UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - French

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleFrench
Duration3 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

French at UCC will not only expand your knowledge and use of the language, it will introduce you to modern French culture and the cultures of French-speaking countries worldwide.

Along with translation, philosophy, visual culture and linguistics, you will study a wide range of topics, including history, literature, music, theatre, politics and the connections France has to other countries.

The course brings together a sense of French culture, its role in the world, and the value of the language – one of the two working languages of many institutions, such as the European Union.

French at UCC opens the door to a vast amount of opportunities on a global scale.


Year 1

  • FR1101 Foundation Course in Written and Oral French (10 credits)
  • FR1201 Introduction to French Studies (5 credits)

You will study one language course, covering grammar, comprehension, oral and auditory work, and one culture course, which is lecture-based. The language classes are small, so participation is a vital part of the learning process.

Years 2 and 3

You will take a language class and a literature seminar. Most students take a lecture course on the 17th century (covering politics, architecture, literature, the role of women, art). Options are then available on art, linguistics, writings from North Africa and beyond, politics, theatre, fiction, philosophy.

Up to now you will probably have read-only short texts in French, and as your study and skills develop in French, you will be reading books, articles, websites, and watching media in the original language – gradually increasing as you progress through the course and your language improves.

As well as learning about these areas of French culture, the idea is that such work will be absolutely necessary to help you get a feel for the language so that you can use it creatively, as well as for answering or asking questions.

Some classes take place in the French language (including all language classes), but we will ease you into this, with more in the final year.

BA International

You may take French as a four-year BA International and spend the third year in a French-speaking country. In your year abroad, you will study the same subject you follow at UCC, along with French.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: In first year you will study three hours of language and two hours of French culture per week. In second and final year, you have your core modules (always three hours of language, usually two more core culture hours), plus optional modules in specific areas of French studies.

Expected reading hours: You will be expected to do reading, some of which is in French. This should add up to about the same time for preparation as the class hours, per week. For the literature class, this may involve two hours work per week. You can take whichever option modules your timetable allows.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.

All students will have language tests (two in Year 1, two in Year 2, one in Year 3), plus oral exams and language exams.

Essays are also required. 

Optional culture modules are generally assessed by one essay, written during the year. The literature seminar is assessed by presentation, participation and essay.

Why Choose This Course

The French Department is the largest in the State in terms of student numbers, and this means we have a huge community of French-speakers at all stages, and vibrant connections to actual French culture.

Staff are heavily involved with the cultural sector, a key employer of language graduates.

We specialise in France’s place in the world and in history, and for this reason we try to send as many of our students abroad on an Erasmus year as possible.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study Abroad

If you are pursuing a year abroad, either as an optional international pathway or as a compulsory part of your degree programme, you will have opportunities to study French at one of our partner universities in France or Belgium.

Work Placement

The College of Arts offers a work-placement module. The final year module, PX3000, offers students the opportunity to gain recognition for work experience undertaken during the course of their studies.

Some courses also offer placements as part of their academic programme.

Skills and Careers Information

Language skills are vital in a globalised economy, and with so many multinationals coming to Ireland the demand is high for French, the most widely spoken language in Europe.

Language and cultural knowledge provide career mobility, and many of our graduates are now working in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Studying French at UCC will equip you with language skills and transferable skills in writing and cultural awareness so you can make connections with your peers in other countries.


Refer to CK101 and CK108. Please note that French is also available as an elective in other programmes.

A student will not be allowed to select French unless s/he has attained a pass standard in French in the Leaving Certificate examination (or equivalent).  It is recommended that students have attained a H4 in Leaving Certificate French.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact