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BA French and German / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

BA French and German provides a comprehensive grounding in French language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in French to live and work effectively in a French-speaking environment.

You will also develop a firm grounding the German language, and the opportunity to explore German culture, linguistics, history and literature. You will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in a German-speaking environment.

French

  • At least two thirds of our staff are native speakers, teaching you in French in 'language' classes as well as most 'culture' classes.
  • You will experience between 3 and 6 hours of French grammar and conversation every week (at post A-Level or beginners' level), in order to reach near-native precision and fluency. This will run in parallel with optional course units on French and Francophone history, politics, literature, popular culture and/or linguistics, from the Early Modern period to the present.
  • You will benefit from our long-established partnership with the Alliance Française de Manchester with cultural events throughout the year, such as film screenings, talks, plays, concerts, exhibitions and intensive language classes.
  • You will also benefit from our collaboration with the Institut de Touraine in the Loire Valley, which hosts Easter and Summer French language classes that are appropriate for ab initio students and finalists.
  • Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and two colleagues have won University Teaching Excellence Awards.

  German

  • Our core German language courses (at post A-Level or beginners' level) are complemented by a variety of other subject areas, including linguistics, and a wide range of cultural and historical units that use German-language sources to improve your core language competence, as well as your wider knowledge of German-speaking countries.
  • Specialisms in German include historical and contemporary linguistics, literary studies, screen studies, gender and sexuality, modern cultural history, minority cultures and Holocaust studies.
  • Our teaching, praised in the Teaching Quality Assessment and by external examiners, is backed up by an innovative Independent Language Learning Programme, enabling you to take control of your own learning experience.
  • Enjoy strong links with the Goethe Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum, which sponsor a varied programme of cultural events.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can  study and/or work  for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences, including the Francophone Society and the German Society.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings in the 'Course details' tab for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from both subjects.

The first year equips you with a range of important skills such as linguistic expertise, the ability to read and analyse material, skills in presentation, group work and independent language learning.

French

French language and grammar study is tailored to your existing level of French (beginner or post-A-level) and enables progress in all areas of linguistic reception and production (listening, reading, writing, speaking). A growing emphasis is placed on group work and independent language learning provides transferable skills.

Your other units are broad-based at this level and cover 350 years of key French events, people, ideas and cultural production.

German

You are trained in modern spoken and written German through a core language course unit in which you work with German texts, write short essays and engage in discussions in German (this language instruction takes place in German and is taught principally by native speakers).

At the same time, you reinforce your grammar and vocabulary through monitored self-study.

You are given a detailed introduction to the German-speaking countries: their geography, politics, culture and society.

You also get to explore a variety of important issues within these countries, such as the challenges faced by multicultural German society following Germany's reunification.

In addition you take a set of other broad-based course units designed to give you an essential grounding in key areas of German culture, history and linguistics.

Most of the teaching on these course units is in English, so that you can focus fully on the new concepts introduced to you.

In this way we hone not only your German language skills, but also your expression and accuracy in English: key transferable skills for the workplace following graduation.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
French Cultural Studies FREN10070 20 Mandatory
Identity in Modern France FREN10150 20 Mandatory
French Language 1 FREN51011 20 Mandatory
French Language 2 FREN51022 20 Mandatory
French Language 3 FREN51030 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Mandatory
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Mandatory
German Language 1 GERM51011 20 Mandatory
German Language 2 GERM51022 20 Mandatory
German Language 3 GERM51030 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Optional
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will build on the grounding already established in Year 1.

French

This year's core language course unit develops that of the previous year and prepares you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad, including dedicated sessions on writing CVs and cover letters for job applications in French.

The other course units available in your second year are options broadly falling under four categories: literature; history and politics; popular culture; and linguistics and translation. Topics covered include race and colonisation; cinema; literary representations of the 'tragic'; socio-linguistics.

All include a research component that encourages you to develop your skills of analysis and information-gathering, working independently or in a group.

German

The core language course unit develops that of the previous year and prepares you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad. Within it you can continue with a study of culture and society in Germany and Austria, or take a course in business German (Wirtschaftsdeutsch).

You also continue your programme of monitored self-study to complement your language classes.

The other course units available in your second year are more numerous and more specialised than in the first year, allowing you to explore a diverse range of areas including history, culture and power in 20th century Germany, post-1990 German literature and the German language today.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
French Language 4 FREN51040 20 Mandatory
French Language 5 FREN51050 20 Mandatory
German Language 3 GERM51030 20 Mandatory
German Language 4 GERM51040 20 Mandatory
French Cinema to 1980 FREN20142 20 Optional
Identity and Power FREN20561 20 Optional
Temptations of the Tragic: Love and Death in French Literature FREN20682 20 Optional
The German Language Today GERM20221 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 20 Optional
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Optional
German Language 4 GERM51040 20 Optional
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20292 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

In your final year, language study is centred on sophisticated essay writing, translation and oral debate, with the option to study Business French if you like.

Language study is centred on essay writing, translation and oral work involving discussion of texts, debates and presentations.

Also available are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff (eg for French: (exoticism and travel writing; popular music; France and Algeria; Animal Studies), covering a broad range of linguistic, literary, historical and cultural topics.

As part of your final-year work, you can write a dissertation on a theme of your choice related to one of your course units.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
French Language 6 FREN51060 20 Mandatory
German Language 5 GERM51050 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Dissertation in French Studies FREN30000 40 Optional
Protest Music in France FREN30001 20 Optional
The Cinema of Michael Haneke FREN30141 20 Optional
Dangerous Liaisons FREN30362 20 Optional
Exoticism & Orientalism in C19th France: French Romantics and Local Colour FREN30871 20 Optional
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
German Dialects GERM30342 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30481 20 Optional
New German Identities: Turkish-German Culture GERM30632 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30721 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 4

Facilities

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk