French Studies 2018 Entry

French Studies Banner

Overview

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.

At Sheffield we believe languages are best studied in context - ensuring both linguistic fluency and a deeper cultural understanding. Study French with us and 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.

Visit the French page to find out more about our excellent teaching, our exciting research and how you can get involved beyond the classroom through extracurricular activities such as the French society and the annual French play.

Student profile

Cathie talks about why she chose Sheffield for her French Studies degree.

Read Cathie's profile

Fast facts

You can study French alongside Russian, German, Spanish, Czech, Dutch, Luxembourgish or Polish or alongside two other languages on the BA Modern Languages.

Award: Bachelor of Arts

Duration: 4 years

Entry: ABB or BBB at A Level depending on the degree combination. We also accept a wide range of other qualifications. We offer pathways in Beginners' and Advanced French.

Visit us

Apply now


Degree Combinations

Programmes with French

You can study French as a Single Honours degree, or as part of a Dual Honours degree with German, Spanish or Russian, spending 1/2 of your time on each subject, and splitting your year abroad between your languages.

You can also study French as a Dual Honours degree with a number of other non-language subjects, as listed below, as a major component of degrees with Japanese, Czech, Dutch, Luxembourgish and Polish, or as a minor component of a degree with Chinese.

Within a BA Modern Languages

You can study French as either a major or minor component of a BA Modern Languages. If French is a major part of your degree you will spend half of your year abroad in a French speaking country.

As part of the Combined Honours - Triple

You can study French along with two other subjects (at least one non-language subject) as part of the Combined Honours Triple programme.

As free credit modules

You can take French modules as free credits as long as you have some experience with modern language learning. 

You can also study French as part of your degree as a Languages For All module.

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).

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

* The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.