On this programme, you will explore cultures and literatures from around the world, through its emphasis on comparative study. This combines well with the deepened level of expertise you will develop in French language and culture.
Join our friendly and dynamic Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, which offers the opportunity to study in a lively, multilingual community with staff and students from all over the world. We offer a flexible and supportive approach to learning which allows you to tailor your degree to your interests, including the opportunity to learn other languages.
This course will see you become confident and highly skilled in written and spoken French. You will master the fundamental elements of the language, to the point where you will graduate with a near-native command of it. We’re proud of our small language classes, led by native speakers. We provide accelerated learning in French, meaning that you can start from beginner’s level if you have not done the A-level. Regardless of which level you join the course at, you can expect to become confident and highly skilled in written and spoken French by the final year.
A wide range of optional modules in French and francophone culture, history, literature, chanson, politics, and film enhance your learning, and provide you with an in-depth knowledge of these cultures. You will have the opportunity to study with staff who are internationally recognised experts in French studies. This includes modern French history; French philosophy; the literature of the French Caribbean; French children’s literature and publishing; Medieval literature, history and art; and translation studies.
The Comparative Literature modules have been designed by experts with the aim of crossing and dismantling borders: they look at literatures from different communities, national traditions, and time-periods. We take in a broad range of traditional genres (e.g. the novel, theatre, poetry), as well as varying modes of cultural expression (e.g. autobiography, film, myths). The core modules you will study introduce you to the notion of comparative writing, and to what can be lost – and found – in the process of translation. All students of comparative literature will take an extended writing module on a topic of their own choosing, and you will also be able to develop your interests by choosing from a range of optional modules. Throughout, the emphasis is on comparative literature's ability to do justice to the interconnectedness of human experience.
An integral part of the course is the opportunity for you to spend up to a year in a French-speaking country, either studying at a partner university, undertaking a work placement, or working as a British Council language teaching assistant. The fees charged for this year are greatly reduced from the usual amount, and you may have other income through funding schemes and/or earnings. The year abroad enables you to directly immerse yourself in the culture and develop your language to a near-native level. Modules in the second year will prepare you for your time abroad, equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to work and live in a different culture.