BA English Language and French / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our BA English Language and French course is ideal for analytical minds who want to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon which impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.

English Language covers the history of the English language and the variation between English dialects in the UK and further afield.

You will acquire the skills required for analytical language study alongside the means to apply those skills to the study of historical and present-day English.

In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation.

The course allows students to achieve near-native proficiency in French and to study the language within its cultural and historical context.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which French is spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in several French-speaking countries, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Special features

Study or work abroad  

Your year abroad  will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a French-speaking country and further develop your language skills. 

You will study, work and/or teach during the year abroad, with opportunities both in metropolitan France, and in other Francophone regions, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Martinique and Quebec. 

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of our long-established partnership with the Alliance Francaise de Manchester, which supports cultural events such as film screenings and exhibitions throughout the year. 

In addition, our collaboration with the Institut de Touraine in the Loire Valley, brings opportunities for learning at its Easter and Summer French language classes, which are appropriate for ab initio students and finalists. 

Learn from language experts  

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of each language, giving you a richer learning experience. 

Access outstanding resources  

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest repositories of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections. 

Get involved with interesting projects  

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. 

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK.  

Enjoy cultural activities  

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.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour spent at university, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

English Language

  • You'll study the foundations of English grammar and be introduced to the history of English and varieties of English in the UK and further afield. You may also choose additional optional units, including those in which you learn about the study of meaning or of sounds, or learn how to investigate English using corpus methods.


  • A predominantly native French-speaking staff will teach you in French in `language' classes, as well as in most `culture' classes.
  • You will study between 3 and 6 hours of French grammar and conversation every week, in order to reach near-native precision and fluency, running 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 take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Mandatory
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

English Language

  • Tailor your degree to suit your interests. While studying two compulsory units in subjects like language change, sociolinguistics, stylistics or pragmatics, you may additionally choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in specialist fields such as phonology and experimental phonetics, and psycholinguistics.


  • In the second year of your course, you build on the grounding already established. This year's core language course 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 courses available in your second year are options broadly falling under three categories: Literature, History and Popular Culture, and Linguistics and Translation. Topics covered include French literature, French linguistics, colonisation, media, and cinema. All include a research component that encourages you to develop your skills of analysis and information-gathering, working independently or in a group.

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
Race and Empire in the French-speaking World FREN20562 20 Optional
Temptations of the Tragic: Love and Death in French Literature FREN20681 20 Optional
Media, Performance, & Digital Culture in Contemporary France FREN21211 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in French Cinema FREN21332 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 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

English Language

  • Have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options spanning subjects as diverse historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, child language development, formal semantics and syntax, and forensic linguistics.
  • You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.


  • On your return to Manchester in your final year you will continue with your core language course and choose additional units from a wide range of even more specialised courses, building effectively on Year Two study.
  • Language study is centred on essay writing, translation and oral work involving discussion of texts, debates and presentations.
  • Also available in this year are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff. 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.

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 ELAN30241 20 Optional
Dissertation in French Studies FREN30000 40 Optional
Art, Culture and Activism in France in the Age of Social Media FREN30732 20 Optional
History and Memory in Francophone Cinema FREN30831 20 Optional
Exoticism & Orientalism in C19th France: French Romantics and Local Colour FREN30872 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30441 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30752 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30972 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 20 Optional
Discourse as Social Practice LELA32062 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 4


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.

For your English language studies, you will benefit from access to a wide range of technical facilities, online resources, and unique collections at the John Rylands Library.

Learn more on the facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: