French at the University of Newcastle is offered through a major in modern languages in the Bachelor of Arts.


French Studies

French at the University of Newcastle is offered through a major in modern languages in the Bachelor of Arts. Alternatively, students can study French in the Diploma in Languages (up to 80 units). It offers both undergraduate language study and postgraduate research.

French Studies staff are committed to excellence in teaching and research. In 2007 the Carrick Institute (now the Office for Teaching and Learning) awarded the French discipline at Newcastle a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Outside the classroom, they publish widely on French and English literature and in the field of translation studies.

The discipline's international research partners include the French discipline at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Both Alistair Rolls and Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan are members of NTU's research centre for the study of contemporary France, ReFrance. They are also prominent on the national stage as members of the Australian Society for French Studies.

What will I study?

With two principal major sequences, designed to lead students into Honours and postgraduate work, French welcomes both those students who have studied French throughout high school, and those seeking to learn the language from scratch.

  • INTERMEDIATE FRENCH - those with sufficient background in French (to be assessed by the Head of Discipline) will begin their sequence at Intermediate level and finish with Extended French. Extended French is a course designed to further students' understanding of complex grammatical structures.
  • BEGINNERS FRENCH - Those who begin with us in the first year can complete their undergraduate major sequence (their third year) with Advanced French.

Both of these pathways (each comprising 80 units of study) offer students the possibility of going on to French Honours.

Opportunities for Study in France

As a result of the generous bequest of the French department's foundation Professor, Kelver Hartley, the discipline can offer extensive travel opportunities and study support to our students. The Kelver Hartley Bequest Program allows undergraduate students the chance to spend six months in France at the  Universit√© de La Rochelle. Grants for Honours and postgraduate students are also available.


The French Honours program is designed to prepare students for postgraduate research in French Studies. As such, it seeks to continue students' language development and foster the academic skills specific to each student's area of interest. Students can choose whether to write their coursework essays and the thesis in French or English. The four components of Honours are structured accordingly:

  • FREN4150: Methodology unit. This course is tailored to students' academic interest.
  • FREN4160: Specialist skills unit. Students whose interest lies in French literary studies are encouraged to choose two from a range of Honours seminar series offered by the staff of the French and English disciplines; those with an interest in language and translation are encouraged to follow courses run by the Linguistics discipline.
  • FREN4170 and FREN4180: Honours Thesis preparation and submission, respectively.

Students wishing to do Joint Honours (French and another discipline in which they have a major) are encouraged to contact the French Studies staff. 

For more information about Honours in languages, get in touch with our Head of Language and Language Studies.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE:     For more information, please refer to the Bachelor of Arts handbook and the Diploma in Languages handbook.

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCE:     Interested in other disciplines within our School? CONTACT US