French & Francophone Studies

The French language is spoken by 270 million people worldwide – from arctic Canada, through Europe and Africa, to the islands of the South Pacific. The global influence and diverse developments of France and Francophone cultures remain a key feature of the modern world – from politics, literature and film to international trade, social policy and philosophy.

The Arc De Triomphe

At Sheffield, we believe languages are best studied in context - ensuring both linguistic fluency and a deeper cultural understanding. With our French undergraduate degrees, you won't just become a confident user of a different language, you'll be a confident international citizen and will add new perspectives to your understanding of the world and its people.

More about French at Sheffield

Undergraduate degree combinations

BA Modern Languages & Cultures

On the BA Modern Languages & Cultures you can study:

  • French language & culture only
  • French language & culture with one other language & culture
  • French language & culture with two other languages & cultures

Choose from these languages:

  • German
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Catalan
  • Dutch
  • Luxembourgish* (from second year only)
  • Czech
  • Italian
Dual Honours (with a non-language subject)

As a Dual Honours degree:

  • French language & culture with a non-language subject
  • French languages & culture, a second language & culture, and a non-language subject

Combine your study of French language & culture with one of the following:

  • Archaeology
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

Dual honours degrees

Free Credits

If you have some experience of modern language learning, you can take French language & culture modules either as part of your degree (unrestricted modules) or alongside your degree (not-for-credit modules).

Fast facts

Award: Bachelor of Arts

Duration: 4 years

Entry: ABB at A Level. We also accept a wide range of other qualifications. See individual degree programmes for more detailed information.



Level of Study 

Post A-level

Year One

For post A-level students, the first year 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 units combine intensive study of the French language with lectures and seminars on French and Francophone society and culture.

Year Two

You continue to further develop your language skills and select from a range of specialist modules on history, literature, translation and society - see modules below for more detail.

Year Three - Year Abroad

Depending on your degree programme, you will spend either one or two semesters in a French-speaking country. You can study at a university, pursue voluntary work, do a work placement or work as a language assistant in a school.

Year Four - Final Year

You will have three hours of tuition in French per week. One hour focuses on developing composition and creative-writing skills in French, a second hour is dedicated to translation and the third hour focuses on spoken French.
There are 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.

Beginners

Year One

You will take four hours of interactive language classes per week conducted in a mixture of French and English, which provide you with a solid grounding in speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will also have a structured programme of independent study and regular feedback on your progress and work. These classes and lectures are supplemented by one hour of lectures per week on French and Francophone history, society and culture.

Year Two

You will take four hours of interactive language classes a week conducted in a mixture of French and English. The core language modules are complemented by a range of option modules that allow you to develop your cultural knowledge and awareness of the French-speaking world.

Year Three - Year Abroad

You can choose the same options outlined on the advanced pathway.

Year Four - Final Year

After the immersive and transformative experience of the year abroad, the two pathways join and all students have the same options as described above.

Modules

You will study 40 credits in language and culture at either beginner or post A level.

Beginner's French & Francophone Studies

Title Credits Core/Optional
French Language Beginners 20 Core

Introduction to French History and Culture
The lectures on this module will introduce you to the historical events, values and ideas that have informed French society and other Francophone cultures since the eighteenth century through a range of different texts and media.

20 Core (if you are studying one or two languages and cultures)
Optional (if you are studying three languages and cultures)

Post A-Level French & Francophone Studies

Title Credits Core/Optional
French Language Post A-Level 20 Core

Understanding Modern France (I & II) 
The lectures on this module introduce you to the broad sweep of French history from Louis XIV to Emmanuel Macron. The lectures in English engage critically with the key ideas and expressions of the major movements in French and Francophone culture. A second seminar hour in French enhances the lectures by close readings of diverse French texts and media illustrating significant historical and cultural shifts. You will learn the interpretative methodologies specific to different forms of analysis, giving you a solid grounding for specialisation in Year 2 and onwards.

