French (BA)

This course aims to allow students to develop a high level of proficiency in their chosen language(s) as well as a comprehensive understanding of cultures that shape them.

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.

This 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.

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 you are able to gain a better understanding of French culture and of how France has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.

Key facts

UCAS CodeR100
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB including grade B in French at A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including French.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerConsidered on individual merit
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here.

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

As well as students with A-level French, we also welcome students who have no previous knowledge of French. Such applicants will generally require an A-level in another modern foreign language. We run two pathways for French students: one for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in French; the other for students beginning French afresh.

As such, our ‘Key optional modules’ below indicate the modules you would be required to study depending on your subject specific A-levels as outlined in the paragraph above. ’Further optional modules’ are optional modules not tied to your entry pathway.

Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

Year two

In year two we aim to maintain a balance between literary/cultural studies modules and social science/area studies modules.

You can specialise in area studies/social science subjects or in literary/cultural studies. You can choose the options freely so that you can take some area studies/social science subjects and some literary/cultural studies options if you wish. Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year.

Year three: Sandwich year

You spend the third year of your French degree in France or possibly in another francophone country. You have a range of options, which include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school, or working for a French organisation.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned to the Year Abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may even get a visit from one of your French tutors who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.
You will also have the opportunity to share your experience by entering the Year Abroad Photo Competition, which rewards one student on each of the language degree programmes (joint or single) in French, German, Italian and Spanish with a £50 prize.


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. More 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 enjoy an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend in France. Since other students have gone from Cardiff to all of the above mentioned destinations before you, their experiences provide a helpful guide about what to expect. Returning students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have helped us to set up an extensive 'year abroad module' on Learning Central which provides you with user-friendly advice throughout your year abroad.


As a teaching assistant on a scheme run by the British Council, you could go to a major city or to a small, rural town. This option provides excellent experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. The British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. Your school should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live on arrival.

You also have the possibility of taking a placement, for example, in a French organisation or company. These arrangements can be made through any personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. You will of course need to make sure that the position you are going for affords you plenty of opportunity to speak French. Such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

Experience another culture

No matter what the arrangement, the Year Abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your French, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain further study or work experience. Most of our graduates in French regard having lived in France as the most significant experience during their university studies at Cardiff, with a positive impact on their personal development and career
Past students have described it as "the best experience of my life".

It is the best possible preparation for your final year and it gives language graduates the maturity and self-confidence that makes them so popular with future employers.

Year four

In the final year we aim to maintain a balance between literary/cultural studies modules and social science/area studies modules.

You can specialise in area studies/social science subjects or in literary/cultural studies. Again, you can choose the options freely so that you can take some area studies/social science subjects and some literary/cultural studies options if you wish. Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year.

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.


  • Teaching
  • Interpreting
  • Finance


4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Applications received

Typical applications received


QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

What should I know about year four?

What should I know about year three?

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

Other information

Distinctive features

How will I be taught?

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.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

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