Major in French
and Minor in French
Major in French (72 credits)
In order to declare a major in French, applicants must initially complete two introductory core language courses, FREN1001 and FREN1002 (12 credits in all). Students intending to major in French should achieve at least a grade C in FREN1002.
In their second, third, and fourth years of study, students pursuing a major in French must take a total of 54 credits of French courses which should be distributed as follows:
A maximum of 24 credits from courses at Level 2XXX, of which 12 credits must be from the core language courses, FREN2001 and FREN2002;
At least 30 credits from courses at Level 3XXX, of which 12 credits must be from the core language courses, FREN3001 and FREN3002, and 6 credits from FREN3030, ‘capstone’ course.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a 3 to 4-week linguistic stay in France or in a French-speaking country during the summer either between their second and third year or third and fourth year of studies.
French major components:
Prerequisite courses* (12 credits):
FREN1001 French I.1
FREN1002 French I.2
* Offered to undergraduates in Year 1 or 2.
One 6-credit Arts Faculty introductory course to be taken from any Arts programmes except French.
Core courses ** (24 credits):
FREN2001 French II.1
FREN2002 French II.2
FREN3001 French III.1
FREN3002 French III.2
** Offered to undergraduates in Year 2, 3 and 4.
French elective courses*** (24 credits):
At least four 6-credit French elective courses (see the list of courses).
*** offered to undergraduates in Year 2, 3 and 4.
Please note that FREN2XXX electives have FREN2001/FREN2002 as co-requisites.
Capstone experience course (6 credits):
FREN3030 Guided writing in French (capstone experience)
Total: 72 credits
Important changes to the Major in French (October 2023)
From the academic year 2024-25 onward, French will be offered as part of the Global and Area Studies Major (GLAS). As a result, French will no longer be offered as a Major.
Click here to discover the new Global and Area Studies programme: https://www.globalba.hku.hk/
Students who have already declared a Minor or a Major in French, and those who intend to do so, are invited to read our FAQ about the French Major and Minor and the new GLAS Major
The Major in French (72 credits)
When comes the stage to elect a first or a second major, the Major in French is an attractive option to consider. To elect the Major in French means to study towards a greater mastery of the language, a better understanding of France and the Francophone world, a wider opportunity to complement other academic disciplines, a deeper experience in comparing local and global cultures. To major in French also means to build for the future by acquiring an additional qualification for the job market in a variety of areas, such as international business, commerce, science, the media, education and culture. In our world of global exchanges, people who know several languages are always sought after for their capacity to mediate across cultures and ideas.
A greater mastery of the language
Language learning is a personal qualitative development, and also a quantitative process. In other words, it takes time to achieve a rewarding level and success derives from cumulative exposure to the language and steady practice. The Major in French aims to help students become autonomous learners and active users of the language. Many of our graduates in the past have been able to pursue further studies in France; others have successfully integrated a company with a French-speaking environment.
A better understanding of France and the Francophone world
With its economic and political standing, France is a prominent player in world affairs. This country has for long influenced other societies in their industrial, cultural and governmental development. The position of France today stems from a rich heritage of intellectual history and scientific progress. To have the ability to pass through the language barrier is a definite advantage. French is the third most used language on the Internet; the French language offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and access to news from the French-language international media (TV5, France 24, Radio France Internationale).
A wider opportunity to complement other academic disciplines
Because it is all about language, communication, society, knowledge and culture, the Major in French combines nicely with other fields of academic studies you may pursue in parallel. Students in English, Translation, Fine Arts, History, Philosophy, European studies, Creative Industries, Politics, Social Sciences, Business and Economics and many more subjects will find it easy to establish connections with French that will strengthen their ability to cross-examine, analyse and enrich their own experience. Knowing French will consolidate and expand your vocabulary and grammar skills in English. About 50% of English vocabulary comes from French or is related to it. As you develop greater skills in French, you also sharpen your understanding of English.
A deeper experience in comparing local and global cultures
One of the keys to comprehend our world is our ability to compare across cultures and societies. Learning the French language in depth and understanding new cultural aspects will stimulate your capacity to look at your own cultural background and to exercise a critical view on both the local and global environment. The French language is spoken in more than 40 countries in the world.
An additional qualification for the job market
An ability to speak French in addition to other languages is a definite asset on both the local and the international job market. A good knowledge of French allows access to companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, North and sub-Saharan Africa). As the world’s sixth biggest economy and favourite destination of foreign investment, France is a key economic partner in many sectors.
The Minor in French (36 credits)
The Minor in French is open to students from the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Architecture, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Medicine.
First Year (12 credits)
12 credits from two introductory courses: FREN1001 (Sem. 1) and FREN1002 (Sem. 2).
Second, Third & Fourth Years (24 credits)
6 credits from each of the core language courses: FREN2001 and FREN2002; FREN3001 and FREN3002.
A recommended 3 to 4-week language course in France in the summer following the second year (see FREN3119 in the course list).