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French and Politics (BA)

  • LR21

4 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Expertise in politics and government combined with fluency in French opens the door to a wide variety of career paths. Students on this programme can choose from the full range of Politics modules, while expert language training is accompanied by optional modules on French society and culture. A particular feature of this four-year degree is the Year Abroad: your third year is spent in France in order to practise and improve your language skills.

In your first year you concentrate on core modules plus your language. In your second and final years you choose from among a wide range of option modules as well as continuing your language study, with your Year Abroad in between.

Politics as an area of study is concerned with developing knowledge and understandings of governments, governance and societies. Politics is central to our everyday lives. It is about who gets what, when, where, how and why. It is about people and power and involves drama and events of great significance for everyone's lives. Just think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration. Studying for a politics degree means investigating why politics works as it does. You explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

French language and culture have been centre-stage in European and world affairs for centuries. French is an official language of 29 countries, of all United Nations agencies, and of many other international organisations. It is considered the international language of diplomacy, and is second only to English in its influence. French is spoken across the globe as a native or second language by up to half a billion people. The French-speaking world extends across the globe from Europe to North Africa, Asia and the Americas. This degree opens up the cultural riches of French language and culture and provides an important key to understanding the world and the way it is today.

French and Politics

Key Facts

UCAS Code LR21
Duration 4 years
How to apply
Typical places available

The School of Modern Languages admits around 170 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Typical applications received

The School of Modern Languages = 630

Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB including a B in French (excluding General Studies)
Admissions Tutors

Marie-Laure Jones

Tel Number

029 2087 5405

Email address
School website

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second, third and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The programme is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

You start by studying core Politics and French modules:

Two further modules can be chosen from among Politics modules (see below) or modules from other subjects, such as Philosophy, History or English.

Year 2

In Year 2 you choose three Politics and three French modules. Please note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

Year 3

You spend your third year degree in France or another francophone country studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school, or working for a French organisation. Your Year Abroad coordinator will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress.

The School has established academic links with universities in Caen, Chambéry, Limoges, Montpellier and Nantes. We also have exchanges with instituts d’études politiques in Bordeaux, Grenobles, Lyons, Paris, Rennes and Strasburg. Recently academic links have been set up with Mons in Belgium, Marie Haps in Brussels and Geneva in Switzerland. All students going on a Socrates exchange receive an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend in France.

As a teaching assistant on a scheme run by the British Council, you could go to a major city or to a small rural town. This option allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. There is also the option of a placement in a French organisation or company.

Final Year

In your Final Year you choose three Politics and three French modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Language teaching is aimed at developing near native level fluency and accuracy in all areas of language learning (listening, reading, speaking and writing). Classes are small, take advantage of the latest language learning methods and technologies, and are mainly taught by native speakers. The year abroad consolidates language skills and develops further valuable intercultural communication skills via interaction with native speakers in the context of work or study. You will also be able to hone your language skills through practical option courses such as Business French.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.


The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and so develop your capacity to undertake research and communicate its findings, qualities increasingly prized by employers.

Pastoral Care

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

Typical A-level Offer

ABB including a B in French (excluding General studies)

Typical WBQ Offer

Grade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including French (excluding General studies).

Typical Int Bacc Offer

33-34 points overall (to include 6 in French at higher level).

Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

For employers the Politics part of the degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government at national and international level that will be of use whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. Business firms are interested in recruiting Politics graduates due to the fact that firms have frequent dealings with government. The degree also demonstrates that you possess highly developed intellectual and communications skills.

The French part of your degree will give you an edge when it comes to careers with a European Union or francophone dimension, for example in multinational companies with a presence in France.

The degree as a whole prepares you for careers in a wide range of fields. These include journalism, broadcasting, local government, management, publishing, law, accountancy, education, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and the civil service. Among the employers of recent graduates are political parties, local government, private companies and non-governmental organisations. There is also the option of going on to postgraduate study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Alex Ford (UG)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0824 



School Website:

More information

School of Modern Languages

Politics and International Relations