French and German (BA)

French and German BA (joint honours) gives students the opportunity to combine two popular languages at degree level.

The School of Modern Languages aims to develop and educate its students to become 'global citizens'. With in depth study of both French and German, two major world languages, graduates will be competitive and attractive within an increasingly global workforce. You will develop high-level language skills in both languages, and achieve near-native competency, along with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of aspects of the culture, literature, history, politics and society of France and Germany.

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.

German is the native language of nearly one hundred million people. To speak German is to be in touch with a vibrant cultural and political world. In addition, Germany's economic and political role in Europe makes a deep knowledge of German language and Germanic culture a great asset in life.

This course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills through a range of learning activities, and   using a variety of audio-visual materials including websites, films and new learning technologies.

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country and its cultures, literature and cinema, history, social structures, politics and institutions.

The year abroad in your third year is usually divided equally between France and Germany, where you will be   able to use apply and further develop your acquired language skills.

Key facts

UCAS CodeRR21
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB including a B in French.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including French.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points overall (to include 5 in French at higher level).
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Marie-laure Jones, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

As well as students with A-levels in French and German, we also welcome students who have no previous knowledge of one or either language. Such applicants will generally require an A-level in another modern foreign language. 

We run two pathways in both languages: one for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in the language; the other for students with little or no prior knowledge or learning of the language.

Year one

In Year one, you take 60 credits in French and 60 credits in German, including language modules at either advanced or beginners level, depending on whether or not you already have an A-level in the modern language.

Our 'Key optional modules' indicate the modules you would be required to study depending on your subject specific A-levels as outlined above. Please note that for 2016/17, the Language element for both languages will increase from 20 to 40 credits.

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.

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.

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.

Duration

4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

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.

Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in search of employment. 

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s MA degrees in European Studies or Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and their employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The School of Modern Languages aims to develop and educate its students to become ‘global citizens’. With in-depth study of both French and German, two major world languages, graduates will be competitive and attractive within an increasingly global workforce.

France is a major actor on the European and world stage, possessing a rich and sophisticated culture. French is one of the official working languages of the European community and is still a global language of culture and diplomacy. 

German is the native language of nearly 100 million people. To speak German is to be part of a vibrant cultural, economic and political world.  Not surprisingly therefore, a recent survey by the UK’s leading employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), rated German as the language most valued by UK managers. Germany is also regarded as the lynchpin of the European Union, making knowledge of the language as important in Brussels as it is in Berlin.

We offer French and German for both advanced students and beginners. In terms of language acquisition, this course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills through a range of learning activities, and using a variety of audio-visual materials. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to French and German history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies as you progress through your course     

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas you are able to gain a better understanding of both French and German culture and how it has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

This full-time course lasts for four years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year split equally between your two language choices. Most modules are worth 20 credits. The third year is spent abroad.

What should I know about year four?

In your final year you will take 60 credits in French and 60 credits in German.

We no longer distinguish between beginner and advanced students in the final year and all students take the same language modules. You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and specialise in your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options.  

Our final year dissertation module gives you the option to write a dissertation to specialise in an area of your choice and extend your research and analytical skills.

The availability of option modules may vary from year to year.  

What should I know about year three?

In year three you will spend one semester in a French speaking country and one in Germany, immersed in the languages.  Your options include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school through the British Council Scheme, or working for an organisation or company.

If you choose the study option, we have established exchange programmes which provide opportunities to study in institutions in cities including Paris, Toulouse, Chambéry, Montpellier and Nantes amongst others, and we also have academic links with Brussels. 

In Germany our links include Berlin, Frankfurt, Kassel, Saarbrucken, Mainz, Heidelberg, Rostock, Bochum and Passau.

Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you to either a major city or a small rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also gide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.

The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the French or German speaking world. You also have the possibility of taking a placement in an organisation or company. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak French/German and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.

The year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your French and German, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may even get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.

Final year students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have contributed to our extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with student-centered advice throughout your year abroad.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

In year one, you will take 60 credits in French and 60 credits in German, including language modules at either advanced or beginner’s level.

The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginners pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway.

In addition to your language tuition, an introduction to French and German history and culture modules seek to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies.  

Other information

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • core modules that provide a solid base for all, but them allow you, with advice from your personal tutor, to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
  • research-led teaching allowing you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of French and German studies
  • a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have an A- level in either French or German
  • a year abroad split between a French speaking country and Germany.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars 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.

Admissions tutors

Mrs Marie-laure Jones, Admissions Tutor


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