Course Content (including module information)
First year is designed to enhance students' practical language skills and all students take one core language module.
Students of Beginners’ French benefit from an intensive language course designed to bring them to A-level standard within a year. All other students take classes in comprehension, writing, translation and oral skills, which focus on contemporary social and cultural issues.
Most students also take French for Business and Professional Purposes, while Law with French students take Le Français Juridique.
Optional modules explore key issues in the modern French-speaking world: in Introduction to French Studies 1, students study the question of French identity from a variety of literary, artistic and social perspectives. France and the World explores the artistic and cultural diversity of French-speaking countries around the globe.
Levels 2 and 3
Levels 2 and 3 provide the opportunity to enhance the linguistic skills and cultural awareness developed in Level 1.
Core modules at both levels focus on advanced language study and also give students a choice of filières, which are taught and assessed in French.
The range of options on offer includes intensive language study for ex-beginners (in Level 2), language for professional purposes (Legal French, Business French), or a variety of historical, cultural, linguistic and literary topics.
Depending on their pathway, students also choose from a range of optional modules, which are designed and taught by internationally-recognised staff and relate to their research interests.
Current optional modules may include:
- Caribbean Cultures
- Romance and Realism in media cultures
- French Film Noir
- Paris: City of Modernity
- The Sociolinguistics of Modern French
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment: The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. There are also oral examinations which enable students to demonstrate their ability to analyse and present material in French and pursue high-level discussion in the target language. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards students should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, students will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA (Hons.) in French and International Studies we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; computer-based grammar learning packages in the Language Centre;IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
- Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Language classes: Almost all of the teaching in Modern Languages is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students) in English and French. Written language classes meet for two hours each week, and involve intensive work on developing linguistic competence, vocabulary, idiom, knowledge of grammar, comprehension and translation skills, essay-writing skills etc. Students should expect to prepare work in advance of each of these classes, where they will receive regular written and oral feedback on their work.
- Oral classes: Students have opportunities to develop oral skills and apply grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts, and through the study of topics related to contemporary France. All these classes are taught in very small groups (typically 6-12 students) and are facilitated by native speakers.
- Year Abroad: This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which students can study at university or undertake a paid work placement/internship in a French-speaking country. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal and professional development, further develops communication and language skills, and the experience of living abroad is important for developing intercultural awareness.
- Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- Dissertation: In final year, students may undertake a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen. They will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on at least 4 occasions during the write up stage.
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.