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BA Sociology and French / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Sociology and languages are inherently tied. No study of society can ignore language, and no study of language can be removed from its specific social context. You will be challenged to think about the nature of the social worlds in which we live and about how language and culture build and inform such worlds. You will study social life and social change, from the reproduction of inequalities in relation to social categories (such as race, class or gender), to the way that wider cultural contexts shape intimate relationships. You will develop advanced language skills and learn about the cultures and histories related to that language.

In the third year of this four-year programme, you will undertake a period of residence abroad, studying or working in a country that speaks your language of study.

Our aim is to help you develop analytical, investigative and linguistic skills, training you to become independent thinkers and researchers with the confidence to work in both English and another language.


  • To offer a coherent curriculum in sociology that is strongly informed by leading contemporary research.
  • To impart knowledge and understanding in sociological theory and methods allowing them to progress to further study.
  • To develop advanced communicative skills in French based on a sound understanding of the structures of the language.
  • To build knowledge and understanding of a number of contemporary or historical aspects of the cultures or societies where French is spoken.

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 to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Collaborations and partnerships

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

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


Join The Francophone Society and benefit from French classes, discussion groups, cheese and wine nights, film screenings, themed socials, and a yearly trip to Paris.

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

Teaching and learning

Sociology and French is taught through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, and language classes. You will be expected to study independently outside the classroom. Assessment varies according to the course units studied but will typically include:
  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • and, in your final year, the option of writing a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Course content for year 1

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
Researching Culture and Society SOCY10440 20 Mandatory
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10401 20 Optional
Contested Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Optional
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10441 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10462 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

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
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Mandatory
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Mandatory
Race and Empire in the French-speaking World FREN20561 20 Optional
Temptations of the Tragic: Love and Death in French Literature FREN20681 20 Optional
Media, Performance, and Digital Cultures in Contemporary France FREN21212 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in French Cinema FREN21332 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Sociology of Popular Music SOCY20012 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20032 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20231 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20282 20 Optional
Self and Society SOCY20402 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20601 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In the third year, all student will complete a year studying abroad in a French-speaking country.

Course content for year 4

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
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Dissertation in French Studies FREN30000 40 Optional
Protest Music in France FREN30001 20 Optional
Dangerous Liaisons FREN30362 20 Optional
Art and Culture in France in the Digital Age FREN30731 20 Optional
Exoticism & Orientalism in C19th France: French Romantics and Local Colour FREN30872 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30042 20 Optional
Urban Sociology SOCY30061 20 Optional
Body and Society SOCY30142 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30151 20 Optional
Material Culture: The Social Life of Things SOCY30191 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality: Everyday Understandings of Inequality SOCY30241 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credits) SOCY30920 20 Optional
Dissertation B (40 credits) SOCY30930 40 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 4

Additional fee information

Fees for entry in 2021 have not yet been set. For entry in 2020 the tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2021 entry.


The University of Manchester Library is one of only five National Research Libraries and one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country. It includes:
  • more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts
  • more than 41,000 electronic journals
  • 500,000 electronic books
  • several hundred databases.

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state-of-the-art study and learning centre in the heart of the Oxford Road campus featuring:

  • exclusive group learning rooms
  • flexible break out and work spaces with multimedia facilities
  • 400 fixed workstations with live update availability information so you don't have to wait
  • printing, scanning and photocopying
  • Wi-Fi access throughout the building, including outdoor café areas
  • charging stations to charge laptops, tablets and smart phones
  • online and group workshops on library and information literacy, academic and study skills workshops, and career and employability skills clinics.

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources including:

  • a new interpreting suite,
  • purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages
  • multilingual word processing, language learning software
  • 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: