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French (TSM)

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Is this the right course for you?

French literature, culture and civilisation have a long and distinguished history. If you are interested in the possibility of exploring this dynamic society and in finding out more about other cultures where French is spoken, in Europe and throughout the world, French at Trinity College will appeal to you.

Course overview

French, read in combination with another subject, is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in all aspects of French language and culture. The result is that you leave university with a high standard of fluency in the language, both written and spoken, and with a wide knowledge of major aspects of French literature, culture and society. The development of reading, analytical, and critical skills, in the form of both oral tasks and written exercises, forms an integral part of this course.

Course content

Language instruction - including computer-based elements - forms the backbone of the teaching programme. 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.

The Freshman years

The programme in the Junior Freshman (first) year includes an introduction to aspects of contemporary France, the French language and literature. First year subject areas include:

  • French grammar and grammatical analysis
  • Comprehension of the written and spoken language
  • Contemporary short stories, novels, theatre, films and a specially prepared anthology of French poetry

You will spend approximately five hours each week working on language and grammar and approximately two hours each week studying literature and other course-work.

In the Senior Freshman (second) year, 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.

The Sophister years

In the Junior and Senior Sophister (third and fourth) years, a wide variety of optional subjects leading on from courses previously undertaken in the Freshman (first and second) years are available. These range from classical and Enlightenment writing to Romantic and contemporary French literature, from politics, society and identity in France to French theory and French travel writing. 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.

Assessment

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 research and write a final-year dissertation.

Study abroad

A minimum stay of two months in a French-speaking country is required over the duration of your course. Some students opt to spend their second or part of their third year at a university in France within the framework of an Erasmus exchange programme. There are exchange agreements between Trinity College and universities in Orléans and Paris.

Career opportunities

Recent graduates in French have gone on to work in areas as diverse as secondary and university teaching, arts administration, translation and interpreting, diplomacy, tourism, publishing, and investment banking. Increasing numbers of graduates go on to take further postgraduate courses in areas such as law, marketing and business. The combination of an arts degree and a more vocational or professional programme of studies has proved to be highly attractive to prospective employers.

Further information

www.tcd.ie/French

Tel: +353 1 896 1553

Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateHC1 French
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C French
Other EU examination systems
See www.tcd.ie/Admissions/undergraduate/requirements/matriculation/other/

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