French at Queen’s reflects the dynamism and cultural diversity of the French-speaking world, focusing on the language, culture and society of metropolitan France, and opening up perspectives on a range of global cultures. Politics at QUB is concerned with the sources of conflict, co-operation, power and decision-making within and between societies, how differences are expressed through ideology and organisation, and how, if at all, disagreements and problems are resolved.
French and Politics Degree highlights
Various serving politicians have studied Politics at Queen’s, including Ian Paisley Jr (MP), and ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive (e.g. Megan Fearon, Sinn Féin).
- After stage 2, you will spend a period of residence (normally 8 months or more) in a French-speaking country. Students will have the possibility of acquiring professional experience by teaching in a school, undertaking a work placement, or doing voluntary work. They may also elect to study at a French university.
- There are also has links with Queen’s University’s Global Research Centre, The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Many of the staff are Fellows in the Mitchell Institute, where they work in collaboration with experts in peace and conflict studies from other disciplines such as law, sociology, and the creative arts.
- Students taking a BA in French and Politics have a very real opportunity to gain professional experience in a global context. They undertake an extended period of residence abroad (typically 8 months), normally working as an assistant in a school or undertaking a paid work placement in a French-speaking country (options include France, but also for example Canada, Martinique and Réunion). Students can also elect to study at a French-speaking university. In addition to the benefits for oral competence, the residence provides a unique opportunity for immersion in French and francophone culture. Moreover, the Year Abroad is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal development, and further develops communication and language skills and intercultural awareness. The challenges of living abroad come to be a unique (and unforgettable) stage in their own personal development.
- The study of French and Politics is not directed towards any one professional pathway, but rather provides the generic skills for success in a number of professional fields including the civil service, media, the charity sector, education, etc.
- Politics at QUB offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s has an excellent library with an outstanding range of resources in French and Francophone cultures, and in Politics. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning, and the IT provision more generally is excellent.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- French at Queen’s is taught by world-leading experts in nineteenth and twentieth-century French and Francophone Culture, with particular expertise in visual culture, linguistics, popular culture, medical humanities and postcolonial writing. Research in Languages at Queen’s was ranked 3rd in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment (REF 2014).
- With over 30 staff at the cutting edge of research and publication, the Politics division in Queen’s is the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, with specialisms in Irish and British politics, political theory, sustainable development, the politics of film and literature, gender, the Middle East, European Union politics, ethnic conflict and international relations.
- The Head of School, Prof. Yvonne Galligan, OBE, is an internationally recognised expert in the politics of gender. She was a member of an Independent Commission of Inquiry on The Consequences of Devolution for the UK House of Commons (the McKay Commission), in 2013. She was also independent chairperson of the Markievicz Commission in Ireland on measures to implement the candidate gender quota of 30%, in 2014. She was awarded an OBE in the Birthday 2014 Honours List.
- Prof. Beverley Milton Edwards has advised various governments in her role as an expert on the Middle East, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brooking Institution.
- Prof. David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- Professor Janice Carruthers is an internationally renowned expert on linguistics. She is currently the Leadership Fellow in Modern Languages with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
- French at Queen’s came 2nd, with an overall satisfaction score of 96%, in the Sunday Times subject rankings 2016. It is ranked 5th in the Guardian University League Table for 2017, and is 7th in the ‘Complete University Guide’ for 2017.
- Our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Students run a lively French Society, and our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students.
- We have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience here at Queen’s. I have found my course to be both stimulating and enjoyable and the facilities really are second-to-none. The standard of teaching is first class and the support available to students is excellent. I would definitely recommend Queen’s to anyone.”
Maolíosa McGarry, Level 3 student
Course Content Stage 1 core modules:
Perspectives on Politics
Stage 1 optional modules:
Introduction to French Studies 1
Introduction to French Studies 2
Issues in Contemporary Politics
What is to be done? Sustainability, climate change and just energy transitions in the Anthropocene
Stage 2 core modules:
Stage 2 optional modules:
Paris, City of Modernity
Sociolinguistics of Modern French
The Northern Ireland Conflict and paths to Peace
Apocalypse! The End of the World
Politics and Policies of the EU
Politics of the Deeply Divided Societies
British Politics in crisis?
Security & Terrorism
Stage 3 core modules:
Stage 3 optional modules:
Romance and Realism
Contemporary Critical Theory
Politics of Irish Literature
Women and Politics
Middle Eastern Politics
Earth, Energy, Ethics & Economy
National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
Politics of the Global Economy
N Ireland: A Case Study
Challenges to contemporary party politics
The Global Political Economy of Energy
Contemporary Political Philosophy
European Cultural Identities
US Foreign Policy
Far Right in Western Europe and North America
Ethics, Power and International Politics
Political Parties and Elections in Northern Ireland
Politics, Public Administration and Policy-Making
Security & Technology
Radical Hope: Inspiring Present-day Sustainability Transformations
People teaching youDr Maeve McCusker
Subject Lead, French
Arts, English and Languages
Dr McCusker is the Subject Lead for French, and teaches French language and modern French and francophone culture. She specialises in contemporary Caribbean literature in French and France's relationship with its former colonies and territories, including in Africa.
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 3 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures in Politics
Medium Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
5.5 hours in French (typically comprising one core language module, 4 hours, and 1 optional modules, 3 hours, in one of the two semesters) 1.5 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week in Politics
Personal Study 26 (hours maximum)
24-26 hours preparing and revising across both subjects
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 our students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA in French and Politics 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:
- E-Learning technologies
A wide range of information associated with modules is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. Typically, lecture notes are provided through QOL for each module along with other support material. Much of the recommended reading is available through the same environment. Almost all coursework is submitted and returned, with marks and feedback, electronically.
