Your degree and what you’ll study
The development of reading, analytical, and critical skills, in the form of both oral tasks and written exercises in French, forms the bedrock of this course. Students are expected to progress to a high level of competence in the four basic linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. This includes nurturing an ability to cope with different registers and styles of written and spoken French and to reflect critically on the way the language is used and structured. Examples of optional subjects available over the course of the four years include French linguistics, literature, ideas and politics.
First and Second (Freshman) Years
The programme in first year includes an introduction to French language, literature, and history. First year subject areas include: (i) French grammar and grammatical analysis, (ii) comprehension of the written and spoken language and (iii) modern fiction, theatre, cinema and poetry. In the first year (Junior Freshman), you will spend four contact hours each week working on French language and grammar, and three contact hours each week studying literature and contemporary French history and society. In the second year (Senior Sophister), you will build on this foundation by following courses in the history of French ideas and politics, French literature, French linguistics and in the practice of the French language itself.
Third and Fourth (Sophister) Years
In third and fourth year, a wide variety of optional subjects leading on from courses previously undertaken in first and second year are available. These range from Renaissance and Enlightenment writing to Romantic and Modern French literature; from French language, politics, society and identity to French critical theory, philosophy, history and cinema. If you elect to study French in your final year, you will research and write a dissertation in English or French on a subject of your choice in consultation with a supervisor.
Written, oral and aural examinations, in addition to essays and continuous assessment of your coursework, all contribute to assessment. Senior Sophisters (fourth-year students) will also be required to research and write a final-year dissertation.