Knowing a second language increases one's employability in a global environment. French is a good choice, being one of the few truly international languages, and is useful in travel, culture, trade, science, and sport on several continents.
French culture is influential and its history fascinating. Studying French will offer students insight into the Francophone world, which unites diverse cultural, linguistic, socio-political, and religious groups: from Canada and the Caribbean, to our neighbours New Caledonia and Tahiti, as well as many French-speaking nations in Africa.
- The French programme at UC offers courses to 300-level in French language, as well as courses in French and Francophone culture, French society, French and Francophone literature, as well as French, Francophone, and European film. Courses are suitable for those who cannot read or speak a word of French, and for those who have studied French at school.
- Flexible learning in the French programme at UC makes it easy to include language studies within your degree.
- If you are enrolled in our French programme you can study one semester or one year of your UC degree in France by taking part in a student exchange programme with either Sciences-Po, Paris; IEP, Aix-en-Provence; or Université de La Rochelle.
Whatever your background in French you are eligible for several of our courses. We offer language courses at various levels, including for beginners.
- Students with little or no experience in learning French take FREN 121 French Language Acquisition: Beginners' A.
- Students with NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent standard in another qualification) start with FREN 122 French Language Acquisition: Beginners' B.
- Students with NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent standard in another qualification) can start directly in FREN 221 French Language Acquisition: Intermediate A.
If in doubt, please discuss your choice of course with staff of the French programme.
UC offers a major and a minor in French as part of the Bachelor of Arts.
To complete a major in French within the Bachelor of Arts, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
Plus one of either:
Courses from European and European Union Studies can also be credited towards the major, with approval from the Programme Coordinator.
It is highly recommended that students complete some French language courses during their major study. The 100-level language courses are for absolute beginners or those with very little previous experience in French language. Students with a high level of French language proficiency may be given direct entry to 200-level language courses.
FREN 321 and FREN 322 are advanced language courses required for all French major students.
For the French minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level FREN courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
French as a discipline extends beyond the learning of the language itself and can enhance a range of careers in teaching, diplomacy, foreign trade, or the tourism industry. Many UC students combine the study of French with another degree in Law, Science, Commerce, or Engineering to enhance their career opportunities.
Graduates of French take up a wide range of occupations, from the public service to banking or journalism, translation, or work in research-based institutions.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in French.
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College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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