French and Francophone Studies

About the major

French is spoken by over 300 million people, and is an official language in 29 countries (la Francophonie), the United Nations and the European Union. It is also the language of many major literary, philosophical and political works. French Studies provides access to this rich culture and history. Our graduates work in fields as diverse as international relations and trade, journalism, IT, teaching, law, medicine, the arts and a range of international organisations.

Whatever your prior knowledge of French, the department provides pathways to a French major. You can enrol in our Introductory, Intermediate or Advanced pathway, and there are options for ‘fast-tracking’ to a higher level if you do well. You will study French language and the history, societies, literatures and cultures of France and la Francophonie. In addition, you can spend a semester or a year on exchange in France, Switzerland or Canada.

Most teaching in the Department is in French, with content, class activities and assessment all adapted to your language level in each year of study. Our teaching is strongly focused on student participation and interaction, so that you develop autonomy as learners of French and as independent thinkers.

Requirements for the major

A major in French and Francophone Studies requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level language units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

A minor in French and Francophone Studies requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level language units

The Introductory pathway will follow a 2-3-3 model = 2 language units at level 1000; 2 language units at level 2000 + 1 culture unit at level 2000; 2 language units at 3000 level + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000 level culture units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level language units
(v) 6 credit points from 3000 level Interdisciplinary Project units.

Students in the Introductory pathway can complete their language units in the accelerated mode during winter and summer sessions.

The Intermediate pathway will follow a 0-3-5 model = 0 units at level 1000; 2 language units at level 2000 + 1 culture unit at level 2000; 4 language units at level 3000 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit

(i) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000 level culture units
(iv) 24 credit points of 3000-level language units
(v) 6 credit points from 3000 level Interdisciplinary Project units.

The Advanced pathway will follow a 0-2-6 model = 0 units at level 1000; 2 culture units at level 2000; 4 language units at level 3000 + 1 culture unit at level 3000 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit
(i) 24 credit points of 3000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000 level culture units
(iv) 6 credit points from 3000 level Interdisciplinary Project units.

Quick overview: pathways to the major (with CEFR levels) for students enrolled in, or after, 2018
CEFR LEVEL

Introductory Major

Intermediate Major Advanced Major
C1    

Advacned French 4
FRNC3634

B2+  

Intermediate French 6
FRNC3626

 
B2  

Intermediate French 5
FRNC3625

Advanced French 3
FRNC3633
B1+ Introductory French 6
FRNC3606
Intermediate French 4
FRNC3624
Advanced French 2
FRNC3002
B1 Introductory French 5
FRNC3605
Intermediate French 3
FRNC3623
Advanced French 1
FRNC3001
A2+ Introductory French 4
FRNC2604
Intermediate French 2
FRNC2002
 
A2 Introductory French 3
FRNC2603

Intermediate French 1
FRNC2002

 
A1+ Introductory French 2
FRNC1602
   
A1

Introductory French 1
FRNC1601

   

Please note: the CEFR levels are minimum attainment levels at end of semester.

More information on the CEFR at https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/

IMPORTANT NOTE: This table only lists the compulsory language units of study in each Major. You will need additional cultural units of study to complete your Major:

First Year

Depending on the level of pathway (introductory, intermediate or advanced), first-year units in French and Francophone Studies will introduce or further develop students’ speaking, writing, listening and reading skills in French language. All first-year language units use a wide variety of authentic materials that foster both linguistic competence and cultural understanding in different Francophone environments. All units prepare students for in-depth study of French language and Francophone culture in second year and beyond.

Second Year

Students in all pathways (introductory, intermediate and advanced) undertake both language and cultural units in second year. Building on the foundational knowledge acquired in first year, second-year language units further develop and consolidate speaking, writing, reading and listening skills, and culture units offer students the opportunity to develop research skills through a diverse range of topics including Francophone film, literature, media and sociolinguistics. Student learning is increasingly autonomous, and students are encouraged to plan an exchange semester at a French-speaking university through participation in the Department’s exchange program.

Third Year

Third-year students undertake advanced language units and project-driven culture units, in which they are given the opportunity to engage critically with cultural and social issues in contemporary Francophone societies. Students are encouraged to examine complex problems in the French-speaking world, and begin to solve such problems creatively and effectively, developing their research skills to a high level. Students who major in French will thus be well placed to progress to honours and postgraduate study.

Honours

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires a major in French and Francophone Studies with an average of 70 percent or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018: Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in French and Francophone Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

Students may qualify for Honours regardless of the language level at which they commenced.

