BA French Studies

For 2015 entry onwards this course will be replaced by the new BA Modern Languages.

French Studies at Birmingham will give you the opportunity to study many different aspects of French language and culture. We put an emphasis on small group teaching and encourage student participation. The expertise of our staff enables us to offer a wide range of courses covering all areas of French language, culture, history, literature and film.  Student satisfaction scores for French at Birmingham are very high. 98% of students reported that not only are staff enthusiastic about teaching, they are also good at explaning things.  

Undergraduate places available for 2014

Course fact file

UCAS code: R120

Duration: 4 years

Places Available: 20

Applications in 2011: 162

Typical Offer: AAB - ABB - Offers will normally be made within this range, taking your predicted grades and your UCAS application into account. (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September 2014 only

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr Ursula Haskins Gonthier
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6002
Email: u.haskinsgonthier@bham.ac.uk  

Details

French Studies at Birmingham will give you the opportunity to study many different aspects of French and Francophone language and culture. We put an emphasis on small group teaching and encourage student participation. We produce confident, articulate graduates who are enthused by their subject and who benefit from excellent possibilities for employment in the UK and EU.

The French Department at Birmingham is a large, vibrant community of staff and students. The expertise of our staff enables us to offer a wide range of courses covering all areas of French language, culture, history, literature and film from the sixteenth-century to the present day and ranging across all areas of the French-speaking world. 

First and second years

In the first two years you will build upon your existing knowledge of the French language, and develop the skills you need to communicate fluently in spoken and written French. You will also be able to study modules that focus on the literature, politics, media, culture and history of France. You can take one course from outside the French Department, with choices ranging from History of Art to Beginner's Japanese.

Year abroad

The third year is spent in France, either following a programme of study at one of our many partner universities, or completing a work placement in a French school or business.

Fourth year

A wide range of specialist language and culture options is available in the final year, enabling you to pursue your particular interests. Current choices include:

  • Discourses, Disciplines and Dissidence: The Construction of Sexuality in 19th Century France
  • Francophone Caribbean Literature and Film
  • Interpreting
  • The Algerian War
  • Women’s Writing in France: Post 1980
  • Final year information

Other ways to study French

In addition to the Single Honours programme, French Studies is available:

Why study this course

  • The Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham is the only one in the country to offer the full range of languages from the Iberian Peninsula (Basque, Catalan, Galician and Portuguese) in addition to our seven principal languages (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish). All programmes last four years, with the third year spent studying abroad. You can concentrate on a single language, study two or more languages or combine language study with some other subject.
  • Birmingham is one of the top four universities for language provision in the judgement of employers, according to the Guardian.
  • Our students are extremely satisfied with the experience they receive here at the University of Birmingham, which is reflected in our excellent returns in the National Student Survey over recent years. Our different language sections frequently achieve scores in excess of 80% or 90% for overall satisfaction.
  • There are a wide range of Joint Honours with Languages subjects available at Birmingham.
  • Read our ten reasons to study Modern Languages at Birmingham.

Open day talk

Fees and funding

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

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: AAB - ABB - Offers will normally be made within this range, taking your predicted grades and your UCAS application into account.

Required subjects and grades: A level French grade B or above

General Studies: Accepted

Additional information: Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements

Additional information:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 36-34 points including French at HL

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 www.ucas.com

Learn more about applying

Joint Honours combinations

You can take French Studies as part of a Joint Honours degree with the following subjects:

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.

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr Ursula Haskins Gonthier
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6002
Email: u.haskinsgonthier@bham.ac.uk  

Learning and teaching

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

 

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams (depending on your chosen degree).

During your first year you will 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 your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

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. 

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr Ursula Haskins Gonthier
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6002
Email: u.haskinsgonthier@bham.ac.uk  

Employability

[Video above - Dr Emma Tyler discusses careers and employability during the Modern Languages open day presentation]

Modern Languages graduates have a range of skills that are highly prized by graduate employers: oral and written communication in one or more foreign languages, critical thinking,  intercultural awareness and understanding. You will also develop leadership, teamwork and organisational skills through activities such as group projects and your year abroad.

90% of our Modern Language graduates go into work or study within six months of graduation. 50% of vacancies advertised for new and recent graduates don’t specify a degree subject, and our graduates enter a wide range of careers similar to other arts and humanities graduates but with much greater scope in international settings. This includes business, government, journalism, the creative arts, teaching and law. Some go abroad to develop their language skills while working as TEFL teachers and university language tutors.

Modern Languages graduates from the University of Birmingham have excellent prospects after graduation. An impressive 80% of our graduates go into professional or managerial jobs within six months of graduation. Our graduates have started careers with employers including British Airways, Deloitte, HSBC, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the British Council, NATO, BP, central and local government, and universities in the UK and abroad.

Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. This is a unique careers guidance service tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team who can give you expert advice. This includes individual careers advice and talks and events, including ‘Careers with Languages’, to provide insight into careers of interest to our students. Many languages students will also find our events about careers such as teaching, law, marketing, journalism and advertising of interest.

We work hard to help students identify how the year abroad may help their future career. We also encourage all our students to apply their skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer; the work experience bursary scheme enables students to apply for funding for those career areas where placements are often unpaid. You can even apply for our ‘Global Challenge’ to work overseas on an expenses paid placement during your summer vacation.

Modern Languages alumni profiles

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities while you're at university to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. This can include the many societies at the Guild of Students and also the many voluntary opportunities offered with local arts organisations. 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.

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 the College's 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.

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 are a unique opportunity to learn fundamental, transferable business and interpersonal skills, through experience of real work in an established cultural institution. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust and the Library of Birmingham. We have plans to expand the scheme to include our own major cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. This scheme will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr Ursula Haskins Gonthier
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6002
Email: u.haskinsgonthier@bham.ac.uk