Structure

Course Structure

Advanced French

We focus on developing your spoken and written French to a very high standard. Alongside your language classes, you will study diverse perspectives on French society and culture. Your third year will be spent abroad in a French-speaking country.

For post A-level students, the Level 1 programme helps you make the transition from A Level to university study, while showing the possibilities offered by studying French at Sheffield. We provide you with a solid grounding in language study while introducing you to the academic skills needed for your degree.

The core language units combine intensive study of the French language with lectures on society and culture. The lectures on the Understanding Modern France core course will introduce you to the historical events, values and ideas that inform French society today and other Francophone cultures through a different range of different texts and media. You will learn the interpretative methodologies specific to a range of cultural forms giving you a solid grounding for specialisation in Year 2 and onwards.

Beginners' French

From September 2017, we will offer pathways in French for Beginners in addition to our main post-A level study strand. More and more students now coming to university have not had the opportunity to take a language at A-level, and if you missed out at school on French, which is such an important world language and diverse culture, we want you to have a second chance. You’ll be an important part of our learning community and be involved in cultural and social events in just the same way as post A-level students.

The Beginners pathway ensures support for progression in speaking, writing, reading and listening skills and joins post-A level learners in the final year of study. This pathway is available on a wide range of programmes with French (excluding Single Honours French Studies).

French Banner 2Modules

Beginners French

We are constantly developing our courses so it is possible that the modules running during your time at Sheffield may differ slightly from those currently available. What follows is a typical list of the first, second and third year modules we offer.

Year One (Level 1)

At Level 1 you will take four hours of interactive language classes per week conducted in a mixture of French and English, which provides you with a solid grounding in speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. These classes are be supplemented by booster workshops to develop specific skills throughout the semester, a structured programme of independent study and regular feedback on your progress and work. To develop further confidence in spoken French, a dedicated conversation class is offered in a small group with a native French speaker.

You will also take an accompanying critical and cultural studies module (French Critical Contexts, 1 hour a week) which introduces you some of the key texts of the French-speaking world (book, film, art work, piece of music, cultural product) and to the wider academic skills needed for your degree. The module is taught and assessed in English and aims to introduce you to key French texts and to explore a range of possible critical approaches to them. On top of this, you will also choose two optional modules.

Year Two (Level 2)

At level 2 you will take four hours of interactive classes a week conducted in a mixture of French and English. Three of these language hours focus on written and spoken French and French grammar, including exercises designed to broaden vocabulary, comprehension and written fluency. A dedicated grammar hour provides a sound foundation in grammar rules and principles. Weekly conversation classes are conducted in small groups with assistants de langue  and aim to improve confidence and ability to speak French readily and convincingly in diverse informal situations and to increase your understanding of French and Francophone social practices and institutions in preparation for the year abroad.

The core language modules are complemented by a cultural history module, ‘Understanding Modern France’. The unit explores key aspects of the cultural history of modern France and other Francophone societies and combines the development of core knowledge with the critical and analytical skills required to study French at degree level. This unit covers the historical period in France from the ancien regime to the Fifth Republic as explored through a range of different texts and media. The module is taught and assessed in English. There are also two optional modules "des Gaulois à de Gaulle" and "The World of French Words".

Year 3 will be spent on the Year Abroad

Depending on your degree programme, you will spend either one or two semesters in a French-speaking country. You choose form the same range of options as other students and can study at a university, pursue voluntary work, do a work placement or work as a language assistant.

Year 4 - Final Year

After the immersive and transformative experience of the year abroad, you will join the advanced language course, which is made up of two hours of tuition in written French per week. One hour focuses on developing writing skills and the other is dedicated to translation. You will have a further hour of conversation class taught in a small group by assistants de langue. Level 3 offers further opportunities for specialist study, alongside core modules designed to develop sophisticated language use across a range of topics. Most students will choose at least two optional modules from the broad range on offer.

