|Degree:||Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (BA (Hons))|
French is a major world language, with a rich cultural and intellectual heritage. Knowledge of the French language and its literature and culture opens up a world of opportunities to those who study them. French is an official working language of many international organisations (UN, OECD, NATO, etc.) and plays a decisive role in world affairs.
If you are fascinated by how other languages and cultures offer a different perspective on the world, French at Trinity could well be the course for you. You will enjoy studying French here if you have a passion for novels, cinema, drama, poetry, literature in all its forms – and if you want to develop your ability to think critically. If you are interested in French and European history, politics and thought, and if you would like to experience French culture first-hand by living and studying in France, then Trinity’s Joint Honors degree programmes in French could be for you.
You may also learn French at Trinity by opting for one of the four non-literary degree programmes: European Studies (with French and another language), Business Studies and French, Law and French, and Computer Science and Language (French).
French at Trinity is a four year course providing a breadth and depth of experience that puts our graduates among the most highly qualified in the field. All students are encouraged to go abroad for a full academic year, or a term. There is no better way to learn French than to live and study through the language (see Study Abroad section).
Trinity French graduates are working for Google, eBay, Christian Louboutin, The Abbey Theatre, Amazon, the British Institute in Florence, the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. Recent graduates are working in areas as diverse as arts administration, translation and interpreting, diplomacy, tourism, publishing, and investment banking, as well as second-level teaching and the Civil Service. Many go on to take postgraduate courses in areas such as law, marketing and business for which a degree in arts and humanities provides an ideal background. The combination of an arts degree and a more vocational or professional programme of studies has proved to be highly attractive to prospective employers.
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At entry, French must be combined with one other subject. In later years you will be able to select additional subjects and electives and will have the option to graduate with French as a Single Honors degree, a Joint Honors degree with another subject, or a Major with a Minor.
The development of reading, analytical, and critical skills, through both oral and written exercises in French, form the bedrock of this course. Students are expected to progress to a high level of competence in the four basic linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. This includes nurturing an ability to cope with different registers and styles of written and spoken French and to reflect critically on the way the language is used and structured. A range of optional subjects are available over the course of the four years.
The programme in first year includes an introduction to French language, literature, and history. First year subject areas include: (i) French grammar and grammatical analysis, (ii) written and oral comprehension and (iii) modern fiction, theatre, cinema and poetry. You will spend four contact hours each week working on French language and grammar, and three studying literature and contemporary French history and society. In second year, you will build on this foundation by following courses in the history of French ideas and politics, French literature, French linguistics and in the practice of the French language itself.
In third and fourth year, a wide variety of optional modules building on courses previously undertaken are available. These range from Renaissance and Enlightenment writing to Romantic and Modern French literature; from French language, politics, society and identity to French critical theory, philosophy, history and cinema. In your final year, you will research and write a Capstone project in English or French on a subject of your choice in consultation with a supervisor.
At all levels, you will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and exams. We use a mix of traditional and innovative continuous assessment methods – essays, project work, presentations, book reviews and dossiers, podcast creation.
Language modules are traditionally assessed by written, oral and aural examinations. Final year students also write a Capstone project.
A year or semester studying abroad is one of the highlights of a student’s Trinity experience, and immersing oneself in the language and culture is also one of the most valuable ways of achieving fluency when you are studying a language. Single Honors students have a compulsory third year of study abroad and other students are encouraged to spend a year or a semester in their third year in one of our partner universities. At a minimum, you will be required to spend two months in a French speaking country prior to taking your final exams. We currently have exchange agreements with Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle, Lyon 2, Bordeaux-Montaigne and Orléans universities.