20

Core (if you are studying one or two languages and cultures)
Optional (if you are studying three languages and cultures)

You may also choose from the following:

Title Credits Core/Optional

French Critical Contexts 

Each semester this module takes two major French ‘texts’ (novel, film, painting, etc.) as its central focus of study and sets them in specific ‘critical contexts’, giving students a clear set of critical tools with which to carry out their analyses. The principal text is then also considered in a different media – e.g., a book adapted into a film – to see what this tells us about its construction and value systems. Recent ‘texts’ include: Mme de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Montpensier; a section of Hugo’s Les Misérables; Sarah Kofman’s Rue Ordener, Rue Labat; the film Monsieur Klein; the bande dessinée Le Tour de Gaule d’Astérix; and Hocine Zaourar’s news photo La Madone de Bentalha.

The texts are available in French and English. Post-A-Level students are expected to use the French-language materials. The module is strongly recommended for Beginners’ French students.

20 Optional

Introduction to European Film

This module has a strong French component, drawing on French cinema classics, from the 1950s auteur tradition to more recent popular and avant-garde productions

20 Optional

You may also choose from a range of modules from across the School of Languages and Cultures.

French Language Intermediate (following beginners' French route)

Title Credits Core/Optional
French Language Intermediate 20 Core

French Language Higher Intermediate (following post A level French route)

Title Credits Core/Optional
French Language Higher Intermediate 20 Core

Depending on your degree programme and language combination you may take up to 80 credits from the option list below.

Title Credits Core/Optional
La Francophonie: Langue, Colonie et Civilisation I 10 Optional
La Francophonie: Langue, Colonie et Civilisation II 10 Optional
Textes classiques, textes inclassables : 17e-21e siècles I 10 Optional
Textes classiques, textes inclassables : 17e-21e siècles II 10 Optional
Minorités et Identités dans la France du XXe siècle I 10 Optional
Minorités et Identités dans la France du XXe siècle II 10 Optional
L’Exclusion sociale en France I 10 Optional
L’Exclusion sociale en France II 10 Optional
Narratives of Confinement I 10 Optional
Narratives of Confinement II 10 Optional
France in the Fifties I 10 Optional
France in the Fifties II 10 Optional
French Documentary Film I 10 Optional
French Documentary Film II 10 Optional
Translation in Theoretical Context I 10 Optional
Translation in Theoretical Context II 10 Optional
Writing the French Revolution I 10 Optional
Writing the French Revolution II 10 Optional

And choose from year 2 School-wide modules

You will spend either one or two semesters in a French-speaking country on your Year Abroad and can:- 

Study at a university
Studying abroad at a university allows you to experience the familiarity of student life with the excitement of living in another country. University life varies enormously across the world, however wherever they go, our students develop international networks and life-long friendships. Courses at international universities expose our students to new ways of studying, learning, and interpreting the world.

Gain work experience
Work placements provide you with the opportunity of gaining employment experience as both a professional and an internationally competent graduate. Types of work experience may vary hugely, from translation to consultancy and everything in-between. Work experience may be paid or voluntary, depending on type of work, organisation and location. 

Teach English with the British Council
The British Council is an international government institution designed to promote British culture around the world. With the British Council, students will teach English to a variety of age groups in their host country. This allows students to have in-depth engagement with locals, as well as experience the world of international work. Main counties that participate are: Austria, France, Germany and Spain. There are also a small number of placements in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Switzerland.

French Language Advanced (All students)

Title Credits Core/Optional
French Language Advanced 20 Core

Depending on your degree programme and language combination you will take a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 100 credits from 

Title Credits Core/Optional
Littérature moderne: thèmes et idées I 10 Optional
Littérature moderne: thèmes et idées II 10 Optional
Realities and Falsehoods: The French Occupation in Literature and Film I 10 Optional
Realities and Falsehoods: The French Occupation in Literature and Film II 10 Optional
Film Studies I 10 Optional
Film Studies II 10 Optional
Gender, Society and Economy in France I 10 Optional
Gender, Society and Economy in France II 10 Optional
Le Siècle des Lumières I 10 Optional
Le Siècle des Lumières II 10 Optional
Literature and Politics of the ‘Post(-)Colonial I 10 Optional
Literature and Politics of the ‘Post(-)Colonial II 10 Optional
Haïti: La Tragédie (Histoire, politique et littérature de l'époque coloniale à nos jours) 10 Optional
Haïti: La Tragédie (Histoire, politique et littérature de l'époque coloniale à nos jours) 10 Optional
Contemporary Visual Arts in France I & II 20

Optional

And choose from year 4 School-wide modules

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 31 October 2019


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