French Studies Course Subject Degree GuideSee All Subject Degree Guides
French is an official language in twenty-nine countries around the world, including Canada, Monaco, Switzerland, Senegal, Belgium, Luxembourg, and you guessed it – France. French is a global language that will benefit you when travelling the globe and open up many international employment opportunities.
Speaking another language is not only rewarding but impressive and with the native country only being a hop, skip and a jump away over the English Channel, why not study French?
What A Levels do I need?
Unsurprisingly, universities expect students to have completed French at A-level to gain admission on to a degree course in the subject. Universities’ grades expectations vary from BBC to AAA; this degree subject may also have university admission interviews.
Each institution has different university course entry requirements for potential candidates; therefore, students are advised to check with their chosen universities and desired courses to ensure they establish what is needed to get onto the course.
What are my study options?
University degrees in French are not three years in length like other standard degrees; they tend to be at least four years full-time as the majority of them include a compulsory year studying abroad in a French-speaking country. Studying in France allows students, to explore a different part of the world, experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. If students wish to study a French degree, part time, there are courses available over five or six years. However, part-time courses don’t always necessary include a year abroad and can prove ideal for those who want to study and stay in the UK.
There are options to study French on its own as a degree or as a combined joint degree such as Bachelor’s of Arts in, modern languages and cultures, economics with French, combined honours, modern European languages and history (specialised in French as the single language).
What should I expect from studying French?
A French degree is ideal for individuals who had a fascination with languages, or in particular the French language and wish to pursue a degree that incorporated this interest with the country’s cultures.
Students will delve into France’s culture, history and society, and if they study abroad in a different French-speaking country, may learn about that country too. The opportunity to live and study abroad is hard to miss when studying for a degree – (Learn more – How much will it cost to study abroad).
No matter what, there will be no doubt someone else who can speak the language better than you, or who is completely fluent in the language – don’t let it get you down.
How will I be assessed?
The most common forms of assessment will be written coursework, written and oral examinations and most likely a final year dissertation.
Students will be expected to progress with the language as well as their general studies throughout the course; therefore, individuals should ensure they put the study time in to achieve the best results.
What skills will I learn from studying French?
Not to overstate the obvious, but candidates will gain or better their language skills in French, as well as general communication skills through the study of a modern foreign language. Social skills will be gained through the preparation and time spent abroad connecting and meeting other people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Students who attend university gain some skills which are transferable in life and employment, from time-management and organisation to social skills through working with others in group work projects and presentations.
Why study French?
The time spent abroad is appealing to most who are interested in studying abroad and learning another language, from enrolling at a French university or gaining work experience abroad, this aspect of the course is attractive. Candidates will gain insights into the diverse aspects of life when studying in France, and will also improve their oral and written communication skills.
Departments of French across the country university system provide studies in a range of subjects, including, Visual Culture, Literature, Cultural History, Linguistics and Translation.
The language is spoken by sixty-five million people in fifty different countries around the world; therefore, the language skills you acquire through the degree will be in good use after graduating. Language degrees are respected by employers, and language graduates are sought-after.
What happens after I graduate?
This subject area lends itself to further postgraduate study, and many French graduates continue to study Masters in French or related topics, such as Translation Studies. Students may even decide to study a PhD and enter the world of academia. Alternatively, individuals may desire to study a PGCE and become a French teacher or work internationally for businesses and organisations such as the foreign office or the United Nations.
Translation is also a popular career direction for graduations, with the option of completing this step through working freelance or an agency.
Will it help me get a job?
Unless graduates establish a direct career path regarding their French studies, such as translation, teaching or academic, other graduate positions, outside of this range will be almost impossible to find.
There are options out there for language graduates, but if candidates do not continue to study afterwards, or have a direct goal in mind, they may find seeking employment difficult afterwards.
What types of jobs can I get from studying French?
Graduates from Modern Language Studies embark on an array of rewarding careers including; Teaching, Translators, Researchers, Interpreters, as well as Publishing, Law, Banking and Business.
What can I study after French?
Individuals who wish to continue their education after graduating may be interested in exploring a Ma in Translation Studies, Culture and Difference, or Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Famous French studies alumni
J. K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter series studied a Bachelor’s in French and Classical Studies at the University of Exeter. Also, actors Bradley Cooper and Johnny Depp both carry French-speaking skills, and Orlando Bloom grew up learning French as a second language as his parents owned a language school in Kent, England during his childhood.
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