French and Politics (BA)
- UCAS code: LR21
- Next intake: September 2021
- Duration: 4 years
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
The School of Modern Languages and the Department of Politics aims to develop and educate its students to become ‘global citizens’. By combining French and Politics, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial to the world of employment, making you competitive and attractive in an increasingly global workforce and opening the doors to a variety of career paths.
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.
Throughout the programme, in addition to developing high-level language skills, students gain an in-depth intercultural understanding that encompasses a specific knowledge of French cultures allied to the ability to navigate and mediate between more than one culture. You will develop high-level communication and critical-thinking skills, and foster resilience and independence through time spent in immersive foreign language contexts.
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 Union and of the United Nations.
We offer French for both advanced students and beginners. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to French history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies as you progress through your course.
Your understanding of the language will be further developed and refined during your year abroad, when you will experience life in a French-speaking country at first hand.
In the final year, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation, which stimulates initiative and can serve as a useful preparation for postgraduate study.
It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country, and we aspire to offer a genuinely broad course that offers challenging and stimulating modules.
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. On completion of this four-year programme, you will have a high level of language proficiency, as well as a critical understanding of key aspects of French history, culture, literature, politics and contemporary society.
- High-quality language teaching delivered by native speakers, with blended learning and digital technologies embedded in the teaching and assessments designed to feed forward into future learning
- A vibrant programme of extra-curricular activities to support your language learning and immersion into the French culture, including extra optional conversation classes with Erasmus students, events at l’Alliance Française and the students’French Society.
- A new language curriculum with a clear learning arc, which draws on the latest research and allies a thorough understanding of French culture with an ability to navigate and mediate between cultures
- An exciting range of specialised, research-led teaching options which enable students to engage with the most recent thinking by experts in the field
- A structured skills programme which embeds academic, transferable and employability skills into learning from the very beginning
- The option of taking a credit-bearing work placement
- The opportunity to spend your third year either studying or working in France or a French speaking country
- An exciting range of opportunities beyond your formal studies to engage with local schools and communities in promoting language learning and develop your own skills and profile.
- 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.
The changing nature of the pandemic means it can be hard to predict future plans with certainty. Whatever the situation, we're making every effort to keep our students safe and give them the best possible teaching and learning experience.
ABB-BBB. If you have grade B in French A-level you will have access to the languages advanced pathways.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Arts, Humanities, Science and Social Science subjects. If you have grade B in French A-level in addition to or in combination with a BTEC you will have access to the languages advanced pathways.
32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. If you have grade 6 in French at HL you will have access to the languages advanced pathways.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subskills.
At least 90 overall with a minimum of 22 for writing and 20 in all other subskills.
At least 62 overall with a minimum of 62 in writing and a minimum of 54 in all other communicative skills.
Trinity ISE II/III
II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.
Other accepted qualifications
Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.
You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Tier 4 visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Interview or selection process
Each candidate’s profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee’s report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying will also be assessed.
Students from the UK
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Course specific equipment
Many students choose to invest in personal copies of unabridged bilingual dictionaries and reference grammars. While copies of most course materials are available in the library, many students opt to acquire personal copies of set texts.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
The BA French and Politics is a full-time degree programme delivered face to face over four years. It is structured in such a way that you will acquire, over successive years, high-level language and political competencies and the skills to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.
In each year of the programme you will study 120 credits, equally split between 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in French. Your third year will be spent studying or working abroad in France or another French-speaking country.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
You will combine 60 credits of French with 60 credits of Politics, allowing you to experience more than one field of study.
Year one Politics is an introductory year. You will study one core, 20 credit, module and select a further 40 credits (two, 20 credit modules) from our other foundation core modules, to lay the groundwork for your study in years two and four.
In year one we run two language pathways for students; 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.
You will also study a non-language module which introduces you to the development of France as a nation, exploring what it has symbolised for different groups at different moments in history. It also explores France’s exchanges with the world, enabling you to explore France’s role beyond the national borders. The module will enable you to develop a good understanding of intercultural awareness, and the highly-prized ability to mediate between cultures.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Advanced French Language Year 1||ML6188||40 credits|
|Beginners French Language Year 1||ML6189||40 credits|
|Y Da, Drwg a'r Gwleidyddol: The Good, the Bad and the Political||PL9193||20 credits|
|Introduction to Political Science||PL9194||20 credits|
|Introduction to International Relations||PL9195||20 credits|
|Introduction to Political Thought||PL9196||20 credits|
|Introduction to Globalisation||PL9197||20 credits|
|Introduction to European Integration||PL9198||20 credits|
|Introduction to Government||PL9199||20 credits|
In year two you will again take 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in French.