It is strongly recommended that all intending honours students complete at least one semester exchange in a French-speaking country.

Advanced Coursework

The requirements for advanced coursework in French and Francophone Studies are described in the degree resolutions for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2019.

Contact/further information

Department website: sydney.edu.au/arts/french

The departmental website offers a list of Academic Coordinators.

Placement of incoming students

Introductory pathway
If you have never done French or have studied French for three years or less at junior high school (up to year 10) you should enrol in FRNC1601: Introductory French 1.

Intermediate pathway
If you have completed HSC Beginners or have obtained less than 80% in HSC Continuers you should enrol in FRNC2001: Intermediate French 1.

Advanced pathway
If you have obtained >80% in HSC Continuers or have done both French Continuers + Extension or International Baccalaureate Standard or Higher Level, you should enrol in FRNC3001: Advanced French1.

Please note: A ‘gap’ year after Year 12 does not normally affect placement.

Quick overview: pathways to the major (with CEFR levels) for students enrolled BEFORE 2018

COMMON EUROPEAN
FRAMEWORK OF
REFERENCE (CEFR)

BEGINNER
Major

INTERMEDIATE
Major
ADVANCED
Major
C1     FRNC3634
Senior French 10
B2+   FRNC2626
Senior French 8
 
B2   FRNC2625
Senior French 7
FRNC2633
Advanced French 3
B1+ FRNC3606
Senior French 4
FRNC3624
Intermediate French 4
FRNC1632
Junior French 6
B1 FRNC3605
Senior French 3
FRNC3623
Intermediate French 3
FRNC1631
Junior French 5
A2+ FRNC2604
Introductory French 4
FRNC1622
Junior French 4
 
A2 FRNC2603
Introductory French 3
FRNC1621
Junior French 3
 
A1+ FRNC1602
Introductory French 2
   
A1 FRNC1601
Introductory French 1
   

Please note: the CEFR levels are minimum attainment levels at end of semester.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This table only lists the compulsory language units of study in each Major. You will need additional cultural units of study to complete your Major:

BEGINNER MAJOR: You need to successfully complete FRNC2625 Textes et Société 1: Identité en France et FRNC2626 Textes et Société 2: Littérature Moderne, ideally in conjunction with FRNC2603 and FRNC2604.

Students in the introductory pathway can complete their language units in the accelerated mode during winter and summer sessions.

INTERMEDIATE MAJOR: You need to successfully complete FRNC2627 French Contemporary History and Culture et FRNC2628 French Contemporary Text & Culture, ideally in conjunction with FRNC2623 and FRNC2624.

ADVANCED MAJOR: You need to successfully complete 4 cultural units of study. Consult the list of available cultural units on the French Studies site to select the units you are interested in.

Requirements for a major for students enrolled BEFORE 2018

Beginner pathway To complete their major, students in the Beginner pathway must include the following units of Study: FRNC3606 (Senior French 4) and cultural unit FRNC2626 (Text & Société 2: Literature), or equivalent units whilst on exchange.

Intermediate pathway To complete their major. Students in the Intermediate pathway must include the following units of study: practical language unit FRNC3626 (Senior French 8) and unit FRNC2628 (French Contemporary Text & Culture), or equivalent units completed whilst on exchange.

Advanced pathway To complete their major, students in the Advanced pathway must include FRNC3634 (Senior French 10) or equivalent units completed whilst on exchange.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate a degree of mastery of the French language for the purposes of understanding, expression and communication. The extent of students' language proficiency upon completion of the major will depend on their experience. All students will exhibit levels of achievement in productive (speaking and writing) and receptive (reading and listening) language skills, as described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):

  • a competency in written and spoken French equivalent to at least Level C1 (Advanced level); or
  • a competency in written and spoken French equivalent to at least Level B2+ (Intermediate level); or
  • a competency in written and spoken French equivalent to at least Level B1+ (Introductory level).

2 Demonstrate confidence and a depth of disciplinary expertise in one’s knowledge of Francophone cultures and societies.
3. Function effectively and collaborate productively in a range of settings
4. Examine and solve complex problems related to linguistic, cultural, ethical and societal issues in Francophone cultures and beyond.
5. Demonstrate the skills, integrity and personal resilience to construct and defend a valid argument orally and in written French, with the confidence to work both independently and collaboratively.
6. Demonstrate transferable communication and digital literacy skills.
7. Effectively apply knowledge and approaches from French and Francophone Studies to issue encountered in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural contexts.