French Studies


French is a major international language and an official working language of the United Nations and many other international organisations. It is a truly global language spoken not only in Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg) but in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. France exerts a strong cultural influence throughout the world and is a leading trading nation, excelling in such areas as aviation, public transportation, food, wine, fashion, to name a few. France is also a leader in the fields of science and medicine. A sound knowledge of the French language and of French culture is therefore of great advantage to students who intend to major in many areas ((international relations, European studies, business, sciences, cinema, art history, law, medicine, philosophy, etc.). The study of French Studies not only equips students with French communication skills, but enables them to learn more generally about the structure and function of language/s, while the study of French literature, film, linguistics and culture aids in the development of a critical and inquiring mind.

French Studies graduates have pursued careers in a wide variety of fields, from teaching to public and diplomatic service, journalism and the media, administration, private industry and tourism.

Studying French at UNSW

At UNSW, the undergraduate program in French Studies caters for students of all levels, from absolute beginners to native French speakers who have a "Baccalauréat" or equivalent qualification. A flexible entry system allows students to enrol in the language course that will build on their existing language skills. Students with prior knowledge of French or background speakers are required to undergo a placement evaluation available on the website of the School of Humanities and Languages in order to gain entry to the appropriate language course.

The School of Humanities and Languages also offers an Honours year and opportunities for postgraduate study through the degrees of Master of Arts (by Research) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

French Studies can be studied as 

Specialisation At the Level of Stream
Advanced French Studies Major
French Studies Minor

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