Modern Languages

European Studies (French) - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

European Studies combines the study of language with politics, culture and literature to give you the skills to understand and participate in the key issues across the continent. On the European Studies (French) programme, you learn one of the most beautiful and widely-spoken Romance languages in Europe, and spend a year studying or working in a French-speaking country to experience the language and culture directly.

Overview

Europe is geographically, linguistically and culturally diverse. It is also at the centre of many contemporary political debates. European Studies at Kent is based in the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) and benefits from the interdisciplinary culture within the School. The programme gives you the opportunity to study French to an advanced level. In addition to your language modules, there is a wide range of options available to you covering the history, culture and politics of Europe and European nations.

French is widely spoken. Not only is it the official language of France, it is also spoken in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Andorra, as well as being widely spoken outside Europe in countries such as Canada, Lebanon, and many African countries. 

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 Ashford International station means you can be in France in just a couple of hours. There are also many French-speaking students on campus, so you have a better chance to immerse yourself in the language than at any other university in the country.

You can also take our European Studies programme with a focus on German, Italian or Spanish, or choose to study two languages in our combined languages programme. For details, see: 

Independent rankings

French at Kent scored 92.7 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 91% of final-year Modern Languages and Linguistics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

 

Course structure

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.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

PO314 - Introduction to Political Thought (15 credits)

This module introduces students to the study of political concepts that are central to thinking about political life. Through the study of these concepts students will be introduced to the principal ideas of many of the major figures in the history of Western political thought (for example, Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau and Marx) and to the work of many contemporary political theorists as well (John Rawls, Michael Sandel, Richard Rorty, Susan Okin and others). In addition, lectures and tutorials will familiarise students with a variety of different debates about how best to understand any given concept (such as, debates about what constitutes 'human nature') as well as how to understand the relationship between different concepts (such as, whether a just society must be an equal one or not). Moreover, the module is designed to allow students to develop a set of 'conceptual tools' with which to interrogate and shape the political world in which they find themselves; a world which is saturated everyday with competing articulations of the political concepts that we will study in this module. As such, students should come to develop a subtle appreciation of how the concepts examined on this module are, to greater or lesser degrees, intrinsic to all of their studies in politics and international relations (and related subjects).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO326 - Introduction to Political Science (15 credits)

This core module introduces students to the wide range of different methodologies commonly employed in political science. This includes the scientific method and both traditional and newer forms of research. Students will also be introduced to some of the fields of inquiry that dominate the study of politics, including public choice, social movements, political behaviour, economic development and democracy. The module integrates these two main components to create both an awareness of the breadth of political science and its approaches, ultimately providing students with the foundation for further study in political science. Substantive topics include: the nature of inquiry (questioning and determining what constitutes evidence), methods of comparison, theory and hypotheses. They will also be introduced to and explore quantitative methods, formal methods, experimental methods and empirical quantitative methods. Students will implement basic quantitative research techniques for themselves. Finally, they will be introduced to concepts such as equivalence, selection bias, spuriousness, value bias and ecological and individualist fallacy in order to illuminate the difficulties faced when making comparisons.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO327 - Introduction to Comparative Politics (15 credits)

The module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions and processes in political life. It does so through the lens of the comparative method, in which political systems are compared and contrasted to test hypotheses about the factors producing similarities and differences across countries and over time. The module first introduces the comparative method, and then discusses the different ways in which political systems can be organized and classified. It focuses on the three key powers in all political systems – executive, legislative and judicial – the 'intermediate' actors that link people to their governments, namely political parties, interest groups and the media, and how citizens behave politically in relations to such institutions and actors. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to identify the factors and the processes leading to different political outcomes across states and over time and to use both qualitative and quantitative data to support their arguments.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR300 - French Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR330 - French Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR337 - Texts and Contexts 1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR338 - Texts and Contexts 2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR301 - Introduction to French Literature and CultureI (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR302 - Introduction to French Literature and CultureII (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR308 - Questions of French Cinema (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR310 - Twentieth Century France in Crisis (15 credits)

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 almost contemporary with events, whereas others were made decades later. This module will explore themes such as realistic depiction, socio political agendas, nationalist ideologies and the politicisation of (collective and individual) memory.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

FR652 - French Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR648 - French Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

This is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in FR300, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken French through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practice translation skills both from and into French.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR638 - French Detective Fiction (15 credits)

Detective fiction is an extremely popular genre whose basic template can give rise to a multitude of approaches, settings, plots and values. This course is designed to give students an overview of the tradition of French crime fiction as it has evolved from the mid-19th century to the early 21st century. Short crime fiction, full crime novels, and film will be analysed. Close attention will be paid to generic conventions, and how they alter over time. Questions of social order and disorder will be central to our enquiry. We will also study the extent to which detective novels mount a critique of contemporary society. All texts will be studied in French. Tuition is given partly in English and partly in French.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR590 - Professional French (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR620 - Memory and Childhood in 20th Century French Fiction (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR546 - Short Narrative Fiction in French (15 credits)

This module will introduce a selection of short narrative fiction in French drawn from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It will reflect on the techniques and forms used by a number of authors and inquire whether short fictions tend to display common features. The authors chosen use the form in a wide variety of ways, from illustrating a philosophical position to dramatising an ethical dilemma or even questioning the conventions of fiction themselves. The texts will be considered with some reference to concepts drawn from general theory of narrative.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR566 - French: Second Year Extended Essay (15 credits)

The module is an opportunity to embark on extended written analysis of a chosen area of study, related to, but not part of, another stage two French non-language module. It culminates in the presentation of an essay, normally in English, of 6,000 words.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR593 - Paris: Myth and Reality in the 19th century (15 credits)

Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and interesting history. In the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the nineteenth century (1830, 1848, 1870-71), the city played a key role in deciding the fate of the nation. In the same period, it grew dramatically in size and emerged as a modern metropolis. Widely divergent views were expressed as to the wholesomeness of city living; opinion differed equally violently among writers as to the benefits to be derived from the explosive growth of the city. The module will examine conditions of life in the real Paris of the 19th Century and in particular the radical and highly controversial changes to the face of the city brought about during the Second Empire under the direction of Baron Haussmann. The main focus of the module, however, will be the images of the city as mediated in contemporary fiction (Balzac and Zola amongst others), poetry (Baudelaire) and painting (Manet's vision of city life).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR594 - Paris: Myth and Reality in the 20th century (15 credits)

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 of the 20th century in the context of modernity and postmodernity. Although the main focus of the course will be literary, including poetry and fiction, there will also be examination of the changing landscape of the capital as mediated through film and in visual art (Cubist paintings of Paris). Thematic focuses of the module include: immigrant experience in Paris; young protagonists' quest for identity in Paris; social and urban change.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR598 - Occupation and Resistance in the French Novel (15 credits)

This module will examine ways in which this turbulent and divisive period of French history is reflected in imaginative writing. Some texts are nearly contemporaneous with events; others reflect collective memory of the Occupation across generations. Questions raised will include: problems of realistic description and of narrative technique; the relationship of the individual to events beyond his/her control; conflicting loyalties and responsibilities; Resistance and occupation as metaphor; the mode rétro in French fiction since the 1960s. A certain amount of historical background reading will be essential.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR599 - Description of Modern French (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SCL505 - Cultures of Sustainability (15 credits)

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

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO618 - East European Politics (15 credits)

The module examines the politics of transition and change in post-communist countries in their effort to establish new democratic regimes and find their place in the world. The module consists of three main parts.

