BA French and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

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. 

Spanish 

  • Alongside your study of Spanish language, you will explore a range of options in visual culture (including painting and film), area-specific history, linguistics and literature. 
  • The breadth of expertise among staff across Spanish and Latin American Studies means an unusually rich and broad curriculum. 
  • Over 70% of our staff are first-language Spanish-speakers, and language courses are taught by native speakers with specific training. 
  • You will also benefit from us working closely with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and we maintain strong links with the Instituto Cervantes located here in Manchester.

Aims

  • Provide a comprehensive grounding in French and Spanish language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in your chosen languages to live and work effectively in a French or Spanish-speaking environment. 
  • Give students the opportunity to learn Catalan.

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: 

  • 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 Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student 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 subject.

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.

Spanish

  • You are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core course units, and you will also be provided with the skills required to be successful in your study of Spanish and Latin American culture and history.

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
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

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

French 

  • Year 2 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', 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. 

Spanish 

  • You follow a compulsory Spanish language course unit, refining your skills in written and spoken Spanish. 
  • You can take units in the culture and history of the Spanish-speaking world chosen from a list, which includes options such as the study of Latin American revolutions, Latin American history, or cultures and identities in modern Spain.

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
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 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
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20062 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20161 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20362 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 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 of your credits 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). 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. 

Spanish 

  • You will continue your language studies of the Spanish you were exposed to in Years 1 and 2 and during your period abroad, perfecting your writing and oral skills. 
  • Choose from a wide range of options, including the study of the supernatural in Latin American literature and film, the multi-ethnic condition of Latin American societies, and visual culture from the early modern Hispanic world.

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
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 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
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History SPLA31082 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31091 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31141 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Language, Art and Empire in the Early Modern Hispanic World SPLA31162 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 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

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