also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 4 Year(s)
Lancaster’s joint French Studies and Politics degree is taught by the Department of Languages and Cultures in conjunction with the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. The Times Good University Guide 2017 ranked French Studies 2nd and Politics joint 5th in the UK.
Your French Studies programme gives you the opportunity to acquire high-level language skills while gaining a thorough understanding of the country’s historical, cultural, social and political background in a global context. In Politics, you will explore the themes, concepts and events that have shaped the contemporary world.
Your first year comprises an exploration of the French language and its cultural context as well as the core module ‘Politics and International Relations in the Contemporary World’, which introduces you to key themes such as the theory and practice of liberal democracy, globalisation and threats to international security. In addition, you will study a minor subject of your choice.
Building on your language skills in Year 2, you will study the culture, politics and history of the French-speaking world in more depth, as well as selecting modules which are international in scope and promote a comparative understanding of Europe and beyond. You will combine these with modules such as ‘Modern Political Thought’, or ‘Comparative Politics of the Asia Pacific and the Middle East’.
Spending your third year abroad in a French-speaking country makes a major contribution to your command of the language, while deepening your intercultural sensitivity. You can study at a partner institution or conduct a work placement.
In your final year, you consolidate your French language skills, and study specialist culture and comparative modules, such as ‘Autocrats, Caudillos and Big Men: Understanding Dictatorship and its Cultural Representation in the 20th Century’. You will also select from Politics modules such as, ‘Islamic Politics’, or ‘Corporations, Global Political Economy and the Law’.
A Level ABB
Required Subjects A level French, or if this is to be studied from beginners’ level, AS grade B or A level grade B in another foreign language, or GCSE grade A or 7 in a foreign language. Native French speakers will not be accepted onto this scheme.
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including appropriate evidence of language ability
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit accepted alongside appropriate evidence of language ability
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in French or whose French is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written French. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of France in the past, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
There are three language classes per week, of which at least one is normally conducted by a French native speaker. Tutorials are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of French grammatical structures. Listening and speaking skills are developed under the guidance of French native speakers using audio and video materials.
The culture programme consists of a combination of lectures and seminars over 20 weeks. The module looks at how key moments in French history have shaped contemporary French culture (films, plays, novels etc.).
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the French language. Consequently, a substantial part of the module is devoted to intensive language teaching aimed at making the student proficient in both written and spoken French. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of French history, culture and society in the twentieth century.
There are four language classes per week, of which at least one is normally conducted by a French native speaker. Tutorials are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of French grammatical structures. Listening and speaking skills are developed under the guidance of French native speakers using audio and video materials.
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills, to be taken alongside the Written Skills module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year.
This module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken French in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module also aims at broadening students’ knowledge about different aspects of modern Spanish-speaking society, politics and culture, and contemporary issues and institutions in order to prepare them for residence abroad in their 3rd year.
By the end of this module, students should have enhanced their comprehension of the spoken language, as used in both formal speech, and in everyday life situations including those that they may encounter in Spanish-speaking countries.
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills, to be taken alongside the corresponding Written Language module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year of the Intensive course. Students who have taken the Intensive language course in their first year, normally follow this course throughout the second year.
The module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken French in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module also aims at broadening students’ knowledge about different aspects of modern society, politics and culture, and contemporary issues and institutions in order to prepare them for residence abroad in their 3rd year.
By the end of this module, students should have enhanced their comprehension of the spoken language, as used in both formal speech, and in everyday life situations including those that they may encounter in French-speaking countries.
This module comprises of reading and writing skills to be taken alongside the Oral Skills module.
This module aims to consolidate skills gained by students in the first year of study, and enable them to build a level of competence and confidence required to familiarise themselves with the culture and society of countries where French is spoken.
The module aims to enhance students’ proficiency in the writing of French (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into French; and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax.
Students will enhance their linguistic proficiency, with particular emphasis on reading a variety of sources and on writing fluently and accurately in the language, in a variety of registers.
This module aims to consolidate skills gained by students in the first year of study, and enable them to build a level of competence and confidence required to familiarise themselves with the culture and society of countries where their studied language is spoken.
The module aims to enhance students’ proficiency in understanding spoken French, as well as in the writing of French (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into French; and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax.
The module aims to enhance students' linguistic proficiency, with particular emphasis on reading a variety of sources and on writing fluently and accurately in the language, in a variety of registers.