Part I focuses on the experience and nature of communist rule, to develop basic understanding of communism as an ideal, political system, and a life style. Part II looks at transitions, examining regional patterns of change and relating them to the 3rd and 4th waves (coloured revolutions) of democratisation globally. Part III discusses the issues of post-communist politics in Europe, by way of exploring the forms and quality of democracy in the new states, considering the effect of EU enlargements on the new Member States and the EU neighbours; and discussing the future of communism in the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO671 - International Security (15 credits)

This module provides an introduction to the various approaches to security studies by way of introducing key thinkers, the key literature. Its core aim is to provide a solid theoretical and conceptual grounding for students interested in the diversity of issues, institutions and actors engaged in the practice of international security.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO611 - Politics of the European Union (15 credits)

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the negotiation system that is the EU, how it has evolved politically and institutionally since its creation, how it works, both in theory and in practice and the key political challenges it faces. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of European integration over time and the politics behind this new and experimental process of transnational cooperation. Students also analyse the functioning and roles of the EU's main institutional bodies, investigate how EU legislation is produced and implemented and how the various political actors with a stake in EU-decision-making interact both formally and informally. Finally, the module addresses key political questions underpinning EU politics in these challenging times, including political support for the EU amongst its citizens and the phenomenon of Euroscepticism; the UK's relationship with the EU before and after the Brexit vote; the EU's underlying democratic legitimacy and debates on its future development.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO566 - Europe and the World (15 credits)

This module focuses on European foreign policy, i.e. the 'external dimension' of European politics, exploring the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world. Following the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU now stands poised to unleash significant foreign policy potential in its neighbourhood, and beyond. The difference between the EU and 'Europe' will be examined in component fashion through the foreign policies of some of the major European states.

Thereafter, the foreign policy tools of the EU will be looked at, after moving into an in-depth thematic treatment of the key foreign policy issues facing the EU vis-à-vis its security, defence, economic, trade and development relations, and its dynamics with 'rising powers', the US, its eastern and southern neighbours in Central Europe, Asia and North Africa.

Other issues include its burgeoning military capacity and a growing set of overseas military missions. Broader themes will include the impact of global developments on Europe, the international significance of European integration and the more general role of Europe in the new world order This course will draw on theories from political science and international relations and concepts defining Europe's global role.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

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 European Studies (French) 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 requirements are not met, you may have to postpone your year abroad.

The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does 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.

Possible modules may include:

LA514 - Modern Languages Year Abroad Module (120 credits)

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work abroad (either as British Council language teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

FR649 - French Advanced C1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR645 - Desire in the Text: Romanticism to Decadence (15 credits)

This module presents a broadly chronological survey of canonical works of French literature of the nineteenth century centred on the theme of desire. More specifically, these works explore contemporary codes of love and marriage, shifting gender identities, capitalism, consumerism, moral, social and sexual transgression, alienation, lethargy, and death. The module takes fiction of the Romantic era as its starting point, exploring the frustration of desire associated with the 'mal du siècle' (the disillusionment and melancholy experienced by (primarily) young adults in the early nineteenth century). It concludes with naturalist and 'decadent' works of the fin de siècle, which are concerned with a discrepancy between desire and a generalised depletion of the energy required to fulfil it. The module identifies desire (whether satisfied, unfulfilled or conspicuously absent) as a central preoccupation in French cultural production of the nineteenth century. It also examines the extent to which desire is a strategy for expressing contemporary concerns and anxieties around specific aspects of modern life with which the human subject was coming rapidly and problematically to terms.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR646 - Crossing Borders: Travel in Modern French Writing (15 credits)

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.