The language elements of year two build on the work undertaken in year one and prepare you for your year abroad. In addition to language, you will study 30 credits looking at France in a transnational context. This will introduce you to key approaches, methodologies and critical tools which you can apply to an in-depth study, looking at a range of topics such as culture, history and politics.
You will also study 60 credits in Politics and International Relations, selecting from our wide range of optional modules and including at least 20 designated Politics credits.
Year three: Sandwich year
Your third year is spent in France or another French-speaking country. The year will enable you to develop your language skills, deepen your understanding of French culture and develop your independence, resourcefulness and resilience.
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. No matter what you choose, 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.
If you choose the study option, we have established exchange programmes which provide opportunities to study in institutions in cities that have included Paris, Toulouse, Chambéry, Grenoble, Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier and Nantes. We also have academic links with Brussels and Geneva.
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. The School can also assist you in finding suitable work placements. 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 currently eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.
Studying or working abroad is excellent preparation for your final year and gives you a level of self-confidence and maturity that has proven popular with employers.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Sandwich Year Project (Autumn Semester)||ML1240||60 credits|
|Sandwich Year Project (Spring Semester)||ML1241||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Semester Work Placement Abroad (French, Spring)||ML6091||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Study Abroad (French, Spring)||ML6093||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Semester Work Placement Abroad (French)||ML6097||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Study Abroad (French)||ML6099||60 credits|
When we welcome you back to Cardiff in your final year, you will continue to develop your language skills, studying 30 credits of French language in the final year and a 30 credit French optional module. You will also study 60 credits in Politics and International Relations, selecting from our wide range of optional modules and including at least 20 designated Politics credits. You will have the opportunity to build on the broad base of knowledge and skills you have developed to study an area of research expertise in the School, through taught modules and/or a dissertation.
You will also have the opportunity to take part in our very popular teaching module, an accredited module where you will build on study and workshops at the University to undertake a teaching placement at one of our partner schools on the area.
The final year dissertation module gives you the option to engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills.
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.
Learning and assessment
Most of our modules consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars and language classes that enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment. The teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning.
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 engage critically with key ideas and explore the ideas outlined in lectures in a small group environment, usually consisting of around 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.
Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning. A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises and written work. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of language-learning technologies. Materials including textbooks, videos, films, novels, audio files and websites are supported by online resources that compliment classroom activities and promote and enable independent learning. Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into language and culture.
Independent study forms a key part of your learning, and our independent learning portfolios have been developed to provide you with online resources to support your independent language learning.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
How will I be supported?
Our BA programme in French and Politics is team-taught, with the programme as a whole overseen by the Programme Director. You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.
All academic staff have designated hours where they are available to meet with students to offer advice and feedback on the subjects that they teach.
You will also be allocated a personal tutor (one from each School), who will meet with you regularly to reflect on your progress and development across your studies, and to think about how to build on your achievements and advance further. Your personal tutor can also guide you if you are experiencing difficulties towards appropriate support.
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.
A skills development week each semester allows for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.
You will have access through the Learning Central (the University virtual learning environment) to relevant learning resources, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.
Our undergraduate Professional Services Team provides academic and student support for all programmes. The team are located in a dedicated ‘student hub’ within the school and provide information and guidance in response to any queries you may have. We also have a dedicated Student Support Administrative Officer within the School, who can provide you with the necessary advice and guidance in a supportive, caring and confidential environment.
We pride ourselves on the level of engagement we have with our student body, giving you the opportunity to express your opinions and be partners in School decision-making where possible. We survey students regularly to make sure we are always working in your best interests.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, the Academic Skills Development Centre and excellent libraries and resource centres.
What skills will I practise and develop?
As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:
- grasp complex issues with confidence
- ask the right questions of complex texts
- have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
- identify and apply relevant data
- develop practical research skills
- propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
- communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
- work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
- learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
- work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
- develop your linguistic skills, as well as a broad appreciation of the culture, literature, and history of French and French speaking countries
- use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
- take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.
Careers and placements
School of Modern Languages
In 2015/16, 94% 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 Postgraduate Taught degrees or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their studies, 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 2015/16, 97% 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.
If you are interested in teaching you may have the possibility of completing an internship teaching language in a UK secondary school in your final year.