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BA (Hons) French and Philosophy (with a year abroad)

Learn to read the original words of world-famous philosophers

Year of entry: 2022/23

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£19,600 per year

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Combine the study of French with investigations into major philosophical questions. 

You'll be taught the language component of the course in French, and will become confident using French as a means of communication, as well as for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of French culture and society which will underpin your abilities as a high-level communicator in the language.

By combining the study of the French language with philosophy, you'll gain an unparalleled insight into the work of thinkers such as Descartes and Sartre. You'll study the philosophical relationships between our language, our world and our minds and develop your skills in writing, reasoning and analysis. 

The course has flexibility in terms of how much French and philosophy content you study over the four years. Your skills and understanding of how a language works, how we communicate and how we reason will give you a solid foundation for a huge variety of careers.

Top 100 Philosophy department in the world

Our Philosophy department is among the top 100 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

Research excellence

96% of the Department of Philosophy's research activity was judged to be of international quality (REF 2014).

Top 10 in the UK

Our Linguistics department is ranked 10th in the UK, in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

From the very first term, we work in the target language, which makes a world of difference outside of the classroom. Although this might seem intimidating, help is always given when needed and the immersion that it grants does wonders for linguistic development. With regards to Philosophy, it is taught in such a way that encourages individual expression and thought.
Idris, BA French and Philosophy

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

Your language modules will explore the culture of French-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in the target language. These modules will help you to develop the cultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in French. 

Your philosophy modules will involve critically examining the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn by natural and social scientists, writers, historians and thinkers of all kinds. 

Throughout your degree, you'll be encouraged to combine your studies of language and philosophy through your study of the philosophy of language.

You'll also study a number of modules in linguistics, helping you to understand the fundamentals of language.  

Year 1

You will study core modules split across your two departments:

You will also choose from the following linguistics modules: 

If you are taking French ab initio, you will follow an intensive, fast-track programme with more French. You will not study any linguistics.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

You will take core modules in each subject.

Option modules 


Choose one of the following:

You will study one further module from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. You can either study one of the language options listed above or choose one of the following linguistics modules: 

You can choose to replace this module with a language option from our Languages for All programme, or an elective module from another department. 


You'll take Key Ideas modules. These modules look in more depth at topics across theoretical philosophy and philosophy concerned with value, as well as the history of philosophy. 

You will take a selection of modules, examples of which may include:

Year 3

Year abroad

You'll go to a French-speaking country. We assist you in setting up overseas university study, a British Council assistantship or a work placement, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

You'll complete two essays while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade. 

Year 4


You'll study core modules:

You will take an option module, examples of which may include:

You'll also study with the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. You can choose to study another one of the options listed above or choose one of the following linguistics modules: 

You can choose to replace this module with a language option from our Languages for All programme, or an elective module from another department. 


You will take a Philosophy module, examples of which may include:

You will take another Philosophy module, examples of which may include:

You'll also choose an advanced module which will allow you to look at a philosophical topic in more depth. 

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interact and communicate effectively in French in a variety of contexts, showing awareness of and sensitivity to details of language and intercultural norms and practices, and solving problems of communication as they arise.
  • Draw on and develop knowledge and understanding of the cultures associated with French and English in engagements with a variety of sources.
  • Produce insightful and illuminating explanations of key problems and puzzles in philosophy, linguistics and French and apply their understanding to new problems.
  • Develop and articulate solutions to problems and puzzles in philosophy and linguistics applying insights in an interdisciplinary way, where appropriate.
  • Lay out what can be said for and against potential solutions to problems, and make a measured judgement about what is the best solution in each case, supporting that judgement with a sustained line of logical argument.
  • Use a scientifically grounded understanding of the nature, use and acquisition of language to investigate complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and articulate these in illuminating ways
  • Synthesise and critically approach complex and unfamiliar French linguistic phenomena, taking into consideration arguments from a variety of standpoints

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2022/23 entry. If you take a placement year - for example a year abroad or a year in industry - you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £19,600

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home): further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international and EU students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at two per cent each year.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

Type Amount
Textbooks Optional additional expense £30


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to Language and Linguistic Science.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Teaching in your French and Philosophy modules takes place in lectures, seminars and discussion groups. We emphasize small-group teaching - seminars in both French and Philosophy typically have between 12 and 16 students.

During your French modules you'll interact in the French language throughout. French modules use authentic magazines, films and television to communicate the culture. In your first year we offer you extra study support in several ways. Our Peer Assisted Learning programme gives you the opportunity to work with other students. You can also add an optional contact hour with one of our staff each week and receive additional support with easing into university life.

In Philosophy, you need to be an active participant in your own learning, asking questions and evaluating your own responses and those of others. You will take part in discussions with your peers and academic staff and develop your knowledge and skills through a number of different activities.  

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4-5 hours per week
Seminars6-7 hours per week
Workshops1 hour per week

These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities. Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Teaching location

You will be based in both the Department of Language and Linguistic Science and the Department of Philosophy on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be on Campus West. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms eg written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on an assignment, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Your year abroad is assessed. You must satisfactorily complete certain criteria in order to graduate with a degree that has 'with a year abroad' in the title. You must complete two assessments in the target language which will be submitted to York during the year. You must fulfil your year abroad obligations (for example attending courses and completing all the local assessments if you're at university, or carrying out your teaching duties if you're on a teaching assistantship).

However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam (French). This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages. There are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams63%47%0%25%
Practical exams5%0%0%17%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Philosophy seminar
Language teaching
I totally recommend coming to York to study Philosophy! York feels like a real home to me now and I have loved the course. I cannot commend the teaching staff highly enough. The teaching standard has been so good. The course progresses at a pace that challenges you at the same time as allowing you time to explore areas that interest you.
Jessica, BA Philosophy

Read more on what our students say about us.

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and philosophy at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.

Career opportunities

  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Local government and public service
  • Business, finance and accountancy
  • Teaching
  • Translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • Effective communication skills
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Independent learning
  • Data analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Team working

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels


Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3,D3,M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate 35 points
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

Ab initio or post-A level French

You can take the language part of this programme ab initio (from scratch, or with a qualification at AS level or below), or you can study on a route designed for those who have an A level in this language.

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers who wish to study their own language.

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete one of our our online courses in either Accents, attitudes and identity or Logic: The Language of Truth, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Dominic Watt, Dr Angela O'Flaherty, Dr Ellie Rye, James Chantry

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Department of Language and Linguistic Science, Department of Philosophy

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