The module takes Arthur de Gobineau's and Victor Hugo's fictional travels to the East as a starting point to explore how 19th-century orientalism fed an imaginary, idealised or demonised conception of the other. From there we will move on to different (post)modern texts by Victor Segalen, Henri Michaux and Nicolas Bouvier, demonstrating how travel and writing can work together to cross borders of a cultural but also linguistic and stylistic nature. More specifically, these different works explore themes such as exoticism, (post)modern conceptions of intercultural relationships, opacity, loneliness, fragmentation, and chaotic trajectories.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR621 - Writing on Art: Text and Image in Modern French Culture (15 credits)

The eighteenth-century 'philosophe' Denis Diderot was the first major French author to write at length about painting, and he bequeathed to later writers such as Baudelaire a new literary genre, the 'salon'. The mutual influence of literature and the visual arts is a major theme of nineteenth-century French culture, and an important area of current research. The module will begin with a study of selection of passages from Diderot's 'Salon de1767'. We will then examine Balzac's 'Le Chef d'oeuvre inconnu', Baudelaire's 'Le Peintre de la vie moderne', Zola's 'L'Oeuvre', and a selection from Proust's 'A la recherche du temps perdu'.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR637 - Travels to Japan in Modern French Culture (15 credits)

This course examines the portrayal of Japan in French and Belgian writing and culture from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Since Japan was opened to the West in the mid-19th century, there has been a tradition of French literary japanophilia. The course will permit a critical evaluation of the evolution of French 'japonisme', from its exoticist beginnings in the work of Pierre Loti, through early 20th century theories of exoticism. We will examine the portrayal of contemporary Japan in Amélie Nothomb's and Jacques Roubaud's work. 'Japoniste' images by French Impressionist painters will also be studied, as will Resnais's post-war film Hiroshima mon amour and a cinematic adaptation of Nothomb's work. The study of these texts and images will involve the exploration of themes such as intercultural understanding (or the lack thereof); the idealisation or demonisation of the other; the nature of 'Orientalism'; and the way in which French writers and artists turn to the foreign culture in order to critique their own culture.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR592 - French for Business (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR6530 - Writing the Caribbean Family (15 credits)

This module presents a survey of a range of works by major Caribbean writers published since 1990. These texts explore family relationships and the related themes of childhood, memory and identity. The works will be studied in the context of social changes in the Caribbean from the 1950s onwards, including the departmentalization of Martinique and Guadeloupe, the emergence of the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti and rising rates of migration from the Caribbean to Paris and other French cities. A range of postcolonial theories will be deployed to study the ways in which these works engage with the legacy of French colonialism in the Caribbean. The aim of the module is to show how Caribbean writers use the portrayal of the family to explore how the history of colonialism is both transmitted and silenced in contemporary society.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR601 - Mothers and Daughters in Women's Writing (15 credits)

The module is designed to acquaint students with samples of the main trends within the work of Twentieth Century Women writers by paying close attention to the relations between mothers and their daughters who become writers. Each novel chosen is one of personal analysis of the often-violent relationship between the mothers and their daughters who turn to writing in a search for identity and liberation from the mother or maternal figure of their youth. Students analyse the texts in order to evaluate how the picture of the mother has evolved. We will pay close attention to the underlying theme of the progression of the role of women in French society. Each text will also provide us with a variety of specific themes to discuss which will enable us to better understand the changes which French women have faced during this century.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR567 - French: Final Year Dissertation (30 credits)

This module provides the opportunity to write a Dissertation on an author or theme normally relating to one of the other French 'non-language' or 'content' modules being followed in the final year. The final-year dissertation gives students the opportunity to satisfy their intellectual curiosity by individually and independently researching a large-scale project of their own choice. Throughout autumn and spring terms students will be given guidance by a chosen supervisor, but the rhythm of research, e.g. the writing and frequency of meetings between supervisor and student, is largely left to the individual student to determine.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR561 - Contemporary French Cinema (15 credits)

This module examines some of the key works of French cinema since 1990. The films in this module will be studied within their cultural background and within the context of French cinema history. While all the films are studied in close detail, students 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 contemporary France.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR539 - History of the French Language (15 credits)

