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

Develop your own answers to major philosophical questions and increase your cultural awareness with French studies.

Year of entry: 2025/26
Show year of entry: 2024

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

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in the Russell Group for 'Academic support'

in linguistics (National Student Survey 2024)

in the UK for research excellence in Philosophy

according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF results 2021.

in the world for Linguistics

QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024

Grapple with the most profound philosophical questions and increase your cultural awareness with studies of French-speaking societies and cultures.

Gain unparalleled insight into the work of some of the great philosophers, including French speaking philosophers such as Descartes and Sartre. You will also engage with modern philosophical minds. Develop an inquisitive approach to topics such as ethics, metaphysical philosophy and aesthetics. By combining your philosophical studies with French studies, you'll uncover the philosophical relationships between our languages, cultures and minds. Cultivate an understanding of how language works, and how we communicate and reason. You'll gain a solid foundation for a huge variety of careers.

You'll join two departments which are highly respected for their research, scholarship and teaching. At York, we have a unique approach to studying languages. You'll be taught and assessed in French by expert staff, many of whom are native-speakers, so you'll develop your fluency and communication skills rapidly. Our transcultural and decolonised approach to language learning allows for deeper reflection on the values, attitudes, and practices of different cultures.

Spending a year abroad will give you confidence in your speaking, and allow you to have valuable first-hand experiences of transcultural encounters.

Language options

You can choose to study one of four languages with Philosophy (including French).

Choose option modules across a wide range of languages

As part of your degree, you can choose to take a credit-bearing module in a variety of languages - from Medieval Latin to Japanese, to Arabic or Chinese.

Get a head start in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at York

At York, you'll benefit from being able to take TEFL modules in-house, as part of your degree. You can count the work you complete in your TEFL modules towards a CertTESOL qualification. This teacher training programme (also offered in-house) can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers, including on your year abroad.

One of the societies I joined in first year was the Philosophy Society, [which] is the place I met some of my best friends at university. Throughout my first year they hosted events, film screenings and they also had several impressive speakers.
Heather, BA Philosophy

Course content


Philosophy at York enables you to become an independent scholar, growing and developing intellectually. You'll have a wide range of option modules to choose from, reflecting the expertise of a large and diverse department. We offer modules in all the central areas of philosophy and you can tailor your degree to reflect your own areas of interest.


Your language modules will explore the society and cultures of French-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in French. These modules will help you to develop the transcultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator. As you progress through your course, not only will you develop your conversational fluency, but also your ability to discuss complex ideas in formal French.

Study French from scratch

You can study French ab initio, meaning you don't need to have any knowledge of French before you arrive. You'll study with other ab initio students during your first year, and will focus on improving your language skills, before joining the post-A level students during your second year.


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Core modules

Philosophy modules

In your first year, you'll develop core philosophical skills. You'll learn to evaluate philosophical arguments and gain a deeper awareness of some of society's main ethical challenges.

Language modules

In your first year, you'll focus on developing your communication expertise in French and your understanding of languages, particularly in French-speaking cultures and societies.

  • If you have studied French to A level, you'll take the post A-level route.
  • If you are taking French ab initio (from scratch), you'll take the ab initio route.

Post A-level:

Ab initio:

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

Core modules

In your second year, you'll begin to focus your Philosophy studies, and develop some key skills ahead of your final year. You'll also develop written and oral communication skills in French, alongside your ability to critically analyse a range of cultural and social phenomena in the French-speaking world. 

Option modules

You will study four option modules. You will typically study three philosophy modules, and one from Languages. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

Philosophy modules
Language modules

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

We assist you in setting up overseas university study, teaching or work placements, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. You can even get a CertTESOL qualification to teach English to non-native speakers before you go. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

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

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 4

Core modules

You'll study one core language module in your final year. You'll hone your plurilingual communicative proficiency in French, through in-depth research and analysis of key aspects of French-speaking cultures and societies.

