BA French and Russian / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Jessica Gilbert - BA French and Russian

"Studying a joint honours degree at Manchester is extremely flexible.

"As well as the two main core language modules, I have had the opportunity to study everything from eastern European history and the French colonisation of Algeria, to banned literature during the Soviet Union."

Jessica Gilbert / 2017 graduate

French 

  • Over 70% 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 anyone from beginners to finalists.  
  • Our range and quality of courses are regularly cited for praise by external examiners and three colleagues have won University Teaching Excellence Awards. 

Russian  

  • You will be provided with a broad grounding in Russian area studies, with an emphasis on the integrated study of language, culture and society. 
  • Independent, monitored self-study will reinforce your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.  
  • Our language courses are taught by native speakers of Russian and English speakers with a superior command of Russian and are supplemented by structured independent language learning activities.  
  • There are separate pathways for beginners and post-A level students in the first two years of study.  
  • Two colleagues have won University and Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards 
  • You will benefit from access to a range of Russian cultural and social events to further your study of the language and culture.

Aims

  • Provide you with a comprehensive grounding in French and Russian language, literature, culture, history and linguistics 
  • Equip you with the proficiency to live and work effectively in a French or Russian-speaking environment.

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; 
  • 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 Russian 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 for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline. 

French 

  • French language and grammar study is tailored to your existing level of French (beginner or post-A-level). You will hone your skills through group work and independent language learning.  
  • Your other course units are broad-based at this level and cover 350 years of key French events, people, ideas and cultural production. 

Russian 

  • In Year 1 you develop crucial Russian language skills through dedicated grammar classes, oral practice with native-speaker lectors, language laboratory work, and a range of independent learning activities. Separate language pathways are offered for beginners, post A-level and more advanced students. 
  • Year 1 courses provide a solid base for your further studies, helping you to acquire and improve on important study skills and giving you a thorough grounding in concepts and debates crucial to an understanding of Russian society and culture.  
  • Topics and themes introduced in first-year content courses are explored in depth in optional content courses in the second and final years. As a result, these courses also help you to make informed choices for subsequent years of study based on your own interests.

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
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

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

French  

  • Year 2 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 courses available in Year 2 are options under four categories: Literature, History and Politics, Popular Culture, 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. 

Russian 

  • In Year 2, you continue with your intensive study of Russian language. 
  • You also choose from optional courses in a range of areas (such as Russian culture and thought, literature, Central European and Balkan history and culture, and Polish language). 
  • In addition, you begin to prepare for the compulsory year abroad, through meetings and consultations with our Residence Abroad Tutor and with final-year students who have recently returned from the year 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
French Language 4 FREN51040 20 Mandatory
French Language 5 FREN51050 20 Mandatory
Russian Literature and Society from Pushkin to Putin RUSS20700 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 4 RUSS51040 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
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS20251 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20471 20 Optional
Russian Studies Long Essay RUSS20502 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 1 ULPL51010 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 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. 

French  

  • 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.  
  • Also available in this year are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff (eg exoticism and travel writing; popular music; cinema; Animal Studies). 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. 

Russian  

  • Your compulsory studies will comprise of an advanced Russian language course  
  • Optional courses in subjects including Business Russian, translation studies, Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, Russian popular culture, and Russian and Soviet politics round out your studies. 
  • Students may also choose to complete a dissertation, which is supervised by an appropriate member of staff within Russian and East European Studies. In researching and writing the dissertation, you explore in depth a subject of particular interest to you. The topic of your dissertation may be related to one of the final-year optional courses, but this is not obligatory.

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
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 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
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31841 20 Optional
Dissertation in Russian Studies RUSS30000 40 Optional
Business Russian RUSS30342 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Remaking Russia: Constructing and Contesting Identity in Post-Soviet Film and Visual Culture RUSS30812 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 2 ULPL51020 20 Optional
LEAP Polish 3 ULPL51030 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 4

What our students say

Working internationally certainly comes with its challenges, but if you've got foreign language skills and are open-minded and curious, an international career is an exciting and rewarding option. 

Steven Kelly , BA German and Russian graduate, and  Content and Communications at the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation

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