
*Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2021-22, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.
|University preparation programme fees|
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
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 or Spain 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 Modern Languages 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 per month gross (€800 net after social security deductions). Similar stipends are paid in Spain.
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
If you're a Scottish 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.
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.
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
Modern language graduates are in high-demand across a range of areas. Some language graduates become teachers or translators, while others work in multilingual or international environments. Many of our students now work in journalism and broadcasting.
Where are they now?
Recent job titles include:
- Business Development Adviser
- Business Support Executive
- English Language Lecturer
- English Teacher Abroad
- Trainee Management Graduate
Recent employers include:
- BIP Solutions
- British Council
- University of Strathclyde
- Universite Francois Rabelais, Tours
- West Dunbartonshire Council
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!
We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.
Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!Find out all about life in Glasgow
French & Spanish (1 year entry)
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Attendance: full-time
Year of Entry: 1 year