Option modules

You will study five option modules. You will study at least three philosophy modules, and one from Languages. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

Philosophy modules
Language modules

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

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:

  • Produce insightful and illuminating explanations of key problems and puzzles in philosophy and French and apply understanding in approaching new problems.
  • Make cross cultural comparisons and connections between societies of different places, both in the contemporary world and in the past, and understand issues and events from a range of cultural perspectives.
  • Analyse, evaluate and deploy arguments and evidence, as well as information presented in a variety of formats including digital resources, material culture, visual imagery, texts, databases and statistical information in both English and French.
  • Solve problems creatively by taking information learned in one context and applying it in an unfamiliar one and by developing a range of possible solutions.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing in French and English to provide evidenced, structured and well-supported information, arguments and advice to mono- as well as multilingual audiences.
  • Design, manage, and contribute efficiently and effectively to individual and collaborative projects using your knowledge and expertise, as well as leadership and negotiation skills.
  • 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.
  • Engage with confidence in multilingual and transcultural encounters based on your acquired awareness of, and sensitivity to, the relativity of social, cultural and linguistic norms.

Learn directly in your language of study

At York, we are unique in teaching all of our core language modules in their language of study. Our students develop fluency and confidence quickly, benefiting wholly from this approach.

Study abroad

Observe different transcultural practices and values first-hand, and gain valuable experience speaking in your language of study.

Studying language at the University of York is all about language. I study French, so my seminars are in French, my essays are in French, and my speaking exam is an important part of my overall grade.
Rebecca, BA French and Linguistics

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

The fees above are for students starting their course in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees for 2025/26 will be confirmed later in the year.

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) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

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

Set Languages texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. For ab-initio languages you may need to buy books with a total cost of £50 to £60. Second hand books are often available more cheaply.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2025/26 throughout the year.

Departmental funding

Find out more about funding specific to Philosophy or Languages and Linguistics.

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.

Philosophy is so friendly and everyone is very welcoming! It is really nice to have a support system when you are away from home, and when you go through stressful times such as exams and essay periods.
Anika, BA Philosophy

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

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


You'll be an active participant in your Philosophy studies, asking questions and evaluating your own responses and those of others.

You'll take part in discussions with academics and fellow students. We have regular visiting speakers who give lectures and workshops. We also have a student-run Philosophy Society, which is a great way to extend your interest in the subject and meet like-minded people.


We offer you extra study support in several ways. Our Peer Assisted Learning programme gives you the opportunity to work with other students.

Our focus at York is on effective communication in French as we integrate the teaching and learning of content and language. That is why:

  • we are unique in teaching our core modules in their language of study
  • we teach mainly in small seminars
  • classroom interactions and assessments are in French
  • we emphasise issues of cultures and society, allowing you to develop a high level of transcultural awareness to underpin your language skills
  • many of our staff are native-speakers of the languages we teach

Contact hours

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 4-5 hours per week in lectures, 6-8 hours per week in seminars, and 1-2 hours in workshops.

Contact hours in the final year vary depending on individual module choices.

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 semesters. 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.


We have our own Languages e-Lab for teaching. Here, you'll have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Philosophy. Most of your teaching will take place at various locations across 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 - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

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. 

Starting from your second year, formal assessments contribute toward your degree. You'll be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, research projects, written exams, group projects and presentations. In French, you'll also take oral exams to test your ability to discuss your knowledge and understanding of French cultures and societies.

Your year abroad is assessed. All students must complete two assessments in their language of study. If you are studying at a university, you must attend courses and sit the exams. If you are on a work or teaching placement, you must satisfactorily complete the duties set out in the placement agreement. However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

Disability information

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. 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.

Language seminar

Careers and skills

  • Studying Philosophy with Languages and Cultures at York equips you with effective communication, critical thinking, and project management skills, which translate readily into any work context.
  • The combination of the analytic, transcultural, and communicative competencies you'll learn during your degree ensures that you are a highly sought-after graduate. You'll become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. This skill set will open the door to many different careers.
  • Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation. Learn more about graduate career destinations.

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
  • Teamwork

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
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AABBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
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: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. 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 online courses in either Logic: the language of truth or Accents, attitudes and identity do let us know, as 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) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit 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 haven't 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).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Professor Mary Leng

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science, Department of Philosophy

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