DELC200 is a non-credit bearing module. All major students going abroad in their second or third year are enrolled on it during the year prior to their departure, and timetabled to attend the events. These include: introduction to the Year Abroad and choice of activities; British Council English Language Assistantships and how to apply; introduction to partner universities and how they function; working in companies abroad; finance during the Year Abroad; research skills and questionnaire design; teaching abroad; curriculum writing and employability skills; welfare and wellbeing; Year Abroad Preparation Week in the Summer Term. Materials are uploaded on the DELC200 Moodle pages.
This module is divided into four topic areas comprising of the following:
What is world literature? How have writers engaged with the concept? How have they explored their role as a writer in the 20th century?
This module explores a range of texts written in a range of languages and genres, examining the engagement of writers with their role in different social, political and historical contexts. Lectures will provide an introduction to the genre being studied and address the question of the role of the writer in the context of world literatures. Workshops will focus on a range of set and optional texts of global importance, which will be considered as examples of the literary genre and in relation to material covered in the lecture.
The module is divided into five sections, each focusing on a specific genre. Each section will comprise three texts, two of which are optional. All texts explore the role of the writer in different social, political and historical contexts of the 20th century, and the ways their writing engages with these contexts.
This module explores how post-war economic change has affected European societies, and how socio-political factors in turn have influenced the patterns and outcomes of economic development, over the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century.
The module is structured on the basis of three country-specific modules (France, Germany and Spain), examining how these countries have confronted key moments of economic change, and what the longer-term consequences of that change have been. While the module emphasis is on broad national developments, discussion also covers examples relating to particular industries and major companies.
In lectures, workshops and seminars we will explore the context of reconstruction after World War II and the pattern of subsequent economic development; the relationship between social and economic policies; the development of the three country's economies; the changes of the 1980s and their impact on subsequent years; and the consequences of specific momentous events, such as the re-unification of Germany and how the financial crisis of 2008 affected, and still affects, France, Germany and Spain.
This module will introduce second-year students to the role that the language used by institutions plays in shaping individual perceptions of identity. It will provide them with a basic theoretical framework that allows them to understand the relationship between language and power as reflected in current language policies at regional, national, and supranational levels. It will enable them to recognise forms of prestige and stigma associated with varieties of the three main languages under study. It will therefore raise critical awareness of the portrayal and representation of linguistic variations in the media and in the sphere of literature.
The main topics covered in the course include Language and Power; European language policies; German as a pluricentric language and ‘Gastarbeiter’ language and policies; regional variations of France: Linguistic Diversity: A threat to French National Identity?; The languages and language attitudes of Spain (Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician).
This module is taught in English.
This module seeks to support students to apply their linguistic and cultural understanding in a specific professional context. Students will develop, reflect on and articulate both the range of competences, and the linguistic and cross cultural skills that enhance employability by working in language-related professional contexts and reflecting on key issues in relation to their placement organisation. Students will typically spend between 25-30 hours over a period of 10 weeks engaging with a placement organisation in Lent. Alternatively students may undertake a 'block' placement over a two to three week period during the Easter vacation (this will allow placements abroad). We have developed a number of local work placements and students can also source placements (subject to departmental approval). There will be some preparation for the module before Lent. This will consist of short interviews and the sourcing and confirmation of placements. For students undertaking schools placements, there will also be some training. Workshops in Lent will provide preparation for placements and guidance on reflective academic work. Students will share their experiences and learning with each other by means of end-of-module presentations.
How do films deal with topics like terrorism, immigration, resistance and city life? Do they entertain viewers, instruct them, or both?
This module explores European and Latin American films in their social and historical contexts. The main aim is to make connections between the films and such contexts not only on the level of narrative, characterisation and dialogue, but also on that of form and technique.
To these ends, there will be introductory lectures on cinema and society and on film aesthetics and content in the first week of the module. The connections mentioned will be the focus of seminars and presentations within the four core topic areas: terrorism, migration, the city and resistance.
The module consists of four two-week strands on cinema and society: Terrorism, Migration and Hybrid identities, The City and Collaboration/Resistance.
Each strand will be introduced with a lecture and followed by seminars on the set films. Students will give a presentation on a short sequence within their allocated film.
This module aims to give students a background to and insight into the diversity of twentieth and twenty-first century thought and contemporary definitions of culture.
Some key questions explored on the module include: What is 'culture' and how does it work? How do 'art' and 'culture' relate to each other? What do we mean when we talk about the production and consumption of culture? Why does popular culture arouse conflicting responses? What role does the body play in our understanding of culture? How does culture define who we are? Can a work of culture be an act of resistance?
With these questions in mind, this module focuses on texts which raise questions about class, race, gender, and subcultures.
