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French Studies BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time See course combinations for joint honours UCAS codes 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

This exciting programme (offered as a joint honours and minor degree) is designed to enable you to reach a high level of proficiency in French and to prepare you to use your language skills in a variety of social and professional situations. Successful communication is highly reliant on an understanding of, and an empathy with, the culture of the speech community, and the course material also encourages you to explore aspects of French society. In addition, if you take French as a joint degree, you will have the opportunity to hone your professional skills as linguists and to study aspects of French culture (eg literature, film, art) in greater depth.

A key feature is the chance to spend a period abroad during your second or third year.

See the course combinations section for more information about the different joint honours options.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

Language students are valued for their cultural sensitivity, sense of independence and international mobility. Having chosen a fascinating area of study in its own right, you will discover that your fluency in French will enhance your employability and open the door to a wide range of careers.

If you are a joint honours student, you will be encouraged to undertake a work placement in a French language related field. You may also wish to consider French teaching as a career and choose to take a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages.

This French degree will enable you to develop your French language skills to a high level while also studying another subject.

What you will study

You can begin the course at one of two different entry levels (GCSE or A-level), building upon your existing knowledge of French and continuing to develop your competence in all four of the language skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Your aim will be to communicate with confidence in a range of formal and informal situations, while exploring the interface between language and society.

In Year 1, you will begin to develop your language skills and will be introduced to French culture and identity.

In Year 2 and Year 3, the language modules enable you to consolidate and extend your language skills and become a fluent communicator in both spoken and written French. There will be a strong focus on reading and research skills, and you will learn to read and interpret the French press and other foreign-language documentary sources that may be relevant to your main subject. You will practise a range of specialised professional language techniques, such as translating, summarising, editing, report writing and liaison interpreting, and will give oral presentations or contribute to debates.

In addition, if you are a joint honours student you will enhance your employability through the optional undertaking of a French language related work placement; and develop further your analytical skills through research and special studies projects.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • In this module students will develop their competence in the French language beyond GCSE and A-level in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and extend their awareness of French culture, reflecting analytically upon the structures and uses of language in general.  These are all core transferable skills, enhancing students' ability to communicate in both French and English.

    Post GCSE and post A-level students are taught together for two hours per week, but the third hour will be taught separately in order to target the specific needs of each group.  During this hour, post GCSE students will follow an accelerated programme of grammar study, vocabulary building exercises and oral practice. 

  • This module will look at historical, socio-political and cultural themes which have shaped, and are still shaping, modern France, within a wider international context.  The module will encourage critical reflection on the existence of the different identities within contemporary French society, emphasising recent and contemporary developments. Students will develop an awareness of France's position internationally. Their written and spoken linguistic skills will also be enhanced through the study of a range of materials and topics in French.


Year 2 (Level 5)

  • At Level 5, the core language module further develops the students' linguistic skills, which will be enhanced through the study of authentic materials examining contemporary French issues. Students will gain more confidence in the understanding of formal and informal French, and will further their knowledge of a range of more complex French structures and lexis.

    Working in small groups and in regular contact with tutors, students will consolidate their language skills through a variety of listening comprehension exercises, oral and aural task-based activities together with various forms of guided writing tasks. They will translate texts in a variety of registers from French into English and develop/summarise a written argument.  They will also contribute to intellectual discussion on a range of contemporary issues in France. These are all core transferable skills, enhancing the students' ability to communicate in both French and English.

  • Joint honours students will have the opportunity to reflect on the theme of representation through a series of cultural case studies that engage with aspects of French society and national identity. Students will explore a variety of texts (eg literature, film, art) and enhance their linguistic and analytical skills as they develop sustained pieces of writing in the target language. They will increase their awareness of the way in which French culture impacts upon French identity, hone their analytical skills in closely evaluating a variety of texts (eg novels, poetry, films, painting) and develop their research skills as they explore selected topics.


Year 3 (Level 6)

  • At Level 6, the aim is to develop further the students' ability to write in fluent and accurate French and to present information effectively in the target language, handling a variety of written forms and registers with confidence and accuracy. A wide range of authentic source materials will be used to extend further their knowledge and understanding of key aspects of contemporary French society.  These materials will be exploited in order to enhance overall language competence, communicative techniques and translation and summary skills.

    The module will also help students to gain greater confidence and precision in moving between French and English in written and spoken mode. They will translate a variety of texts, taking account of style, register, genre and format.  These will be used to stimulate and develop debates and discussion in French and to further comprehension of French discourse. This module will enable students to operate successfully in a professional capacity using the target language.

  • Joint honours students will also take one of the following modules:

    • In this module students will develop their understanding of skills, practices and working environments for the professional language user. Students will be actively encouraged to undertake a French language related work placement to further enhance employability. The syllabus will focus on applied language skills in the preparation of a set of practical tasks and linked commentaries. The tasks undertaken will include abstract writing, editing, translation, interpreting and written commentary. Students will enhance their analytical skills as they develop an understanding of how theoretical concepts impact on linguistic choices for the professional language user. The module will be delivered through lectures, talks by guest speakers who are professional language users and interactive seminars.

    • This module gives students the opportunity to prepare a sustained piece of independent research in the field of French language and culture, as suggested by the areas of expertise within the Department. The first weeks of the module will be taught in two-hour blocks comprising both a lecture and seminar/discussion. Following the submission of a project proposal, students will undertake their own individual research under supervision. The assessment includes a presentation that will help the students to formulate and develop their ideas; and an extended essay that is the culmination of the project.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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