Year 1

Advanced pathway
Core modules:

  • Language and Communication Skills I
  • Language and Communication Skills II
  • Understanding Modern France I
  • Understanding Modern France II
Optional modules:
  • French Critical Contexts I
  • French Critical Contexts II
  • Des Gaulois à de Gaulle: histoire pratique du français
  • The World of French Words

Beginners' pathway
Core modules:

  • French Beginners Language I
  • French Beginners Language II
  • French Critical Contexts I
  • French Critical Contexts II
Optional modules:
  • School-wide modules may be selected

Year 2

Advanced pathway
Core modules:

  • Language and Communication Skills III
  • Language and Communication Skills IV

Optional modules:

  • Translation in Theoretical Context I
  • Translation in Theoretical Context II
  • L'Exclusion Sociale en France I
  • L'Exclusion Sociale en France II
  • Writing the Revolution I
  • Writing the Revolution II
  • La Bande Dessinée I
  • La Bande Dessinée II
  • La Francophonie: Langue, Colonie et Civilisation I
  • La Francophonie: Langue, Colonie et Civilisation II
  • "Par où commencer?" Séminaire d'analyse et d'interprétation du texte littéraire I
  • "Par où commencer?" Séminaire d'analyse et d'interprétation du texte littéraire II
  • Minorités et Identités dans la France du XXe siècle I
  • Minorités et Identités dans la France du XXe siècle II

Beginners' pathway
Core Modules:

  • French Intermediate I
  • French Intermediate II
  • Understanding Modern France I
  • Understanding Modern France II

Optional modules:

  • Des Gaulois à de Gaulle: histoire pratique du français
  • The World of French Words
Year Abroad

There are three Year Abroad options:

University Study Teaching Placement Work Placement

In mainland France you can study in Bordeaux Montaigne, Le Mans, Montpellier, d'Aix-Marseille, Pau, Perpignan, Rennes 2, or Versailles. If you are studying a Dual degree with Business Management or Economics you would choose either KEDGE Business School (Bordeaux or Aix) or Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Montpellier and if you are studying a Dual degree with Politics or History you would choose Sciences Po in Paris. We also have links with the university of La Réunion, a département d'outre-mer in the Indian Ocean and the universities of Lausanne and Neuchâtel in Switzerland.

You are also more than welcome to arrange to study at another university. Students have previously been to - among others - Sénégal, Martinique and Nouvelle Calédonie, as well as other francophone countries in Europe.

Teaching English with the British Council offers you invaluable work experience as well as the chance to demonstrate your team-working, organisational and presentational skills. The immersion in a French working environment is ideal preparation for your final year of studies.

You can work in schools across mainland France as well as Corsica, outre-mer (Guadeloupe, Guyane Française, La Réunion and Martinique) and Canada.

Because assistantships require a nine month residency in France only students studying one language are eligible to apply.

A work or voluntary placement gives you the chance to use your French in a professional context while exploring employment possibilities on an international level.

If you would like to organise a work or voluntary placement in a French-speaking country the department is happy to support you. Your tutors will assist you in any way they can, offering advice and support.

In recent years students have worked in translation agencies, law firms, and design and media companies.

Year 4
  • Littérature Et Démocratie I
  • Littérature Et Démocratie II
  • Realities and Falsehoods: The French Occupation in Literature and Film I
  • Realities and Falsehoods: The French Occupation in Literature and Film II
  • Language and Communication Skills V
  • Language and Communication Skills VI
  • Film Studies I
  • Film Studies II
  • Gender, Society and Economy in France I
  • Gender, Society and Economy in France II
  • Le Siècle des Lumières I
  • Le Siècle des Lumières II
  • Le Rire Gaulois I
  • Le Rire Gaulois II
  • Literature and Politics of the 'Post-Colonial' I
  • Literature and Politics of the 'Post-colonial' I
Teaching and assessment Most of your work at Level 2 and Level 3 is in seminar groups. We believe that this provides the best opportunities for personalised study, active participation and collaborative learning.

We believe in helping you develop skills which are relevant to the world of work. These include information-handling techniques, presentation skills, time management and team work.

These skills are developed through a variety of teaching and learning methods, including presentations by staff and students, small-group work, class discussions and structured independent study.

Types of assessment

Your core language modules are assessed by written and oral exams, as well as for your continued performance in oral classes. Optional modules are assessed by either presentations, exams, essays, or a combination of the three.