The Year Abroad is compulsory for Single and Joint Honours Language students, who must spend at least eight months abroad in their third year.
The module also aims to enhance and develop students' language skills, with all assessments being written in the target language.
Students who started a language as a beginner in Part I must spend a minimum of four months in a country where that language is spoken.
Joint Honours students studying two languages may choose to spend the year in either of the two countries concerned or, if appropriate arrangements can be made, can spend a semester in each country.
This module is a half unit and is integrated with the French Language: Written Skills module.
This module together with the written skills module consists of three hours tuition per week. Both the oral and the written language modules focus on particular topics of cultural and contemporary interest. The general aim of these half unit modules is to develop further the abilities the students gained during their second year and the year abroad.
By the end of this module, students should have developed an informed interest in the society and culture of the French-speaking world. They should also have acquired almost native-speaker abilities in both spoken and written language.
This module is a half unit and is integrated with the French Language: Oral Skills module.
This module together with the oral skills module consists of three hours tuition per week.
This module has two main aims. The first one is to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency with emphasis on understanding of spoken and written French, the speaking of French (prepared and spontaneous) in both formal and informal settings, the writing of French, and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax. The second aim is to increase students’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of contemporary France.
This module will consider different ways in which the concept of ‘dictatorship’ has been understood and critiqued throughout the twentieth century. Considering examples from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Guinea, Italy, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, students will explore the differences between the Latin American caudillo, European dictators, and the ‘Big Men’ of Africa. Selected critical and theoretical sources will be drawn upon to develop a more critical understanding of dictatorship, including the work of Hannah Arendt, Roberto González Echevarría and Achille Mbembe.
The module will also examine relationships between dictatorship and cultural production. How have dictators represented themselves in their writing, speeches and literature? To what extent have they controlled cultural production and to what end? How, in turn, have they been represented in cultural production? What role do writers, artists and intellectuals play in evaluating and critiquing dictatorship? In turn, can the writer, artist or intellectual be considered to be a dictator in the particular world view he/she projects and/or the rhetoric he/she adopts?
This module introduces students to major themes that shape the experience of contemporary city dwellers: gender, social inequality, and practices of citizenship. These interlinking themes will be introduced through novels, poetry and films on the following European, North American (with the emphasis on immigrant communities within its cities) and Latin American cities: New York, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Berlin, and Los Angeles.
Each topic will be covered though an introductory lecture and a core text, followed by a range of additional texts for students to analyse. During workshops students will share their findings and opinions, emphasizing on identifying links between the topics studied, aiming to encourage discussion.
The format of the module encourages cross-referencing between the themes of the module (for example, gender and sexuality are relevant to an analysis of social inequality, and vice versa).
This final year module will provide students with an overview of the range of literature and culture produced in Sub-Saharan Africa, the French Caribbean and France to better understand the various relationships between France and these different parts of the Francophone world.
Students will identify and discuss themes that they will find through analysis of a selection of novels and films. These themes will include language and style, and issues addressed by writers and film-makers in relation to identity, gender, culture, history, and representation itself.
Exploration of La Francophonie, the French Mission Civilisatrice, and relationships between contemporary France and her former colonies will provide context for the study of these novels and films. Discussions will be informed by the work of thinkers including Franz Fanon and Edward Said.
This module is taught in English and all texts are available in English.
Technological progress now affects virtually every aspect of Western culture and society and it has become impossible to speak about contemporary culture without taking into account the radical transformations induced by digitization in both practices and concepts. This module introduces you to the most important phenomena and issues that arise in this context in France in particular and allows you to explore how artists use the new possibilities offered by the internet. The discourses about the effects of technology are as wide-ranging as the effects themselves, generating much confusion and often also superficial judgements about the uses and dangers of the Internet in particular. The module therefore begins by clarifying the most important concepts and the problems surrounding digitisation. It then takes a closer look at some of the fascinating cultural artefacts technology has inspired and enabled since the 1990s in the French context, and at the ways in which the life and meaning of "literature" has evolved."
This module is assessed entirely through coursework. Students are given a chance of pursuing a topic of their own interest, which is not covered in taught options. A dissertation consists of approximately 10,000 words written in English. The topic of dissertation must relate to French/German/Spanish language, or a comparison between two or more, or a general European issue. The other two restrictions on topic choice are: it must be capable of and approached from a serious academic angle and it falls within the range of expertise of a member of the Department’s staff.
Each student gets assigned a supervisor - one of the lecturers from the Department, who will provide regular supervision, and feedback on the first draft of the completed dissertation. The topic is agreed and discussed with the supervisor in the Summer Term of the second year, and preparatory research should begin during the Year Abroad.
This module aims at exploring the nature of the relationship between the individual and society, notions of progress and economic justice, as these are still widely debated topics in contemporary Europe in light of the current economic and political crisis.
This module will use the concepts of utopia, dystopia and ideology as a forum for discussion on the relationship between individual imagination and social discourse in the nineteenth century, as well as the relationship between fiction and political discourse. Students will look at the major intellectual debates which influenced the contemporary European thought after the French Revolution.
Students will explore the development of major ideologies and cultural movements such as Romanticism, Marxism, Socialism and Positivism, spanning from the period immediately following the French Revolution to the middle of the nineteenth century.
The aim of this module is to consider how poets have engaged with controversial aspects of modernity in their works. Students will explore the relationship between literature and society in French poetry from Charles Baudelaire to Michel Houellebecq.
Students will explore a selection of French poets’ responses to the rise of industrialisation, the development of mass-culture and the growth of cities, through a variety of themes. They will discover how poets have embraced, questioned and critiqued the temporality of modern life through literary experimentation.
The module will introduce the emergence of new forms of writings associated with the beginning of this period such as the prose poem, free-verse, the manifesto and aesthetic experiments mixing poetry and visual art in the early twentieth century.
This module will explore the relationship between witchcraft, heresy and inquisition in regard to the prosecution of the 'otherness', focusing specifically on their literary representation in medieval and Renaissance Europe. Students will engage in the study of the socio-historical events and features of European society from the 14th to the 17th centuries, as well as the literary mechanisms utilised by authors of each one of the texts under study. The course will cover texts and events occurred in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and England. Specific authors, such as Dante Alighieri, François Villon and Miguel de Cervantes, and masterpieces such as 'The Divine Comedy', 'La Celestina', and 'Don Quijote de La Mancha', will be analysed together with genres such as 'Geisslerlieder', balade, and drama. In addition, we will have a special week studying our neighbours, the Lancashire witches, and how the successful trial from 1612 is still perceived all along our city.
What makes a good translation and how do translations do good? This module helps you understand the practice of translation as it has evolved historically from the 18th century to the present across European and American societies. The materials we study include historical textual sources (philosophical essays on the craft of translation from French, German and Hispanic authors of the 19th and 20th centuries), representative fictional texts reflecting on translation processes, and contemporary documents from the EU directorate on translation, PEN and the Translators' Association. We will also make considerable use of contemporary online resources as exemplified by Anglophone advocates of intercultural exchange such as Words Without Borders. Our aim is to look at translation as both a functional process for getting text in one language accurately into another and a culturally-inflected process that varies in its status and purpose from one context to another. We will pay particular attention to the practical role that literary translators play within the contemporary global publishing industry and consider the practicalities of following a career in literary translation in the Anglophone world.
This module consists of 20 hours over the course of 10 weeks, comprising of a mixture of informal lectures and workshops, and independent showings of films.
The module aims at reviewing a series of narratives by 21st century European-born authors: writers, cinematographers, anthropologists and documentary makers. It not only introduces students to the historical contexts within which each of the narratives is situated, but also explores contemporary theories of identity and writing.
Students are presented with autobiographical accounts, semi-fictional stories, films and documentaries in order to understand the experience of being caught between cultures as a result of travel or involuntary displacement resulting from war or social upheaval. They reflect upon the issues of identity, problems associated with cross-cultural analysis and the relationship between history and personal destiny, border-crossing, cultural fragmentation and continuity. The focus of the module lies on the historical relationship between countries within Europe, and between Europe and other parts of the world; mainly India, North Africa and America.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
A degree in languages develops rich interpersonal, intercultural, cognitive and transferable skills that combine well with the broader knowledge of international issues and social systems you’ll acquire through studying Politics. Graduates have gone on to careers in the civil service, government, public affairs, accountancy, IT, business development, events management, finance, journalism, publishing, research and sales, as well as teaching and translation both in the UK and abroad.
For the last ten years, languages graduates from Lancaster have been in the top ten universities in the country in terms of their employment prospects. The Complete University Guide 2017 ranked French Studies 1st and Politics 4th in the UK for graduate prospects.
Many graduates continue their studies at Lancaster, making the most of our excellent postgraduate research facilities. There are a diverse range of Masters programmes on offer in Politics, as well as options to study Translation or Languages and Cultures at postgraduate level.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2019/20 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2018 were:
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For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework