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Chateau de Chambord, Loire Valley, France

BAFrench & Spanish

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 400 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 optional 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

Year 1

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.

Year 4

In your final year, you will concentrate on translation, written and oral language and interpreting. We offer cultural classes reflecting the research expertise of our staff.

Major projects

In your final year, you’ll build on your project work from previous years and write a dissertation. 

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

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?’

Spanish

Spanish 1A

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).

Spanish 1B

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.

or
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.

Year 2

French

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.

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

Spanish

Spanish 2A

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.

Spanish 2B

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.

Year 3

French

Students take two language classes (as in previous years).

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)

Spanish

Spanish 3A

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 3B
This course aims to build on and develop the knowledge acquired in Spanish 3A and will focus on two relevant topics which includes the preparation for the year abroad. This course aims to bring you up to level B2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition to the final exam, a comprehensive project will comprise the other 50% of your final mark for this course. This project will enable you to put into practice and further develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge you have developed since you started studying Spanish at Strathclyde.
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.

Year abroad

Year abroad

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.

Year 4

French

French

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

Compulsory classes
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.

Elective classes
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.

Assessment

Our assessment methods include:

  • written examinations, including translations
  • writing for a specific purpose
  • essays

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:

  • 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 and Spanish television.

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

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.

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.

Scotland/EU
  • TBC
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

The 2018-19 fee rate will be updated when it has been confirmed by the UK and Scottish Governments. Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); 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.

International
  • £14,050

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

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.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Dean's Rest of UK Merit 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.

Careers

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
  • Teacher
  • Trainee Management Graduate

Recent employers include:

  • BIP Solutions
  • British Council
  • Tesco
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Universite Francois Rabelais, Tours
  • West Dunbartonshire Council

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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