Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


French (BA)

  • R100

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

France is a major actor on the European and world stage and possesses a rich and sophisticated culture. Its language is more important today than it has ever been. The course at Cardiff University will enable you to develop your writing skills through a range of exercises including resumes and essays with your oral and aural skills being practised through a varied pool of audio-video material, websites, films and computer programmes. The emphasis on vocational learning means that you will also have the opportunity to sit the prestigious Paris Chamber of Commerce exam and a French language qualification recognised in France as part of your degree. As a French student, you will be taught within the School of Modern Languages – a centre of excellence and one of the largest and most dynamic schools of its type in the UK.


It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves examining many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas you are able to gain a better understanding of French culture and of how France has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.


Key Facts

UCAS Code R100
Duration 4 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits 170 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 630
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB (B in French)
Admissions Tutors Marie-Laure Jones
Tel Number 029 2087 5405
Email address
School website

Year 1

Whether you come to Cardiff to study for Single or Joint Honours French at Cardiff, you will combine French with other subjects in your first year.

This ‘three-subject’ first year enables you to have the flexibility to try out new subjects for a year and to change your degree programme after one year, should you wish to do so and you have the necessary grades.

Thus, although you may enter to study for a Single Honours degree in French, after Year One you may decide to combine French with one of your other two subjects. Alternatively, if you enter on a Joint Honours programme, you may decide to go on with your study of French.

First year modules comprise of:

Year 2

In Year Two we aim to maintain a balance between literary/cultural studies modules and social science/area studies modules.

You can specialise in area studies/social science subjects or in literary/cultural studies. You can choose the options freely so that you can take some area studies/social science subjects and some literary/cultural studies options if you wish. Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year.

Year 3

You spend the third year of your French degree in France or possibly in another francophone country.   You have a range of options, which include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school, or working for a French organisation.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned to the Year Abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may even get a visit from one of your French tutors who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.
You will also have the opportunity to share your experience by entering the Year Abroad Photo Competition, which rewards one student on each of the language degree programmes (joint or single) in French, German, Italian and Spanish with a £50 prize.


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. More 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 enjoy an Erasmus grant for each semester they spend in France. Since other students have gone from Cardiff to all of the above mentioned destinations before you, their experiences provide a helpful guide about what to expect. Returning students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have helped us to set up an extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with user-friendly advice throughout your year abroad.


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 provides excellent experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. The British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. Your school should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live on arrival.

You also have the possibility of taking a placement, for example, in a French organisation or company. These arrangements can be made through any personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. You will of course need to make sure that the position you are going for affords you plenty of opportunity to speak French. Such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

Experience another culture

No matter what the arrangement, the Year Abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your French, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain further study or work experience. Most of our graduates in French regard having lived in France as the most significant experience during their university studies at Cardiff, with a positive impact on their personal development and career
Past students have described it as "the best experience of my life".

It is the best possible preparation for your final year and it gives language graduates the maturity and self-confidence that makes them so popular with future employers.

Student views

Laura Oliver, year abroad spent in Montpellier

This is an excerpt from a video diary filmed by Laura Oliver throughout her year abroad. View Laura's complete video diary.

Year 4

In the final year we aim to maintain a balance between literary/cultural studies modules and social science/area studies modules.

You can specialise in area studies/social science subjects or in literary/cultural studies. Again, you can choose the options freely so that you can take some area studies/social science subjects and some literary/cultural studies options if you wish. Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year.

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. Seminars are kept small and usually average between 12-15 students. This is designed to give you ample opportunity to participate and to provide close contact between you and members of the academic staff.

Different seminar formats are used. 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.

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.

Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby develop your capacities to apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political questions; acquire detailed knowledge about a particular area of politics; use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

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 grade B in French at A-level.
Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including French.
Typical Int Bacc Offer Considered on individual merit

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

Modern language degrees provide students with a range of communication and intercultural skills. Students are in high demand both for their cultural awareness and linguistic skills. Graduates in modern languages go on to further study and teaching but are also sought after in telecommunications, in international organisations and institutions, such as the charity sector and European bodies and agencies, and in public administration.

The diversity of careers in Modern Languages is testament to the range of linguistic, social and intellectual skills which are integral to modern language training and which are highly valued on the job market. Two very distinct language-related career areas are open for consideration – specialist language careers which revolve around the language concerned and secondly, careers which use language, whilst keeping their main focus on another skill/area of expertise.

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