In the National Student Survey 2017 (NSS 2017) both French and Iberian Studies (Including Portuguese) at Queen Mary achieved 100% in Student Satisfaction, ranking us first in the UK.
This combined degree gives you the opportunity to study two influential romance languages and their cultures. You will also immerse yourself in the cultures where these languages are spoken, spend time working or studying abroad and learn to understand the subtleties of communication.
The emphasis throughout is on combining practical and analytical language teaching with modules that explore the French language in different contexts and the Portuguese language associated with the cultures of Brazil, Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking African countries such as Angola and Mozambique.
This degree programme is split equally between French and Portuguese. To achieve the same high level of competence in both languages, you will take core modules in the written and spoken French and Portuguese languages all the way through to your final year. In your first year you will also take a foundation module introducing you to the linguistics, literature and culture of French, and options introducing the literature and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world. In your second and final years, you broaden and deepen your knowledge by taking more specialised modules from a range of options in both subjects.
Why study French and Portuguese at Queen Mary?
We are one of the leading language departments in the UK and aim for excellence in both teaching and research. Our award-winning researchers in French are specialists in the Francophone cultures of Canada, North Africa, Belgium, and the Indian Ocean. And the Portuguese subject group is renowned for their world-leading research on Brazilian cultures. They all bring their passion for their subjects to the classroom. You can also tackle the work of challenging, unconventional, and often overlooked writers, thinkers and film makers: The visual arts also plays a major part in our curriculum, enabling you to develop an understanding of how images work – an important life skill in an increasingly image-dominated world.
Your third year is normally spent abroad, in a country where either French or Portuguese is spoken. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. As you are studying two languages you can divide your time between two countries, or spend a full nine months in one country, and three months over the summer vacation in the other. Ab initio students of Portuguese will be encouraged to spend their year in a Portuguese-speaking country. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad on an Erasmus exchange; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with the School’s support, or independently, with the School’s approval.
We pride ourselves on the facilities we offer. The Library has extensive audio-visual materials and equipment, and our language learning labs and resource rooms are state of the art. We also offer a full programme of language-related social activities to students, including film screenings, discussion groups, and debates.
Core and compulsory modules:
- French I (QMUL Model Module)
- French Foundations (QMUL Model Module)
- Introductory Portuguese (for ab-initio entrants) or Portuguese I (for post A Level entrants) (QMUL Model Module)
- Critical Thinking and Writing for Modern Foreign Languages
Portuguese option modules
- Brazilian Cultural Studies
- From Dictatorship to Revolution in Portugal’s Cinema
- French II
- Translation into French
- Portuguese II Intensive or Portuguese II
Portuguese Options include:
- Manoel de Oliveira: Image and Utopia in Portugal's Cinema
- Brazilian Cinema: The Social Tradition
French Options include:
- Memories of WWII in Literature, Film and Art
- The Sounds of French
- The Story of my Life?: French Autobiography and Autofiction
- Out of Place: Literature and Dislocation
- Twentieth Century French Thought: Values and Violence
- Year abroad: written and oral assignments
- French III
- Portuguese III
French Options include:
- Advanced Oral Competence in French
- Language and Society in the French-speaking World
- French Feminist Writing
- Lovers and Libertines: Eighteenth-Century French Fiction
- Modern Languages Research Project
Portuguese Options include:
- Slavery, Colonialism and Postcolonialism in African Cinema
For a complete list of modules please visit the directory of modules http://www.qmul.ac.uk/modules/
Use the following abbreviation in the Code search¿
- FRE – French
- POR – Portuguese
QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions to read more:
General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades BBB at A-Level. This must include grade B or above in A-Level French. Excludes General Studies.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 30 points overall, including 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a minimum of 5 in Higher Level French.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. For programmes with French, grade B or above in A-Level French will be also be required. For all other single and joint honours language programmes, experience of learning a language other than your mother tongue, and a demonstrable aptitude for language study are required. Applications are considered on a case by case basis, and we may request an interview. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.|
|EPQ||Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
Learning and Teaching:
Teaching typically involves a lecture per week for each module, followed up by a smaller seminar group session where you will have the opportunity to actively contribute. In addition to this, you will spend up to five hours per week in language classes – you will be taught in small groups of no more than 20 for classroom or language lab teaching, and fewer than 10 for oral and aural work.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2 - 3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Assessment methods vary from module to module, and include a mixture of exams and coursework, coursework only, oral exams (including the production of a short radio programme), final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Language graduates go into many different walks of life, typically those in which interpersonal relations are a priority and in which fluency in one or more foreign languages is likely to be useful. Some obvious destinations are the Civil Service, management consultancy, the tourist industry, the financial world. Look at CILT's (The National Centre for Languages) website for more information (click here).
Potential employers are likely to look favorably upon your willingness and ability to become fluent in a less commonly taught language such as Portuguese. According to a survey of human resources managers in 2,700 companies, workers who speak more than one language are likely to be paid between 12-20% more than their monolingual colleagues. As the Independent put it, "Britons who learn a foreign language are richer, happier and are regarded as sexier than those who can only speak English" (Independent, 1st November 2004). Should you be one of them?
If you study French and Portuguese at Queen Mary,
- You will reach a high level of spoken and written competence in both languages, which will in many ways enrich your life.
- You will receive a rigorous training in reading analytically and writing lucidly, which are fundamental transferable skills.
- You will learn to think deeply about cultures that are quite different, which is interesting, enjoyable and sometimes surprising!
- You will have the opportunity to spend a summer or year abroad, which, as well as developing your linguistic knowledge, will give you interpersonal skills and demonstrate your adaptability and flexibility.
- You will paradoxically learn to understand yourself and your own native tongue better by studying the structure of different languages and cultures.
Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.
Recent careers events for language students include a workshop for returning 4th years, “What a Difference a Year Abroad Makes”, and a “Make Languages Work for You” speed meet event with alumni working in a variety of roles; for linguists, a careers day looking at how to use LinkedIn for job search, CV writing and career choice; for film students, a panel discussion with film and TV professionals and talk on how to start a career in film. Students also have access to our central careers programme, with a range of events including workshops on journalism, teaching, and employer-led recruitment skills training.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/.