- Language enrichment classes
Students will have opportunities to develop oral skills and develop their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. All these classes are taught in very small groups (typically 12-20 students). Students attend two language enrichment classes per week as part of the core language module. They also attend a one-hour oral class (typically 8-12 students), delivered by a native speaker.
These introduce you to basic information about new topics as a starting point for your own further private study/reading. Lectures in French also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in larger groups of 30-40 students). Only a small number of our French modules are delivered in this way, e.g. Level One Introductory modules to French and Francophone Cultures. With Politics, lectures are central to all modules, but become smaller from Level One to Two, and again from Level two to Three, as the modules become more focused (moving from wide-ranging modules like “World Politics” to specialist courses on individual countries and regions).
- Personal Tutor
Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. This gives students one identified contact with whom to discuss any difficulties they might encounter and who can answer any queries they might have.
- 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 and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Almost all of the teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students in French, and 8-15 in Politics). These provide significant opportunity for you to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of your classmates. You will also be expected to make presentations and other contributions to these groups. All of our language teaching and, where appropriate, other modules, are delivered through the medium of French in small-group situations.
- Year Abroad
Students taking a BA in French undertake an extended period of residence abroad (typically 8 months), normally working as an assistant in a French school. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in French, the residence provides a unique opportunity for immersion in French and francophone culture, well as invaluable employment experience. The Year Abroad is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity during which students can study at a university, work as an English Language Teacher, undertake a paid work placement, etc. This feature of our degree programme gives students the opportunity for personal development, gives them a job placement, further develops communication and language skills and intercultural awareness. The challenges of living abroad come to be a unique (and unforgettable) stage in their own personal development.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you will be assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Language modules are assessed through a variety of written tasks, class tests, a formal written examination and an oral exam at the end of the year. Optional (content-based) modules in French are assessed through a variety of forms of coursework which may include book reviews, projects, creative writing, presentations, essays and language tasks. Politics modules are typically assessed by two coursework assignments in the first semester, and one assignment plus a final written unseen examination in semester two. Variations on this include assessed presentations, group projects, and “learning logs” based on weekly reading. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students at the beginning of their first year. All assessment, apart from oral exams, is marked and returned anonymously.
As students progress through the course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module convenors, 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:
- Formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities during or at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Immediate, on-the-spot feedback from your teacher during language and oral classes.
- Individual consultations addressing specific queries with lecturers during designated consultation hours.
- Online or emailed comment to specific queries.
- 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 students can review in their own time.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
Queen’s has an excellent library with an outstanding range of resources in French and Francophone cultures, and also in Politics. The Language Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for language learning, and IT provision more generally is excellent.
- E-Learning technologies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year's intake, applicants for this BA programme offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally be made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Access courses, BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to French are also fulfilled.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
- Academic English: 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.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a degree in French and Politics at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by employers (local, national and international) for their communication and critical thinking skills, and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
Typical careers pursued by our graduates include business, media, marketing, translation, publishing, education/teaching, translation/interpreting, PR, journalism, fast stream Civil Service, and banking.
88% of our graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Starting salaries are in the region of £21,800. They are employed in a range of organisations, from the BBC and UTV to the Civil Service, from the Irish News to the local assembly and the European Parliament, and including a very wide range of local, national and international companies.
Employment after the Course
French and Politics graduates go on to work in a very wide range of sectors, including media and communications, advertising, journalism, tourism, teaching and translation. They are particularly in demand in careers requiring a high level of communication and presentation skills, as well as strong critical and analytical thinking.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Santander and the British Council.
Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as the British Council Assistantships Programme. In Politics, we offer a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
The Prospects website provides further information concerning the types of jobs that attract languages Graduates.
Other Career-related information:
Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast full Employability Statement for further information.
"As part of the BA in French, you learn skills that are invaluable in the workplace. Writing and delivering presentations; building working relationships and teaching classes in a foreign country; organising events; working to set deadlines and using critical analysis- all experiences and abilities I have carried with me into employment."
Robert Ainley, who graduated with a BA in French in 2009, is now an assistant producer at UTV.
BBC NI Presenter Mark Carruthers is a graduate from Politics, whilst various serving politicians have studied Politics at Queen’s, including Ian Paisley Jr (MP), and ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive (e.g. Megan Fearon, Sinn Féin).
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Students of both languages receive a certificate of distinction for first class performance in the Level 3 oral.
The A N Troughton Award and The Samuel and Sarah Ferguson Travel Prize recognise academic achievement at Levels One and Two.
The Chris Shorley Prize rewards the best performances in the French Language exam in Level Three, and the Richard Bales Prize is awarded to the student with the highest mark in a French optional module in Level Three.
There are a number of undergraduate prizes available to top-performing students on this pathway. In addition to Foundation Scholarships recognizing outstanding achievement in Level One, we have a range of endowed prizes.
There are a range of similar awards for student performance across various modules and in the dissertation in Politics.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £16,900
The undergraduate fees for 2021 entry have not yet been set. The fees shown are for 2020 entry and are to be used only as a guide. Please check back later in 2020 to view updated fees.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
French and Politics costs
Students have a compulsory year abroad in year 3 of their degree. Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement.
Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider.
Placement options include:
Erasmus Work with British Council as Teaching Assistant: Students currently receive approximately €780 net per month and an Erasmus monthly grant of approximately €300 .
Erasmus Study Placement: Students currently receive an Erasmus monthly grant of €300.
A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
How do I fund my study?
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2021.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS