BA French and Chinese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

French 

  • Over 70% of our staff are native speakers, teaching you in French 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 beginner to finalist level.  
  • Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and three colleagues have won University Teaching Excellence Awards. 

Chinese 

  • You will study Mandarin Chinese throughout the course, enabling you to develop various linguistic skills such as speaking and writing accurately, understanding and analysing audio, video and written material, using different registers, speaking to a group with confidence, and translating with appropriate sensitivity. 
  • At the same time, you can choose China-related topics in literature, film, cultural studies, politics, history, linguistics, economics, development studies, and business, drawing on the wide range of research expertise in Chinese Studies across the Faculty of Humanities.  
  • You will benefit from our close links with the Confucius Institute, which fosters interaction between Manchester's large community of Chinese native speakers, our University students and representatives of the wider Chinese-speaking world.

Aims

  • Provide 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. 
  • Help you develop a firm grounding in Mandarin Chinese and contemporary Chinese culture, society, economy and politics, as well as China's changing relations with the West.

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. 

Collaborations and partnerships 

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

  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film; 
  • Manchester China Institute; 
  • 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, the Chinese Studies Society and Manchester University Chinese Students 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.

We excel in using different forms of e-learning to enhance language acquisition, including podcasting.

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 for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

French

  • Year 1 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.
  • Course units are broad-based at this level and cover 350 years of key French events, people, ideas and cultural production.

Chinese

  • You will study the core unit Introduction to Chinese Studies, plus Chinese language.

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
Introduction to Chinese Studies CHIN10050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
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
Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema CHIN12122 20 Optional
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10152 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two-thirds from either discipline or maintain equal weighting. 

This year's core language course units develop those of the previous year and prepare you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad, including dedicated sessions on writing CVs and cover letters for job applications in your chosen language(s). 

French 

  • Year 2 course units broadly fall 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', and sociolinguistics. 
  • All include a research component that encourages you to develop your skills of analysis and information-gathering, working independently or in a group. 

Chinese 

  • In addition to continuing your study in Chinese language, you will develop your knowledge of China via a choice of courses in areas across the Humanities faculty such as literature, film, history, religion, society, culture, economics, anthropology and business, as well as begin to prepare for residence abroad.

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
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
French Language 4 FREN51040 20 Mandatory
French Language 5 FREN51050 20 Mandatory
China's Borderlands: Culture, Ethnicity and History CHIN20061 20 Optional
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN22521 20 Optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 20 Optional
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
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
Displaying 10 of 16 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

You may choose to divide your studies equally between both languages or study up to two thirds from either language. 

You will continue with your core language course and choose additional units from a wide range of even more specialised course units, building on Year 2 study. 

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

French  

  • Year 4 course units cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff (eg exoticism and travel writing, popular music, cinema). 
  • As part of your final-year work, you can write a dissertation on a theme of your choice related to one of your courses, which students find an especially rewarding experience. 

Chinese 

  • You can select from various units from Chinese studies in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas. 
  • The language teaching course continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Chinese and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.

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
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Mandatory
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Mandatory
French Language 6 FREN51060 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Optional
Religious and Political Ideologies of Modern China CHIN30311 20 Optional
Socialism and Post-Socialism in China CHIN32012 20 Optional
Chinese Translation and Interpreting CHIN32112 20 Optional
Business Chinese CHIN38682 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Optional
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Optional
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
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31202 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 4

What our students say

Law has always interested me, so during my  third year abroad  as part of my degree at Manchester, I worked as a 'stagiaire' in Paris for the French office of a small English law firm for six months. 

Frances Jenkins , BA French and Russian graduate, and Lawyer 

Student life is far different from anything I ever thought it could be.  

There is always something new to do, new places to visit and new people to meet. 

It is exciting, exhilarating and emotional all at the same time. 

Serena Claire Vitale, French and Chinese Studies BA

Facilities

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

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