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Would you like to be able to chat with a winemaker in the Loire Valley? Discuss the menu with a waiter in a Parisian café? Frequent the Latin Quarter and talk about existentialism in the Café de la Sorbonne? Then learning French as part of a major in International Languages and Cultures is the ideal way to start.

This is a graduate and postgraduate subject. At undergraduate (Bachelors) level, the equivalent major is International Languages and Cultures (French stream).

French is one of the world's most important languages, being widely used in commerce and diplomacy. The role of France in European history and civilization means that French culture has an influence which extends all around the world. Including French in your university studies gives you many advantages:

  • If you want to work overseas, knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is a bonus. English is not as universally recognised as you might think, and the ability to communicate in another language makes a big difference.
  • If your career plans involve international marketing or hotel management, French is an asset. New Caledonia and French Polynesia are both near neighbours and trading partners, while further afield there are nearly fifty territories where French is an official language.
  • If your future lies in the sciences, French will give you access to a huge number of professional journals and contacts in everything from agriculture to physics.
  • People. You get to communicate with people, make friends and share ideas through language. Imagine being in a café in Paris with ten other people, each from a different land, each speaking French; only your language skills let you participate.
  • Personal enrichment. A foreign language opens up new worlds, through culture, literature, films and so on.
  • Experience. We are all to some extent afraid of what we do not know. That fear leads us to make biased judgements about strangers and foreigners. Learning another person's language opens our minds to understanding and to other cultures.

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Key information

Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Diplomat
  • Hospitality Operator
  • International Lawyer
  • Tour Guide
  • Translator or Interpreter
  • Travel Agent

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH131French for Beginners 115.021A (Hamilton)
Learn the basics of written and spoken French including greetings, family, city life and daily routines. No previous knowledge of French is needed.
FRNCH132French for Beginners 215.021B (Hamilton)
Learn to talk and write in French about food, travel, careers and past events. You will need some prior knowledge of French.
INTLC101International Languages and Cultures15.021B (Hamilton) & 21G (Online)
This paper introduces students to major world cultures and their languages in a comparative context. Students will gain a critical understanding of culture and diversity through examining the languages and cultures of China, France, Japan, Spain and Latin America.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH225The French-speaking World from Astérix to Zombies15.021B (Online)
Discover the result of contact between French, regional and Indigenous cultures in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Topics include language revitalisation, the Slave Trade, Creoles and Vodou. This paper is taught in English.
FRNCH231Intermediate French 115.021A (Hamilton)
Take your written and spoken French to the next level. A B+ or above will let you go on exchange to France.
INTLC222European and Latin American Cultures15.021A (Online)
This paper explores aspects of European and Latin American cultures, history and society. This paper is taught in English and is open to all students, including those who have no prior knowledge of French and Spanish.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH317French Culture from Versailles to the Revolution15.021B (Hamilton)
A study of France's literary, social, and historical movements from the Golden Age of Versailles through to the Enlightenment and the Revolution it inspired.
FRNCH331Advanced French 115.021A (Hamilton)
Use your French in practical contexts. This paper covers work, CV-writing, presentations, travel, accommodation and everyday life in France.
FRNCH332Advanced French 215.021B (Hamilton)
Extend your written and spoken French skills through creative writing and discussion of current affairs in France.
INTLC380Study Abroad 115.021G (Block), 21I (Block) & 21X (Block)
This paper will enable students to undertake appropriate individual study abroad programmes as part of their undergraduate degree. Each study programme should have a significant component of time spent offshore, with a series of assessments being agreed in advance with the paper convenor.
INTLC390Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton), 21D (Hamilton) & 21H (Hamilton)
At the discretion of the relevant Programme Convenor, students undertake independent but guided research on a topic of the student's choice

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH502A Topic in French Literature: Amelie Nothomb30.021A (Hamilton)
No description available.
FRNCH510Advanced Methodology of Translation30.021B (Hamilton)
This paper involves an advanced translation project.
FRNCH524Special Topic30.021B (Hamilton), 21D (Hamilton) & 21X (Hamilton)
This paper involves research carried out in France, usually while working as a teaching assistant or on exchange with a partner university
FRNCH525Work Placement30.021X (Hamilton)
This paper enables students to gain work experience in a French organisation, most likely a school or university.
FRNCH590Directed Study30.021A (Hamilton) & 21B (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
FRNCH591Dissertation30.021X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
FRNCH592Dissertation60.021X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
FRNCH593French Thesis90.021X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
FRNCH594French Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH800French MPhil Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
FRNCH900French PhD Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

The University’s exchange agreements with France’s Université de La Rochelle and the University of New Caledonia allows students to study for a trimester in France as part of their undergraduate degree.

Students wishing to work in France, New Caledonia or Tahiti can take a break from their studies and spend a year in a French-speaking school as an English teaching assistant. Students need at least beginner's French to be eligible to apply.  There is also an exchange with the University of Avignon in the South of France.  These exchanges often lead to contacts and further employment in Europe.

Subject links

European Languages Programme

French is available as a pathway within the International Languages and Cultures major or as a supporting subject for the BA, as a specialisation (set out below), and as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

French pathway within International Languages and Cultures major
International Languages and Cultures is available as a major for the BA. International Languages and Cultures may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled. For full details see International Languages and Cultures major.

French language specialisation
Within the BA, BBA, BCS, BECom, BMS, BSocSc and BTour a French Language specialisation is available, and within the BSc and BSc(Tech) a specialisation in Science International in French is available. The focus of the specialisation is to provide students with the opportunity to develop language skills that might enhance their ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

A specialisation in French for the BA and BSocSc requires 60 points above 100 level in French, made up of FREN231, FREN232 and FREN331.

The point of entry into the French programme depends on previous experience. Those with no previous experience of French take FREN131 and FREN132. Students normally take both papers in a single year and take FREN231 and FREN232 the following year. Students with some experience of French (Year 11 or equivalent) will begin with FREN132. Students with 14 credits at Level 3 NCEA French, or equivalent, will gain direct entry into FREN231. Students with excellent results at Level 2 NCEA French, or equivalent, may, at the discretion of the Convenor of French, begin with FREN231.

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


School of Arts
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