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English and French

QR31 BA (Hons) 4 years


Studying English and French gives you the opportunity to explore connections and interactions between cultural traditions.

As a student of English you will look at imaginative writings in their cultural and historical contexts. It may mean walking through the London of Defoe, Dickens, Virginia Woolf or Monica Ali. It may mean discovering the impact of the French Revolution on English art or the impact of the colonial experience on colonisers and colonised.  English students learn about the history of critical and theoretical approaches to literary texts and question the notion of ‘literature’ itself. You’ll discover how history, philosophy and psychology shape literary criticism and theory and how literature itself is taken on board by those disciplines.

During this programme you will divide your time equally between the two subjects - following modules designed to help you develop your linguistic skills, and introducing you to a range of theoretical and critical approaches to English studies.

In your third year, you normally spend a year abroad in a country where your chosen language is spoken – either studying or working, depending on your placement.

Why study English and French at Queen Mary?

A number of interesting activities take place within the department including visits to museums; theatre trips; and talks by eminent writers, actors and other media luminaries.  Several members of staff are stars in their own right: Professors Michèle Barrett and Jacqueline Rose are well-known for groundbreaking work on feminist theory, and are frequently heard on radio, along with other members of the department, such as Professor Peggy Reynolds and Professor Jerry Brotton. Radio 3’s recent list of “new generation thinkers” – up-and-coming public intellectuals “with a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship” – included Shahidha Bari.

The Language Departments at Queen Mary are one of the leading language departments in the UK.  This means that you will learn from people who are at the forefront of their field.

In the third year of your degree, you will spend a year abroad. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. 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. Our computing services make us one of the best equipped languages departments in the UK. Advisers are on hand to help you take advantage of multilingual word-processing and to point you towards websites useful for language study. Our custom designed Language Centre provides state-of-the-art language teaching and learning facilities. We also subscribe to many foreign newspapers and journals.

The College Library has extensive audio-visual facilities, a large collection of videos and DVDs and is equipped for viewing satellite TV. Students also enjoy lively language clubs and societies which organise film showings, outings, drama productions and a regular social meetings, which give you the chance to practise your language as well as have fun.


Year 1

English core module:

  • English, Reading, Theory and Interpretation

Option modules

  • Shakespeare
  • Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century
  • Poetry: A Basic Course
  • Fiction and Narrative

French core modules:

  • French I
  • French Foundations

Year 2

In your second year in English, you will select one module from Lists 1 and 2 below, and another module or modules from Lists 3 and 4.

List 1

Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones

Renaissance Literary Culture

Renaissance Drama

List 2

Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City

Romantics and Revolutionaries

Victorian Fictions

List 3



Postcolonial and Global Literatures

List 4

List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.

French Core modules:

  • French II
  • Translation into 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 3

  • Year abroad: Written Assignment

Years 4

In your final year you take the English Dissertation

Optional Modules

The remainder of the modules in your second and final years are optional, and you can choose from a list of optional modules which reflect your own particular interests.

French Core module:

  • French III 

Options include:

  • Advanced Oral Competence in French
  • Language and Society in the French-speaking World
  • Proust
  • French Feminist Writing
  • Lovers and Libertines: Eighteenth-Century French Fiction
  • Modern Languages Research Project

Entry requirements

Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 UCAS tariff points from 3 A-levels with an A in English Literature or combined Language and Literature and an B in French.

Excluded subjects: General studies, critical thinking.

International Baccalaureate:
Subjects and grades: 34 points overall, with 6 points in HL English A1 or A2 and 5 in HL French.

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. Please visit our further information page below.

Further information on our entry requirements

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. 

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:
We teach our programmes in a variety of ways, some traditional, some new. In your first year you will spend some of your time in lectures, which are always followed by smaller seminar groups. Increasingly, we are making lectures available by video podcast so that you can refresh your memory of what was said and shown. All your teachers have weekly office hours and you are encouraged to make use of these for advice. We try to vary our teaching as much as possible so that you learn by encountering different situations and points of view. Many of our modules feature guest lecturers (professional writers and publishers, for example). Others make use of the unrivalled resources that London offers by taking you out of the classroom.

Independent Study:
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.

As you progress, you’ll spend more time in smaller classes where you’ll be expected to take more responsibility for your learning as you develop confidence and skills. But whatever the format, you’ll be taught by experts in their field who are passionate about their subject and committed to good teaching.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways. Some modules will be assessed by traditional exams, but the majority are assessed by coursework. Coursework can mean essays, projects, individual or group presentations, log books, oral or memorisation tests. All coursework is compulsory because each piece of coursework contributes towards the final mark for a module.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full-time £14,500

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.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

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.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film go on to work in a wide variety of careers.  Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as interpreting, teaching and publishing, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as marketing.

The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 86.7% of the School’s graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 73.1% already working/studying at graduate level. Queen Mary graduates have a strong earning power, as reported in the Sunday Times University Rankings.

