Meet Rowan, a final year French student. Watch some of our other French students on YouTube here.
You can study French at Leeds as a Single Honours or a Joint Honours degree. Our Single Honours degree programme means that you spend approximately two thirds of your time on French and the remainder on subjects of your choice. This provides flexibility and breadth within your degree, by allowing you to choose discovery modules from disciplines across the University. Our Joint Honours degrees enable you to combine French with another subject, either another language or something completely different. Leeds is renowned for its range of Joint Honours programmes.
Teaching is through a variety of lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on teaching in French itself: by the time you are in your final year, all of the modules are taught in small groups in French. There is a vibrant connection between our research culture and undergraduate teaching, with visiting lecturers from our partner institutions in France and elsewhere, plus the opportunity for students to apply for a Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research and Leadership project to pursue a research project of their own.
The Level One programme consolidates your knowledge of the French language, providing a thorough foundation in the grammatical and stylistic aspects of the written and spoken language. You will also take a core module in French Studies that will introduce you to a rich and varied range of subject areas, including a French film, a 19th-century novel, Second World War poetry, a 17th-century play, a Francophone surrealist text, 20th French art, photography, and the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Single Honours students will study a number of additional modules that cover the history of the French language, phonetics, literary criticism and political rhetoric. The programme will help you to make an informed choice about which modules to choose in Levels Two and Three.
Level Two builds on the language skills gained in your first year and introduces you to more complex aspects of French register and style, as well as helping you to prepare linguistically for the Year Abroad. You can choose from fourteen Level Two modules in subject areas such as cinema, literature, history, politics, linguistics and Francophone culture. You can also choose the vocational module Linguists into Schools, which gives students experience of teaching French in a local school.
If you choose Single Honours French, you will spend a year in France or in another French-speaking country. Some of our students choose to spend their Year Abroad in Belgium, Switzerland, French Canada, Senegal or the French Caribbean. If you choose a two-language Joint Honours programme, you will normally spend a year in one of the countries whose language you are studying, and a term in a country in which your other language is spoken. See the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies residence abroad pages for further details. French at Leeds is renowned for its outstanding Year Abroad arrangements: you can choose to spend the year as an assistant working in a French school, or you may prefer to take up a work placement in one of the companies with which we have links, or propose your own placement. Some of our students decide to spend their Year Abroad studying in a French university and follow specially designed courses at the universities of Pau or Montpellier, or choose to study in the other universities where we have links, Bordeaux, Lille and Lyon. For more information, see Residence Abroad.
Level Three (Fourth Year)
You will build on the fluency gained during your Year or Term Abroad through the development of specialist language skills including translation (into French and English), oral presentation and discussion, and synthèse de texte. All Single Honours students write a dissertation on a subject of their choice under the supervision of a member of staff; Joint Honours students can also choose this option. With over twenty optional modules on offer in Level Three, our finalists benefit from a wider range than any other French Department in the UK. Examples of final-year modules include: France and the First World War; Gender, Sex and Cinema; May 1968; Women in Early Modern France; Existentialisms; Literature and the Visual Arts; the Algerian War of Independence, Surrealism to Slam; Francophone Voices; Obscenity, Jokes and Disguise in 16th-Century France; Representations of the City. Students can also choose a vocational module such as Bilingual Liaison Interpreting, Theory and Practice in French-English Translation, or French as a Professional Language, which prepares them to take an optional EU recognised French qualification, the DFP (Diplôme de français professionel de la Chambre de commerce et d'Industrie de Paris).
The French Society
The University of Leeds Student Union has a very active and popular student-run French Society which organises weekly social events, trips to France, sports and cultural events. For more information about the student experience, see the Student Newsletters page.
Our students go on to work in a wide range of fields, including business, civil service and diplomacy, interpreting, journalism, publishing, research, teaching and translating. Many go on to further postgraduate study in a variety of fields. Read more about careers and employability
Open days 2018
Our open days are a great way to explore campus and learn more about life at Leeds. The dates of our next open days will be announced soon but you can register your interest here