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French is one of the most beautiful and widely spoken Romance languages. Outside of France, it is spoken as far afield as Canada, the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mali. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and an important language within the institutions of the EU.
Studying French at Kent, you'll develop advanced linguistic skills in a major international language, as well as a deep understanding of the cultures, histories and structures of French-speaking nations worldwide.
As a student of French at Kent, you work in lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials with staff who are specialists in French art, literature, film, women’s studies, philosophy, critical theory and linguistics, as well as with our team of language lectors who are native speakers.
The University of Kent is an ideal location to study French. Canterbury is the closest British university city to mainland Europe, and our proximity to the Channel ports and Eurostar stations at Ashford and Ebbsfleet means you can be in Paris, Lille or Brussels in just a couple of hours. There is a large community of French-speaking students on campus, so you have a better chance to immerse yourself in the French language than at any other university in the country.
You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study, and we have a wide range of links with French, Canadian, Belgian and Swiss universities. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.
During your year abroad, you could begin to study for a French qualification (Licence), or alternatively you can gain work experience by becoming a language assistant in a French school or pursuing other career paths. Our link with the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris also gives any student at Kent the opportunity to sit for the internationally recognised diplomas offered by that body.
Dr David Hornsby, Senior Lecturer in French and Linguistics, talks about the life-changing experience of his year abroad and discovering sociolinguistics.
You are more than your grades
At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.
Grade B or 6 in a second language
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM.
34 points overall or 15 points at HL including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
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Duration: 4 years full-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
This module is designed to introduce students to French literature, culture and history by the close study of a number of dramatic texts from the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The authors studied use drama to explore a wide variety of themes: religious, philosophical, political, literary and social questions will be examined as they are raised in each text. Students will undertake close readings of the primary texts and will make connections with broader political, social, historical and cultural issues.
This module is designed to introduce students to the range and variety of French literature by the close study of a number of short fictional texts from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The authors studied use short fiction to explore a wide variety of themes: philosophical, political, and social questions will be examined as they are raised in each text. Students will undertake close readings of the primary texts and will make connections with broader political, social and cultural issues.
This module will provide students with a basic knowledge of the most important periods of French cinema (including experimental cinema, the nouvelle vague, Beur cinema, the 1980s 'cinéma du look') and introduce key film concepts such as the ‘politique des auteurs’. Students will gain experience in critical reading and viewing, in close analysis of films, texts and issues, and in developing arguments in French. They will also be introduced to the skills of presentation and the sustaining of cogent argument. The module will examine a number of films from the 1920s to the present which illustrate the scope and development of French cinema. While most of the films are now regarded as canonical, a major aim of the module is to place the works in context so as to emphasise their radical and often transgressive power.
This module explores how four major 'crises' in twentieth-century France are reflected in cinema: World War I, World War II, the Algerian crisis, and the events of May 1968. Some films are made not long after the events depicted with events, whereas others were made decades later. The module will combine study of the historical periods depicted with analysis of the set films. Through its study of major international conflicts, the occupation of France, a war of decolonisation and a major student and worker revolt, the module will explore themes such as socio-political agendas, nationalist ideology, colonisation and decolonisation, and the politics of (collective and individual) memory.
This module, which covers the period from the 17th century to the First World War, examines through the study of relevant literary and other texts some of the major historical, cultural, social, political and literary movements of France and its colonies during this era. Close textual analysis will be combined with study of the texts' various contexts: the module encourages students to analyse cultural artefacts in connection with the historical, social and cultural contexts and discourses within which they were created. The choice of primary materials covers a wide variety of genres: letters, drama, fiction, political texts, travel writing. Students will learn to adopt critical strategies to analyse all of these sources, and to reflect on moments of major historical and cultural significance in the development of modern France. Events such as the French Revolution, the Paris Commune and the Dreyfus Affair will be analysed as they are represented in the chosen primary texts. Students will be encouraged to consider questions of national and other forms of identity in France and in the Francophone world more generally as they are mediated through cultural production, thinking through the stereotypes often used to characterise nations, their citizens/subjects and their history.
