Honours in French Studies

Is there something you really enjoy studying? Do you have a passion or special aptitude for a particular aspect of French and Francophone culture or language and want to engage with the subject? It could be a particular book or film, a favourite writer, director. It could include fields which have an immediate relationship to French and Francophone studies, such as arts, popular culture, society, linguistics, history, politics, media. Then Honours in French Studies is for you.

Continuing your study in French Studies at Honours level will give you opportunities to pursue a topic that you would like to spend time working on in more detail and to specialise in your own particular area of interest. It will prepare you to undertake a research higher degree in the form of an MPhil or PhD.

An Honours qualification is highly prized by employers because it demonstrates that you have the discipline and research skills to complete a significant writing project and the capacity to thoroughly research, analyse, write and manage a project independently.

In recent years, students have studied and analysed topics across a broad range of genres and fields including: fashion and cinema costumes, the star system in France, contemporary cinema, exile in occupied France, education reforms, experimental poetry of Mallarmé, North African literature, philosophy of Michel Onfray, discourse analysis in media, digital literacy, national identity and French domestic and foreign policy. Joint Honours with another Department is also available.

Entry Requirements

Honours is available to students from all streams including beginner stream. Scholarships are available for beginner students going on international exchange and also for Honours students.

We recommend that students undertaking Honours do an exchange during their undergraduate studies in order to benefit from the opportunity to study abroad at the most prestigious francophone universities. The exchange experience is also an ideal time to decide on a thesis topic and start your research. More information on exchange.

For entry requirements, please consult the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours page

Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee you entry into the Honours programme. Honours places can only be granted where there is supervisory capacity.

Assessment and Program Structure

The Honours program in French Studies consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. two units that meet weekly for two hours for one semester.

The thesis should be of 18000-20000 words. Each unit requires 6000-8000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 60% of the final Honours mark and each of the unit is worth 20%. While you will receive marks for all pieces of assessment, your academic transcripts will record only your final, overall Honours mark.

Honours units

The Honours year comprises four units

  • FRNC4111 French Studies Honours Thesis 1
  • FRNC4112 French Studies Honours Thesis 2
  • FRNC4113 Theories and Methods in French Studies
  • FRNC4114 Research Topics in French Studies

You will need to complete two units per semester - one Honours Thesis unit and one of the other two units. Please note that FRNC4113 Theories and Methods in French Studies is taught only in the first semester of each calendar year and FRNC4114 Research Topics in French Studies only in the second.

In Honours Thesis 1 and 2, you will be working with your supervisor toward completion of your thesis. FRNC4113 Theories and Methods will be taught collaboratively by staff members from across the School. For the content of FRNC4114 Research Topics in French Studies of any given year, please contact the Honours coordinator, Dr Sonia Wilson.


The Honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in a field that can be supervised by a member of staff. It amounts to 18000-20000 words of writing and must demonstrate both a command of a wide range of secondary source material in French studies, as well as a command of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of the research. The thesis can be written in either English or French.

Thesis Supervision

In the first instance, students should contact the Honours Coordinator to discuss their preferred field of Honours study. They will be able to suggest the most appropriate member of staff within the department to supervise the Thesis. The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives an idea of the areas of interest of staff from the Department.

  • Professor Martine Antle supervises in * Europe and colonialism * Surrealism * Identities in European, Franco/Arab and Middle Eastern films * The construction of gender and race from the 1900s * Contemporary theatre from the 1900s * Women writers * Minimalist writers * Francophone literature and film * Franco/Asian encounters * Franco/Arab dialogues * Transnational Art
  • Dr Françoise Grauby supervises in literature (nineteenth century to the present) * the Body in literature * Representations of the writer * creative writing * Popular Culture * Art and Literature.
  • Dr Caroline Lipovsky supervises in Discourse analysis (Systemic Functional Linguistics, Appraisal, multimodality), Sociolinguistics, Impression management, Language of the workplace, Feminist linguistics and Landscape linguistics.
  • Dr Michelle Royer supervises in French cinema * French feminist discourse * Marguerite Duras and the media * Marguerite Duras’ films, novels and autobiographic writing.
  • Dr Carolyn Stott supervises in French detective fiction and roman noir * Parisian history, sociology and fiction * French as a foreign language pedagogy * France in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Dr Sonia Wilson supervises in French autobiographical writing * intersection of gender and genre *late nineteenth century French women's writing and social history * Annie Ernaux


In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Honours Coordinator.

Enrolments are completed online. Go to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage for further information on Honours and on the online enrolment application procedure.


Contact the French Department's Honours Coordinator if you have any questions about doing Honours in French!