This module will view French as a case study in language standardization. How did a despised dialect of late Latin grow in stature to become a nationally and internationally prestigious standard language? We begin by outlining Haugen's model of standardisation, and the processes are that associated with them. Starting with Selection of Norms, we consider the earliest French texts and show how they differ from Latin and from Modern French, and look at evolving medieval attitudes to dialects and Classical Latin. As French gradually replaces Latin, we consider Elaboration of Function and Codification, before moving to Acceptance (or perhaps imposition?) of French as a national language in the wake of the Revolution. The latter part of the course looks at language maintenance and the role of normative institutions in controlling or resisting change.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PO646 - Presidents, Parliaments and Democracy (15 credits)

This module introduces students to central debates about the influence of different executive formats on democratic government. The course examines the differences between and within presidential, parliamentary and semi-presidential constitutions and examines their consequences for the quality of democracy and for policy outcomes. The course initially focuses on identifying the key institutions and processes that shape the behaviour and strategies of politicians in the executive, before moving on to consider the consequences of these for governance, policy-making and democratic stability. Throughout the central focus is on understanding the extent and the ways that formal political institutions may shape how politicians respond to citizen preferences, bargain with each other to resolve political conflict and choose policies. Students will be exposed to different ways of thinking about the impact of political institutions on politics, different ways of conceptualizing and measuring democratic performance and encouraged to think about how a broad range of other factors may interact with constitutional formats to shape outcomes. The approach used will be broadly comparative and will use case-specific and cross-national evidence from both developed and less developed democracies in all regions of the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO664 - Conflict Analysis and Northern Ireland: History, Politics & Culture (15 credits)

This course will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the recent political history of Northern Ireland. The course will be accessible to all students, whether they are new to the topic or not. The main objective of the course is to provide students with a greater understanding of one of the most complex regions within the United Kingdom. Students who take the course will learn about the central issues that underpinned community conflict, why sectarian conflict broke out in the region in the late 1960s, why it continued for so long, and what political dynamics led to the 'peace process' of the 1990s. In addition to looking at the conventional historical and political development of Northern Ireland, the course will also focus on wider aspects of the society such as representations in Irish poetry, music and sport, and the way in which these have mirrored political and cultural relationships within the region.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO612 - Policy-making in the EU (15 credits)

Since 2009, the European Union has grappled with a crisis in the Eurozone, a refugee crisis, terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and the UK, the rise of radical right, populist challenger parties, heightened tension with Putin's Russia, the UK's Brexit decision and rule of law disputes with Hungary and Poland. This has led to increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The focus of this module is on assessing the capacity of the EU as a system of public policy-making as it faces these myriad challenges. In so doing we endeavour to understand how the EU's system of governance works and how it is driven by both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. This module focuses on the EU's 'outputs' in terms of public policy in this context, with particular attention paid to the fields of market regulation, economic and monetary union, environmental policy, agriculture policy, regional policy, justice and home affairs policy (internal security), foreign policy and trade policy. As well as analysing the effectiveness of EU policy-making in these policy areas, where appropriate we also explore the impact of ongoing political events on their operation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO566 - Europe and the World (15 credits)

This module focuses on European foreign policy, i.e. the 'external dimension' of European politics, exploring the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world. Following the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU now stands poised to unleash significant foreign policy potential in its neighbourhood, and beyond. The difference between the EU and 'Europe' will be examined in component fashion through the foreign policies of some of the major European states.

Thereafter, the foreign policy tools of the EU will be looked at, after moving into an in-depth thematic treatment of the key foreign policy issues facing the EU vis-à-vis its security, defence, economic, trade and development relations, and its dynamics with 'rising powers', the US, its eastern and southern neighbours in Central Europe, Asia and North Africa.

Other issues include its burgeoning military capacity and a growing set of overseas military missions. Broader themes will include the impact of global developments on Europe, the international significance of European integration and the more general role of Europe in the new world order This course will draw on theories from political science and international relations and concepts defining Europe's global role.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Most of the modules involve a combination of lectures, seminars, contact with a native speaker and individual study in our computer-assisted language learning laboratory.

Modules taken at Stage 1 are assessed either by 100% coursework or a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination. At Stages 2 and 3, depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio 50:50.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Offer an integrated and multi-disciplinary curriculum related to the study of contemporary Europe in the areas of language, culture and European politics.
  • Provide a sound grounding in the target language in all its aspects, through extensive reading and through the use of the target language in a spoken and written medium.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the cultures and societies of the countries/regions in which the target language is used from the 17th century to the 21st century.
  • Develop specialist knowledge of a range of areas within the countries/regions in which the target language is used.
  • Train students in the field of translation from and into the target language.
  • Provide a gateway to related thematic studies comprising various bodies of knowledge and methodological approaches.
  • Enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches and methods of Politics including quantitative and qualitative analytical skills.
  • Develop students' capabilities to think critically about political phenomena, issues, ideas and institutions in contemporary Europe and their connections with historical, legal and sociological aspects.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students.
  • Provide a means of access to intercultural awareness and understanding.
  • Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.
  • Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations.
  • Facilitate students' ability to cope independently in the target language.
  • Build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere (notably in countries and regions of the target language), reflecting Kent's position as the UK's European University.
  • Produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
  • Prepare students for employment or further study.
  • Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in a country or region in which the target language is used. They may attend one of the partner universities, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
  • Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts. Enable students to acquire or increase first-hand knowledge of the culture(s) of the target language.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • The target language
  • The literature and cultures of the communities and societies where the target language is used from the 17th to the 21st centuries 
  • The history of the countries/regions where the target language is used
  • Key concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics, and their application to the analysis of contemporary Europe
  • The structure, institutions and operation of the political systems of contemporary Europe, with particular reference to the European Union (EU) and its member states
  • The social, economic, historical and cultural contexts of political institutions and behaviour in contemporary Europe
  • The political dynamics of interaction between people, events, idea and institutions with special reference to the European context
  • Critical theory of the target language
  • Cultural theory of the target language
  • Civilisation and contemporary society within the countries and regions of the target language, through first-hand experience.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • Evaluate information critically. 
  • Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject. 
  • Utilise communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge.
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner.
  • Study and reach conclusions independently.
  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument.
  • Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a country where the target language is used.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • Communicate effectively in the target language for a range of purposes and audiences 
  • Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading), production (speaking and writing), and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting) 
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of the target language 
  • Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
  • Understand the nature and significance of human activity in the political sphere and its relations in other social activities
  • Apply application of concepts, theories and method used in the study of Politics to the analysis of political idea, institutions, practices and issues in contemporary Europe
  • Evaluate different interpretations of political and social issues and events with an awareness of their historical roots
  •  Describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information
  • Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary 
  • Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity
  • Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
  • Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with communities where the target language is used

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means 
  • Evaluate one's own academic performance
  • Apply problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
  • Develop accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
  • Develop library and bibliographical research skills
  • Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
  • Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure
  • Develop a capacity for teamwork
  • Gain leadership abilities
  •  Work creatively and flexibly 
  • Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
  • Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a country or region of the target language

KIS Course data

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you've taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

GCSE

Grade B or 6 in a second language

Access to HE Diploma

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.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

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.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second langauge

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Careers

The ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as more employable.

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as:

  • politics both in the UK (national and local government) and in Europe
  • the media 
  • consultancy
  • teaching
  • marketing
  • financial services. 

Many of our graduates choose to continue with their studies at postgraduate level.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources


Read our student profiles


Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

Open days

Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

 

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department for Education or Research Council UK) permitted increases are normally inflationary and the University therefore reserves the right to increase tuition fees by inflation (RPI excluding mortgage interest payments) as permitted by law or Government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. If we intend to exercise this right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

If, in the future, the increases to regulated fees permitted by law or government policy exceed the rate of inflation, we reserve the right to increase fees to the maximum permitted level. If we intend to exercise this extended right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

 

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 25/09/2014