French and Politics (BA)

Expertise in politics and government combined with fluency in French opens the door to a wide variety of career paths.

Students on this programme can choose from the full range of Politics modules, while expert language training is accompanied by optional modules on French society and culture.

A particular feature of this four-year degree is the year abroad: your third year is spent in France in order to practise and improve your language skills.

In your first year you concentrate on core modules plus your language. In your second and final years you choose from among a wide range of optional modules as well as continuing your language study, with your year abroad in between.

Politics
Politics as an area of study develops your knowledge and understanding of governments, governance and societies. Politics is central to our everyday lives. It explores people and power and involves drama and events of great significance both today and historically. Think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration. Studying for a politics degree means investigating how politics works and delves into how parliaments and governments function while also allowing you to evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

French
French language and culture have been centre-stage in European and world affairs for centuries. French is an official language of 29 countries, of all United Nations agencies, and of many other international organisations. It is considered the international language of diplomacy, and is second only to English in its influence. French is spoken across the globe as a native or second language by up to half a billion people. The French-speaking world extends across the globe from Europe to North Africa, Asia and the Americas. This degree opens up the cultural riches of French language and culture and provides an important key to understanding the world and the way it is today.

Key facts

UCAS CodeLR21
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 (excluding General studies)
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including French (excluding General studies).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33-34 points overall (to include 6 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.

Year one

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second, third and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The programme is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Students will study 60 credits from the School of Modern Languages and 60 credits in Politics.

Year two

In year two you choose three Politics and three French modules. Please note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

Year three: Sandwich year

You will spend your third year in France or another francophone country studying at one of our partner universities or working for a French organisation. Your year abroad coordinator will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress.

The School has established academic links with universities in Caen, Chambéry, Limoges, Montpellier and Nantes. We also have exchanges with instituts d'études politiques in Bordeaux, Grenobles, Lyons, Paris, Rennes and Strasburg. Recently academic links have been set up with Mons in Belgium, Marie Haps in Brussels and Geneva in Switzerland. All students on a Socrates exchange receive an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend in France.

Year four

In your final year you choose three Politics and three French modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.

Module titleModule codeCredits
French Language (BA Languages)ML638020 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL938820 credits
French for professional purposesML639620 credits
Writing AfricaML638120 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (French)ML638620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Dissertation (Joint Honours -In English/Welsh)ML638420 credits
Final Year Joint Honours French Dissertation IN FRENCHML637920 credits
Y Chwyldro Ffrengig [The French Revolution]ML630120 credits
European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
Dissertation/Project (Translation)ML238920 credits
Devolution in Practice: Welsh Law and Politics Work PlacementPL931020 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
Free Speech in a Multicultural SocietyPL931420 credits
Dépassement de l’art: The Parisian Avant-Garde and the Revolution of Everyday Life from Breton to DebordML630220 credits
Multimedia AdaptationsML636920 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, bullets and ballot-boxes: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Intelligence in Contemporary Politics: Bond, Bourne and the Business of SpyingPL932320 credits
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.

Politics
Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.

 

French
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.

School of Law and Politics - Politics
In 2013/14, 96% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, Oxford City Council, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

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.

Duration

4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

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.

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 in Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.  

School of Law and Politics

In 2013/14 over 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.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The School of Modern Languages and the Department of Politics and International Relations aim to educate our students to become ‘global citizens’. By combining French and Politics, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

The field of politics allows you to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability as well as incorporating international relations.

Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

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 still a global language of culture and diplomacy. 

We offer French for both advanced students and beginners. This course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills.

Your understanding of the French language will be further developed and refined during your year abroad, when you will experience life in a French-speaking country at first hand.       

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country. At Cardiff we aspire to offer a genuinely broad course including optional modules in film, literature, history of art, politics and history.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. 

Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a four-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two subjects. The third year is spent abroad.

What should I know about year four?

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

French no longer distinguishes between beginner and advanced students in the final year and all students of French 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. 

You will take 60 credits in optional year three politics modules, including the option of writing a dissertation.  Our final year dissertation module gives you the option to write a dissertation and engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills.

What should I know about year three?

Year three is spent in France, or possibly in another French-speaking country. 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 a French 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.  

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 guide 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-speaking world. 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 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 understanding of the language, 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 also 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-centred advice throughout your year abroad.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. You will take 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in French.

Year one Politics is an introductory year. You will take our foundation core modules to lay the groundwork for your study in years two and four.

In year one French you will build on core linguistic skills and be introduced to French culture, literature, civilisation and politics. There are two French pathways available: an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in French and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of French.

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

Other information

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • core modules that guarantee a solid base for all, but then 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 Politics and French studies
  • a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have French A-level
  • a year spent studying or working in a French-speaking country
  • students of Business French may sit the internationally recognised examination of the Paris Chamber of Commerce
  • academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO.

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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