This module, which covers the period from World War I to the present day, examines some of the major historical, cultural, social, political and literary movements of France and its former colonies during this era. Close textual analysis will be combined with study of the texts' various contexts: the module encourages students to analyse cultural artefacts in connection with the historical, social and cultural discourses and contexts within which they were produced. The choice of primary materials covers a wide variety of genres: fiction, political texts, cultural criticism, popular song, film. Students will learn to adopt critical strategies to analyse all of these sources, and to reflect on moments of major historical and cultural significance in the development of contemporary France. Events such as the Second World War, the formation of the 5th Republic, North African and South-East Asian decolonisation and contemporary debates about 'laïcité’ will be analysed as they are represented in the chosen primary texts. Students will be encouraged to consider questions of identity – and their mediation through cultural production – in France and in the Francophone world more generally, thinking through the stereotypes often used to characterise nations, their citizens or colonial subjects, and their history.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in FREN3000 (French Lower Intermediate B1), to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken French through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into French.
This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners French course such as FR330, and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 waystage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).
This module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of French in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in France as a foreign country. This module is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.
What is sustainability? It has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from 'Our Common Future', also known as the Brundtland Report (1987) which refers to 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' While the concept of sustainability has its roots in the natural sciences, it is becoming evident that theories and practices of sustainability are of relevance in social and cultural studies as much as biophysical relationships.
The module begins with an examination of the wide-ranging definitions of sustainability and of the contribution to the discourse from Humanities subjects. We proceed to analyse a range of case studies representing the four disciplines of Modern Languages in SECL at Kent: French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies. The case studies highlight cultural practices ranging across time periods and geographies in which sustainable processes are key. They may include the cultural history of sustainability or 'Nachhaltigkeit' in the German context; the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the debate in psychoanalysis on the themes of exploitation/sustainability and competition/cooperation in relation to ecological practices and the environment; the works of Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau and the challenges to French/Eurocentric concepts of sustainability; and the culture and practice of urban organic farming – organopónicos – that arose out of the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s and which have circular economics, cultural development and educational practices at their core.
The module concludes with a consideration of how the case studies illustrate theories and practices of sustainability, and how in turn they may be considered catalysts for further engagement in questions of sustainability.
Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and exciting history. It played, for example, a key role during the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the 19th century. This module explores the different and evolving representations of Paris from the 19th century to the present day. The changing cityscape of Paris will be examined as mediated through architecture, films, visual arts (Impressionist and Cubist paintings of Paris), poetry, and fiction. Thematic focuses of the module include: conditions of life in Paris across the centuries; architectural changes, including the major transformations brought about by Baron Haussmann's city planning in the mid-nineteenth century; immigrant experience in Paris; social and urban change.
This module introduces students to key concepts in the analysis of musical products such as opera, traditional songs, pop and counter-culture songs. It will also introduce students to the use of music in literature in France from the eighteenth century to the present. It will do so by considering a selection of relevant cultural products from a variety of sources, such as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century opera (e.g. Jean-Philippe Rameau; Georges Bizet), literature on music (e.g. Balzac's 'Sarrasine'), major French and Belgian twentieth-century chanson artists (e.g. Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens) and contemporary singers and rappers (e.g. Stromae, Baloji, Damso).
The module will use musical products as a point of access to understand French and in some cases Belgian culture and history and analyses how these mirror, criticise and try to change French social, cultural and political beliefs. A recurring theme will be how French and francophone music mirrors and interrogates the relationship of Europe with other cultures, notably through the lens of colonialism and its aftermaths. Gender and class will also recur as themes. Special attention will be given throughout the module to the textual and literary aspect of musical products, focusing on close readings of libretti and lyrics.
Students are taken through essential aspects of the conduct of business in France (and French-speaking countries), both learning about those aspects and becoming familiar with specific features of the French language encountered in a professional context. In terms of key skills, business skills and language skills, encourages the practice of meticulous accuracy.
As an option, students may register for the Diplôme de français professionnel Affaires B1 (DFP B1) of the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris Ile-de-France (CCIP). The syllabus of FR590 closely follows some of the pedagogical requirements of the business French programme of the CCIP.
Written and spoken French are now, arguably, so far apart as to constitute distinct varieties. Unlike most French modules, this module will take the latter as its starting point. The phonology (sound system) will first be explored, and basic transcription skills acquired, with consideration of recent and ongoing changes in the general system known as français standard. The module will then move on to consider the gap between written and spoken French grammar, notably in such areas as the tense/mood system, morphosyntax or pronouns, grammatical gender and agreement, and verb classification. The treatment of neologisms, and particularly the status of franglais in contemporary French, will also be considered. Although the module will provide students with some basic tools of linguistic description, no background in Linguistics is required or assumed.
