French and Italian (BA)

French and Italian BA (joint honours) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of two popular European languages.

The School of Modern Languages aims to develop and educate its students to become 'global citizens'. With in depth study of both French and Italian, 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 Italy.

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.

Italy possesses one of the major cultural, artistic and historical traditions in Europe and has played a unique role in the development of fine art, architecture, film and music.

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 Italy, where you will be able to use apply and further develop your acquired language skills.

Key facts

UCAS CodeRR31
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

Languages and related studies

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.

Year one

In Year 1, you take 60 credits in French and 60 credits in Italian, including a language module at either advanced or beginners level, depending on whether you have already gained an A level in the modern language

Our ‘Key optional modules’ below indicate the modules you would be required to study depending on your subject specific A-levels as outlined above. You then have free choice from the 'further optional modules' list.

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

The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics admits around 230 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Applications received

Typical applications received

The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics = 1300

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Languages and related studies

What are the aims of this Programme?

French

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. 

Italian

Italian at Cardiff can be taken at beginners or advanced level. First and foremost, studying for a degree in Italian involves dedicating yourself to learning the language. At Cardiff, we place great emphasis on strengthening reading, writing, oral and aural skills, which are vital communication skills. As regards the language, there are two routes in the first and second years, one for students who are beginners of Italian, and the other for students who are advanced. Both routes will include option modules in the fields of film, literature, history of art, politics and history. Italian language is a core module throughout your course.

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves examining many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas students are able to gain a better understanding of Italian culture and of how Italy has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today. If you study Italian, your career prospects will be enhanced, as the number of jobs for which knowledge of Italian is needed is on the increase. Opportunities exist not only in teaching, museum work and the fine arts, but also in banking, insurance, marketing, publishing, the media, the civil service, all branches of tourism and the higher echelons of the administrative fields. There has been a recent upsurge in career opportunities for graduates in Italian in the commercial and institutional links within the European Union. 

What is expected of me?

French

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.

Italian

The teaching sessions on the Italian programme are interactive. Students are expected to attend all of their classes (whether lectures, seminars or other sessions). The Italian modules are each worth 20 credits. Each 20-credit module will require at least two hundred hours of study, including the hours spent attending classes, individual study, preparing assessments and/or taking exams and tests. It is essential that students complement the class activities with extensive reading outside the classroom, following both their tutors’ leads and their own specific interest in the topics studied.

Students and staff alike are expected to adhere to Cardiff University's Dignity at Work and Study Policy. You should develop a professional attitude to your work, including attending personal tutoring sessions, checking your e-mails regularly, and responding to them as required, being punctual in attending classes, and informing the School when you are absent. The School of European Languages, Translation and Politics is committed to assisting you throughout your studies, so if anything concerns you, remember to let us know. We will respect confidentiality at all times.

How is this Programme Structured?

The BA Joint Honours French and Italian 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?

What the student should provide:

Bilingual and monolingual Dictionaries, course texts and set texts (details provided in the relevant course kits).

What the University will provide:

Library resources, computers, linguistic software.

What skills will I practise and develop?

French

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

Italian

The Italian degree programme will allow you to develop a number of valuable skills, both specific to Italian and relevant to your future workplace. These include the following skills: communicate and present information, thoughts and arguments (both spoken and written, individually or as part of a team); use of information technology (linguistic software, word processors, databases, the web); analyse and present numeric information; working in a group and developing interpersonal skills; identifying, recording and communicating relevant attainments for career purposes; managing your own learning (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and development. Through the medium of the dissertation option you will gain confidence when working on your own and experience a wide range of practical research skills. Sessions with a supervisor will allow you to develop discussion skills in detail and to develop original ideas.

How will I be taught?

French

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. 

Italian

Delivery will be via lectures, seminar preparation and participation, independent and guided study, 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. 

How will I be assessed?

French

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.

Feedback

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. 

Italian

While studying for a BA Joint Honour degree you will be assessed through each of the following methods:

·         class tests (continuous assessment)

·         essays

·         written exams

·         oral exams

·         oral presentations

·         dissertation

There will also be opportunities to prepare formative tasks. These are tasks that are not counted in determining your final mark, but give you an opportunity to have feedback on your progress. These tasks can be oral presentations in seminars, essay plans, short written pieces or computer tasks.

Feedback

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. 

How will I be supported?

We support students in several ways. Initially, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will meet with you whenever needed to discuss your progress and any other matters arising. You will receive prompt feedback on all your assessments (including exams), and your personal tutor will be able to help you to use that feedback effectively in order to improve your work for the future. Many modules also include formative assessments. You will receive feedback on these assessments, but they will not count towards your final degree. Each module uses the Learning Central website, a virtual learning environment at Cardiff University. Through the Learning Central site you will have access to relevant materials for the module, such as multimedia materials, presentations, lecture hand-outs, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, etc. There will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your progress and on the skills that you will develop through a section on the Learning Central site called Personal Development Plan. There, with the help of your personal tutor, you will be able to record your attainments in various fields (whether they are part of the curriculum or not). Furthermore, centrally the University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

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?

French

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

Italian

Graduates from this Programme will be able to:

  • produce a high level of fluency in oral and written Italian
  • 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 Italian 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 Italian language and culture in the modern world
  • use information technology to present and analyse materials in an effective and polished manner, including using software to check and improve language

Other information

French

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. 

Italian

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

·         the chance for students interested in teaching to undertake a British Council internship teaching English in an Italian secondary school

·         the opportunity for all students of Italian to organise, on their own initiative, a suitable work placement in an Italy.

Admissions tutors

Mrs Marie-laure Jones, Admissions Tutor


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