French and Economics (BA)

Our French and Economics degree at Cardiff will provide you with a thorough understanding of economic analysis and will stimulate you to value this analysis in understanding economic problems and a wider range of social and political issues.

Our French and Economics degree at Cardiff will provide you with a thorough understanding of economic analysis and will stimulate you to value this analysis in understanding economic problems and a wider range of social and political issues.

France is a major actor on the European and world stage and possesses a rich and sophisticated culture. Its language is more important today than it has ever been.

The course at Cardiff University will enable you to develop your writing skills through a range of exercises including resumes and essays with your oral and aural skills being practised through a varied pool of audio-video material, websites, films and computer programmes. The emphasis on vocational learning means that you will have the option of preparing for the Diplôme de Français des Affaires B2 validated by the prestigious Paris Chamber of Commerce and/or take the DELF/DALF Diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education. Both qualifications are highly valued across the world and certify your competency in French language.

In your third year you will attend a University in France and will be taught and examined in French.

Studying Economics at Cardiff will provide you with rigorous training that will be useful grounding for your future career.

Key facts

Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB to include a B in French
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerPass the Advanced Diploma and grades AA at A- level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points, including Mathematics at 6SL or 5HL. One of the IB options must be in French
Other qualificationsApplicants will also require GCSE English grade C and GCSE Mathematics grade B. Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Languages and related subjects, Economics

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Marie-laure Jones , Admissions Tutor

    Year one

    Students of this course will take 60 modules in French and 60 modules in Economics in their first year.

    Year two

    Year three: Sandwich year

    Year four

    The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

    School of Modern Languages
    Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.

    Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

    Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

    Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.

    Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study; to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

    Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

    In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Our business degrees give students a broad range of skills which are valued by a range of employers in the private and public sectors.

    In addition to the University Careers Service, we have invested in our own, dedicated Careers Centre to help students find internships, job opportunities and access business industry specific advice and guidance.

    School of Modern Languages
    In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

    The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment. 

    Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such as Translators, Language Assistants, Export Assistants and Proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.


    4 Year(s)

    Next intake

    September 2016

    Places available

    Typical places available

    The School admits 550 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

    Applications received

    Typical applications received



    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Languages and related subjects, Economics

    What are the aims of this Programme?


    Throughout the programme, students of French will undertake language and non-language study that is pitched at an appropriate level. In French language, year one students build upon core linguistic skills developed at A-level. In year two, a strong focus is placed on preparation for the year abroad, during which students (either on Erasmus programmes, work placements, or -if they study only one language- on the British Council Assistantship scheme in France) are immersed in the target language. In the final year students hone their linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation.

    A similar evolution applies to non-language learning. In year one, students are introduced to Modern French culture, literature, civilisation and politics. In years two and four, greater specialisation is encouraged, with options in French fiction, politics, colonial history and industrial relations as well as francophone cinema, business French, European Cinema, European Literature and Translation as a Profession. Final year students also specialise in an area of their choice and write a dissertation to deepen their understanding and to extend their research and analytical skills. 


    The overall and specific aims of the economics components of each of the three Economics with a European Languages Programmes are set out in the Programme Specification for the single honours programmes:

    • Economics

    • Business Economics

    • Banking and Finance

    The overall aim of the language components of the three programmes is to build on the student’s previous knowledge of the chosen language and to develop their skills in Economics and vocational foreign language communications.

    The Programmes offer the opportunity across the four years of study to follow a number of economics modules that will support the student’s choice of joint degree with a language. The Programmes encourage a range of transferable skills that will be of value to student in the subsequent careers.

    Specifically the language component of the three Economics with a European Language Programmes aim to:

    consolidate the students’ language skills.

    • enable the students to study effectively during their year aboard.

    • equip the students with the knowledge and skills to successfully undertake academic assessments and examinations for international business certificates.

    • enhance the students’ professional language skills.

    • develop the students understanding of the business environment and culture of their chosen EU country.

    • provide the skills that will allow student to take up a career using a foreign language.

    What is expected of me?

    Lecture and Seminar attendance is compulsory.  Students will be expected to participate as outlined above and to complete the required reading and self-directed study. Students must undertake independent study ahead of language and non-language classes and must submit homework regularly on time as well as preparing guided study as required. Students who fail to engage may be excluded from the University. Students must reference their essays accurately, avoiding plagiarism, which, if proven, can have serious consequences for a student. Advice is provided by tutors and in handbooks on how to avoid plagiarism. Students are required to undertake a full academic year of study in France or the French-speaking part of Switzerland or Belgium, except in instances where students have completed their secondary education in France.

    Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.

    Students will be advised during year abroad briefings of the need to adhere to Cardiff University’s Code of Practice on Study away from Cardiff.

    How is this Programme Structured?

    The BA Joint Honours French and Economics degree is a four-year degree programme. It is structured so that students acquire in successive years near-native language competency and the skills to become independent researchers, equipped for high-level professional employment.

    The programme is offered in full-time mode. In Year 1, 40 credits are studied in French, in Year 2 and F, 60 credits are studied in French. The Third year is a year spent studying or working abroad in France or in a Francophone country and is compulsory. The Year abroad attracts 120 credits. Year 1, 2 and 4 each contain a 20-credit core French language module. In Year 4, students must also choose 20 credits in either French for Professional Purposes or Advanced Translation Practice. 

    Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

    Not applicable

    What skills will I practise and develop?

    Students will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

    Through the programme, the students will:

    -develop their linguistic skills, as well as a broad appreciation of the culture, literature, and history of France and Francophone countries.

    -be presented with numerous opportunities to extend their communication and presentation skills;

    -learn to develop arguments and critique evidence, using oral and written communication,

    -enhance their interpersonal relations through participation in tutorials and classes.

    -develop their capacity both for independent and co-operative working

    -enhance their employability prospects by undertaking a challenging year abroad, and, where appropriate, taking up opportunities afforded to them to act as staff-student representatives, UNISTAFF) or student ambassadors teaching French in local schools

    -use communication and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation of information

    -enhance their capacity for self-reliance, the taking of initiatives and time management

    -Reflect on their own learning and make use of constructive feedback

    -Manage their own learning self-critically

    How will I be taught?


    Delivery will be via lectures, seminar preparation and participation, independent and guided study in language laboratories, independent reading, preparation of essays and presentations, feedback on essays and presentations, and revision sessions for examinations.

    Students will also benefit from regular feedback from their Personal Tutor at key moments of their language degree.

    Students interested in teaching may have the possibility of completing an internship teaching French in a UK secondary school. All Joint Honours students must spend a minimum of 4.5 months in France, Switzerland or Belgium. Students may go abroad on the Erasmus scheme, or on work placement. Students working abroad need to write one long essay projects on relevant contemporary French issues, with the help of a tutor in Cardiff. 


    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Core knowledge and understanding is taught and learnt through lectures, workshops, classes IT based language laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes provide the means for reinforcing knowledge and understanding.

    More advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language, and in classes working on authentic documents.

    The use of the University’s language services laboratories (audio studios, interactive computer, language learning software, interactive video packages, video viewing facilities, networked PC’s and continental satellite TV) is incorporated into teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to use the full range of open access facilities.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are taught and learnt through workshops, classes; IT based laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes focused on foreign and English documents provide the means for reinforcing intellectual skills.

    More advanced intellectual skills are acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language and working on various forms of communication.

    How will I be assessed?


    These programmes are assessed by examinations, formative and summative essays, and a wide range of other forms of continuous assessment (including regular submission of translation passages from and into French, summaries, language essays, presentations, and class tests). Other forms of assessment include the writing of reports during and following work placements/ internships. Mock examinations are also used as a way of gauging progress ahead of more formal assessment.

    Students submitting extenuating circumstances may sit examinations in alternative venues and may be accorded extra time. Students who have already been educated in the French secondary school system may be eligible for exemption from the year abroad.


    Students will receive written feedback on written assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and their contributions to seminars. The opportunity to understand and use feedback constructively will also be provided through regular meetings with Personal Tutors at key moments every year. 


    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Knowledge and understanding are assessed summatively through written tests, aural tests, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes. Individual feedback indicating errors, strengths, weaknesses and direction for improvement are offered to each student.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are assessed summatively through written tests, aural test, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes, as part of group activities discussing current affairs. The smallness of the groups makes continuous and detailed individual feedback to each student possible.                                                                                                                                   

    How will I be supported?

    The School makes full use of Learning Central and students have the opportunity to improve their study and research skills within the programmes.

    Academic Tutors have office hours for students to meet and discuss any learning queries as well as the opportunity in seminars.  The School has a wide programme of visiting speakers and guest lectures and students are encouraged to attend.

    In addition, the School’s robust pastoral care system, coupled with excellent counselling available from the Student Support Centre, helps to ensure that students encountering learning or other personal difficulties are given the proper guidance and support.

    In languages, students are also given a reading week each semester during which they are given guided study and afforded an opportunity to catch up on assessed work, readings and revision. These reading weeks are used by staff both to visit students on their year abroad and to review the quality of learning provision offered by Socrates partner institutions. 

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?


    Graduates from this Programme will be able to:

    • produce a high level of fluency in oral and written French
    • assess the central role of language in the process of creating meaning and knowledge
    • demonstrate intellectual skills which allow detailed reading, assessment, and production of texts of different types
    • appreciate how language and culture feed into each other to generate meaning and understanding
    • evaluate and critically discuss texts, concepts and theories relevant to the field of French Studies
    • demonstrate an understanding of a range of texts (including film) from different historical periods and from different genres
    • demonstrate a good understanding of the position and importance of French language and culture in the modern world
    • use information technology to present and analyse materials in an effective manner, including using software to check and improve language


    The specific outcomes for the language component, in terms of knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills are set out below.

    Students who gain the award will have demonstrated achievement of the following language Learning Outcomes:

    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • be familiar with the basic economic and business vocabulary of their chosen language.

    • have a sound knowledge of advanced grammar and syntax of their chosen language.

    • comprehend various forms of communications in their chosen language.

    •understanding the key economic and business features of their chosen European country.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • translate economics and business documents competently.

    • analyse and comment on various forms of communication in their chosen language.

    • discuss current affairs accurately in their chosen language.

    • write intelligently in their chosen language on economic and business subjects, including those relating to their chosen country.                                                                                                                     

    Other information

    For students who do not have the required entry grades for Single and Joint Honours French, there will be a pathway into this degree for Beginners from 2014-15.

    Students taking the Single and Joint Honours French programme at Cardiff may be particularly interested in the following features that are likely to increase their employability:

    ·         the possibility for students of Business French to sit the internationally recognised examination of the Paris Chamber of Commerce

    ·         the chance for students interested in teaching to undertake an internship teaching French in a UK secondary school

    ·         the possibility for students studying only one foreign language to teach in a French school during their year abroad

    ·         the opportunity for all students of French to organise, on their own initiative, a suitable work placement in a French-speaking country. 

    Admissions tutors

    Mrs Marie-laure Jones , Admissions Tutor

      Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.