French

 



What courses? French (often offered as part of a joint honours degree with a multitude of other subjects)

What do you come out with? BA, BSc or MA in Scotland

Why do it? "A degree in French gives you the edge in today’s global job market, whether you are considering a career in business, finance, diplomacy, media, interpreting, translation or teaching. Studying French enables you to develop a high level of oral and written competence in communication skills, and enhances your inter-cultural awareness. Courses in French deepen your understanding of the social, political, economic and cultural environment of France and Francophone countries and strengthen your research and analytical skills. Today, as a graduate of French, you will have the knowledge and skills employers require and the high level of employability amongst graduates of French means you will stand out from the crowd." - Ariane Bogain, senior lecturer in French studies, Northumbria University

What's it about? You study the language, literature, society and culture of France. French single honours seems to be going out of fashion, as many students now combine it with another subject – perhaps another language or business studies, as is increasingly popular these days. Few universities will offer a simple French or French studies degree. In Scottish universities you will be able to combine French with Gaelic and Celtic studies, while many institutions in England and Wales will give you the option of studying the language together with both humanities (geography, history, anthropology) or maths and economics. Learning methods and assessments vary among essays, presentations, oral and written exams and a final dissertation at the end of the fourth year. Most of the courses will also provide practical translation workshop to give you a concrete insight into French translating.

Study options: A degree usually lasts four years, one of which is spent abroad. Each institution offers different perspectives for students who want to travel in a French-speaking country for one year to improve their skills. Most of them give you the chance to spend an ERASMUS or Socrates year studying in numerous French cities, Canada or on the French islands of Reunion or Martinique. Other institutions instead will offer you the chance to spend a year as an English teacher or working in a French company.

What will I need to do it? You will need French, and any other relevant subjects e.g. another foreign language, history and English. Generally, it is required to reach a B grade or above in French and a C grade in English and maths at GCSE. Edinburgh and King’s College require AAA, while Oxford will only take into consideration applicants with three As, before an interview and admission test.

What are my job prospects? Good – graduates with a degree in French are pretty employable. Whether they go into business, diplomacy in international relations, development or sales, you can be certain they’ll have that little bit of je ne sais quoi to help them through. According to The Times’ Good University Guide 2012, seven out of ten graduates are in graduate-level jobs or further study within six months of completing their undergrad, and only 6 per cent are unemployed – a figure much lower than the average. Starting salaries are not bad too, averaging around £20,000 for graduate-level jobs.

Where’s best to do it? Oxford, St Andrews and Durham reached the top three in the Complete University Guide 2012, followed by Cambridge, UCL and Warwick. However, students said that courses at Northumbria, Birmingham and Cambridge were the most satisfying, closely followed by Oxford, Ulster and Leicester.

Related degrees: German; Spanish; Italian; English; Celtic and Gaelic studies; Chinese; Arabic and Middle Eastern studies; African studies.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
science
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
News
Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links