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French Studies

R102 BA (Hons) 3 years


Studying modern languages is about more than vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation: you will also immerse yourself in culture, spend time working or studying abroad, learn to understand the subtleties of communication and gain the kinds of transferable skills that make language graduates attractive to employers.

With our new, highly competitive degree, The University of London BA in French (3 years: London/Paris) we offer advanced language proficiency as well as detailed knowledge of French culture, including history and society, thought, literature, art and film. The programme incorporates an intensive compulsory semester in the French capital. Eight months will be spent at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) where you will gain linguistic immersion and the experience of working in Paris.

This degree programme, taught by leading academics with strong reputations for the quality of their teaching as well as their research, is specially designed to cover French history and society, literature, thought, visual culture and theories of language.

You will start your degree at Queen Mary, laying strong foundations by honing your language, communication, analytical and research skills as well as your cross-cultural understanding. The second half of your second year will be spent living and studying in Paris where the whole city becomes your campus. In the third and final year you will return to London to complete your degree.

In just three years, making the most of Queen Mary and the University of London in Paris, this challenging and stimulating degree will not only enable you to develop your language skills to a high level, and give you cross-cultural and critical skills, but will also provide a strong basis for employment in a range of sectors, or for further academic research.

Why study French at Queen Mary?

We are one of the leading language departments in the UK and aim for excellence in both teaching and research. Queen Mary was ranked in the top twenty in the UK for French in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). This means that you will learn from people who are at the forefront of their field.

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 Multi-Media Resources 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 DVDs and is equipped for viewing foreign language satellite TV. Students also enjoy lively language clubs and societies which organise film showings, outings, drama productions and social meetings, which give you the chance to practise your language as well as have fun.

The 3 year BA in French allows you to enjoy these benefits in both London and Paris, moving seamlessly between Queen Mary and ULIP.


Year 1

In your first year at Queen Mary you will develop your oral and written French and focus intensively on French and Francophone culture. Alongside core language modules you will study the year-long French Foundations course which introduces you to four key subject areas and to many of the methodological, analytical and critical skills you will need to develop throughout the degree. You will take a course introducing you to translation skills (Translation into French) and a specialist option such as Paris in Art.

Year 2

The first semester of your second year at Queen Mary further develops your language skills and interests, preparing you for making the very most of your time in Paris. During this term you will continue your intensive language study as well as choosing from specialist options such as:

  • Memories of WWII in French Literature, Film and Art
  • French Phonetics and Phonology
  • Nouvelle Vague Film
  • Art in France: Manet to Early Picasso
  • Twentieth Century French Thought: Violence and Values
  • Women’s Voices in Early French Culture

Your Semester Living and Working in Paris

When you arrive in Paris at the beginning of semester two, you will move to either student accommodation or, should you prefer, a host family. At the University of London Institute in Paris you will follow a tailor-made language course designed by Queen Mary specialist language staff in order to complement and extend the skills already acquired in London. In addition, you will study a business French course unique to ULIP, French in a Professional Context. You will choose a further two courses offered by ULIP, which will build upon your studies at Queen Mary and involve French history, culture, society, cinema or literature. These courses will be taught and assessed in French.

Once you have completed your end of semester exams, you will remain in Paris for the summer to complete project work which will stand you in excellent stead for your final year, as well as for what comes next. This may involve a Research Project (giving you a head start in preparing either your final year dissertation or another option which you intend to take in London in year three), or a Cultural Fieldwork Report relating to an aspect of your experience-based learning (for instance, a current social issue of which you have become aware; a record of volunteer work or other activities you may have undertaken during the period).

This project work will be written in French. It will help you develop independent research skills, enhance your critical and cultural engagement, optimize the valuable transferable skills which employers often seek, and further boost your written and spoken French.

Year 3

By the time you return to Queen Mary at the beginning of year three, your French will be fluent and you will build on your accomplishments by working on producing native-level French in a variety of registers. As well as honing advanced written, oral and translation skills you will have the option to complete a supervised research dissertation on a subject of your own choosing and to select a range of options taught by world specialists in topics such as:

  • Imagining Modernity: Creative Writing
  • New Women’s Writing in French
  • The Sociolinguistics of French
  • Lovers and Libertines: Eighteenth Century French Fiction
  • Proust
  • Surrealism
  • Narrative Theory and Practice
  • Final Year Dissertation

Entry requirements

General information

For French degree programmes, applicants must possess an A-level or equivalent in French. Applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a grade B in GCSE English language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).

Applications from native speakers of French are welcomed.


Typical tariff or grades required: 320 UCAS tariff points from 3 A-levels with B in French.

Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.

International Baccalaureate

Subjects and grades: Overall 34 with 5 in HL French

Vocational and other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as: Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. For more information please contact the Admissions office.

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:
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. We give our students individual attention and every student has an Adviser who can help with academic or personal problems. All the language programmes include writing-intensive modules that will help you strengthen your thinking, research and essay-writing skills.

Independent Study:
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5-6 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, final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

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 and teaching, 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 programmes, 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 1,200 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


Tom Symmons

BA Film Studies and History

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

“The critical skills and depth of knowledge I acquired during my BA Film Studies and History provided me a solid foundation for my postgraduate studies. My doctoral research thesis on the New Hollywood of the late-1960s and 1970s is now nearing completion and I intend to pursue a career in academia.

The joint honours degree course is structured to allow plenty of flexibility, and the modules on offer are diverse and well formulated; the interdisciplinary course 'Critical Approaches to Film: Alfred Hitchcock', was a particular favourite. It is also led by academics who are both leaders in their respective fields of research, and take a great deal of pride and interest in providing the best educational experience for their students.”


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