French and History (BA Joint Hons) RV11

BA Joint Honours

French and History


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Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences



Professional Year Out





Arts, English and Languages

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


French is one of the major languages of global trade and of international relations. It is one of the official languages of the European Union, and is the official or administrative language in over 45 countries or regions worldwide.

At Queen's, French Studies reflects the dynamism and cultural diversity of the French-speaking world today. Students explore a variety of contemporary issues, historical periods and geographical areas through a range of media including art, cinema, linguistics and literature. Studying French offers an insight into the language and society of metropolitan France and opens up exciting vistas of cultures throughout the world.

Our degrees cater for Beginners and for students with AS-level and A-level French.

Why Queen's?

Study Abroad/Placement: between Levels 2 and 3 students spend a period of residence in a French-speaking country. Most students have the possibility of acquiring valuable professional experience in a French-speaking company or school, and take a work-based learning module. Recent students have taught not only in France, but also in the French Caribbean and Canada.

Support: students run a lively French society, and staff offer support through a personal tutoring system, a skills development programme, and a structured feedback framework, which aim to enable all students to reach their potential.


Did you know?

French courses within the School are ranked 7th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2017

Course Content (including module information)

Level 1

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 you 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 you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to 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 you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your 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, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your 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 you to achieve your full academic potential.

On the BA in French and History 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.  The School of Modern Languages is the smallest School in the University and because of this we foster a supportive learning environment in which we get to know each of our students individually.

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics and outline theoretical and methodological concepts as a starting point for further study. Lectures may also provide opportunities to ask questions, and receive advice on assessments. 
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (rarely more than 15 students).  The majority of seminars and tutorials are taught by permanent members of the academic staff.  Such small-group teaching provides opportunities for you to engage with active researchers who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You 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:  where you will 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 you can study at university, work as an English-Language Teacher, or undertake a paid work placement 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. 
  • E-Learning technologies:Most information associated with lectures and assignments is 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:  computer-based grammar learning packages in the Language Centre; interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes in project- based work, interactive group workshops, online discussions, and web-based learning activities.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student, when private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date, and research and preparation work for assignments is carried out.  Academic staff will provide tailored bibliographies for research projects and self-directed reading.
  • Work-Related learning/Field Trips:  Students have a variety of opportunities to participate in work-related learning and field trips; there are also meetings with alumni to advise students on opportunities for graduate employment.
  •  Supervised projects and dissertations:  In final year, you have the opportunity to undertake these. If you do so, you receive support from a supervisor who guides you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback on drafts of your work.  All supervision is undertaken by permanent members of staff, many of whom are world-class experts in their field. 
  • Personal Tutor:  Every undergraduate has a Personal Tutor who is a member of the academic staff.    The Personal Tutor meets with his/her students throughout their academic career and provides advice on personal development, employment opportunities, and their general progress through university.

Entry Requirements


Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

BA Requirements

Post A-level

A-level: ABB including A-level French. Note: for applicants who have not studied A-level French then AS-level French grade B would be acceptable in lieu of A-level French.

Beginner Level

A-level: ABB + GCSE French grade B or evidence of linguistic ability in another language. Note: the Beginners' option is not available to those who have studied A-level or AS-level French.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in French

All applicants: if you plan to study French as a Joint Honours degree or as part of a BSc/LLB/MSci degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course.

For French with Portuguese applicants please note: Portuguese is normally offered as a Beginners' programme to students who have demonstrable linguistic ability, but applications from students who have had prior engagement with the language and/or A-level Portuguese at minimum Grade B will be considered.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

France remains the UK‘s largest trading partner and, according to the 2015 CBI Education and Skills Survey, French is the most sought-after foreign language by employers.

A French degree at Queen‘s will also assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, particularly in a global job market where fluency in more than one language, critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness and communication skills are at a premium. Although the majority of our graduates pursue careers in business, banking, education, marketing and translation, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors including publishing, public relations and the Civil Service.

We have links with a large number of employers locally and internationally, including Citi and the French Ministry of Education, who provide teaching placements for our students on their year abroad, and our students also benefit from links with our alumni around the world.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

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