BA French Studies and Mathematics

The key to understanding another society is mastering its language. From this starting point, you can examine a country's history, its literature and culture; and by comparison you can learn more about our own society.

Mathematics is one of the longest established of disciplines, and underpinning many others, mathematics is the language of science and engineering and an intellectual field in its own right. It is a discipline that is forever opening up to us, revealing new and fascinating truths and ideas, and helping to expand upon our knowledge in all directions.

The study of languages and mathematics is an exciting chance to develop a wide range of skills that will equip you for a huge range of careers, both in this country and abroad. You’ll develop advanced language and mathematical skills, as well as a deep cultural understanding of French culture through true immersion on your Year Aboard.

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah Emmerson

“Maths interests me because of its logical approaches to problem solving and its meticulous nature. It gives you a fantastic grounding in all kinds of disciplines, and a great starting point into any career. I love the French side of my degree because it is a combination of language, political, historical and literary studies. The year abroad was also a huge plus which came with the language study - I had an incredible year studying in the sunny south of France.”

You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you’re a fully supported and active learner.

Our degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual, professional and creative industries.

Your French studies are designed to give you an in-depth knowledge of the language and culture of France. We put an emphasis on small group teaching and encourage student participation. We produce confident, enthusiastic, articulate graduates with excellent potential for employment in the UK and beyond. You will follow the same language modules as those studying Single Honours French but choose fewer literary, cultural or political optional modules.

The Mathematics half of the programme is carefully designed to give you access to as many topics as possible. It will help you to develop many skills, such as the ability to formulate and tackle problems, to think logically, to use technical language and to express complex ideas clearly and accurately.

The degree programme is four years in length, and you will spend your third year abroad.

Why study this course

  • Outstanding staff: Students give our staff excellent ratings: 93% of Mathematics and 92% of French Studies students agreed that they were satisfied with the quality of their course. Great teaching helps our students develop to their full academic potential. Our staff produce high quality research which directly influences their teaching.
  • Superb employability rates: Amongst our students who graduated in July 2013, 87% of Modern Languages and 85% of Mathematics students and were in work or further study 6 months after graduation – 85% and 87% of those were in professional or managerial roles. Combing the complementary skills you will acquire in both areas of your degree will make you very attractive to employers. Read more in the employability section.
  • Broad curriculum: You will benefit from an exceptionally broad and flexible curriculum. Choose from a wealth of French Studies modulescovering history, politics, culture, society, business, skills such as translation and so on, and Mathematics modules covering applied maths, discrete maths, statistics, number theory or numerical methods.
  • Travel opportunities: All our language degrees involve time abroad – whether that’s on the European Cultural Tours or your Year Abroad, when you can choose to study, teach or work in another country.
  • Active student language societies: Join our language student societies, our student magazine The UoB Linguist or MathSoc to develop your language and mathematical skills outside your teaching, make new friends who share your passion for your subjects and attend interesting and diverse extra-curricular events.

Read more about our strengths.

Open day talks


The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

First year

French: You will study 3 modules – French language, La France moderne (an introduction to French politics and history) and an Introduction to French Literature and Film Studies.  

Mathematics: The first two years are carefully designed to allow you as much choice as possible in your final year. In the first year, you will cover Calculus; Vectors, Geometry and Algebra; and Mechanics.

Second year

French: As you progress into the second year of the course you follow core language modules, as well as specialist modules focusing on politics, culture, literature or film so you are increasingly free to tailor the programme to suit your own interests.

Mathematics: The first two years are carefully designed to allow you as much choice as possible in your final year. In your second year you will take modules in Multivariable & Vector Analysis; Linear Algebra; Probability and Statistics; and Algebra & Combinatorics.

Third year

The third year is normally spent following a programme of study at one of our many partner universities in France or Quebec.

Fourth year

French: You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of specialist language and culture options that are available in the final year. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a Dissertation module in either discipline, or combine both areas.

Mathematics: As you will have gained a thorough grounding in many aspects of Mathematics during Years 1 and 2, you will be able to choose from an incredibly wide range of final year modules, covering topics such as Continuum Mechanics, Partial Differential Equations, Liner Algebra and Programming and Game Theory and Computer Simulation

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics grade A. A level French grade B

International baccalaureate update

Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.

International students:

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at

Learn more about applying.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and welfare advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Transition review - you will undergo a formal transition review during your first year with an academic member of staff. They will see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support.
  • Academic Skills Centre - the centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

Language laboratory sessions allow you to practise your listening and spoken skills and are an essential part of all our language programmes.

Assessment methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Assessment varies across modules and can include:

  • Examinations - usually taken at the end of the year in which the module is taught
  • Coursework - this could be continuous or at the end of the module, and is assessed in a variety of ways.
  • Class tests - some lecturers set regular class tests which could be written tests, group presentations or computer-based tests providing instant feedback.

Research projects are assessed by, for example, interim reports, a final written report and oral presentations.

During your first year the University will require you to undergo a formal 'transition' review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in the School and can help with any academic issues you encounter. The University’s Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The Centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the Centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from, and build on, what you have done. You will be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

Modern Languages and Mathematics graduates have a range of skills that are highly prized by graduate employers. 

  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English and one or more other languages;
  • Analytic thinking;
  • Problem solving;
  • A deep awareness understanding and appreciation of other cultures;
  • Critical thinking skills, alongside the ability to research, analyse and interpret the information that you have gathered;
  • Independence and experience of living abroad;
  • Leadership and teamwork;
  • Handling complex information, including complex statistics;
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments;
  • Managing your time effectively and prioritising your workload; 

Our Modern Languages and Mathematics graduates are highly employable and go in to an incredibly wide range of careers, both in this country and abroad. In the most recent survey, 87% of our graduates went on to further work or study, 85% of whom were in professional or managerial jobs.

Example employers include:

  • Capita
  • Eurocity Group
  • Harper Collins
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • IQD Frequency Products
  • Aura Financial
  • British Airways
  • Deloitte
  • HSBC
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • The British Council
  • NATO
  • BP
  • Educational institutions in the UK and overseas
  • Local and central government

Example Occupations include:

  • Editorial Project Leader
  • Actuary
  • Associate Auditor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Teacher
  • International Sales Coordinator
  • Investigation Specialist
  • Operations Analyst
  • Marketing Officer
  • Account Executive
  • Account Planner

Example further study programmes include:

  • PgDip Education
  • MA Social Work
  • MSc Actuarial Science
  • ACA Accountancy
  • PGCE (various subjects)
  • MA French Studies
  • MA Translation Studies

You will benefit from events in both departments whereby graduates return to campus to talk about their careers, how to find opportunities and the wide variety of roles available.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

Student Experience Officers

Our Student Experience Officers will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.


Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.