First year - French Studies

Modules taught in the French Department in the first year (20 credits each):

Modern French language 1 and 2 (Compulsory)

The module is divided into 3 main units which provide oral, aural and written language activities performed both in the written language class and in the oral class. The language class is also linked closely to the grammar (interactive) lecture hour, reinforcing the grammatical topics which are thoroughly introduced, practised and tested. Additional activities include: laboratory sessions focussing on oral and aural proficiency, and the use of specially designed online language-learning programmes.

Introduction to French literary and film studies 1 and 2 (Compulsory)

Nouvelles Galeries, Galeries LafayetteThe first part of this course comprises a series of introductory lectures relating to prose fiction and to film (critical terminology, reading narrative, issues of structure and form) and the close analysis of examples of twentieth-century prose fiction and film. The second half of the course is composed of a series of introductory lectures relating to poetry and drama (critical terms, French versification, dramatic structure, theatrical context) and the close analysis of works by a nineteenth–century poet and by dramatists from the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.

La France moderne 1 (Compulsory)

Arche, La Défense, business district, Paris aire urbaine 2This is a module about contemporary French society but is also an introduction to some of the crucial political debates of the 21st century for those who have never studied politics before. It is composed of 8 dossiers, each focusing on a different theme:  the French political system, the economy, immigration, the multicultural society, foreign policy, Europe, women in France, Higher Education. During the course of the student-led seminars, you will debate questions such as ‘Is economic growth compatible with the protection of the environment?’, ‘Should western powers intervene militarily in other countries to “spread democracy”?’, ‘What is the future of the European Union?’ with a particular focus on France in each case. By the end of the module, you will have developed and refined your own opinions on these complex questions and, what’s more, you will be able to express them in French.

Cultural intersections (Compulsory)

This module offers an introductory discussion of issues of cultural representation. We shall consider the many different - and sometimes surprising - ways in which two over-arching themes are represented in twentieth-century prose fiction, poetry, chanson and film. Term one will focus on the representation of the Second World War; in term two we shall analyse the representation of the city. Course delivery is by lectures and by student-led seminars. Term one seminars are conducted largely in English, while more work in French is introduced in Term 2. The course is assessed by two essays and by seminar participation.

Business French (Compulsory)

This module delivered mainly in French, and making use of our digital language laboratories, will develop your understanding of the French business environment and introduce you to the type of vocabulary and grammatical structures you need to complete a range of business tasks such as applying for a job, writing and answering business letters, handling phone calls... It will also reinforce all four language skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking) through a range of individual exercises as well as a group project for which you will produce an advertising document.

All modules are compulsory for Single Honours students.  In addition, Single Honours students follow a Module Outside the Main Discipline (MOMD) worth 20 credits in another Department. Joint Honours students are also required to take certain modules. 

  100 credits 80 credits 60 credits 40 credits 20 credits
  BA Modern Languages
doing 100 credits of French
BA Modern Languages doing 80 credits of French All joint honours

BA Modern Languages doing 60 credits of French
BA Modern   Languages doing 40 credits of French  Law with French International relations with French

International Business with Language
Modern French Language (20 credits) Compulsory Compulsory Compulsory Compulsory Compulsory
Modern France 1 (20 credits) Compulsory Compulsory Compulsory Choose one of these two modules  
Introduction to French Literary and Film Studies (20 credits) Compulsory Compulsory Compulsory    
Cultural Intersections (20 credits) Compulsory Choose one of these two modules      
Business French (20 credits) Compulsory        


Modules and courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.