The broad range of skills gained through our language courses, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:
Global Technical Support RepresentationBloomberg
Assistant Tour ManagerSony
Trainee ManagerMajestic Wine
Training Centre Co-ordinatorESI International
Fundraising AdministratorMildmay International
International Product AnalystMeta-Pack
Marketing ExecutiveMano
Graduate Account ExecutiveHall & Partners
Publishing AssistantMedikidz
JournalistSelf Employed
InterpreterSelf Employed
English as a Foreign Language TeacherBritish Council

Throughout their time at Queen Mary, students have access to a careers programme to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes workshops on job hunting and job applications as well as employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Recent careers events include a workshop for returning 4th year students ‘What a Difference a Year Abroad Makes’ and a speed meet event with alumni working in a variety of roles – ‘Make Languages Work for You’. 
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, through, for example, our QM Projects work experience scheme, QM Temps job agency, Experience Works events and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 800 vacancies are available 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.


Student Profile: Zaki Shah
English Literature

“I chose Queen Mary because it offered me the chance to study the sort of modules that I was really keen to do. I also knew past and current students who found their time at Queen Mary fun and rewarding. The area inevitably played a big role too – close to central London, and walking distance from areas like Brick Lane and Shoreditch".

“The teaching style here gives you lots of academic freedom, but there is always help available if you need it. The type of assessment on the course reflects this freedom too – it’s good to be able to go away and work on a big research essay or your dissertation, rather than always being at the mercy of exams like at school!"

“Last year I found myself doing a course called Art Histories all about the different museums and art galleries in London. I’d never have anticipated doing a module like that on an English degree, but it turned out to be one of my favourites and I learnt loads of new things".

“Outside of class, I am starting a student group for a charity organisation called Schtoom. The
Students’ Union have been really helpful in helping me to do this – it’s fantastic to have such a supportive team behind you.”

Graduate Profile: Andreas Beckwith
Studied: BA English

Currently: Having completed a TEFL course I am going to Valencia in Spain to teach English as a foreign language.

Why did you choose Queen Mary?

It has a very good reputation, particularly for English, and this was an important factor in my choice. I also wanted to go to a university in a vibrant city with plenty of opportunity for new experiences. I liked the fact that Queen Mary is a campus university, as it meant that a large majority of the students would be in one place.

What did you gain from your time at Queen Mary?

I had a fantastic time at Queen Mary, both on the academic and social side of university life.
I greatly improved my English skills, and degree level study opened up new avenues of thinking and interpretation which I had not been exposed to before. The course structure is particularly good, as it allows you to shape your own degree with a wide choice of modules. The university’s diversity is one of its main assets, I really enjoyed meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds. The experience was invaluable and has helped shape me as a person.


What are your career plans in the next five years?

I plan to be out in Spain for the next year teaching English, after that I will possibly do a masters.
Ideally I would like to make a career in writing, in journalism and script writing, with my main goal to become an author.

Graduate profile:Daniel Sawyer
Studied: BA English

Currently: After graduating I got a job as an E-Learning Assistant at the School of Medicine, Southampton University. I have now taken up a funded postgraduate place at Oxford University on an MSt in English (650-1550).


Why did you choose Queen Mary?

The size and reputation of the English department and the degree of choice offered by the course structure.


How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?

I learned how to write rapidly and well, and how to research a subject methodically. The English course also made me more confident about speaking to a group. And from student life in general I learned a lot of interpersonal skills.


What are your most and least favourite aspects of your job?

When I was working in medical e-learning, I loved the mixture of disciplines it involved: I got the chance to work with doctors, medical students, graphic designers, web developers and learning design experts, all trying to create something together. And my least favourite part of the job was definitely whenever some piece of tech refused to work!


At present my favourite part of my postgrad course is probably handling medieval manuscripts, which is quite a thrill. As for the part I like least, I suppose, surprisingly enough, I am rather missing the discipline of a fixed nine-to-five working day.

Leanne Zara Dickinson

English Literature and French

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary because it is the only campus university in London and it produces really well regarded research.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“I most like the fact that my programme is a joint-honours degree that is equally weighted between English and French, as most universities usually split it 75/25. I do not feel as if I am missing out on either side. It is good to be able to chop and change between disciplines, and this stands me in good stead to choose a masters from a range of areas.

“The teachers are extremely helpful and approachable, and are always on hand to help you in getting where you want to be.”


[A-levels-CY]Grades AAB - ABB at A-Level. This must include grade A or above in A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature. This must include grade B or above in A-Level French. [/A-levels-CY][IB-CY]International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 34 points overall, including 6,6,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a minimum of 6 in Higher Level English A. This must also include a minimum of 5 in Higher Level French. [/IB-CY][Access-HE-CY][/Access-HE-CY][GCSE-CY]All our applicants are required to achieve grade C or 4 in GCSE English or equivalent. Individual academic schools may specify additional compulsory subjects, such as science or Mathematics. [/GCSE-CY][EPQ-CY][/EPQ-CY][Contextualised-CY][/Contextualised-CY][A-levels-NY]Grades ABB at A-Level. This must include grade A or above in A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature. This must include grade B or above in A-Level French. [/A-levels-NY][IB-NY]International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 points overall, including 6,6,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a minimum of 6 in Higher Level English A. This must also include a minimum of 5 in Higher Level French. [/IB-NY][BTEC-NY]BTEC qualifications are considered for entry to this programme. [/BTEC-NY][Access-HE-NY][/Access-HE-NY][GCSE-NY]All our applicants are required to achieve grade C or 4 in GCSE English or equivalent. Individual academic schools may specify additional compulsory subjects, such as science or Mathematics. [/GCSE-NY][EPQ-NY]Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification. [/EPQ-NY][Contextualised-NY]We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. For more information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, please refer to the following webpage. [/Contextualised-NY]
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