It is commonly accepted that identity or a sense of self is constructed by and through narrative – the stories we tell each other and ourselves about our lives. This module explores the complex relationships that exist between memory, nostalgia, writing and identity in a range of twentieth-century autobiographical and first- and third-person fictional works in French. These texts foreground issues of childhood, memory, history, and trauma in the construction of identity.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All French BA students are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.
The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.
The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending French. It concentrates on translation into French and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken French. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.
This module is aimed at those students who would like to follow a career as Primary or Secondary School teachers, but is also suitable to those who would like to consider a career in HE language teaching by providing them with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Languages in the primary and secondary school context as well as in HE.
This module examines the various ways in which cinema can be used to articulate a political message or advance a political cause. Drawing on films from the major Western European nations (e.g. France, German, Italy and Spain) and from a variety of historical periods from the 1930s to the present, it will examine and contrast the ideological functions of cinema in a range of different geopolitical contexts. The films studied will encompass a range of forms such as explicit propaganda films of the totalitarian regimes, left-wing counter-cultural filmmaking of the sixties, and popular genres such as the 'political thriller'.
Students will be introduced to the francophone business environment, and will learn to be operational in such a context. As well as learning about essential aspects of companies and specific features of the French language encountered in such an environment, students will broaden their knowledge of current events and economic issues through the use of a dossier of contemporary texts/articles, which will be exploited in a variety of ways: résumé (précis-writing), analyse de document (questions about the text), or free composition. In terms of key skills, business skills and language skills, this module encourages the practice of meticulous accuracy.
Students will develop their confidence in the use of specialised terminology and appropriate register in a professional context.
As an option, students may register for the Diplôme de français professionnel Affaires B2 (DFP Affaires B2) of the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris Ile-de-France (CCIP). The syllabus of FR592 closely follows some of the pedagogical requirements of the business French programme of the CCIP.
The mutual influence of the visual arts and literature is both a major theme of French culture and an important area of current academic research. The eighteenth-century 'philosophe' Denis Diderot (1713–1784) was the first major French author to write at length about painting, and he bequeathed to later writers such as Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) a new literary genre, the ‘salon’. This module explores how visual and textual materials (including paintings, photographs, novels, poems and essays) interact across a range of historical periods and artistic movements in modern France, enriching students’ understanding of both the visual arts and literature.
This module will explore the evolution of the notion of travel in modern French thought and literature by looking at a wide range of French travel writing in prose as well as poetry, essays, and travel diaries from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. The objective is to show how travel writing questions the relevance of myths about travel itself (often seen as a means to discover new worlds and to allow different cultures to blend) or about the other and otherworldliness. It is also to explore how the act of traveling and the act of writing can work together to cross borders linguistic, but also cultural and stylistic nature.
This module examines some of the key works of French cinema since 1990. All of the films will be studied within their cultural background and within the context of French cinema history. sStudents will be invited to develop important themes such as race and national identity, changing perceptions of Paris and the banlieue, and symptoms of social crisis. The aim of the module is to show how French filmmakers have had to invent new forms and styles of film in order to be able to address the specific issues raised by life in modern-day France.
This module is intended to introduce undergraduate students to independent research and provide the opportunity for sustained, detailed study of a topic of their choosing. The topic chosen must relate to a specific aspect of French culture or language. Originality and feasibility are important aspects of writing dissertations and topics must be scrutinised and approved in advance by the module convenor or dissertation supervisor. Students can expect guidance from the module convenor and an academic supervisor throughout the process, including one-to-one tutorials.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.
Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
Compulsory language modules typically involve three to four hours of classes per week, including one hour of small group work with a native speaker. We also make extensive use of computer-assisted language learning packages and audio and video materials. Culture and literature modules typically involve a weekly two-hour seminar plus essay supervision. We employ six French language lectors to help students improve their fluency.
At all stages, assessment is based 100% on coursework (essays, oral presentations) in the first half of the year, and a combination of coursework and examination in the second half of the year. Credits from your year abroad count towards your final degree.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
This programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You gain intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills to:
You gain transferable skills in:
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
French at Kent was ranked 8th for graduate prospects and scored 92% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.
The ability to speak a European language other than English is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas experience as more employable. Through your studies, you also acquire many of the transferable skills considered essential by graduate employers. These include the ability to work independently and as part of a team, the confidence to offer creative solutions when faced with challenges, and the ability to express your ideas with clarity and passion.
Our students go into areas such as international banking, diplomacy, publishing, journalism, international product management, interpreting and translating, European media, law or accountancy, and language teaching. Some go on to postgraduate study in fields as varied as international journalism, visual studies and translation.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.Find out more about how to apply
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