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French and Francophone Studies/French (B.A.) (2 subjects)

« Je voudrais mourir par curiosité. »George Sand

French is a world language with currently about 270 million speakers, which is highly significant not only within the EU, but also worldwide. If you are interested in the French language, literature and culture, from the medieval Chanson de Roland to the digital media, study with us! Become a specialist in the cultures of the francophone countries and regions. Find out, for example, why Albert Camus’ Sisyphos is a happy person, or learn more about the interaction of cultural influences in the Caribbean or in Africa.

Name of subject: French and Francophone Studies/French
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (2 subjects)
Standard course length: 6 semesters
Start of programme: Winter semester
Language requirements prior to start of programme (evidence required): Knowledge of the French language

Admission to the winter semester 2018/19:

  • 1st subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • 2nd to 6th subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • International applicants (non-EU): open admission (application to International Student Services)

Subject description

Language requirements prior to start of programme (evidence required)

To start the degree programme, French language proficiency is required at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (GER). This level of proficiency can be proved either by relevant documentary evidence or by passing our aptitude and orientation test. More detailed information can be found under the link “Language requirements” in the right-hand column.

Subject/content/goals

In the course of your French Studies, you will acquire competencies in numerous different areas:

  • linguistic competence (level C1 GER)
  • intercultural competence
  • ability to conduct scientific work
  • historical perspectives on linguistic, literary and cultural developments
  • regional and country-specific knowledge
  • analytical skills
  • key competencies in communication, investigation methods and information processing
  • knowledge about teaching French as a foreign language

Research areas and research focus

The sections of the Bachelor’s degree programme French and Francophone Studies are language practice, literary studies, linguistics, regional and cultural studies and communication skills.

In the area of language practice, you will practice and expand the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing on the basis of the European Framework of Reference (from level B1 to C1), to develop your receptive and productive competence in oral and written communication. You will analyse and compare various aspects of German and French grammar. All courses in language practice include some aspects of regional and cultural studies (such as history, culture, politics, etc.) of both France and the francophone countries.

The purpose of linguistics is to examine the structure and usage of contemporary French and its historical development (e.g. the description of phonetic structure, vocabulary and grammar). The basic principles, core areas and methods of French linguistics are taught in the relevant courses. We make a point of offering a wide range of courses from traditional Romance language areas, such as historical linguistics, generative syntax and dialectology, as well as covering modern questions of discourse linguistics and cognitive semantics. The goal here is to enable students to carry out independent work using modern linguistic methods (e.g. computational linguistics).

Literary studies deal with the francophone cultures and literatures and their history from the medieval beginnings to the 21st century. You will be familiarized with various methods of text interpretation and literary theories, whose diversity opens up a great variety of approaches to text analysis and other forms of media processing (e.g. film). In the literary studies courses, some specific eras and works are dealt with in more detail. Some research areas in French literary studies are the French literature of the Renaissance, autobiographic writing in France after the Revolution, history of books, readers and reading, the modern French literature, as well as literary historiography and gender and virility studies.

In regional and cultural studies, you will acquire basic knowledge about the history, economics, politics, society and culture of France and the francophone countries, using theories from the social and cultural sciences. The acquisition of regional and cultural knowledge includes the development of intercultural competence to enable students to reflect on both their own and the foreign culture, and to comprehend the two cultures as dynamic, living and multifaceted systems. In the advanced courses, this basic knowledge is expanded using specific examples.

The degree programme includes one module to impart knowledge about using and designing media to process and present subject-specific content. Here you will also learn how to critically analyse content presented via various media.

Structure of the degree programme

The degree programme consists of several basic and advanced modules in the sections of language practice, linguistics, literary studies and regional and cultural studies, as well as one module of communication skills. The modules are composed of individual courses, for each of which a fixed number of credits can be obtained. These credits reflect the amount of work required to complete the individual courses and are granted separately from the grades.

Studying French in Göttingen

There are so many advantages to studying French in Göttingen:

  • You learn about French and Francophone language and culture in the heart of Germany.
  • You will get personal support in learning groups with small numbers of participants.
  • We have an international teaching staff.
  • A major part of the curriculum is taught in the target language.
  • Your studies are research-oriented thanks to our interdisciplinary cooperation projects.
  • We have a special subject library with more than 100,000 volumes.
  • You can also get into contact with other Romance languages and cultures, if you like.

Possible/recommended profiles

Depending on the targeted occupational field, a combination of the subject French and Francophone Studies with subjects of cultural and social sciences is recommended, or, alternatively, with studies of economics and law. Studying in Göttingen provides opportunities for innovative, personal combinations from a choice of about 40 subjects.

Occupational fields

For graduates, all types of careers are open which are connected with the French language and culture. Some typical occupational fields are media professions, tourism, publishing, non-governmental and cultural organisations and public relations, for example in internationally active commercial enterprises. The Bachelor’s degree in French and Francophone Studies offers an optimal starting point for subsequent specialisation as an interpreter or translator. The University offers many programmes of career guidance and preparation for the job market.