Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

French BA

This four-year programme aims to develop students' interest in, and knowledge of, the French and francophone worlds past and present. This includes language, film studies, literature from the medieval and early modern to the contemporary, libertinism, theory, modernism and postcolonialism.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
5 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

French required at grade A.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including French grade 6, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. French D3 required.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). French grade A required.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB. French grade A is required.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • You will benefit from a strong focus on spoken and written language work. Oral presentations, comprehension work and translation exercises will be features of your learning. Native speakers form an integral part of our teaching team.

  • We place emphasis on film and literature studies, with resources including a notable French section in the UCL Library. We offer courses covering all periods of French and francophone literature and thought.

  • As part of your studies, you will have access to the facilities of the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education. The French Society organises cultural and social events including theatre visits, drama productions and trips to France.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

  • 74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The structure of the programme allows you to study core modules in French language (written and oral), literature, culture, history, politics and society. You will have some flexibility throughout your degree to focus on areas you find particularly interesting. These opportunities increase as you progress.

You will also take modules offered by the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS), which allows you to study literature, film, art and culture from outside your subject area. This will enable you to focus on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective.

You will spend your third year in France or another part of la Francophonie (for example Québec or Martinique). You can choose whether to spend the year as a language assistant in a French school, as a student at a French-speaking university, or undertaking a work placement.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

French Oral (compulsory unless Francophone)
The Making of Modern France
French Film
Reading French Texts
Romanticism, Realism, Modernism
Use of French

Optional modules

You will also choose interdepartmental modules offered by the School of European Languages, Culture & Society. Optional modules may include the study of linguistics, film and history.

Core or compulsory module(s)

French Oral (compulsory unless Francophone)
Use of French

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Optional modules may include:

Contesting Frenchness: Francophone Literature
Enlightenment and Revolution: The 18th Century
Exploration of Self and Form: the Contemporary Period
France: Culture and Society
French Film History
19th Century Literature
The Classical Age: 17th Century Literature
The Medieval Period
The Renaissance Period
ELCS Intermediate Level modules

Year abroad key information

You will spend your third year abroad in a French-speaking country. Students on this programme currently complete:

  • Any assessment required by a host university (if participating in a university exchange); or
  • A British Council Assistantship or work placement abroad.

Whether you undertake an internship or a university placement, while on your year abroad you will engage in guided academic work and critical reflections so as to make the most of your cultural and linguistic immersion.

For further information and a list of partner universities, please see the SELCS Year Abroad website.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules in year three.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Advanced Translation
French Essay
French Oral
Use of French

Optional modules

Optional modules may include:

Advanced French Politics
Cultures of AIDS in France: History, Policy and Representation
Discourses of Equality
Fictions of Grief
Forms of Feeling in 17th Century France
Gender, Race and Sexuality
Introduction to Post-Strucuralism
Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Paul Sartre
Medieval French Literature
Old Worlds, New Worlds, Humanism and Travel Writing
Reading Tintin
Representations of the Algerian War
Screen Cities: Representing the Margins of Paris 1830-2005
Swiss Cinema
The Haitian Novel, 1944-2004
The 'Libertine' from Charles Sorel to Laclos
ELCS Advanced Level modules

Your learning

Throughout the degree your teaching will be conducted mainly through small seminar groups, together with some lectures. Seminars are characterised by a 'hands-on' textual and analytical approach, whereas lectures are used for discussing general intellectual contexts.


Most modules are examined either by end-of-year examination papers or by assessed essay work completed during the year. You will also undertake oral examinations in French.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: French BA.


In addition to linguistic and cultural understanding, this programme aims to develop skills in critical reasoning, independent thinking and application of theoretical concepts. You will learn how to conduct research and to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Graduates of the department have entered a wide range of professions including finance, commerce, journalism, education, the media, public relations, and translation and interpreting.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:

  • Editorial and Marketing Assitant, KT Press
  • PGCE Languages, University of Cambridge
  • MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCL
  • Personal Assistant (PA), Science Museum
  • Press Assistant, Sotheby's

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We aim to ascertain the depth and extent of your intellectual interest in French culture. Evidence of this may include reading in French beyond the examination syllabus (in particular of literary works) and experience watching French-language films. We may also employ other selection methods. If this is the case we will inform you about them in advance.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


If your application demonstrates that you are suitable and you receive an offer, then we will invite you to a post-offer open day where you can experience the sort of teaching we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and achievements as well as cultural awareness and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 21 December 2017 at 17:06 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.