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Department of French

Three year BA in French menu

University of London BA in French


Our new, highly competitive degree, The University of London BA in French (3 years: London/Paris) offers advanced language proficiency as well as detailed knowledge of French culture, including history and society, thought, literature, art and film. The programme incorporates an intensive compulsory semester in the French capital. Eight months will be spent at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) where you will gain linguistic immersion and the experience of working in Paris. This challenging degree develops critical and analytical skills valuable in the global marketplace and has an entry requirement ABB at A-level (or equivalent) with an B in French.

You will start your degree at Queen Mary (or Royal Holloway), laying strong foundations by honing your language, communication, analytical and research skills as well as your cross-cultural understanding. Queen Mary offers an exceptionally high-quality, friendly university experience on a unique central London campus with a wealth of facilities in and around this hub as well as student accommodation. You will be ideally placed to explore London's theatres, cinemas, museums, libraries and art collections. The second half of your second year will be spent living and studying in Paris where the whole city becomes your campus. In the third and final year you will return to London to complete your degree.

Course Structure

Year One: Laying Strong Foundations

In your first year at Queen Mary you will develop your oral and written French and focus intensively on French and Francophone culture. The degree course, taught by top-flight academics with strong reputations for the quality of their teaching as well as their research, is also specially designed to cover French history and society, literature, thought, visual culture and theories of language. Alongside core language modules you will study the year-long French Foundations course which introduces you to four key subject areas and to many of the methodological, analytical and critical skills you will need to develop throughout the degree. You will in addition be eligible to take a course introducing you to translation skills (Translation into French) and a specialist option such as Paris in Art.

Year Two: Preparation in London and Immersion in Paris

The first semester of your second year at Queen Mary further develops your language skills and interests, preparing you for making the very most of your time in Paris. During this term you will continue your intensive language study as well as choosing from specialist options such as:

  • Memories of WWII in French Literature, Film and Art
  • French Phonetics and Phonology
  • Nouvelle Vague Film
  • Art in France: Manet to Early Picasso
  • Twentieth Century French Thought: Violence and Values
  • Women's Voices in Early French Culture

Your Semester Living and Working in Paris

When you arrive in Paris at the beginning of semester two, you will move to either student accommodation or, should you prefer, a host family. At the University of London Institute in Paris you will follow a tailor-made language course designed by Queen Mary and Royal Holloway specialist language staff in order to complement and extend the skills already acquired in London. In addition, you will study a business French course unique to ULIP, Questions économiques. You will choose a further two courses offered by ULIP, which will build upon your studies at Queen Mary and involve French history, culture, society, cinema or literature. These courses will be taught and assessed in French.

Paris in the Summer

Once you have completed your end of semester exams, you will remain in Paris for the summer to complete project work which will stand you in excellent stead for your final year, as well as for what comes next. This may involve a Research Project (giving you a head start in preparing either your final year dissertation or another option which you intend to take in London in year three), or a Cultural Fieldwork Report relating to an aspect of your experience-based learning (for instance, a current social issue of which you have become aware; a record of volunteer work or other activities you may have undertaken during the period). This project work will be written in French. It will help you develop independent research skills, enhance your critical and cultural engagement, optimize the valuable transferable skills which employers often seek, and further boost your written and spoken French.

Year Three: Turning your Paris Experience into Final Year Success

By the time you return to Queen Mary at the beginning of year three, your French will be fluent and you will build on your accomplishments by working on producing native-level French in a variety of registers. As well as honing advanced written, oral and translation skills you will have the option to complete a supervised research dissertation on a subject of your own choosing and to select a range of options taught by world specialists in topics such as:

  • Imagining Modernity: Creative Writing
  • New Women's Writing in French
  • The Sociolinguistics of French
  • Lovers and Libertines: Eighteenth Century French Fiction
  • Proust
  • Surrealism
  • Narrative Theory and Practice
  • Final Year Dissertation

In just three years, making the most of Queen Mary and the University of London in Paris, this challenging and stimulating degree will not only enable you to develop to a high level your language, cross-cultural and critical skills, but will also provide a strong basis for employment in a range of sectors or for further academic research.

UCAS Code: R102

For further details about applying, see the Queen Mary Course Finder page on the three year degree in French

For further information, please contact Professor Adrian Armstrong.

(Please note that options taught in Queen Mary and in ULIP may vary from year to year as new ones are developed and made available to students).

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